At The Nature Trust of British Columbia we encourage people to put on their runners or hiking boots and get outdoors. We believe people who know about nature care about nature. When Peter Hoffmann, the owner of Sports Junkies, reached out to us, he saw an opportunity to partner with someone else who cares about nature.
Sports Junkies is Vancouver’s premier spot to buy and sell used sporting equipment. The store, where Peter is affectionately known as “The Big Kahuna”, will sell pretty much any donated sporting item, from ski boots to camping gear to hockey equipment, as long as the item is sold to Sports Junkies in good shape. “Waste not, want not” is the idea; conserving the usefulness of the goods that we produce for as long as possible.
Sport Junkies is inspired by Peter’s own love of nature and its beauty.
Hoffmann’s family is from a small town in the Austrian Alps, near the city of Salzburg. A love of forests and mountains was passed to him, and he quickly developed a love for hiking. When he graduated from university with a Bachelor of Commerce, he wanted to give to nature in any way that he could, and the store was a natural way of doing so.
“I’ve always been very value-conscious,” he says. “It’s a great opportunity for people to make a donation without actually having to pay cash…if you have something that’s not getting used, put it out there and get someone else to use it.”
Sports Junkies does its best to save whenever possible while ensuring that useful, good quality equipment does not go to waste. For example, the store sometimes buys rental fleets of skis from Whistler before the next year’s model comes in, to make sure that barely used skis reach a new home rather than a landfill. They even rent and lease out equipment to allow more and more people to benefit from this low waste business model.
But Peter’s desire to conserve stretches well beyond sporting equipment. He is just as interested in conserving nature itself. When Peter learned about The Nature Trust of BC, he knew he had found an excellent way of achieving that goal.
“I’ve got a couple friends that put me on to it,” says Peter. “There’s lots of charities out there, but the idea that you’re doing something that’s going to last in perpetuity…I like this sort of long-term benefit.”
“I love nature, so when I think of some of these areas, estuaries and other delicate areas environmentally, it’s just fabulous.”
Peter and his colleagues decided that they wanted to contribute to The Nature Trust in the most effective way that they could, in line with their own low-waste values. They proposed – and we agreed to – a unique kind of donation program.
For at least the next year, certain items at Sports Junkies will carry special tags bearing The Nature Trust of BC logo. Fifty per cent of proceeds from these items will be donated to The Nature Trust, contributing to our conservation efforts in a valuable way. Furthermore, while anyone bringing in goods typically receives cash back for their items, Sports Junkies would like to encourage them to donate this money to The Nature Trust instead. Items donated in this way will bear these donation tags. The store only asks that donated items be in adequate shape to be used for a long time, and that they be small enough to be sold in-store. Unfortunately, exercise equipment and stand-up paddleboards are just a bit too big.
The Nature Trust of BC sees this program as an excellent way of giving back to nature and the community in more ways than one, and we are very excited to participate. Peter hopes this is just the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership. In the meantime, he continues to enjoy the beauty of nature at every turn. When we spoke with Peter, he was preparing for a bucket list expedition to Nepal, to experience the Himalayas in all their glory.
“I’m trying to kind of like semi-retire here, so I’m trying to push as much as possible, which is great!”
Well done Peter, and thank you for your excellent service to BC conservation.