Meet Alexander Tsao, the 18-year-old rock climber from Redmond, Washington, who is turning discarded climbing ropes into dog leashes. Concerned about the environmental impact of rope waste, Tsao founded Rocks2Dogs, a non-profit organization that upcycles old ropes into colorful leashes for dogs. He donates the profits to local no-kill animal shelters, combining his passion for the environment and animals.
With the help of volunteers, Tsao and his team wash, dry, and cut the ropes into different lengths. Then, they add a clip and handle to each end and cover the leash’s hardware with shrink tape. The half-price leashes made from rope with slight imperfections start at just $7.49, while most other leashes start at $14.99.
To date, Rocks2Dogs has raised over $35,000, much of which has been donated to animal shelters. Tsao’s efforts have gained attention from local news segments and even The Washington Post. With his garage back home bustling with activity, Tsao plans to continue his mission to save discarded ropes from landfills and support animal welfare.