Sustainability

Bridger Bowl has a longstanding commitment to stewardship; from private land holdings to the partnership with Custer-Gallatin National Forest, the ski area maintains a constant effort to reduce environmental impact. Bridger Bowl is committed to operating the ski area in the most socially responsible manner possible. Energy and product purchases, waste stream management and care for the land are conducted in an accountable manner consistent with prudent and environmentally sustainable practices.

This commitment extends to preserving the culture and vitality of Bridger Bowl as a community ski area and maintaining a healthy place for locals and visitors alike to recreate. Recognizing the importance in the community, Bridger Bowl is passionate about preserving the essence of Bridger for future generations.

During the 2018-19 season, data was collected throughout the organization in order to calculate Bridger’s carbon footprint. This data provides a baseline for gauging the performance of future efforts, demonstrates how much change is possible in the short-term, and guides the development of short- and long-term reduction goals. These efforts are spearheaded by the newly formed Green Team, comprised of enthusiastic individuals from across the Bridger Bowl workforce. The Green Team is researching, implementing and advocating for best sustainability practices in the operations of every department. Bridger Bowl joins 194 other ski areas in National Ski Area Association’s Sustainable Slopes Program. As a member of the NSAA Climate Challenge, we completed a ski area greenhouse gas inventory in 18-19 and are committed to ongoing GHG reduction projects.

Energy

Solar Project

Through grant funding from Northwestern Energy, Bridger Bowl is very proud to have partnered with local provider Onsite Energy and invested in a clean energy solar project with an effort to reduce the dependence on fossil fuel energy. Predominantly directed at reducing consumption for upper mountain lift operations, the project also reduces traditional energy requirements for Deer Park Chalet (DPC). The project will produce up to 68,515 kWh per year of clean energy to fully support DPC’s summer operations. Educational display centers located around the mountain will show real time data so individuals can see what the system is producing.

Lodges

Bridger Bowl is in the process of incorporating energy saving improvements in all lodges by upgrading to LED lighting, motion sensor switches, and Energy Star rated appliances.

Water Management

Every hour, Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles, most of which are thrown away. Energy saved from recycling just a single plastic bottle can power a 100-watt light bulb for nearly an hour. With this mind, water filling stations have been installed in every lodge on the mountain. Bring a water bottle to fill or purchase a refillable, packable one while visiting.

  • 1.6 million – annual barrels of oil required to produce the plastic bottles used for drinking water.
  • 450 – years required for them to decompose. The ability to recycle plastic effectively is greatly reducing by the number of countries no longer buying it from the U.S. and a lack of reprocessing facilities in the US.

Bathroom sink faucets are being upgraded with WaterSense Technology certified faucets reducing consumption of this precious resource. Toilets across the mountain are low flow, reducing consumption even further.

Since 2012 and funded partially by the MT. Dept. of Environmental Quality, Bridger Bowl has been involved in a research program with the Dept. of Civil Engineering at Montana State University on a two-stage wastewater vertical flow treatment wetland. The successful pilot replaced recirculating sand filters with native plants for nitrogen removal and has helped to build design standards, operational guidelines, and best practices for additional wetland treatment facilities in the region. This cutting-edge technology provides a scalable alternative for wastewater treatment that cuts the energy use of municipal utilities dramatically while preserving the iconic Western landscape.

Waste Management

16.7 to 30.5 tons is the amount Bridger Bowl’s recycling program grew over the past two seasons, reducing landfill waste by 13.8 tons!

Recyclables

Bridger Bowl has been committed to recycling for many years and aims to recycle 100% of all recyclable goods. Cardboard is bailed on-site, and glass is crushed and utilized on-site. All lubricant oils, lift grease, fryer fats, large steel, aluminum, wire, plastic, paper, cardboard and magazines are recycled.

Transportation

Park & Ride

Since 2007, Bridger Bowl has leased a parking lot at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds for the use of carpooling and bus riders.

Car Pooling

Guests with three (3) or more in a vehicle have access to parking closer to the lodge. Two events each year award carpooling groups with deeply discounted lift tickets or mountain-wide discounted food and beverage purchases for season passholders.

Bus Transportation

In continual effort to reduce Bridger Bowl’s carbon footprint, bus service is provided FREE OF CHARGE from MSU or the Gallatin County Fairgrounds (at the park & ride lot) for employees and guests. Increased regularity of service will be noticed in 2019/20!

Bozeman Commuter Project

Joining bozemancommute.org connects riders and drivers to and from Bridger Bowl, saves money on gas, reduces carbon output, and tracks individual efforts. Join today!

Advocacy/Partnerships

National Ski Area Association’s Keep Winter Cool, Climate Challenge, and Sustainable Slopes programs enhance and inform our sustainability efforts.

Recognition/Awards

  • 2008 – National Geographic’s Greater Yellowstone Region Geotourism Map for sustainable practices and service as a non-profit community ski area
  • 2008 – Gallatin National Forest – commitment to environmentally sustainable operations and care

Education/Outreach

  • Bridger Raptor Fest
  • Sustainable Destinations Workshop

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