As a shoe outlet, we sometimes get some fascinating shoe-related questions. One of the ones that are starting to make the rounds recently is “How do we recycle old shoes?” Now, I’m going to admit that this is something that I haven’t thought of before, but I have started looking into the matter.
Now, first let’s cover why you’d want to recycle your shoes.
It reduces your carbon footprint – something that I find amusing because of the shoes. It helps keep the amount of waste that ends up in landfills from becoming too much. Depending on how you choose to recycle them, you can even help someone who isn’t as fortunate as you are.
With that in mind, just what are the most viable methods of recycling footwear?
Well, first there’s the packing. Most of us like to keep the original shoe boxes, which makes things easier. However, if we’re going to be recycling a lot of pairs, we’re going to need more than that. Skip bin hire Perth is a decent choice for mass storage.
From there, we need to decide where they go.
If you choose to dump them, that means going to the local recycling centre. Most shoes can be recycled for their raw materials, and the centres have the facilities for this. You’ll get a little extra cash for this, and you can feel confident that what can be salvaged is reused.
In most cases, a majority of the shoe can be reused. This is good because an intact boot can take decades to break down in most landfill conditions.
Another choice is to give them to charity. Only do this if the shoes are in actual wearable condition, not if they’re worn down.
Recycling shoes in the name of charity can be done by reselling them to charity shops or just donating them to the appropriate organisation. Some charities actively collect footwear, often sending them as donations to areas where the footwear industry is not as developed.
Incidentally, these countries are not necessarily all African. Many African countries have their economies damaged by mass donations of shoes.
An alternative is to upcycle the shoes that you no longer wear. In fact, I’ve met a lot of people who love to upcycle their shoes when the opportunity shows up.
Upcycling is when you do something to make a change that turns an old item into something new. Some people crochet patterns and designs, while others take it as a painting project. The scale and nature of it are up to you, as long as you get something cute and functional at the end.
I recommend fabric paint if you plan to paint them. Recreate your shoes or pass them on as a gift with a very personal style.
Finally, you can give old shoes as gifts. This is a good option if you have a big extended family, and you don’t mind being the uncle or aunt who gives people old stuff as gifts. If they’re still in good condition and just no longer fit, this is an excellent way to “recycle” them.
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