Sustainability & Eco-Friendliness at the Basement

At Sports Basement, being green extends way past the color of our logo and into the very heart of our business. We’re not just green to get a fancy title or certification (although, we have won a few!). It comes naturally to us to make environmentally-friendly choices, because, well, we're real big fans of the environment. That’s why you’ll see our funky signs on reused cardboard and all kinds of recycling collection bins to help divert recyclable stuff from landfills. We know our Basementeers are passionate about it too, since you've nominated more than 30 conservation organizations to become part of our Basementeer Beneficiary program!

Read on to learn more about what we’re doing to become a more sustainable, environmentally friendly company.



When you first walk into a Sports Basement store and take a peek next our registers, you’ll find quite a few collection bins for all kinds of things from corks & tennis balls to clothing & bar wrappers. A great way to see what your local Sports Basement collects is to head over to your local store's page! You'll find a bunch of items that you can recycle with us:

Aluminum lined & soft packaging (including Clif Bar wrappers!): Recycling chip bags or bar wrappers can be tricky, which is why Terracycle is taking care of it! Just toss those odd lil’ wrappers into our collection bin for proper recycling and divert 'em from the landfill. Since we started, we’ve donated 89,000 bags & wrappers which equals 7,400 boxes of Clif bars!

Bike tubes: Don’t get your bike tubes in a tizzy! Just drop ‘em off at the stores that collect them so we can send them to Colorado based organization Green Guru, which takes old bike tubes and turns them into bike gear & apparel. We also collect bike apparel, parts, and gear for Trips for Kids, an organization that gives kids the chance to ride bikes and get outdoors.

Clothing & Shoes: Those old running shoes and worn out sweater are more than welcome here! The clothing we collect is donated to Recycle for Change, a Richmond based organization that provides grant funding for volunteers seeking to fight poverty in Africa and South America via education, disease prevention, and farming. The funding is done by reselling the donated clothing locally.

Tennis balls: The tennis balls we collect are given new life in a few different ways. Many of them go to reBounces who extend the life of used tennis balls by re-pressurizing them. When the felt is all worn out, they are chopped up and used in tennis court surfacing! Some of our stores will also donate the balls to their local animal shelter like the SPCA, or a local humane society so that pups can play with them. If that’s not a happy ending, we don’t know what is.

That’s not all though! We also collect things like:

  • Wetsuits
  • Batteries
  • Corks
  • Cell phones & small electronics
  • Yoga mats

With all of these collection bins, you can feel good about doing some decluttering because we’re making sure that they safely move on to greener pastures!


But of course, we can’t talk about going green without talking about our refillable propane canister program. We sell the canister and the propane at cost and give Basementeers free refills every time they come to fill it. It seems like a small piece of the environmentally friendly puzzle but single-use canisters are often tossed into the landfill to sit there for eternity!

Often, they're not entirely empty, posing all kinds of risks to us and the environment. We decided that we wanted to be part of the solution and we've refilled 16,000 tanks for FREE since our program started. The impact is actually huge: together, we have kept over 32,000 canisters out of the landfill so far!


Anyone who’s shopped at our stores are familiar with our upcycled furniture and signs. Most of our comfy couches are donated to the store and tons of our furniture & fixin’s are made from upcycled materials.

Whenever we’ve moved into a new space (and by new we mean abandoned ice skating rinks and grocery stores) we never rushed to throw away all the "junk" (treasure) the old tenant left behind. We keep what we think can be reused or serve a purpose, even just as decoration. For example, if you take a peek at some of the bases for our clothing racks you’ll see all kinds of odds and ends, like ice skates or old bowling balls. We think they look much better there than in a landfill. Our awesome Senior Manager, Stuart, has worked on over 600 fixtures since he started working here:

"I'm on fixture #625 and everyone of those fixtures has between 60-90% of reused, reclaimed, or recycled materials as part of their build. The casters, the screws, the wood, the weird & interesting stuff embedded into the cement based racks - it's all saved - all year - waiting for the next opportunity to become a Sports Basement floor fixture."

Some of the display tables you'll see at our new Redwood City store are made from old-growth Douglas Fir that came from the stadium benches found in Berkeley Iceland!


While you’re walking around the store, be sure to check out some of the brands we’re extra proud to hang on our racks. A customer favorite, Patagonia, does an excellent job at being environmentally and socially proactive. Not only are their products well made, but they stand behind them to the end. The Patagonia Worn Wear program helps repair your gear so you can use it for longer and collects those that are at the end of their life so they can recycle the materials.

In our everyday wear, you’ll also see brands like Aventura which use sustainable fabrics like organic cotton and rayon from bamboo. We also love the brands prAna & Toad & Co., both of which use recycled wool and polyester from plastic water bottles.

Near our registers you'll also find one of our new favorite sunscreen brands, Salt & Stone, which is mineral-based, reef-safe, all natural and biodegradable.

We could go on and on about our favorite brands and the amazing work they're doing, but I want to leave you with one final highlight. Cotopaxi is an absolutely amazing. They're B Corp certified, they're leading the charge on utilizing industry scraps to create truly one of a kind bags and apparel, they give back to the environment and people in underserved areas... yeah, it never stops. They're amazing.


You'll also see that most of our stores use LED lights (which are 80% more efficient than regular ones) and eco-flow toilets. Little things like this make a huge difference!

Now, we’ll take you behind the magical staff-only not that door, that’s the break room. We’re talking about the wonderful land that is the receiving department. While we’re unpacking all that wonderful new product, we make sure to separate out the cardboard boxes they come in from the plastic & other shipping materials. That way the cardboard can find new life on the floor as a funky sign and the plastic materials won’t find their way into the Bay. We recycle about 225 tons of cardboard every year!

We’re super proud of our green practices and of all the awesome customers who participate in our programs, but we’re always looking to go greener! Got any suggestions for how we can make our business even more environmentally friendly? Leave us a comment below!


  • Joy Durighello says...

    Do you accept shoes/sweaters that are too worn-out to be used, and if so, what happens to them?

    On September 06, 2021
  • Kaela says...

    What about old bicycle helmets?

    On July 05, 2021
  • Anna says...

    Do you accept flip flops for recycling at your Berkeley store?

    On September 02, 2019
  • Julie says...

    What about old/broken ski and snowboards, binding, and boots? Do you accept those for recycling?

    On April 04, 2019
  • Shu says...

    Right on! We humans really have responsibility to be taking care of our own foot print on this planet.

    On October 11, 2018

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