Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure
nor this thing nor that
but simply growth,
We are happy when we are growing.
–William Butler Yeats
My kids continue to do me the disservice of growing older and getting bigger, despite my polite requests for them to cut that the hell out.
This puts me out in a number of ways, but the one I’m dealing with this week is the fact that the sneakers that I bought last spring no longer fit, in spite of the fact that they were not worn ALL SUMMER LONG. I swear, not even once. Price per wear and maximum value mean nothing to these children.
They’re also hard on their clothes and shoes— Cass, in particular, has never met a mud puddle she didn’t like— so I wouldn’t dream of dropping their stinky hand-me-down sneaks off at a thrift shop. Trust me, no one wants to inflict these things on their kids unless as creative punishment.
But, I hate to just throw the things away. I tend to hang on to my own old sneakers until they start to fall apart— they start as regular old sneakers, then become “walking dogs in the dark” shoes, then rain shoes, then gardening shoes, then Jeff takes them as cutting the grass shoes or general “dirty job” shoes. (It’s somewhat handy to wear the same shoe size as other family members.) This isn’t a viable option for the kids, though, since they plain ol’ just don’t fit anymore.
We’ve already talked about how you can recycle your Crocs, and after a little research I’ve found you can recycle crusty kicks too with Nike Reuse-A-Shoe. Bring up to 10 pairs to a collection site (or start your own shoe drive, has to be approved by Nike first) and your stinky sneaks will be ground up along with the company’s manufacturing scrap to make “Nike Grind,” used in track & playground surfaces, gym tiles, outdoor tennis and basketball courts, pads for indoor synthetic & wood courts, and some Nike products.
Collection sites appear to be mainly outlet stores (full list here) and if you don’t have a collection site near you, you can mail in too.
I sort of love when I find out I can recycle things I hadn’t before. Know of any other shoe recycling programs?