Ski helmet recycled as a planter

10 weird ways to recycle your ski gear

Are you hanging onto downhill skis so skinny they’ve been mistaken for cross-country skis? Is your toque so old and ratty that your friends have tried in earnest to throw it away behind your back? Have you tried to sell your banged-up 1997 ski boots on the online gear swap without any takers?

We say show off your true ski bum ways and repurpose the gems you’ve accumulated over the years. Here’s how to upcycle them into something cool.

1. Espresso shot ski

Four people with an espresso shot ski

Give this boozy ski-lodge necessity a caffeinated twist – your friends will thank you when you wake them up super early for first tracks. Remove the bindings and deck out your used plank with espresso cups instead of shot glasses. Don’t forget to grab a portable espresso maker for cabin trips, and sip carefully – it’s hot.

2. Burning Man goggles

Ski goggles for Burning Man

Dance your shoulder-season cares away with a bunch of strangers/new friends in the desert under some rainbow lenses made for serious sunlight. Especially handy in dust storms on the playa.

3. Ski fence

A classic, no doubt about it. Start your own by sourcing old gear from your social network, or donate yours to a local hill so your old skis live on at the resort. Requires commitment, but the end result is worth it.

4. Wall art

Hanging skis as wall art

Forget pricey art prints. All you need is an empty wall, a couple mounts and you’re the coolest collector on the block.

5. Ski pole wind chimes

Ski poles as wind chimes

Nothing like the sweet clang of metal sticks to send you off into a snowy daydream.

6. Toque tea cozy

Toque made into a teapot cozy

There’s something extra cozy about a pompom on top of your speckled enamel tea kettle filled with earl grey.

7. Hiking poles

Ski poles with hiking backpacks

Not collapsible, but no less effective. Bonus: zero adjustments required (although removing your powder baskets is advisable).

8. Boot and helmet planters

Ski helmet used as a planter

To complement the ski wall art, of course.

9. Portable growth chart

Ski used as a growth chart

Track your kiddos’ vertical gains without having to lose that sentimental piece of doorway trim when you move homes.

10. Pay it forward

You know that friend who is always saying that they don’t have the gear, money or time to make skiing happen? Passing on your stuff as a gift gets them one step closer to the slopes.

If these quirky second-life hacks aren’t your jam, donate them to your local thrift store or get in contact with your local hill to see if they can recycle or reuse your stuff. 

Kim Budziak

Wordsmith, avid skier and rookie road biker. Firmly believes the best days are the snowiest ones.