Showing posts with label recycling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label recycling. Show all posts

January 6, 2012

Quick Tennis Fix: Tennis Ball Foot Massage

Need a quick fix for tired, achy feet? The answer is as close as your tennis bag! Dig out a tennis ball and use it to relieve your feet, calves and hamstrings of kinks and knots.

How? Sit or stand (with your hand on a wall or chair for balance) and place a tennis ball under the arch or one foot. Roll the ball slowly, back and forth, from heel to toe for two to five minutes. If you find a tender spot, slowly apply pressure (whatever feels comfortable) until the tightness releases. Repeat with your other foot.

Performing this little massage routine every day or two will result in feet that feel better as well as looser calves and hamstrings.

Looking for other handy alternative uses for tennis balls? Check out this retro Tennis Fixation post: Recycling Tennis Balls.



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© Kim Selzman 2012 All Rights Reserved

April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day Tennis Fans!

Today is Earth Day! Yay! So be sure and do something green, earth-friendly, and tennis-related, of course, to celebrate.

For me, I'm once again finding a home for my worn-out-beyond-safe-use tennis and athletic shoes. (And how do you know if your tennis shoes are too worn to use on court? Check out this post for the answer - Quick Tennis Fix: New Shoes.) My shoes are the most valuable piece of tennis equipment that I regularly churn through. Right now, I have 4 pairs in my closet that I'm not wearing only because I have worn through the outsole and am worried about slipping on court (very doable by me). While I use one of these for just kicking around or the occasional bout of yard work, the other 3 pair are in great shape but just sitting there.

So I've found several wonderful places where you and I can donate these types of athletic shoes. Check these out:

Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe program takes your gross old athletic shoes, tears them apart, grinds them up and uses them to make all kinds of sports courts, including tennis courts. A donation locator on the site can help you find drop-off locations that are in many athletic shoe stores in your area.

Soles4Souls donates gently used shoes to needy individuals around the world and coordinated relief efforts for such natural disasters as the Asian tsunami and Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike. Their website has a great donation site locator - just enter your zip code and you'll see nearby stores where you can drop off your donations.

Hope Runs is a charity working in Kenya and Tanzania, using athletics, education, and social entrepreneurship to empower AIDS orphans. They accept donations, including running shoes, and especially are in need of monetary help.

One World Running collects new and gently used athletic shoes to send to needy individuals in the United States and around the world. The majority of these shoes are donated by individuals, running clubs and Girl Scout troops (for example) that put on shoe drives. Shoes that are too beat up for use are sent to Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe program. A donation locator can be found on their web site or maybe you can help your local Girl Scout troop to run a shoe drive!

For more great Earth Day ideas and activities, go to the official website: www.earthday.org.



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© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

April 18, 2011

Rebounces Recycles Tennis Balls

Earth Day is this week (April 22) and I, for one, have finally figured out what to do with all of those used-up un-bouncy tennis balls I have - I'm sending them to Rebounces! Who or what is Rebounces? Rebounces is the company that finally figured out how to recycle dead tennis balls.

I was really lucky that, when I called them to figure out what to do with my old balls, I got to spend some time talking to their Chief of Marketing, Grant Garland. He explained to me how their company came about and just how their process works. The philosophy of Rebounces is "replay, reuse, recycle." Balls that are in pretty good shape are recharged, using Rebounces' patented technology, and put back into play. Balls that are too worn to be recharged are donated by the company for use on furniture and in pet toys. Balls that are in even worse shape are donated to a 3rd party recycler. The ultimate goal is to keep all of the millions of tennis balls manufactured each year out of landfills.

To recharge tennis balls, Rebounces uses a "Green Machine" that repressurizes old tennis balls, making them pretty close to new again. According to Grant, the Green Machine is a pressure vessel that uses a patented blend of gasses to treat the balls. He said it takes about 3 days to repressurize 400 tennis balls, so this is a serious process.

How do you and I get involved in all of this? By donating our used tennis balls! You can ship 200 or more used tennis balls to Rebounces, at no cost to you, through their donation program. And how does that work? Well, lucky for you, I tried out their system and can tell you and show you, with photos!

1. Collect at least 200 used tennis balls. I was able to pretty quickly collect 300 balls from my team mates and my teaching pro. You could do this on an on-going basis or you could organize your team or club to hold a used-tennis-ball drive. (So you can kind of turn it into a party!)

