Some of us only own a pair or two of shoes, while others are footwear fanatics! No matter which category you fall into, there comes a time when you need to sort through your shoes to decide what you’ll part with and what you’ll keep. Keep reading to find out how to know when you should recycle or donate shoes.
Sorting Through Your Shoes
As you clean out your home, chances are you’ll find yourself sorting through your wardrobe, including your shoe collection. Think of this the same way you would when going through other items. Create three piles of footwear you’ll keep, donate, and recycle.
When it comes to keeping shoes, there are a few things to ask yourself to determine whether this is the ideal decision. Think about:
- When you last wore the pair
- If you’d miss the shoes after getting rid of them
- Whether they are comfortable
Sometimes, we buy shoes to wear with various outfits, but after a day of wearing them, we may realize they squeeze our feet in all the wrong places. In response, we tuck them into the back corner of the closet. The problem is that this wastes space you could use for other shoes or something else. Fortunately, you can donate or recycle shoes when they are no longer useful to you.
Signs You Should Donate Shoes
If the shoes on the chopping block look fresh out of the box or gently used, then donating them is the best option. Sadly, not everyone has access to new shoes, but we all need proper footwear to protect our feet as we walk around. Donating clothes and shoes to charity helps lessen this problem in our world and gives everyone equal access to footwear.
Before putting any used shoes into the donation box, evaluate their soles, laces, and supports. If you notice fraying along the shoe, then giving it to charity isn’t the best option.
You should also inspect the shoe’s base and the padding—it should hug the heel. Also, be on the lookout for holes or wear along the tread. These are clear signs that the shoes are no longer useful. If all is well except for the laces, you could visit your local shoe store to purchase a new pair of laces, then lace up those shoes so they can go to a new home.
You should donate your shoes if they still offer support and are free of:
- Wearing along the tread
Many clothing charities happily accept new or gently used shoes. Project B Green will happily take your old and gently used shoes. Contact us to pick up charitable donations, and we’ll come to you for all the items you’d like to give away. You can make your community a beautiful place for everyone!
Recycling Old Shoes
Sometimes, your shoes may have lived a full life, protecting your feet countless times. When they have holes, noticeable fraying, or no longer offer the necessary support, it’s time to dispose of them. Don’t throw them into your typical trash or recycle bin!
Improperly disposing of shoes is bad for our environment. They cannot go into the recycle bin if they’re made of a natural material or various materials, since there is no area to sort them at the recycling center.
Throwing shoes into your general trash container is also bad because, like apparel, they take years to break down. So, what should you do? First, search out local organizations that specialize in recycling shoes. Organizations like TerraCycle and Nike Grind specialize in proper shoe disposal to protect our environment. For instance, Nike Grind takes old sneakers and grinds them down into scape for running tracks and playgrounds.
When searching for an organization that can recycle old shoes, remember that some specialize in what shoes they can take. Nike Grind only takes athletic shoes, but other organizations will accept all types. Just like donating to charity, you should check the organization’s website to see if they specialize in a single style of footwear.
Bonus Option: Upcycle Your Shoes
If your shoes aren’t in the condition to donate but you feel bad scrapping them, you can get a little creative. Sometimes, your footwear may still fit comfortably but need upgrades.
When this happens, upcycle the shoes by sewing up holes or attaching patches. You can also cover stains by drawing designs with fabric markers. Of course, shop for a new pair of laces at your local shoe store to complete the restoration process.
Why Donations Matter
Helping those in need feels great and reminds you how important your impact is to our community and world. Some children and adults across the globe struggle with poverty and may not have the funds to purchase new shoes. Your kind act can brighten their day while providing them with a piece of apparel everyone needs. Simply put, giving to charity makes everyone happy.
Hold a Charity Drive
Generosity and kindness towards others are contagious—host a shoe drive to get more community involvement. You can set out various bins to collect shoes for recycling and donating.
As you organize the event, remember to:
- Communicate the idea by posting online and talking to neighbors in person.
- Decide on a charity to benefit from your donation.
- Ask for help setting up and running the event.
You’ll also want to establish areas for shoe donations and what should be recycled. Use the tips you’ve learned from this article to create a cheat sheet for donors so they have an easy time sorting out their footwear. Finally, decide on the type of footwear you’ll collect. When it comes to gently used shoes, you can donate anything from gym shoes to formal heels!
Leading a charity drive is an amazing way to bring a community closer together. This also teaches people of all ages how important it is to help those in need. It’s time to make a difference in your community by recycling and donating your shoes.