Recycling means reusing what you no longer need. It's a great concept but often we don't know how to recycle the many things we're ready to toss at home. You can easily find a Salvation Army or similar thrift store in your community, and many churches operate thrift shops too. There are also sites like FreeCycle.org to help you find new owners for things you're ready to give away.
As children grow so quickly, we're always buying new clothes and need to find new homes for the clothes they've outgrown. One of the easiest ways to recycle these clothes is to find children nearby — relatives, friends or neighbors, with children one of 2 sizes smaller but what if they don't want the shoes?
Special Recycling Program for Sneakers
Feet sometimes grow faster than anything else. When my family moved to Tokyo for several years, I thought I planned well taking boots one size larger, and shoes that were one half, one full size and a size and a half larger (5, 5 1/2 and 6) expecting these to cover my twelve year old son's growth until we went home the following summer. I bought these sneakers in June so imagine my surprise when my husband called me in December, while I was on a business trip in the US. He told me to buy new sneakers for myself as my son was now wearing my size 7 sneakers because he'd outgrown everything I had bought for him.
If you have children, you sometimes have to clean out the closets to find a pair of shoes that fit. Of course, the missing shoes might also be lost somewhere in the house, the car or left at school. Don't get confused by keeping old shoes around that no longer fit. When the shoes are too worn to give away, there's a great program to recycle them … or at least sneakers.
Nike has a great program to motivate you to do this. Nike has Reuse-A-Shoe bins in all their US retail store, more than 150 of them. Just take your old shoes there and they'll get recycled into things like playgrounds and new Nike sneakers.