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TGR's Generations: An Environmental Ski Film

Known for their ski porns, Teton Gravity Research has released an award-winning new film about climate change's impact on skiing. We spoke to producer Steve Jones about the simple things you can do to cut your carbon emissions and what TGR is doing to offset all that heli time.
posted: 12/31/2009
TGR Generations

Since 1996, Jackson Hole-based Teton Gravity Research has created the kind of jaw-dropping ski porns that pack theaters in mountain towns around the country each fall. But this year, in addition to their annual ski flick Re:Session, they’ve also produced an action sports film with an environmental twist called Generations. The film, which you download for free on tetongravity.com, is about how climate change is affecting the sport of skiing. It’s narrated by Greg Stump and stars the usual top-notch talent: Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Ingrid Backstrom, Seth Morrison, Jeremy Jones, and others. The athletes not only ride big lines, but they also speak about how we can all help with the growing climate crisis. We spoke with TGR’s Steve Jones about Generations, which has won awards for best environmental film at several prominent film festivals.

A lot of environmental documentaries can be a little boring. But Generations is far from that.
That’s right. We wanted to put something out there that people who are passionate about winter sports could relate to. Something that could appeal to that culture and was more entertaining and less stale or static. We wanted to create a film that would provide education but in a more entertaining manner.

What kind of education does the film provide?
We made the film with the understanding that it’s unlikely that people are going to have the time and money to revamp their houses or go buy a brand new hybrid—we wanted to recommend more realistic things like changing light bulbs, unplugging your computer or your cell phone charger when you’re not using them. That’s barely an imposition—you’ve got to bend down and unplug the thing. There are other bigger things that people can do, but doing those little things will translate to a bigger solution.

I hate to say it, but isn’t it a bit ironic for a company that flies helicopters and travels around the world to ski to be preaching the green lifestyle?
We have a long way to go. But we continue to try to refine those things—we take public transportation, we have a new recycling program, we offset our travel, and we’re a member of Protect our Winters. We are very aware that we’re far from perfect. But we’re trying to make the world a better place and educate people. We have a broad and influential reach that can be very effective. For now, the helis are a reality of what we do. I won’t say there’s not a degree of guilt, but we try to start somewhere and get better and better all the time. I’d be happy if everyone did that.

TGR’s Five Tips That You Can Do.
#1. Get an energy audit. Seal doors and windows and insulate the hot water pipes.
#2. Carpool whenever you can and/or buy a fuel efficient vehicle and drive the speed limit
#3. Use compact fluorescent bulbs, turn lights off and unplug appliances when not in use.
#4. Lower your thermostat settings, put a sweater on!
#5. Use reusable water bottles & coffee mugs... avoid plastic water bottles unless necessary.

For more information, check out www.tetongravity.com/generations.

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