Our Environment

Our Mission Statement

Our mission is to involve all stakeholders of the mountain in initiatives that will increase appreciation of, awareness of and, most importantly, action toward conservation of our environment so that we may all see tangible results from our behaviors.


Be Part Of the Solution

We need to make a commitment.  To each other, to our children and to this giant, spinning ball we all call home.  The time to start minimizing our individual impacts on our environment is now.  Here are a few things we can all do to be part of the solution. 


Rideshare - Ski/Ride Community Carpool

Search and post rides to your favorite resort, hook up carpools, save money and gas, and make new friends with the new rideshare program. Ride Share links into a database shared by several Lake Tahoe resorts, providing guests access to a huge pool of other skiers and riders looking to hook-up a carpool.


Sacramento Tree Foundation


Leading efforts to build the best urban forest for the Sacramento region, the Sacramento Tree Foundation  is working towards bringing 5 million new trees to the region's streets, schools, parks, and neighborhoods by the year 2025.



Terrapass.com - Carbon Footprint Calculator

The miles rack up - day after day, week after week, month after month. The bills pile up - minute by minute, day after day, week after week...you get it. But those aren't the only things you are racking up. Now you can calculate your carbon footprint with the TerraPass online Carbon Footprint Calculator that gets down to the nitty-gritty, like the year and model of your car and whether you use gas or electric in your home. What you find may surprise you. 

Calculate your Carbon Footprint


Drive a Hybrid Vehicle

Any guest who arrives at Sierra in a hybrid vehicle is welcome to drive right up to Preferred Parking and park for free.  That’s like having instant good karma for doing something tangible to reduce your carbon footprint.  Better yet, fill the car with all your friends before you head up the mountain.


Take the FREE South Shore Shuttle

As good as driving a hybrid full of people, Sierra offers FREE shuttle  service to and from multiple locations in South Lake Tahoe. Not only is it better for the environment to use public transportation, but you can enjoy a few beers in the Pub after the lifts close without worrying about getting home responsibly.


StoryOfStuff.com - A 20-minute Animation of the Consumerist Society

Watch videoFrom its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns.

View the Story of Stuff video

The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.


Pack Your Trash

Cigarette butts, plastic water and soda bottles, energy bar wrappers, AA batteries and receipts are the most common items that find their way out of our guests hands and onto the slopes, into the parking lots and generally not where litter is supposed to go.  Please be conscious of your material waste and put it in the proper receptacle.  It only takes a minute.  We will even recycle batteries for you– just drop them off at the reception office next to Wild Mountain Children’s Center.

Litter can find its way into storm drains and pollute waterways and the environment.  Untreated storm drain water can soak into groundwater, flow into canals and streams, and into recreational areas such as lakes, rivers and the ocean.  The number one litter item found along highways is cigarette butts. 

Don't Trash California top tips  (PDF, 52KB)


Buy a Sierra Coffee Mug

Not only will you make a difference by not using so many paper cups, but you get a deal on coffee and hot chocolate all season long. 


Look Around the House

What do you see?  Fluorescent light bulbs?  Water heaters turned all the way up while you are away on vacation or, if your Tahoe home is your second home, while you are at your primary residence?  Computers, lights, stereos, televisions left on when no one is using them?  Phone charges constantly plugged in?  There are a hundred small things we can all do to minimize our own energy usage no matter where we are staying.  Replace your bulbs with CFLs, turn down your water heater, turn off and unplug whatever you can, especially your computer monitor which is a huge energy drain.


Protecting the Environment Is a Year-Round Job at Sierra

The ski and snowboard industry is more than recreation.  It is an institution built on the premise of preservation, conservation and protection of the environment.  Sierra-at-Tahoe takes this responsibility very seriously.  From day-to-day operations to long term planning, Sierra-at-Tahoe’s commitment to the environment is evident around every turn.

Employees at Sierra have created PROJECT: GREEN SIERRA in order to bring the mountains myriad eco-friendly initiatives under one umbrella and create synergies between the many departments.  PROJECT: GREEN SIERRA encompasses mountain-wide efforts on behalf on the environment, both new and established, and looks to the National Ski Areas Association Sustainable Slopes Environmental Charter for guidance.


B5 Biodiesel

On January 8, 2010, we received our first shipment of B5 Biodiesel from Bently Biofuels. We run all of our heavy machinery on diesel fuel including the grooming fleet, snow plow, telehandler, grader, snow blowers and a mule so the switch to Biodiesel has had an immediate impact on our mountain operations.

In 2010-11, we used 105,758 gallons of Biodiesel. And we've closed the loop by sending 750 gallons of used veggy oil back to Bently Biofuels for Biodiesel production!


Play Video

Another Silver Eagle Award for Environmental Education!

Sierra-at-Tahoe was awarded a Silver Eagle for Environmental Education – one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on a winter resort - by the NSAA for its 2009 initiatives including a bottlecap recycling program with local elementary schools, Keep Sierra Clean day which annually removes more than 2,000 pounds of trash off the mountain, and Environmental Awakening, a video segment produced by legendary snowboard photographer Ian Ruhter for the inaugural TransWorld Team Shoot Out (check out the trailer here).

This is the second Environmental Education Silver Eagle Award we have won - the other was in 2006 for the interactive Adventure Zones that teach children about the history and ecology of the region. And in 1996, we were awarded the Golden Eagle Award for Overall Environmental Excellence.


Highlights Of Our Year-Round Commitment:


  • We used recycled material to rebuild a roof-top deck above our main lodge during the summer of 2007 and above Grandview Lodge during the summer of 2008.
  • We replaced carpet in the main lodge with a carpet that is 25% recycled and has a 100% recycled backing. The new carpet has a Cradle-to-Cradle certification.
  • We employ an eco-friendly cleaning service each summer to clean all employee uniforms.
  • Waste water from the Vehicle Maintenance shop is sent through a 3-stage cleaning process with an activated carbon filter prior to leaving the shop.
  • No chlorinated solvents are used at the mountain.
  • We have changed out all the light bulbs at the mountain to CFL and LED bulbs.
  • We maintain a policy of no idling in company vehicles and request that our guests do the same.

Waste Management

  • We recycle everything from our offices as well as our operations, including paper, ink and toner cartridges, motor oil, cardboard, glass, plastic, etc.
  • We use bulk dispensers for condiments in our restaurants and for soap and paper towels in our bathrooms to minimize packaging waste.
  • We have switched from paper paychecks for employees to paycards, eliminating the use of more than 2,000 pieces of paper per month.
  • We purchase 100% eco-friendly disposable products for our restaurants, which recycle at a rate of 1:1.


  • We offer complimentary daily shuttles to both guests and employees to reduce vehicle trips to the mountian. 
  • Guests who drive hybrid vehicles to Sierra can park for free. In 08-09, 610 hybrid vehicles parked in Preferred Parking for free.
  • We offer carpooling resources on our web site so guests can find other guests and share a ride to the mountain.

Education and Outreach

  • We are working with local school and community groups to continuously develop relevant programs for local children.
  • Our Children’s Ski School focuses its programs on environmental education.  We have won awards from NSAA for these programs.
  • In the spring of 2008, we sponsored a number of E-waste collection events that gathered thousands of pounds of electronic waste for recycling.
  • During the 08-09 season, we worked with Aveda™ to recycle plastic bottle tops, gathering 17 33-gallon trash bags full of plastic bottle tops for recycling.