A new life for used or broken skateboards makes the rides more sustainable and supports the local community
With more than 20 million skateboarders worldwide and skateboarding's rapidly growing popularity after becoming a new Olympic sport, and with more than 300 000 broken skateboards going daily to landfills, there is an extensive skater-specific pollution problem around the world. Commune DIY (CDIY), a team of skateboarding professionals and enthusiasts, collects old, broken Canadian maple hardwood skateboards that have lost their original purpose and recycle them 100 %.
CDIY upcycles the reclaimed wood into sustainable products and new materials that, for the most part, are sold and find their home in other than skateboarding markets, with a part of the profit going back to support the local and regional skateboarding community. CDIY aims at promoting skateboarding as a sustainable sport with all its individual physical and psychological benefits as well as at making individuals, their communities and the wide public aware of how to solve the sport-specific pollution problems and to inspire other communities to search for solutions and acquire a sense of responsibility.
Skateboarding is known to be the number one cause of deforestation of the Canadian maple. Although there is no way to remake the broken board into a new one to reduce the demand for this wood, there is a way of keeping the broken hardwood away from landfills and recycling it 100 %, thus dealing with pollution from skateboarding. The new products made of it are sustainable, strong and have a new life span which is longer than the one of an average skateboard deck - only about a month before it breaks.
Since 2014 CDIY has been:
- collecting and saving thousands of broken skateboards from landfills
- organising a few hundred recycling workshops (20 to 1000 participants each)
- participating and talking about the issue in conferences, discussions, online presentations followed by thousands of people
- strongly using their social media and online possibilities to spread the awareness. Every month they reach up to 100 000 people around the world
CDIY has recently created a new material - Skate OSB (oriented strand board) - that can be used in a large variety of markets (interior design, construction, DIY, makers, etc.). The new production processes allow recycling skateboard decks 30 times more and at a faster speed than before.