2. Find a shipping box that can hold that many balls. The Rebounces web site explains exactly what size box you need to ship balls to them (click here to see that info) and Grant directed me to Home Depot for the right size box. It only cost 97 cents, as shown in the photo below (yes, I took a picture to show that the boxes are really that cheap):


3. Pack up your balls! Here's what my box of 300 balls looked like (notice the pretty pink ball):


4. E-mail Rebounces and tell them how many balls you're sending. They will e-mail you a prepaid Fed Ex label to cover the shipping costs. Here are my 300 balls, all packed up with their shipping label in my car on their way to my favorite UPS store where I happen to know the Fed Ex guy comes every day:


And that's it!

I mean that's it if all you want to do is ship them your old tennis balls. What if you decide you have a tennis club or team or group that could use these types of balls? Well, Rebounces sells the repressurized balls back to the public and they are much cheaper than new balls. So, of course, I had to buy back some balls to try out. In fact, I was able to buy back MY OWN balls to get a true test of these repressurized balls. The cost for buying 100 balls is $45, including shipping and handling. I paid an extra $5 to have them shipped directly to my home (vs. having them shipped to a business address). That's 50 cents per Rebounces ball (vs. about 70 to 80 cents a ball for new balls). Here's what I received for my $50:


Here's what I can tell you about my Rebounces balls. These aren't what you would use in a tennis match. They aren't in a pressurized can or bag or anything and they aren't "clean" - they look like the same old balls that I sent in. But they are pretty bouncy. They're great for practicing with and would be perfect for clubs, school teams, kids programs and other teams churning through lots of balls on a constant basis.

My recommendation? Give Rebounces a try for Earth Day. You have nothing to lose - except all of those dead, dirty tennis balls rolling around in your bag!


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© Kim Selzman 2011 All Rights Reserved

April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

Happy 40th Anniversary of Earth Day!  Last year, I listed some great ways to recycle tennis balls.  Nothing new has been invented to do with used tennis balls that I am aware of.  But I am a big believer in going green so here are a few easy Earth Day suggestions for you to try out:
  1. Reuse or recycle as many of your empty health and beauty product containers as you can. If you can't reuse them or recycle them with your regular recycling, some retail stores, like Origins and MAC, will take back cosmetic tubes, bottles and jars from any brand.
  2. Find out how to recycle items that you can't include in your home recycling, like batteries, compact fluorescent light bulbs, and plastic bags. Not sure? Visit earth911.org for more information.
  3. Recycle plastic packing peanuts by saving them for the next time you send a package. You can also donate them to any UPS Store location where they will be happy to re-use them for you.
  4. Don't bother rinsing your dishes before you load them in the dishwasher. Just scrape and load. Tests by Consumer Reports showed that rinsing isn't necessary most of the time and skipping it can save you up to 20 gallons per load.
  5. A leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons of water every day. Find out if your toilet is leaking by placing a drop of food coloring in the tank. If the color shows up in the bowl within 15 minutes without flushing, you have a leak. (Then, of course, repair the leak.)
  6. Unplug! According to the US Department of Energy, 75% of the electricity used to power electronics and appliances in the average home is consumed while the products are turned off. Plug products into power strips and turn off the strip when appliances aren't in use.
  7. Replace at least a few of your conventional light bulbs with energy-saving compact fluorescents. Compact fluorescent bulbs can last up to 10 times longer and use 75 percent less energy than standard bulbs.
  8. Make sure your gift bags can be re-used by purchasing them with generic patterns or in solid colors. Gift bags themed for specific occasions, like baby showers or Christmas, have limited re-use.
Finally, get outside and enjoy the Earth today!  Happy Earth Day!

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© Kim Selzman 2010
All Rights Reserved

October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day '09: Climate Change


Today is Blog Action Day - a day for bloggers throughout the world to unite and wield their "blogging" power by discussing one topic important to everyone. And this year that topic is Climate Change.

Climate change and tennis? What's the connection? You know that everything you do has some kind of impact on the environment. Even your tennis game has an effect. So here are some easy choices you can make to ensure that your tennis game is as "green" as possible.

1.  Kick the plastic water bottle habit.  That's right.  Instead of drinking from plastic water bottles or disposable styrofoam cups at matches, bring your own reusable water bottles from home.  Set the example and encourage others to do the same.  And if your team is providing the water, make sure to use plastic bottles and recycle them.  Avoid throw away cups at all costs!

