By Mr. Everest
We’re at the height of the ski season and if you’re like me, this is a great time to start demo-ing new gear. But what to do with the old? Here are a few options I’ve been able to find:
Joining your local Buy Nothing group and giving them away to your neighbors is a great way to keep your ski and snowboard gear out of landfills and still cruising the slopes. Some people are cool with using outdated gear. My wife, for example, skied the slopes for 15 seasons on her old Black Diamond AT gear. And our 12 year old son is going to give them a try on his first hut trip this week.
Donate your gear to a local youth ski program or adaptive ski program. If you check with your ski areas or local ski shops, you’ll most likely find a program that would be happy to use your equipment that’s in good condition and not outdated. Snowpals of Tahoe is just one example.
You could always start your own ski swap, enticing others in your community to bring their gear so families can outfit the kids with neighbor’s hand-me-downs. It’s a great way to keep skiing affordable for us all.
Yankee Magazine has a great article, with plans, showing you how to make your own ski Adirondack chair. Some people build cool fences with stockpiled skis.
The North Face stores will take all of your ski clothing (hats, gloves, pants, bibs, jackets, socks), ski boots, goggles, and ski helmets. Their Clothes The Loop program sends the gear to a company called I:CO which shreds it into its elements and makes new products with it. My article about this great program goes more into depth about this the Clothes The Loop initiative in all of The North Face stores, and where to find those stores.
Ski poles? They’re mostly made of metal, so taking them to your nearest metal recycling center might be your best bet. Poles haven’t changed much over the years, though, so be sure to try giving them away before you send them to metal recycling.
If you live or ski in Colorado or Utah, a great ski industry recycling service was set up by the Snow Sports Recycling Program, which recycles ski gear collected at participating stores. I can’t find a list of the stores any longer but calling the phone number listed on the page, under “Waste Not” could likely get you the names of stores near you that’ll recycle your old gear. This program turns your gear into chips that will be turned into new goods. They’ll take skis, snowboards, boots, helmets, bindings and poles. These materials create waste streams that are approximately 5% steel, 25 % aluminum, 60% plastic and the balance are wood and fiberglass, all reusable in new applications.
If you live near Aspen, CO you can contact Reeski to see if they’ll take your skis and boards to turn into cool looking furniture.
There’s no need for our gear to end up in the landfill. If you’re stumped about a particular item and want to find a reduce, reuse, recycle option for it, drop us a line in the comments below and we’ll get on it.