Let’s Keep Winter Cool!

snow

So I have been spending a lot of time not doing my University work which is really, really bad but there is something I only get to do a couple of months of the year, and I want to make the most of the time I can have with it. This “it” is snow. Oh how I love snow! My parents say the first time I visited the snow I cried. The second time I was in a bad mood once the wet snow soaked through my jeans – yes, note to you dear reader, denim is a no-no at the snow! These days with the correct gear, the tears are kept to a minimum and denim is nowhere to be seen!

I started snowboarding a few years ago, but last year my visits really kicked up quite a notch. This year I have managed to get to either Mount Buller or Mount Baw Baw at least once a week for the last five weeks – lucky me! My snowboarding is improving and I’m getting a lot of fresh air and exercise, which is keeping me very happy in the cold winter months.

no-snow

Unfortunately this season has been quite disappointing in the snowfall department. Poor Baw Baw has had minimal snowfall and Mount Buller is functioning, but has hardly been at its best. This week we should see a big dump of snow but the good people at Mount Baw Baw have to close their lifts early due to the poor snow coverage. I am getting quite worried about the possibility of climate change having an effect on our snow season and my worries are not unwarranted. According to the 2007 Climate Change in Australia: Regional Impacts and Adaptation – Managing the Risk for Australia Report, the depth of snow over the last 40 years has decreased by 40 percent at Spencers Creek in NSW. Scary stuff. Along with more extreme weather events, such as severe drought and floods, we really need to start managing the potential risk of Climate Change. Many people disagree on the subject, and that is completely up to them, but I always say it’s best to take an umbrella just in case it rains! Plus, by reducing your energy usage, you save money so it is a win-win situation, regardless of your stance on the matter!

I thought I would share some tips to inspire you to help keep climate change to a minimum and keep our snowfall to a maximum so I can continue to snowboard until I am 80! (Yes, this blog post is entirely selfish, ha ha! But you’ll be able to enjoy the snow too!)

Ten Tips to Keep Winter Cool!
1. Reduce your emissions by sharing rides, taking public transport, walking or riding where you can
2. Turn off appliances that are not in use, and remember! Your iPhone only needs to charge for around an hour, not all night!
3. When replacing appliances, choose those that are the most energy and water efficient.
4. Ensure your house is well insulated, install draught stoppers, double glazed windows or just turn down the thermostat and put on a jumper and those ugg boots! Heating and cooling our homes utilises the most energy out of all household functions.
5. Cut your hot water consumption by washing clothes in cold water, installing water efficient devices and install a solar water heater if possible.
6. Buy locally, environmentally friendly products with minimal packing and visit farmers markets over supermarkets where possible.
7. Switch your electricity provider to green power and support the renewable energy industry, or install solar panels!
8. Have a household meat free Monday and increase your vegetable intake– meat takes much more energy to produce than vegetables
9. Follow the three R’s – Reduce, reuse, recycle! If you really don’t need something, don’t buy it as it will most likely end up in landfill and use reusable bags over plastic bags at the supermarket.
10. Spread the word – talk to your family, friends, colleagues, people on the bus, everyone! Tell them you want to keep winter cool and try to inspire them to do the same!

Hopefully these few tips have inspired you to help do your bit and keep winter nice and cold so we can enjoy the snow season for years and years to come!

About Hayley

Hayley is a community blogger on the ripple effect and an Environmental Science student at Deakin University.