Sportime Eco Balls.jpg If you enjoy playing basketball in your driveway or your local outdoor court and are concerned about the environment, I’ve found the perfect basketball for you: Sportime’s recycled-material basketball. The Sportime EcoBall’s exterior is made from 30% postconsumer recycled material. The materials recycled for these balls are primarily vehicle tires and rubber shoe soles. The bulk of the material used to make a basketball is rubber. Nearly all basketballs have an inflatable inner rubber bladder, generally wrapped in layers of fiber and then covered with a tacky surface made either from leather (traditional), rubber or a synthetic composite. Reclaiming and recycling rubber uses less energy than producing new rubber, so using old tires and shoes to make basketballs is a great reuse of those materials. According to How Products Are Made, basketball manufacturers do not produce much in the way of waste. “Waste is limited. Dies for cutting panels of rubber, synthetic laminate and leather are carefully designed to space the panels closely and limit the material used. This is especially critical for leather because of the cost; some leather waste is inevitable, though, because leather is a natural material and has irregularities in color, thickness, and surface. All rubber materials can be recycled, and they represent the bulk of material used in making a basketball.” I am always on the lookout for products that use recycled materials. This basketball (most likely in purple) will be our family’s next ball purchase. To purchase your own Sportime EcoBall, visit