A billion bicycle tubes are produced each year, two and a half million each day, and once a tube has served its tour of duty, it ends up in a landfill. And, unfortunately, you can't drop a blown rubber bike tube in the blue recycling bin and rest your conscience. Until we figure out a better way to reuse all this rubber, companies like Cycle Dog are doing the best they can to keep tubes out of the trash heaps. The Portland, Oregon-based company collects used bike tubes and makes them into collars, leashes, toys and other accessories for your favorite canine companion. As of April 2011, the company had diverted 10,000 pounds of tubes from the landfill.
The Beer Opener Collar, pictured at the top, is, for obvious reasons, probably our favorite product of theirs. (It also dries fast and is odor-resistant.)We also like the Fat Tire Flyer, below, a flexible flying disk made of soft, durable rubber and reclaimed bike inner tube.
And then there is the Trail Buddy Bowl, which is leak-proof, folds flat, and is made from reclaimed inner tubes and food grade lining.
Everything with the Cycle Dog label is made in the USA. Available now, $16-25, cycledog.com.