Shoes protect our feet; help up perform in sports better, show off our style among the many other benefits to having shoes. But what happens to these shoes when they are no longer useful? Do you just throw them in the trash? Off to a landfill they go where they will no longer be useful.
It’s likely all of these things are happening around the country and none of them are good for the earth. With any task I do, I always try to find a use or reuse for something that otherwise will end up as trash. Here is where Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe (formerly known as Nike Grind) comes to help. Nike takes your unwanted shoes (in any condition or brand) and separates them to create new play places, parts for Nike clothes and Nike equipment products. Playground surfacing companies work with Nike to create tennis and basketball courts, running tracks, athletic fields and playgrounds.
Though you can mail your shoes to Nike, they highly recommend dropping them off at a Reuse-a-Shoe location (search for one here), up to 10 pairs of athletic sneakers are accepted per person per visit. This excludes boots, sandals, dress shoes or shoes containing metal such as cleats or spikes.
When I dropped of my two bags full of footwear (I had been collecting a while) I forgot to snap a photo of my donation but was a bit sad to see that I was the only one making a contribution. As the bin to accept shoes was empty until I got there. I’m hoping that maybe they recently cleared it out and mine was the first new donation.
When talking with people, it seems they aren’t totally aware of this program. I think education might be part of the problem, as well as not many drop-off locations are available as I think there could be. Unfortunately drop-off locations are restricted only to Nike only stores. Shoe stores in general would be a great place or even mall common areas would be a great place to offer drop-off locations. I really hope my article brings more awareness as Nike has a wonderful ideas to reuse products but people need to utilize these services to help the environment.