#reusetues – old shoes

22 Feb

I tend to hold onto shoes longer than deemed allowable by society. No joke, I still wear my broken-in & treadless volleyball kicks from high school while hiking with the dogs. You think I’d learn by now, since no traction + going down dusty cliffs with strong dogs = lots of bumps and bruises. I finally started researching new uses for my old shoes because my asics are breaking down fast. They’ve been through a lot, including hiking Waynapicchu, and they deserve a proper reusable retirement.

DONATE

  • Certain brands offer in-house recycling programs, including Nike’s Reuse a Shoe program, which turns old athletic shoes and Livestrong wristbands into Nike Grind (a material with multidimensional usage, including in new Nike products, running tracks, gym floor padding, etc.).
  • There are many regionally-focused organizations who accept mail-in donations of gently-used shoes, including (aptly-named) Donate Your Old Shoes, Soles4Souls, The Shoe Bank, Shoes for Africa and Heart and Sole (a project by our Spartan friends).
  • If your shoes aren’t in despair (like mine), donate them to a local homeless shelter, consignment or resale shop.

DIY

  • We hear high ankle shoes make great planters. Grow some flowers or herbs in tight spaces by using an old shoe are your garden.
  • Just don’t like the style of your old kicks? Here’s some fun tips to “pimp your shoes” (their words, not mine).
  • They’re so cute, but you just don’t have a reason to keep them in the closet, right? We’re talking about the hot heels, adorable flats, the shoes you wore once then never put back on. Organize a shoe swap with a ton of girlfriends to breathe new life into your fab find.
  • Sometimes boots just don’t make sense to keep around anymore… which is why they make a great lamp.
  • Show some love for your winged neighbors… make a shoe birdhouse.
  • Want to let a little of your artistic side shine through? Use your old kicks as a canvas to make awesome shoe art.
  • Yes, you could even turn your shoes into some awesome solar-powered street lights. Why not, right?
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