Like your room, we should keep the Earth clean, right? Every little bit counts, which is why this is the perfect time to talk about your running, basketball, athletic shoes and how they can make a difference in your home, your community and your planet.
Every year, my girl classmates and I run a spring 5K run for Girls on the Run. We prepare for the run/walk by training. It feels like thousands of miles on our feet, but it’s probably a couple of miles every week till the Sunday before the run. My dad does it with me.
This had us thinking about what to do with our shoes after the run. Some of us keep them and the rest of us wear them out, so we need new ones. We jump, splash mud, race through dirt and they hit hot summer pavements all the time and the soles wear down after a while. What do we do with the used ones? What will you do with them once you’re done with them?
When it comes to shoes, it’s easy – you can donate lightly worn running shoes to shoe donation programs that might use them in their communities. They can also be donated to recycling programs that use old athletic shoes as material to build new courts, tracks, fields and playgrounds. That’s what we did. After the run/walk was over, some of the 4th and 5th graders donated their running shoes to a local group to recycle.
Ok, so my dad wasn’t happy with having to buy me new running shoes, but he understands that by recycling them we’re creating less of an impact on the environment.
Now, every time I walk onto a new playground that feels bouncy or run on a school track, I’ll wonder if my shoes helped make that happen.
Jessica and Ellery are 5th graders that participate in Girls on the Run and are looking forward to making the volleyball team this year.