Watching the beautifully groomed half-pipe and slopes and trails in Vancouver at the Winter Olympics brings to mind the huge output of energy-consuming machinery needed to make that snow, let alone rake it into place. GreenerTrends.com comments: Trail grooming, ski lift operations and snowmaking are extremely energy-intensive and are harmful to natural resources and to wildlife. Try to choose ski resorts that are committed to reducing their effects on the environment – before you go, find out if they adhere to the National Ski Areas Association Sustainable Slopes Environment Charter. Consider cross-country skiing or snow-shoeing instead of downhill skiing, as these sports do not require graded slopes and ski lifts, and so have lower environmental impact.