May 2, 2022 - Business

Ski wax takeback program raises environmental awareness

Traditional ski wax is an environmental concern. Photo: RJ Sangosti/ The Denver Post via Getty Images

When the snow melts on ski slopes and nordic trails this time of year, it can leave behind a toxic legacy.

What's happening: The wax you applied to skis and snowboards all winter is often made with flurocarbons that can include PFAS, a forever chemical that leaches into waterways and poses a health risk when the snow melts, according to an Environmental Protection Agency alert from January.

Yes, but: Colorado Mesa University students and Carbondale-based Mountainflow, a company that makes biodegradable, plant-based wax, are working to end the use of fluorinated waxes.

  • This month, the two organized a takeback program for people to responsibly ditch their old wax.
  • Evo Denver, Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder and Powder 7 in Golden are among the local dropoff locations. There's also a mail-in option.

Of note: Before you put your skis and snowboards away for next winter, John β€” a longtime ski tech β€” wants to remind you to get them a summer wax to preserve the bases and prevent edge rust.

  • John uses Mountainflow and Golden-based Saucer Wax, which also is fluro-free.
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