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You really need to learn how to recycle your shoes if you're sitting crosslegged on the bed looking at this blog on your laptop and when you're done you have to kick your old tennis shoes out of the way to get to the kitchen or the bathroom. There are better ways of recycling those old shoes than using them (in their current form) as a lumpy area rug on your bedroom floor.


A remote location is no excuse for harboring a closet full of athletic shoes, dress shoes, baby shoes or any other kind of shoes for that matter since there are recycling programs for shoes all over the planet; I counted 11 in the good old United States on one page and others Peru, the UK and even a couple in Peru and New South Wales..how cool is that? You can read up on each program's mission to see that your old skids will be given a new life according to your wishes.


Organizations like Souls4Souls (www.soles4souls.org/), Up and Running [www.upandrunning.co.uk], Recycled Runners [www.recycledrunners.com.au], or Eco-Cycle [www.ecocycle.org] are all excellent places to donate those shoes...BUT...if you aren't close enough to one of the recycling programs to drop them off on your way to work, don't ship those shoes! To donate your shoes locally a better "green" way to go since your method of delivery may have a smaller carbon footprint since you can walk over to the neighborhood church and give your shoes to their clothes closet. Volunteers at the church will deliver them to needy children who will be tickled to get new (to them) shoes that fit and keep their feet warm and dry.

What did you say? Your church doesn't have such a program to provide clothes and/or shoes to the needy? Well, why don't you hike your butt down there and devise a plan of action to remedy that and have the honor of making the first donation? You not only learn how to recycle your shoes, but teach others the finer points of charity while you're at it!


You know how old cars that land in salvage yards get stripped for their usable parts before being shipped to metal recycling facilities? You can now do the same thing with your old shoes since there are parts that can be recycled assuming that they are no longer any good whole, of course.

The rubber of their soles can actually be recycled into a variety of products, the most common being flooring in athletic facilities where concrete and tile floors wreak havoc on athletes. The best known of these programs is the Nike Reuse-a-Shoe program, based in Wilsonville, Oregon. The Nike Reuse a Shoe program takes the donated shoes and grinds them down to recycle the rubber into flooring for indoor basketball courts, running tracks and tennis courts. Here's how to recycle your shoes using Nike's shoe recycling program. Just take as many as 10 pairs of your old athletic shoes to your local Nike store or your local recycling center.

Now that you know how to recycle your shoes, I know that you will want to take things to the next level and maybe start your own group shoe drive. However, I just read that they are currently not accepting any shoe drive applications, but that could change any day so visit the Nike shoe recycling website to get the current status if this is something that you would like to do.