Why Should We Care About Recycling Sneakers?
I recently climbed into my closet and unearthed a PILE of sneakers - tennis shoes, 2 pairs of running shoes, those weird calf-building things, cross-trainers. Seriously? All three of my daughters wear the same size shoe and none of them were interested in any of them. huh. I usually put shoes that aren't too badly beat up in the nearby Goodwill depository, but I had heard about some interesting sneaker recycling programs. So, I did some homework. Here's what I learned . . .
Most sneakers are made from natural and synthetic rubbers and synthetic foam, which is primarily composed of polyurethane and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). The upper portion is usually mesh or natural or synthetic leather. [ from earth911.com article]
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RUNNING SHOES: THE NAKED TRUTH
In 2008, Runner's World Magazine did a fairly in-depth study on the carbon impact of running. The Bonneville Environmental Foundation supported their research. They found that the average serious runner (of which I am NOT), burns through 3 pairs of running shoes a year and this represents 430 pounds of CO2. Not exactly sure what that means, but it was quadruple any other running gear, and the CO2 output is more than driving 400 miles. I'm also not sure this takes into consideration the issue of landfills being loaded w/ nasty old sneakers that mostly don't biodegrade very well either.So, What Can We Do?
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