How can I recycle my outdoor gear?

Be a Do-gooder -- Donate Gear

Beyond s­hoes, clothes and climbing rope, your snow skiing equipment is also recyclable. Most avid skiers replace their skis every few years. And, the old skis usually end up in the back of the closet or in a landfill [source: MacDonald]. A company called SnowSport Industries America is working on a process to recycle used skis -- melting them down and repurposing them into decking material. So you could eventually sip cocktails on your own skiing equipment.

Perhaps you're feeling charitable and would prefer to make a socially conscious rather than merely environmentally conscious decision about the disposal of your outdoor gear. There are lots of ways to donate your gear for good causes. A simple Google search will bring up dozens of ways for you to donate your old equipment and gear to the organizations that need them. And remember, many donations are tax deductible.

If your gear is in working order, you can look into organizations like I Love Schools to make donations. Its Web site includes a database of teachers who have posted requests for particular items for students. The Web site Sports Gift takes your old sports equipment and gives it to underprivileged children around the world. The charity project Gear4Good welcomes all your old equipment -- boots, tents, jackets and backpacks. And, if Gear4Good can't use it, it'll sell the equipment on eBay and use the money for its charitable endeavors.

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More Great Links


  • "Sterling Rope Recycling Program." Sept. 21, 2007. (Jan. 22, 2009)
  • Nike. "Get Involved: Recycle Your Shoes with Nike." 2008. (Jan. 22, 2009)
  • Patagonia. "Common Threads Garment Recycling." 2009. (Jan. 22, 2009)
  • Kauder, Carol. "You Can Recycle Your Skis!?" Nov. 18, 2008. (Jan. 22, 2009)
  • MacDonald, G. Jeffrey. "Two Entrepreneurs Turn Discarded Skis into Outdoor Furniture." April 1, 2008. (Jan. 22, 2009)
  • Patagonia. "Fabric: Recycled Polyester." 2009. (Jan. 22, 2009)
  • Bannatyne, Lesley. "Where does your recycled bottle go?" Sept. 13, 2005. (Jan. 22, 2009)
  • The Mountain Fund. "Gear4Good." 2009. (Jan. 22, 2009)
  • Terracycle. "Terracycle." 2009. (Jan. 22, 2009)