You may love your sports gear, but when wear and tear starts to give in, you know it's time to move on to new gear. Alternatively, perhaps you're always excited about upgrading to the latest technical gear and advancements to improve your game. As part of our Earth Day efforts encouraging individuals to make small lifestyle changes that can preserve nature's resources, follow these ideas and best practices. Here are some curated suggestions and inspiration to turn your beloved sports gear into another crafty item to utilize.
1) Donate to your local thrift store, school or gym
If your sporting goods are still in decent condition, there may be a local school, specialty gym or thrift store that can benefit from your used items. Golf clubs for example are constantly receiving the latest technical updates, and a middle or high schooler just discovering the sport might have a chance to try golf if you're upgrading your own set. Many schools have club teams or junior leagues that can use other types of equipment for practice. Check if your local YMCA chapter accepts used sports gear, and what type of equipment they may need or that have a high demand.
2) Turn your climbing ropes into a craft
Have you worn out your climbing ropes to weakened threads? Instead of tossing these used ropes, leverage ingenuity and craft these into pet toys or leashes. Turn your ropes into household items like rugs, re-line your beach chairs, or glue them as a final touch on a pouf or ottoman. Even coil them into a basket, or transform them into camera straps. You can become really creative with how these ropes are woven, cut, retied, or loosened to become a truly unique piece for your home or friends. For inspiration, see what this business owner does with his used climbing ropes.
3) Use parts of your bike for different purposes
Do you love the frame of your vintage bike, but the parts might need upgrading? Or perhaps you have a sweet set of wheels, but need a new frame. Observe if there are ways you can swap out and replace parts of the bike instead, like upgrading the tires/wheels and turning your old set into a vintage-inspired clock for your home.
4) Re-use articles of clothing
For lighter shirts and socks that may have sweat marks or less appeal to you, give them a makeover with some good old-fashioned tie-dye technique. You can pledge to sustainability even further by using all-natural plant-based dyes like beet and carrot juice.
For darker pieces of clothing or anything unusually shaped, you can cut these shirts up into rags to be used for washing your car, cleaning around the house, or padding while moving.
Turn worn, used textiles into an item for another sport, like reshaping and cutting up an old hiking backpack and re-stitching it into a bicycle bag, or transforming wetsuits into a drink koozie or laptop cover. Repurpose your clothing into a piece of fabric that can be converted to a drawstring bag, like a chalk bag for climbing or pouch for golf balls and tees.
There is always an alternative use for clothing!
5) Turn boards into tables
With every surfboard, snowboard or skateboard comes a lot of fun memories. If your board holds a lot of value for you and you don't want it to collect dust in the closet, consider turning it into a coffee or side table. You can put multiple snowboards side-by-side to add width to the table, depending on your preferences. Study a tutorial on how to add legs and a base to your table, and your new table is sure to be a conversation starter in your sweet digs!
6) Convert hockey sticks and skis into coat racks
Fortunately, hockey sticks and skis are long and when combined with 3-4 together, they create a stable base ideal for a coat rack. If you want to stick to a sporty theme, you can leave them as-is, or paint them for an upgraded look. For more inspiration, check here, or enlist the help of a business to build your new, used coat rack.
7) Tennis rackets become mirrors or baskets
If you love your tennis racket, simply consider getting a re-stringing service (offered in our store) to revitalize its power. If you're ready to retire the racket frame too, turn it into a mirror, frame or basket.
8) Research if your materials can be donated
These days there are many inventive ways to achieve re- and up-cycling. Research if there is a method or specific organization that is accepting donations of your sports gear. For example, wetsuits are now being repurposed into yoga mats and tennis balls turned into flooring. See which creative organizations are out there making an impact, and where you can dispose of your used materials instead of turning to the garbage can first.