Backpackers, climbers, cyclists. As much as many of us try to minimize our impact on the environment, our outdoor fun can create trash. While there is no use for discarded Gu wrappers that I am aware of, two creative companies are making dog leashes and collars out of busted bicycle tubes and tired climbing ropes.
Colorado-based Green Guru collects old climbing ropes through its partner Sterling Rope in Maine, and makes dog collars ($15) and leashes ($18). Green Guru pulls and recycles the rope cores, then sews quick release buckles into the sheath. To make its leashes, Green Guru hacks off a section of old climbing rope with core intact. It bonds one end of the section of rope into a handle and the other into a small loop that it finishes with an accessory carabiner. Clip it to Fido's new recycled rope collar or any other dog collar, and it's ready for a run through Boulder, Boise or Burlington.
Cycle Dog uses discarded rubber bicycle inner tubes to make its dog collars ($25). This Portland, OR-based company sews one inch and smaller webbing to sections of dead road and mountain bike tube, which, it turns out, are pretty soft against a dog's neck, and rub less than some plain webbing collars. Plus Rover wont get ring around the collar. The rubber tube extends past the webbing on the sides of the collar, so not only does it resist smelling doggy, but it doesn't fray
My dog is not a leash or collar chewer so I can't report on how these leashes and collars hold up to canine teeth. What I can report: both company's dog gear is legitimately upcycled, which means the companies are taking trash and making it into something with value. Bonus: the leash clip on Cycle Dog's collar is sized perfectly to pop the cap off your beer when you're back from your run.
Have old tubes, ropes, or even wetsuits that are landfill bound? Check Green Guru's reclamation page for guidelines on what you can send to them for reuse.