If you’re lost and starving in the wilderness, chewing on shoe leather can give you enough nourishment to stay alive about three days. Really. I read that just the other day in Reader’s Digest or some equally weighty source, and have no cause to doubt it.

old boot recycled as garden planter But if noshing on your old boots isn’t quite your idea of recycling, you can always re-purpose them as garden planters.

Contrary1 has updated the classic frugal gardener’s trick for the water-conscious new age, here, by subbing in drought-tolerant succulents for the more traditional petunias and pansies.

Meanwhile, in other footwear…

floor mat from recycled flip-flopsFlipFlop Mats are made from recycled beach shoes — does anyone still call them thongs, by the way, since those itsy-bitsy thong bikini bottoms came out of Brazil to lodge themselves firmly between the cheeks of the cellulite-free fashion world? Just wondering. Anyhoooo, the one-of-a-kind recycled flip-flop mats are available in a variety of sizes — “as colorful as they are indestructible” — at Viva Terra.

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Not ready to toss those scuffed pastel heels that you wore to exactly three weddings last year?

stencilled shoes Give them a new lease on life with a spiffy stencil treatment as demonstrated by Helen Morris, author of The Stencilled Home.

(Or paint your old pumps with sparkly red glitter-glue and go for a starring role in The Wizard of Oz as interpreted by your local community theatre group, then kick-start a great campy Dorothy costume for next Halloween!)

Finally, on a more grounded note…

Danny Seo reminds us to dump your old sneakers on Nike to be recycled. Yay, industry stewardship for products throughout their life-cycle! (Plus, the idea of sending my smelly old runners off to the Just-Do-It folks is, somehow, oddly appealing…) No need to be Nike’s own products, by the way — they’ll accept any brand of sneakers for recycling.

Check out Nikebiz.com for drop-off locations across the USA, or snail-mail your dead Keds to:
Nike Recycling Center,
c/o Reuse-A-Shoe,
26755 SW 95th Ave.,
Wilsonville, OR 97070.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Ben Dubin

    Current address for Nike Recycling (as of December 2019) is:

    Nike Recycling Center
    c/o Reuse-A-Shoe
    199 Pearson Parkway
    Lebanon, IN 46052

  2. domestika

    Magellan shoulda packed a lunch! LOL but then again, shoe leather vs. beef jerky… hmm, tough call!

  3. silken

    great info there about nike, gotta check that out…

    btw, I do believe that Magellan’s men ate shoe leather on their excursion around the globe….

  4. domestika

    Thanks, Neena! I had a lot of fun with this one, but have a feeling this has barely scratched the surface of possibilities…

    Just visited your blog – good stuff you’ve got there, girl… um… Is this really Potty Training Awareness Month?? I guess there’s a month for everything!

  5. Neena

    Great, eco-friendly ideas! Before reading this, I hadn’t really given a second thought to old used shoes. Thanks for showing me the possibilities!

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