I know there may be a little eyerolling because Nike is this ginormous planetwide corporation and often times, those are not known for their eco-friendly practices but in this instance, Nike deserves props for their Reuse-a-Shoe recycling program.
What they do is collect old, unwanted athletic shoes (any brand) and grind them up to make surfaces for basketball courts, tracks, fields and playground surfaces for peeps all around the world. It’s a heck of a lot better than paving everything with nasty asphalt and certainly makes playgrounds safer for kids.
Additionally, reusing old athletic shoes decreases the need for virgin rubber and other materials which also decreases the environmental impact of using new materials. Since 1990, Nike has collected and re-purposed 23 million pair of shoes!
You can get involved by a) finding a recycling center and dropping your old shoes off (see map)Â b) mailing them if you must (not as green) or c) setting up a recycling program in your community. Read here about how one mom, Lena, set up a shoe recycling program at her child’s school.
So yeah, gather up all those tired old shoes that are too stinky for Goodwill, too gnarly for consignment and give them Nike so they can give kids better places to play.