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We’ve all been there. The joy of acquiring new hiking gear leaves us faced with the question – what do we do with the old ones?
The answer is far from throwing them in the trash; instead, we recycle.
This comprehensive guide, built on personal experience and expert insight, will help you responsibly discard your old hiking gear. Not only will you be freeing up your closet space, but you’ll also be contributing to a more sustainable environment.
Donating Old Clothing: An Act of Responsibility
Before you chuck your old hiking clothes into the bin, consider donating them. Many thrift stores like Goodwill, ARC Thrift Stores, and Salvation Army in the U.S. gladly accept donations. These establishments resell your old items, giving them a new lease on life. Just ensure that the clothes are relatively clean and not overly worn.
In the instance where your old hiking clothes are too worn out to donate, some companies offer a fantastic solution. For instance, Patagonia accepts used synthetic clothing. These are recycled into fibers used for new products. An eco-friendly solution indeed!
Creative Ways to Recycle Old Outdoor Gear
Disposing of old outdoor gear can be tricky. While you could donate these to thrift stores, the chances of them ending up with someone who needs them are slim. However, several creative and eco-friendly solutions are available for this purpose.
Donate to Community Hiking Groups: Organizations like Boy Scout or Girl Scout troops could always use your old camping gear. They often need backpacking stoves, tents, and outdoor clothing for members who might not afford good gear. Local Scout offices can guide you to troops in your area.
Local Gear Swaps: Local gear stores often host gear swaps. These events provide a platform for outdoor enthusiasts to sell or swap their used gear. It’s a win-win solution – you get rid of your old gear, and someone else gets to use it.
Recycle Old Batteries: Batteries from old headlamps or other electronic gear can be recycled. Local recycling organizations usually accept them. A simple search can help you find groups in your area that do so.
Reusing Old Outdoor Books
Old books, maps, and other publications often pile up at home after trips. If you’re not planning on reusing them, consider donating or recycling them. Scout troops and outdoor youth programs could use guidebooks and maps for planning adventures.
If the books are still in good condition, your local library might accept them as donations. And if all else fails, they can be recycled as paper products.
Do note that very old books or maps may have some historical value. Check with your local hiking club if they’d be interested in them. These artifacts, especially if they’re related to the local area, can contribute valuable knowledge.
Conclusion: Sustainable Solutions for Old Gear
Getting rid of old gear doesn’t have to be a hassle or environmental concern. With these responsible methods, your used outdoor equipment can be transformed into new products or find new owners.
Remember, every item we recycle or donate is a step towards a cleaner, more sustainable environment. So next time you’re updating your hiking gear, consider these recycling options. It’s good for you, good for others, and most importantly, good for our planet.