What do you do with your old tennis shoes? If you're like most of us, you probably give them away or throw them away, depending on their condition. However, for those who are trying to embrace green living and be good to the environment, there are actually many ways to reuse old tennis shoes. In fact, you can reuse or recycle nearly anything -- for example, the informational reconditionbattery.com can even show you how to get new life out of batteries you probably thought were tapped out!
To recycle old tennis shoes:
- Grow something beautiful. Tennis shoes, especially the ones that come up higher on the ankle, actually make excellent flowerpots. Take an old athletic shoe, fill it with soil, and plant a couple of flowers.
- Entertain your dog. Who needs to buy expensive doggie chew toys when you already have an item that's perfect for the job? Not only will using your old sneakers as dog toys save them from going into the landfill, your dog may enjoy the tennis shoes more, because dogs love things that smell like their owners. Remove all the laces and any metal parts that could cause choking or hurt your dog in any way. Then just toss them in the yard and see how much fun your pet has!
- Modern sculptures. Many artists today enjoy making sculptures with found objects. What other people consider garbage, modern artists consider art supplies.
- Recycle your tennis shoes. By sending worn out athletic shoes to Nike's Reuse-a-Shoe program, they can actually have a new life as padding under a basketball court, an athletic track, or a playground surface. Not a bad final resting place for athletic shoes!
- Using your shoes for some other purpose. If your shoes are getting worn out, think about keeping them for your painting shoes, gardening shoes, or water shoes. Or cut off the heels to use them as slip-on shoes for getting the mail.
- Giving your shoes to those in need. If your tennis shoes are still in good wearable shape, think about donating them to a charity or a shelter; your old shoes could be of great use to someone else. The Salvation Army and Goodwill are good places to donate, or you can check for local thrift stores or shelters.
The bottom line is that old tennis shoes take up room in landfills and there's really no reason for this! With the sneaker recyling program, donation possibilities, and other ways to creatively reuse your sneakers, you can help your sneakers live on...out of a landfill.