Friday, March 12, 2010

Recycling Horseback Riding Helmets: Update

I have been in contact with a representative of Troxel and she told me Troxel is very interested in exploring the recycling options for their product or at least for parts of their product! We will be working together to inform and update you as we learn what you can do if you wish to recycle helmets after damage or when no longer useful.

I agree that even being able to recycle a part of the helmet would be worthwhile. I would certainly feel better spending a little more for a helmet if I knew that when it was damaged or otherwise in need of replacement, it could be recycled rather than thrown in the trash. I'm sure there are other horsemen who would agree. Also, as a parent of 2 young, growing children who ride, it would be nice to know that the helmets they outgrow (both horseback riding and bicycling) are not just cluttering a landfill!

I still plan on contacting other helmet manufacturers for their input as they may use different components than their competitors and they should also be aware of the recycling question. I also encourage these companies, should they find this post on my blog before I get to contact them first, to feel free to get in touch with me as well.

In my previous post, a few people just suggested donating an old helmet to a riding school after you are done with it or sell it on ebay or at a swap meet. But I am a little leery about doing this. How effective would it be as protection if it was over 3-5 years old and maybe even been in a few minor falls? I would also be wary of this for legal reasons. What if someone took a fall and they were hurt wearing my old, used helmet? How liable would I be in that case? How long before something like this appears in a lawsuit?

I'd rather see riding schools purchase lower priced models that are up to date in safety standards to provide for their students who don't yet have a personal helmet or have left theirs at home on lesson day. These should be monitored by the instructors or barn manager and replaced as the manufacturer suggests.

Please share your thoughts, suggestions. Constructive input is welcome and encouraged. Thanks!

7 comments:

LiveToFly said...

As far as law suits and helmets go, it is my understanding that even if you let someone borrow your helmet and they fall off and get hurt, you are the one liable for the injury. I would be leery of donating an old helmet to a riding school as well!

Keep us posted on the recycling thing! Have you been in contact with GPA at all?

Michelle said...

I like the idea of recycling helmets, but I'm curious about what that actually means. Any idea WHAT they recycle? Interesting point....and incidentally, I would NEVER donate/buy a used helmet, for just the reasons you described.

Once Upon an Equine said...

You make a very good point here. Recycling of helmets is an excellent idea. I would not resell or donate my old helmets either.

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christine said...

I'm a month behind on this concept, but I am an artist who thinks that the helmets can become something unique. I still have all my helmets, so I am going to start working on concepts. Old bike chains,cogs, etc have become art. The helmets can to.

SolitaireMare said...

Christine - I have thought about turning them into some kind of art piece as well. I have a rough design sketch of turning them into a show jump, sort of a wall of helmets that can be hung between jump standards. It would be large, but I'll bet not overly heavy since they are hollow. I'm just not the one who could actually build the thing!

Angie said...

Besides making them into hanging baskets, they would make nice wind chime bases - and you could use old bits, spurs, and other metal parts. It would be a unique and horse-based piece, and it would also be a great desensitizer if they were to be hung in or around the barn.

Angie said...

And, just thinking about the above posts, I love the idea above that would turn them into a jump wall - how about turning them into barrels for barrel racers to train with? Plus that would promote helmet wearing in a sport that sadly lacks any kind of advocacy for helmets.