Carbon Offsets for Christmas

Happy Thanksgiving! This spring we ran an Earth Day promotion in which we partnered with our ski suppliers to make a $100 contribution to Protect Our Winters for each pair of skis that was ordered. We had never done anything like that, but we felt strongly that it is the responsibility of all winter sports businesses to raise awareness of the issues surrounding climate change, and create opportunities for consumers and the industry to join forces to protect winter.

The promotion got a much better response than we expected, and we ended up sending a check for $4600 to Protect Our Winters. And even though we were reducing our margins on the skis we sold, it was good business as well. It seemed to give people a great reason to think about skiing, and we picked up more than double the number of orders we thought we might get.

As a small business, it’s tempting to offer sales or discounts to boost business. It’s worth noting that the Earth Day promotion offered no discounts on our prices, which are generally higher than those found at other retailers. It’s instructive for us to see clear evidence that skiers are as motivated by an opportunity to contribute to an important cause, as they are by an opportunity to get a bargain price. It says a lot about our customers, and reinforces the reasons that the ski industry is a really rewarding place to put our energy.

Now we’ve got another idea to help us join forces with our customers to combat climate change. From now until December 15th, we’ll purchase Carbon Offsets for the shipping of any item purchased from our web store.

Purchasing carbon offsets isn’t exactly the same thing as reducing our own carbon footprint. It’s tempting to claim that it’s simply buying good feelings and a clear conscience. Fair enough. What we see in reality is that buying a clear conscience is a sign that you have a conscience. Awareness and action are close partners. We all can do more in our own lives, and every time we take a small step to make a difference we own a small piece of our own footprint. If nothing else, this will help Amy and myself feel that we have not forgotten that we owe our livelihood and lifestyle to winter. These things are important during the holiday bonanza season!

As always, thanks for your support and partnership.