2.  Recycle your tennis balls AND tennis ball cans.  We've talked about this one here at Tennis Fixation before:  Recycling Tennis Balls and It's A Tennis Party!  I've also found a great company that actually takes old tennis balls and "refurbishes" them into practically new tennis balls.  Check them out at rebounces.com.  There are plenty of ways to use those old tennis balls and cans.  Make sure these things are happening at the matches in which you're playing.

3.  Put your old tennis shoes to good use.  You know its important that your tennis shoes be in good shape to keep you moving well out on the court.  So what to do with those old shoes?  Besides wearing them to garden in or to wash the car, consider giving them to Nike. Nike has developed a great recycling process for grinding up old shoes and using the resulting material in tracks, playgrounds and other athletic surfaces. Supposedly the foam midsole of your shoe can be ground up and used to surface a tennis court! Find out the details and see how you can participate at their website:  www.nikereuseashoe.com. And find out if its time for new shoes by checking out this post:   Quick Tennis Fix of the Day:  New Shoes!).  

4.  Ride your bike to the courts!  OK, I live in Houston and I'll admit, this would be a big challenge for me to undertake.  But I did just get my bike tuned up.  I did get a rack put on the back of it that I can bungee cord my ball hopper onto.  And I have ridden down to my neighborhood courts with my son to hit some balls.  I haven't yet taken a ride over to my club to play a match which is really pathetic on my part since my club is probably a less-than-15-minute bike ride away.  I resolve to ride my bike to a match next week, however, and do my small part to have a positive impact on climate change.





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© Kim Selzman 2009
All Rights Reserved

June 15, 2009

Cleaning My Closet Of (Tennis) Clutter

As I told my good friend and tennis buddy Paula, this is my summer to clean out my closet and get rid of all of those clothes and shoes I never wear. I need to admit the mistake of some of my purchases (too big, too small, too hideous) and just get rid of them. Paula responded that she would not only like to do the same thing, but she also has several tennis outfits that she would like to just throw out. Well, I too have quite a few things in my "tennis closet" that I can't stand and, inspired by Paula, I am finally going to dispose of them:
  • the very cute Nike top that shows just a little bit too much cleavage (OK - way too much cleavage)
  • the two white skirts and the gray skirt that were such bargains but come down to my knees (I'm 5' 4" and look like a granny in these skirts.)
  • the couple of tops that are "old favorites" but are so worn out that I appear to be just in from Tennis Hobo Camp when I put them on
  • the black Nike skirt that fits - as long as I don't move (And you know how tennis is one of those games where you never really need to move, right?)
  • the 4 (yes, 4!) pairs of tennis shoes that are too worn out for me to wear but which I surely must have some other use for (What? Vases?)
  • the tennis dress that I bought on eBay that has never, ever fit me properly (Lesson learned - never buy something as hard to fit as a tennis dress without trying it on first.)
  • etc.
The problem with these items is that I feel guilty when I don't wear them but then I feel incredibly uncomfortable when I do wear them. And I have enough to think about with my tennis game without wondering "Does this skirt make me look fat?" during a match.

So, all of these things, plus many others, must go. My shoes will go to Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe recycling program (click HERE for more information). My clothes - well, I'm looking into the "freecycle" program as a place where I might find someone who could actually put the clothes to good use (click HERE for more information). And, I'll also go through all of my old equipment too (racquets, bags) to see what else needs to move on to a new home.

I hope you'll join me and Paula in the summer purge of bad tennis purchases! Clean out your own closet of tennis clutter! You'll not only feel better about yourself but maybe your game will actually improve (certainly mine will if I can quit pulling and tugging on my ill-fitting skirts)!



© Kim Selzman 2009
All Rights Reserved

April 22, 2009

Recycling Tennis Balls

Today is Earth Day! As a tennis player, there is plenty you can do to go green. How about finding creative ways to recycle all of those old tennis balls? We all know people with dogs love them. But here are a few more ideas:

1. Toss a few tennis balls in the dryer to fluff up comforters, jackets or other heavy items.
2. Protect a trailer hitch with a tennis ball. Apparently people don’t like their trailer hitches getting scratched.
3. Make a small “safe” for valuables by cutting a 2” slit in the ball and storing small valuables inside. Be careful that this ball doesn't get used or thrown out!
4. Hang a tennis ball from the ceiling in the garage so it hits the car’s windshield when the car is in the right parking spot. No more hitting the garage wall as I have done. Really.
5. Cut an X into 4 balls and use on chair or table legs to protect the floors. Supposedly, elementary schools love this.
6. Strengthen your grip by squeezing on a tennis ball. You could keep one in your car just for this!




© Kim Selzman 2009
All Rights Reserved