You’ve just upgraded your hiking pack, again, and the old one’s giving you dirty looks from the bottom of the cupboard. It’s still pretty good, just not as good as the new one. It needs a new home, but who can be bothered sticking it on Gumtree and spending the next two weeks replying to Kevin that lives out of state and wants to know if you’ll post it to him. Oh and can you give him a sweet deal because he’s only got 20 bucks. There’s got to be a better way, right? The guys from the 2nd Life Project might just be the answer.
If you’re anything like myself, you’ve managed to accumulate a fair stack of gear over the years. I’m dabbling more and more with climbing, getting into the backcountry a few times a year, surf whenever it’s good, and will rarely say no to a good hike.
Most of the gear can be justified and it gets put to good use, but there’s always the old bits of equipment that don’t get used. The sleeping bag that you’ve upgraded. The El Cheapo tent that you got when you first started doing a bit of hiking.
Welcome To The 2nd Life Project
That’s where the 2nd Life Project fits in. It’s an initiative run by Offtrack, an Aussie institutional supplier that provides outdoor gear for schools, companies and other organisations. Offtrack sum up The 2nd Life Project better than I ever could, ‘It’s a sustainable gear turnover program which minimises an individual’s or company’s environmental footprint.’
The project’s aims are twofold – getting unused gear into the hands of organisations, such as NDIS providers, getting those less fortunate than us out in the wild, and saving serviceable gear from going to waste (landfill).
Traditional Recycling Isn’t The Answer
Recycling is always a last resort. It takes a lot of energy, effort and time to recycle anything, from a glass bottle into a new jar, or old canvas and tent material into new products. Based on the state of the gear coming in, they find one of three uses for it.
Firstly, if it’s looking pretty schmick, it can be cleaned up and given to organisations, underrepresented schools and community programs. If they aren’t quite up to institutional use anymore, they’re given to organisations that support people sleeping rough and others in need, giving them waterproof layers, insulation and comfort. Finally, if they’re beyond use, Offtrack will take them apart, separating pieces of fabric, zip, buckles and straps, for some exciting plans they’ve got down the road.
Give Your Gear A 2nd Life
The 2nd Life project isn’t just taking donations from companies though, anyone can help out and send in some of their old but still useable gear. At the same time, you can reduce waste, help those less fortunate than you and clear up some space in your gear drawer (or cupboard, room, shed or warehouse) while you’re at it. So get rummaging, dig out that old gear and send it on its 2nd life.
If you want to learn more about the 2nd Life Project, check out their website or get in touch with them at email@example.com
We Are The Changemakers