Looking for a cool gift for yourself, or another eco-minded outdoors person? Check out Green Guru Gear (www.greengurugear.com) for products made from re-purposed climbing rope or inner tubes. What started out as merely recycling used gear on a personal level has turned into an actual business. Based in Boulder, Colorado, Green Guru now offers an extensive line of gear for cyclists, including panniers, a bar bag, and a seat bag. They’ve also got backpacks, messenger bags, and a really sweet duffel bag. If you’ve got something a bit smaller in mind, the MP3/Phone case, laptop sleeves, wallet, travel case, or zip pouches might be of interest to you.
What initially caught my eye was their bracelets made from recycled climbing rope. Since I’m not a climber, I never really gave much thought to climbing rope. But I have since learned that rope only lasts about three months, and your average climbing gym goes through about a mile and a half of it each year. That wouldn’t be so bad if the rope was easily recyclable, but it’s not. Rather than having it go into landfills, Green Guru takes that colorful rope and turns it into bracelets and key chains. While I’ll be the first to admit that this is hardly earth-shattering in terms of reusing a previously discarded product, they’re bright and cheerful, and make for a great conversation opener about the importance of recycling. So I count that as a win. Available in sizes to fit small children to big men, there’s even a program for businesses, clubs, and other organizations to order them with their own custom label. Part of their business model also includes setting up rope recycling stations. This provides a convenient place for climbers to drop off used rope, which is not only better for the environment, but means a steady supply of raw materials for their use. Green Guru also makes dog leashes, rugs woven from rope, and even a chalk bag for climbers.
Other winning gear includes their products that utilize recycled bike inner tubes. The Duffster duffel bag is made from recycled PETE fabric, with nylon hardware, and the bottom and lower sides benefit from the durability of those inner tubes. It measures 26 x 12 x 12, and has a capacity of 60 liters, or 3,744 cubic inches. Empty, it weighs in at two pounds, ten ounces, and the straps convert from a single padded shoulder strap to a backpack system to make carrying easier. Inside, there’s a single large compartment, complemented by two high-volume pockets on each end. This should make it simple to separate wet and dry gear, and keep your snacks and essentials from mixing with dirty, smelly clothing, or whatever you choose to carry. It’s a duffel, which is all about versatility. This is a great choice if you’re hauling the kind of gear that generally gets left on muddy or wet ground. I can see this appealing to mountain bikers, skiers, and snowboarders, as well as hikers, climbers, and even canoe and kayak enthusiasts.
Green Guru keeps our used gear out of landfills, offers cool products made in the USA, and has created local jobs from something that might have otherwise been trash. What’s not to like?