Granola bars. Hippy sticks. Eco-smart snowboards go by many names, but if you are looking to be environmentally conscious with your board purchase, they are pretty easy to find. Brands are quick to highlight products that have a reduced impact on the environment, and developing “green” snowboard products has been a hot trend for a few years now. These manufacturers often offset their carbon output and contribute to non-profits like Protect Our Winters and 1% for the Planet.
Lib Tech and Gnu boards are built in the U.S., in Sequim, Washington. Lib-Tech’s Pete Saari explained some of their environmental initiatives. “We have access to the world’s most exotic and environmentally-friendly materials and the experiMental division works everyday at Mervin cooking up dream snowboards. This year we are taking steps towards replacing traditional fiberglass with more environmentally friendly, damp and lively Basalt volcanic fibers in our lines. We are also working our new ultralight renewable ‘Columbian Gold’ eco wood into many boards. Columbian Gold’s fast growing long fibers make it ideal for snowboards. Columbian Gold truly is nature’s fiberglass. Many of our boards are built with BEANs Bio Poymer top material. All of our boards’ graphics are sublimated using water-based inks and avoiding toxic automotive gloss coats associated with high gloss snowboards. If a board looks incredibly glossy with a thick clear coat…the company that made it decided that glossy shiny things are more attractive to customers than using safer, less toxic, less glossy printing processes…take the opportunity to show them they were wrong…you have a choice. Ride a Banana!”
Arbor Collective, maker of Arbor Snowboards, utilizes bamboo in its board construction. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on the planet, and absorbs large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere. Proponents say it’s more powerful and durable than many woods as well. And you’ll be hard pressed to find more beautiful topsheets – Arbor boards are truly works of art.
Jones Snowboards, founded by big mountain master Jeremy Jones, also has a strong environmental mission. “Without winter, without snow, Jones Snowboards would not exist. We are well aware of our impact on the environment and are dedicated to minimizing it in whatever ways we can through our products and business practices. Continuously researching and testing new, sustainable materials is an important part of Jones Snowboards and wherever possible we encompass them in our designs. It is a quickly evolving field and one we intend to be at the forefront of forever.”
What materials is Jones using to help the planet? Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood cores-Select wood that comes from forests managed in ways that will ensure their protection. Linseed fiber and Basalt Eliminating toxic fiberglass and resins; recycled base materials; Flipflop base technique, eliminates up to 50% of waste from traditional base die-cuts; sustainable side walls; paper topsheets—eliminating 1 pound of plastic per board. Jeremy Jones is one of the founders of Protect Our Winters and his company is a member of 1% for the Planet.
These are just a few of the brands that make notable efforts to reduce their impacts on the environment. It’s a good place to start. Browse board company websites and check out the “Technology” or “Environment” section to dig deeper into what materials go into each board, and what initiatives each company is involved in. If they are using some eco-smart materials or furthering that mission, you’ll likely find the facts on it there. -MH