Learn to Recycle Tennis Shoes? Are you worried about your soon to be worn out tennis shoes? They sure do endure a lot. Whether you are going for a walk or kick-starting your morning with a running session, tennis shoes are your go-to partner.
Tennis shoes also bear all the extreme situations, give you comfort and prevent your feet from danger. Maybe, they are your best friend after all. Then we think we all agree here that no one likes to see their friend (tennis shoes) on the verge of death. These shoes are yet thrown on dumpsters, and that is not the right solution.
Over 20 billion shoes are manufactured each year worldwide, and most of them end up on a landfill or incinerator. Most tennis shoes have plastic components in them, which take them years to break down. Approximately 1000 years if we are talking in numbers.
So if you don’t want to keep on adding to these piles of unattended tennis shoes, it’s time to start recycling them. We know what you would ask now, “But how?”
Well, this is why we are here. Today we will be giving you 6 ways to start recycling your old tennis shoes. Keep reading to find out more.
1. Donate Your Old Tennis Shoes
This is probably the easiest way out there. If your pair of tennis shoes is still in pretty good condition, it might work for someone else out there. Many less fortunate people could find something worn out by you, adequate to live their life. Many national charity organizations can make use of your donated shoes. For example, organizations like Soles4Souls directly work with entrepreneurs that can recycle your tennis shoes. Goodwill and Salvation Army also send good condition shoes to people who are in need.
Besides, you can always donate to a local thrift shop on your way back home from work. But always remember to donate shoes that can be reused by another person.
2. Set Up Your Own Recycling Bin
This method is more applicable for gym owners. You can set up a recycling bin for your gym at the entrance and encourage your members to donate. This way, they can get sustainably get rid of their unwanted shoes. Your gym can partner with an organization like Sneakers4Funds. When your recycle bin fills up, drop that box off at your nearest UPS location, and they will ship to Sneakers4Fund’s warehouse.
Recycle bins can also be set up in middle school, high school, or any public place in your community. Make this a habit and encourage everyone.
3. Repair & Give Them A Makeover
There are only so many possibilities to make use of your tennis shoes. But first, if your shoes are slightly torn or the colors have altogether disappeared. You can always repair them. Get a hot glue gun and fill it up in places where it needs some repairing. If you think it requires some advanced stitching, look it up online and try doing it yourself. Besides, you can always hit up a professional if you want. The fun part is giving them a makeover. Go get your favorite acrylic colors and work your magic with them. This way, your worn tennis shoes will get a new pop of color, and you can wear them for a few more years.
4. Reuse the Good Parts of the Shoe
Sometimes only part of your tennis shoes can wear out while the rest is in good condition. You can easily recycle tennis shoes by taking them apart. If your insoles have been damaged, take them out and use a new pair. They are readily available everywhere. Take off the shoelaces and make something out of them.
You can even use these shoes for doing messy chores around your home, for example, working in the garden or putting a new layer of plaster on your walls. You can cut the shoes from the back and make them your new slippers. However, if they have exceeded that point, it is better to donate them.
5. Grow Plants In Them
Everyone likes having plants at their place, they are suitable for the environment, and they look cute. A total win-win situation, right? Well, you would be gladder to know that you can even grow plants in your old tennis shoes. The process is pretty straight forward. First of all, wash and disinfect your old shoes, then drill some holes into them for drainage. Now put some nutritious soil and the seeds of your desired plant. Make sure you water them every day and give them adequate sunlight.
However, if you think you are too busy to take responsibility for a real plant, put some fake plants into them. Either way, it’s going to make your place look chic.
6. Give Them Back To The Brand
Many of the shoe brands are trying to play their part in saving the environment. Nike has a shoe recycle program called Reuse-A-Shoe that accepts all sorts of athletic shoes since 1993. All you have to do is drop your old shoes of any brand at their retails stores anywhere in North America and Europe. More brands are joining Nike and teaming up with companies like TerraCycle that works to help recycle almost anything including tennis shoes. They have been working in over 20 countries to eliminate waste.
We would recommend you to look for these recycling programs and the nearest place to drop your old shoes.
We hope you know what to do with your old tennis shoes by now. Look for all of your unloved old shoes and decide what you want to do with them. If you are a bit crafty, go have some fun with colors and transform your boring shoes. Besides, you always donate them and help someone more in need. Look for donation places around your community. Best of luck!