10 solutions for what to do with old bicycle helmets

Bicycle helmets accumulate over time as cycling enthusiasts. When helmets reach the end of their lifespan or are replaced with newer models, what happens to safety? Repurposing or recycling old bicycle helmets is an eco-friendly and innovative alternative to letting them collect dust in the attic. Here are some creative ways to breathe new life into these safety accessories.

Here are additional solutions for what to do with old bicycle helmets:

1. Donate to Local Organizations

One of the most impactful ways to repurpose old bicycle helmets is by giving them to local organizations or charities. Many communities have programs that provide helmets for individuals who cannot afford them. Schools, youth programs, or cycling advocacy groups often welcome donations of gently used helmets to promote cyclist safety. By donating, you extend the helmets’ life but also contribute to others’ well-being.

2. DIY Safety Gear for Other Activities

While bicycle helmets are specifically designed for cycling, their protective properties can be repurposed for other activities that require head protection. Consider converting old helmets into safety gear for activities such as skateboarding, rollerblading, or rock climbing. With a few modifications, such as adding extra padding or adjusting straps, you can extend the usefulness of old helmets. This will ensure safety in various recreational pursuits. This DIY approach saves money and encourages resourcefulness and sustainability.

3. Upcycle into Art or Crafts

Get your creative juices flowing by upcycling old bicycle helmets into unique pieces of art or crafts. From funky sculptures to decorative planters, there’s no limit to what you can create with imagination. Consider painting helmets in vibrant colors and turning them into eye-catching garden ornaments or bird feeders. Alternatively, use them as quirky plant pots for succulents or herbs, adding a whimsical touch to your outdoor space. Upcycling reduces waste and adds personalized touches to your home or garden decor.

4. Recycle for Raw Materials

If helmets are too damaged or worn to be reused or upcycled, they can still be used to extract valuable raw materials. Bicycle helmet components, including plastics and polystyrene foam, are recyclable. Check with your local recycling facilities if they accept helmets or specific helmet materials. Some recycling centers may require disassembling the helmet to separate different recycling materials. By reusing old helmets, you contribute to the circular economy and reduce virgin materials demand.

5. Trade-in Programs

Several manufacturers or retailers offer trade-in programs where you can exchange old bicycle helmets for discounts on the latest purchases. These programs encourage responsible disposal of old safety equipment while incentivizing customers to invest in updated safety equipment. Whether it’s a discount on your next helmet or other cycling accessories, trade-in programs allow you to upgrade your gear while minimizing environmental impact. Ask local bike shops or online retailers about trade-in options.

6. Helmet Art Installations:

Create public art installations using old bicycle helmets by collaborating with local artists or community groups. Installations like these can serve as visual reminders of cycling safety while adding aesthetic value to public spaces. A helmet art installation can be a sculpture garden, a mural, or an interactive exhibit that repurposes helmets and engages the community.

7. Educational Workshops:

Organize workshops or seminars to educate people about helmet safety and recycling in collaboration with schools, youth groups, or community centers. Use old helmets to show how helmets should be fitted, cared for, and maintained. Additionally, make learning about helmets fun and interactive by doing DIY helmet decorations or repairing them. People are more likely to be safe and care for the environment when they’re empowered with knowledge.

8. Community Helmet Exchange Programs

Create a program where people can trade in their old helmets for ones that fit better. Set up drop-off and pickup points for exchanging helmets with local businesses or cycling groups. With this initiative, helmets will be reused within the community, waste will be reduced, and everyone will have access to properly fitting helmets. Promote safe cycling practices by providing participants with resources about helmet safety and maintenance.

9. DIY Pet Accessories

Use old bicycle helmets to make creative pet accessories, like dog or cat beds, shelters, or protective gear. You can transform helmets into cozy resting spots for furry friends or custom-fit pet helmets for outdoor adventures with some ingenuity and basic crafting skills. In addition to repurposing old helmets, this also enhances the comfort and safety of pets, fostering a sense of responsibility for animals.

10. Community Art Projects

Create community art projects using old bicycle helmets in collaboration with local schools, youth groups, and art organizations. Paint, markers, or mixed media can be used to decorate helmets by participants of all ages and skill levels. These decorated helmets can then be displayed at community events, galleries, or public spaces to promote helmet safety. Consider auctioning off decorated helmets to raise money for local cycling initiatives or charities.


Instead of letting old bicycle helmets languish in storage or end up in landfills, explore these creative solutions to give them a new purpose and extend their lifespan. Whether you choose to donate, upcycle, repurpose, recycle, or participate in trade-in programs, each action contributes to sustainability efforts and promotes a culture of reuse and innovation. By reimagining the fate of old bicycle helmets, we prioritize safety and embrace opportunities to make a positive impact on the environment and our communities.

1 thought on “10 solutions for what to do with old bicycle helmets”

Leave a Comment