Environmental terms for snowboarders

By Jesse Huffman

Snowboarders are no strangers to insider language. And just as we have our own vernacular, so too do the enviros. Shred Lightly will be ripe with terms you may or may not have heard before, so we're offering some simple definitions for those terms your bound to come across as all the environmental movement becomes more prevalent in snowboarding. Read up, commit them to memory, and pretty soon you'll be throwing out "Carbon Footprint" as easily as "Nose press to backside one." —Jesse Huffman

Carbon Dioxide
CO2 is a colorless, odorless gas that is a normal part of atmosphere. Increased levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses have produced a "Greenhouse Effect," trapping the suns' heat in our atmosphere. C02 is the number one human-caused component of global warming.

Carbon Footprint

A measure of how our activities impact the environment and contribute to global warming, in terms of the amount of green house gases we produce.

Carbon Neutral
Offsetting all of ones carbon emissions, to the point that all the CO2 your activities produce is balanced out.

A resource, energy or material, is considered "renewable" if it is replenished by natural process at a faster rate than it's consumed. Timber and water are both renewable resources, if they are managed properly and not overused. Solar radiation and wind are both actually "perpetual resources," as they will never run out no mater how much we use them.

A buzzword that refers to making development, business, product or way of life that can be sustained at a certain level indefinitely.

Organic agriculture, food, and cloth is produced without synthetic chemical inputs like fertilizers, pesticides, or genetically modified organisms. Organic products generate less impact on the environment and are ultimately healthier for everyone. A lot of snowboard brands are now using organic fabrics, like cotton and bamboo, in their apparel lines.

Biofuels are plant-based alternatives to conventional oil-derived fossil fuels. The two most prevalent examples are processing corn to create ethanol, and sugar cane to create biodiesel. Mountain towns across the country are running their public transportation fleets on biodiesel, and some resorts have even begun to use biodiesel to fuel the snow cats.

A product is biodegradable when it can be broken down by natural process, decomposing into natural, harmless organic material, as opposed to plastics and other synthetic materials, which fill up dumps indefinitely, often times leeching toxic waste. A company called Eco Ship is now offering biodegradable shipping supplies like corn-based polymer bags, foam and boxes to the snowboard industry.


The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System is currently the most credible set of standards for environmentally sustainable construction. Construction and operations of buildings accounts for a large chunk of environmental impact worldwide, and LEED certification is a sign that developers are trying to reduce their energy consumption and environmental impact.

A design paradigm that aims to create products that are truly and fully recyclable once their consumer use is over. Cradle-to-Cradle advocates using only recycled and renewable resources in the production, effectively "Closing the Loop," creating zero waste in the production, distribution, and consumption of a product.

For more terms to know click here