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Recycling Your Kids’ Old Shoes Can Make a World of Difference

Between growth spurts and exuberant play, kids go through a lot of shoes. Consider the benefits of recycling old pairs of sneakers instead of throwing them away.

Reduce Waste

Did you know your child could go through 25 or more pairs of shoes by the time they hit age 12? On average, kids outgrow their shoes:

• Four times a year from ages 1 to 3
• Twice a year from ages 4 to 8
• Once a year from ages 9 to 12

Add the pairs they wear out through regular play and participation in sports, and you wind up with a significant contribution toward the 300 million pairs of shoes dumped in landfills every year.

Once in a landfill, the average pair of sneakers will take up to 40 years to decompose.Imagine how much less waste there would be if everyone got into a shoe recycling habit from the time their kids were born!

Help People Around the World

Organizations like GotSneakers partner with people like you in local communities to setup shoe drives. GotSneakers will send you collection bags and pre-paid shipping labels so you can round up all the old sneakers in the back of your family’s closets, as well as the old sneakers collecting dust in the homes of your friends.

Once you send the used shoes to GotSneakers, they will be sorted and then sent to impoverished countries where gently used shoes are desperately needed.
In many countries having proper footwear is a requirement for attending school, even though families often do not have the money available to purchase shoes. Having access to the footwear that your child no longer fits into will be greatly appreciated by these families.

Exercise Creativity

You and your kids can use old shoes for fun craft projects, too. Baby shoes make adorable pincushions, and shoes with colorful soles add a playful look when used as “stepping stone” decorations in the yard or garden. If you have old boots, they can be repurposed as planters and placed on the porch or around the lawn.

Teach Kids Good Stewardship

Giving new life to old shoes shows kids how to make better choices about the goods they consume throughout their lives. They learn to care for the needs of other people and the environment and to exercise discernment when deciding how to dispose of other items they no longer use.

The next time your child outgrows a pair of shoes, consider the positive impact of recycling instead of tossing it in the trash. You’ll lessen the burden of shoe waste and show kids they can make a difference through simple actions.

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