Sometimes, great things come from modest beginnings.


Meriwether: “I was a ski patroller here, 22 years ago. And I started doing some grass roots recycling things, just trying to recycle more, just on a grass roots basic level.”

That’s John Meriwether. He’s now director of environmental sustainability at Stevens Pass Mountain Resort in Washington State.

With the success of the recycling effort, Stevens Pass began looking for other ways to reduce their environmental impact.

Meriwether: “Which really started with basic management of our waste stream, can we cut down on our landfill contribution and recycle more, compost more, how can we do that?”

Meriwether says 28 percent of the ski area’s waste is reduced, recycled or composted – saving the resort $40,000 annually.


Stevens Pass has also added two on-site hydro powered electric vehicle charging stations. And the resort has started offsetting its energy use by supporting wind-generated power.

Meriwether says the ski resort’s sustainability efforts benefit the bottom line not only by cutting energy costs. They are also boosting the resort’s popularity among environmentally conscious tourists.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo: Aerial view of Stevens Pass (source: Stevens Pass website).

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Diana Madson contributed regularly to Yale Climate Connections from 2014 to 2021. She enjoys exploring U.S.-based stories about unexpected and innovative solutions to climate change. In addition to her...