Where do old boots go?
We have a lot of hiking boots! Our guests enjoy the use of our good quality boots and crampons to hike on the ice, these boots work hard for us and sadly they don’t last forever. Being a Qualmark Enviro Gold business we always look for ways to reduce, reuse and recycle so in an effort to deal with the mounting pile of boot liners and boots in our workshop, we got the guides together for a brainstorming session to come up with some clever ideas. Well yes, we got some clever ideas, and some not so clever ideas. It doesn’t look like turning boot liners into sleeping bags for possums or fire starters will be options we’ll pursue. But there were some cool ideas such as turning boot liners into hut booties and donating the old footwear to the New Zealand Alpine Club to distribute to mountain huts. Next time you’re in a backcountry hut and there are comfy booties to borrow, they may well be retired Franz Josef Glacier boots! We also offered old boot liners to local schools and Franz Josef School jumped at the chance to give the retired boot liners a new lease on life as part of a Wearable Arts Project (the boots have never looked so good!).
The outer boots are made of good quality rubber and leather; fortunately we don’t go through boots as quickly as we do the boot liners. We had a few ideas on ways to reuse these materials and we will be sending the rubber to a recycler for turning into rubber chips. In the meantime, if you’re ever stuck for something to do with old hiking boots, just do what we do and use them to plant seedlings in! How do you make trees in boots? Simply fill boots with good seed raising soil, plant native flax plant seeds, apply water, sunshine and love and watch it grow. Great to see these hard working boots enjoying retirement!
Franz Josef Glacier Guides' Boots - BEFORE
And AFTER: Prototype Hut Bootie
Trees in boots!
Wearable Art by senior students at Franz Josef School