When it comes to clothes and shoes that my family no longer wears or never quite fit us, we have always given them away to friends and to area shelters. However, sometimes our sneakers are so well worn, they seem worthy only of the trashcan. Well, I have a new plan for our old sneakers now that I learned about the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program, which recycles old and unusable shoe material into basketball and tennis courts, soccer fields, and running tracks. This program means less trash in the landfills and more places for kids to play. Did you know it takes between 2,000 and 2,500 pairs of athletic shoes to recycle enough material to build a basketball court surface?
If that isn’t enough incentive, National Geographic for Kids is working towards its third Guinness World Record for the longest chain of shoes. Once the magazine reaches its goal, it plans to donate the sneakers to the Nike Reuse-a-Shoe program.
Thanks to Andres Salmeron, a seventh grader at the Wheeler School in Providence who has organized a local effort, you can easily participate. Just drop your worn athletic shoes into the containers outside Providence’s City Hall or the Center for Environmental Studies at Brown University.
Deadline for Guinness World Record: January 22, 2008.