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Don't Throw Out Your Old Shoes

Nike Reuse-A-ShoeNike Reuse-A-ShoeI was at the outlet mall this weekend and, while waiting for a friend to finish shopping at the Nike store, I perused their literature display. Now, I'm not going to pretend I am up-to-date on Nike's social practices, nor am I going to deny that their shoes work best for my proluxating feet when I work out. Social politics aside, what I saw in their literature case made me very proud to be a working out gal with Nikes on her feet.

Nike has a recycling program where they collect worn out tennis shoes. Their website claims they have recycled 25,056,779 pairs of shoes so far. What does Nike do with all these worn down, stinking shoes? Well, turn them into Nike Grind, of course, and put them back under your feet.

Nike Grind, which Nike describes as "a raw material made from recycled athletic shoes and Nike manufacturing scrap," is turned into athletic surfaces across the world. These surfaces include gym and weight room floors, outdoor and indoor synthetic courts, tracks, playground/safety surfaces, indoor wood courts, and synthetic turf infill, which is used for artificial turf projects. Some pre-consumer material is even used in new Nike shoes and clothing. As great as that sounds, the even better news is Nike uses carbon-efficient shipping methods to move donated shoes to one of their two recycling facilities (one is in Tennessee and the other is in Belgium). 

Where can you donate your old shoes? Nike's website has an updated list of all their drop off locations

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Another Option

Another option for shoe recycling is soles4souls.org.  They collect gently used shoes and donate to people in need around the world.  Maybe you have a pair of shoes that "just don't fit right"  or another pair that "just don't look right".  There are people that need them more than your closet floor.

It's kind of surprising that

It's kind of surprising that more shoe companies aren't doing this type of thing!

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