Green athletic shoes are still hard to find — but recycling whatever athletic shoes you've bought is an easy task. That's good news for me, because I go through running shoes relatively quickly — and don't want them sitting in landfills for decades to come.
So when I wear out my shoes, I take them to Niketown in Beverly Hills to take advantage of Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe program. All I have to do is walk in and find the Reuse-A-Shoe recycling bin (photo above) — usually already half-full with old shoes from other green-minded athletes. I just throw my shoes in there — Nike takes any athletic shoe regardless of brand — with the knowledge that the old kicks will be ground up and turned into sports fields, courts, tracks and playground surfaces.
The white and blue Nikes and white and red Adidas shoes you see in the photo above were the shoes I dropped off. Easy as it is, I always end up putting off this recycling task as long as possible. I was finally prompted to drop these two pairs off due to a move — I wasn't about to drag two no-longer-wearable old pairs of shoes to my very tiny new apartment!
Find a Reuse-A-Shoe drop off location near you, or mail in your old shoes to Nike Grind Processing, 3552 Avenue of Commerce, Memphis, TN 38125. And if you're curious exactly how old shoes get transformed into sports surfaces, watch a short video of the recycling process on Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe website.