SWITCH: Senior Thesis Process Blog

Recycle Your Product, Give it More Life- Rambling Reflection

lifespan goes beyond when you buy something and it comes off the market. the core of skis comes from trees, the fiberglass, the plastic etc, it all comes from somewhere, created by some process, developed from some raw material. You use your skis and then what do you do? Not enough focus is placed on what happens after. We need to keep them out of landfills. 

The materials can be recycled, just look at Burton. Adirondack chairs are great, don't get me wrong (I have two), but there are only so many you can have. Salvage what you can, reuse materials when possible, give it longer then the time that it is under your feet. 

Sell, Donate, Repurpose, Recycle. 

Competitive skis, for example, have a very short life span. Competitive skiers own a lot of skis, wear them down, and move on to the next pair. Whether that is because they grow, they are too worn down, or there is a new model or style. These skis can be reused, passed on to someone that will not do the same sort of damage to them, or require the same amount of strength. Competitive skiers aren't going to use less skis, or extend their lifetime beyond when they are safe on a competitive level, but is there anything that can be done after? 

Look at climbing ropes: they become worn, they become unsafe. This isn't to say to use them beyond their life, but what happens once they are no longer strong enough to hold someone? Climbing ropes can be recycled by melting them into nylon pellets, which can be remade into common household items. 

Burton reuses parts of their boards when possible.
"In addition to our lifetime warranties, we are working to design our products for end of life solutions. If a product comes back, we first aim to repair it, but if we must replace it, we work to keep everything out of the landfill. Last year, we saved 60-85% of every board from the landfill by upcycling into things like the sample holders for our local breweries, shelving units, and employee name tags. We’re also entering into a partnership with our local trash hauler to grind up all of our used product for reuse." https://www.burton.com/us/en/sustainability-product

Sell: what are they worth? age? use? days on snow? initial price? keep the lifetime long. 

Donate: adaptive programs, young kids. 

Recycle: find snow sports recycling programs that turn them into chips and then use them for other products. SIA Ski Recycling Program has recycled over 500 tons of used ski equipment to manufacture other sports gear. 

 

Sydney ShafferComment