Want to carry out your sport and save the planet? Ever wondered what to do with all that old or unwanted climbing and walking stuff? Well here are some ideas to help you on your way
There’s always eBay and your local freecycle group
The climbing gear forum on UK Climbing can also be used for buying and selling used gear, and there’s always your local climbing wall notice board.
Recycling climbing rope
Ropes tend to tatter. Even the best of climbing ropes will only last so long going through the rigors and weight of holding a climber in place on a rough surface. Unfortunately, there are no UK based companies who will recycle and re-use old ropes.
Why not be inventive and use your old rope around the house – perhaps your dog needs a new lead or you need to practice those knot tying skills….
The French company Millet, have a climbing rope recycling scheme and UK based companies need to sit up and pay attention - they’ll collect any old climbing ropes (of any brand) to make into coat hangers for their clothing and, during the summer season, they often do a part-exchange scheme for new Millet rope. You can hand in your rope to any partner shops in Europe (unfortunately few UK retailers sell Millet ropes and so the scheme doesn’t run in the UK).
Recycling old boots
Regular climbers can wear out two or three pairs of shoes a year. It may be tempting to buy a shiny new pair but why not be little more conscientious and save some pennies by having them resoled.
Old walking boots can be donated to charity. UNICEF and Clarks, have joined forces to ask people across the UK to donate their old shoes. Collection points have been set up at more than 500 Clarks stores nationwide for people to deposit their old or unwanted footwear. The shoes will be recycled in the UK and the money raised will be used to fund UNICEF's education projects.
Walking boots might also be useful to an outdoor adventure group near you – why not make a suggestion. Lupine adventure co-operative for example, is a workers co-operative offering outdoor education and recreation to young people and adults. They have found that young people don’t always have adequate footware and now have a growing boot bank.
You can also recycle your old wellies.
In an recent Summit article, our eco climber Zara revealed that the gear manufacturer DMM want to recycle climbers’ old karabiners and they hope to launch their recycling campaign in 2009. They say that they recycle the excess metal from the manufacturing process anyway, so to recycle the old ‘biners’ won’t be too much trouble. Watch this space…. For more information keep visiting.
The camping gear guide offers a useful list of websites where used camping gear can be found.
The outdoor company Marmot has also introduced a line of EcoPro sleeping bags that use 80% recycled insulation and 100% PET Polyester shell fabric (both made from recycled drinks bottles). These are available at tribes trading and ethical superstore.
Sierra Designs' men’s Verde 20 and women’s Déjà Vu 20 sleeping bags are also made almost completely of recycled material.
Since the commencement of the Summit magazine recycling scheme for inkjets we have raised over £2000 for the Access and Conservation Trust (ACT). EAH Recycling donate money to ACT for every old mobile phone and empty printer cartridge they receive via the BMC – call 01473 658161 for freepost envelopes.
One for the ladies
Climbing and walking aside, most ladies in the UK have at least four bras they never wear. Old bras can now be distributed to charities throughout the UK and overseas and can be used to generate cash for breast cancer research. Breast talk UK and Lingerie Please give full details of how to recycle your old bras.
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