Sherry Guice joins the Hooping.org team this week with one ground breaking story.]
by Sherry Guice
As I look around my home, I see pounds and pounds of plastic in the form of hoops. Some decorated with colorful tapes, some sitting bare as skeletal remains. Sitting on the floor are boxes of supplies; tapes, tools, connectors and little pieces of cut plastic that I haven’t had the heart to throw away, not to mention the rolls of tubing on the porch. When I first started hooping I never really thought about the impact my passion might be having on the environment. I was having fun. I was sharing my bliss with others. I didn’t think about the ecological footprint I could be adding to our earth. However, the longer that I have hooped and the more that I have danced, the more I have come to be in the moment. My hooping became internal, and with that also came a deep respect for the beautiful land upon which I hoop. Enter, conflict.
My hoops are very special to me. Those I consistently use have stories to tell. One story I’ve been wanting my hoop to share someday would be that it isn’t bad for the environment, that it is made from 100% recycled plastic and is 100% recyclable. I’ve wanted my hoop to say that it does not contribute to the 60 billion pounds of plastics produced annually. I’ve wanted my hoop to proudly be in line with the rest of my environmental values. Well guess what? That is a story my hoop can finally tell and with World Hoop Day tomorrow it couldn’t be more perfect timing. Not only is there a new hoop available today that is good for us, but there is also a hoop that is good for our beautiful world. Imagine that, a revolutionary hoop! I became so excited, I had to find out all about it.
Anah “Hoopalicious” Reichenbach and Rayna McInturf, the partners of Hoop Revolution, recently released the world’s first recycled plastic hoop, one they are calling “The Original EcoHoop™”. A 100% recycled HDPE hoop with a push button connector made from 100% aluminum, which is also one of the most recyclable metals available, the world’s first green hoop has indeed arrived. Anah started dreaming about creating such a hoop 14 years ago, during her first year of hooping. Rayna, the founder of Hoopnotica and creator of the original Hoopnotica Curriculum who left the company some time ago, has been actively working with Anah in creating such a hoop for the past five years.
The dynamic duo are so committed to the preservation of our environment, I learned that even their label is made from a unique, recyclable Tree-Free paper. While their eco-friendly practices can be viewed on their website, I had the pleasure of speaking with both Anah and Rayna to find out more about the hoop and being comparatively new to the hooping community, I was admittedly nervous. After all, both of these ladies are huge in the hooping community. What beautiful spirits they both were connect with too, eager and welcoming of my questions and making me feel right at ease.
With manufacturing of the 100% recycled tubing being quite a bit more costly than traditional tubing, I wondered what could one say to someone looking at purchasing a hoop based on finances alone. Anah told me, “Hoop dance has long been synonymous with healthy living, conscious thinking and joy. This has been in direct opposition with the hoop itself, made from a material that is both toxic and destructive to produce and dispose of. It has been an inner conflict for years. While we have rejoiced in watching hooping spread, we have been saddened by the boom of plastic necessary for this to happen. So, if you want a reason, beyond the obvious, to get the EcoHoop, this is it. In aligning the tool to the hearts of the people that use it, everything comes full circle and that inner conflict is a thing of the past!”
Hoop Camp 2012 participants were able to get a sneak peak at The Original EcoHoop™ at Hoop Revolution’s soft launch in September. What did people think? Khan Wong explained, “The eco-tubing has an almost peach-fuzz/velvety feel to it. It’s unusual and pleasing to the touch.” Rayna and Anah told me that they heard consistently from hoopers that it “felt better” than other regular HDPE hoops that they had used, but as Rayna told me, “Mostly we think it just feels good when your hoop matches your ideals!”
While The Original EcoHoop™ is currently only available in white, it is considered their 1.0 version with a variety of beautiful colors to be offered in the future. That is certainly something to look forward to and this is their baby, one that they are sharing with the rest of the world and I am personally ever so grateful. As with any child, we have hopes and dreams for the future. I asked them what their hopes and dreams were for theirs. “We hope and dream that in the future of the hooping movement, nobody will make hoops out of virgin plastic. We will continue to innovate as technology makes more sustainable materials available! We would be pleased as punch if the hoop, which famously helped bring the wide use of Marlex (the original Polyethylene) into play in the 1950′s, would now serve to educate people on the necessity of recycling and using recycled plastics. If we stopped making new plastic now and just kept reusing what was already here, there would be enough plastic for generations of use!”
All of this certainly gives me hope. With such forward thinking actions, we now have the option available to rock a high quality, high performance, portable hoop that’s good for us, as well as our precious planet. A new revolution has arrived in our hooping world and it is green and beautiful. It’s one I most certainly have been looking forward to for a very long time.
Hooping.org columnist Sherry Kay Guice loves to hoop near the ocean when she isn’t busy spinning up a hoop business of her own, Karma Hoops. She dreams of sharing the love of Hoop Dance with teens and young adults who are in need of confidence and healthy alternative play. She lives in the mountains of Weaverville, North Carolina, USA