It’s not well publicized that shoes are horrible for the environment. As Grist sez: “Shoes are usually a mix of many materials: 40 materials in a typical shoe, don't you know. Pollutants derived from the making of a shoe could include dioxin, volatile organic compounds, solvents, chromium, hide waste effluent, and isocyanates.”
Since I consider myself both an environmentalist and a runner, so I try to keep my footprint as light as possible in more ways than one. This is easier said than done. However, this month’s Sierra magazine has helped me sleep a little better – they've listed not one but two sites where you can go to recycle your old running shoes:
In the Boston area, both sites pointed you towards the Nike outlet in Wrentham, MA. Nike recycles any brand of sport shoes by grinding them up and turning them into either squishy surfaces for athletic tracks or new shoes. They've recycled 25 million pairs since 1993, which is admirable, but Sierra reminds us that is but only a fraction of the 40 million pairs of athletic shoes that are recycled every year, so there's a way to go.