If you’re wondering how to recycle old tennis shoes but just can’t seem to think of anything worthwhile, think again. There are several things that you can do to convert them into something useful – for somebody. Recycling can be a fun project that can even afford you some quality time with your kids, which might be a big bonus benefit, if you think about it.
One of the things you can do is to simply use them for another purpose. Defunct tennis shoes are perfectly good gardening shoes. You can even use them when you paint, work with concrete, or anything that you don’t want to use your good shoes for.
You can use them as chew toys; not only will your dog appreciate the way it is pre-scented, you may even save a few bucks by not purchasing those expensive ones that go to the dogs anyway. Be sure that your dog doesn’t receive any rude shocks from protruding metal or choke on the laces – remove them before-hand.
Old tennis shoes are perfect for potted plants. They hold just the right amount of soil for a new sapling that you want to replant somewhere else. And they make a much more interesting conversation piece than a boring old pot.
If you have a sizeable collection of old tennis shoes, you can recycle them into a work of art. Either string them together and suspend them from the ceiling, or find a way to attach them creatively and discover the artist in you. If you do it just right, people will actually have to look long and hard at what you’ve made just to figure out what it’s made of. You can have fun watching for the flash of recognition followed by a flash of teeth.
If the shoes aren’t too badly worn out, consider donating them to someone in need. Nothing warms the heart like providing warm feet to someone else. If you can’t do it personally, take them to a charity organization to do it for you. Goodwill and The Salvation Army are the most popular ones, but you can pick your own charity to donate to.
Nike even has a reuse-a-shoe program that will give your oft-worn tennis shoes a functional funeral and a grand burial below an athletic track or a playground.
The point of this whole exercise is to avoid, at all cost, sending your shoes to the dumpster, where it will inevitably either be sent to a land-fill, or end up in an incinerator, both of which cause untold harm to the earth, its water resources, and its atmosphere. If you want to know how to recycle old tennis shoes and save the planet in one fell swoop, then these are the suggested ways.