With winter in full force and much of the ski and snowboarding season ahead, sustainability ranks high with enthusiasts looking to reduce their eco-footprint while enjoying the great, snowy outdoors.
And while you may not think there’s much to be done with your old equipment, options abound.
We love the idea of finding a charitable organization where you can donate your old equipment, and certainly selling on Craigslist or eBay is an option. However, there are some cool programs around the country recycling snow sporting goods as well.
Green Mountain Ski Furniture is a must-try for you snow bunnies in the Northeast. Donate your old skis or snowboards, and they’ll turn them into functional art pieces for your home (yes, you can request that they use your personal gear for an added, sentimental touch!). From Adirondack chairs and coat racks to cribbage boards and bird houses, Green Mountain creates fun and usable products for your home. And if you’re more of a DIY-er, they also sell chair and footstool kits so you can make your own.
Interested in working with Green Mountain? If you’re in Vermont, they’ll pick up your old equipment for free. If you’re out of state, throw your old gear on the roofrack and bring it to their shop in Waterbury Center on Route 100.
If the powder of the western side of the U.S. is more your style, a recycling and reuse program by Colorado Ski & Golf is aiming to keep obsolete ski accessories out of landfills. Regardless of whether you make a purchase, the company will accept skis, snowboards, bindings, boots and poles free of charge.
If they are in working condition, the equipment will be donated to charitable ski programs, and non-reusable equipment will be shredded at a facility south of Denver to make products like decking and furniture.
The popularity of ski and snowboard recycling is ever-growing. New organizations such as Ski Recycling and Promotion (SKRAP) in Bozeman, Mont., are starting to become more popular as sustainability becomes an important issue in a sport that relies heavily on the environment for its continuation.
Additionally, Snowsports Industries America (SIA) is in the process of beta-testing their “Keep Winter Cool: Snow Sports Recycling Solution.” The aim of the program is to “fight global warming by working with specialty shops and suppliers to keep old equipment out of landfills through charitable donations or shredding.” The company is currently evaluating the program to assess new ways of making it financially and environmentally sustainable.