Recycling old shoes to protect the environment

Shoes collected during the drive.

Shoes collected during the drive.

By Anit Thapaliya, president of the Rotaract Club of Pashupati Kathmandu, Nepal

We collected more than 1,100 pairs of used shoes to be recycled and reused as part of our project “Yes Dear, You Change Before the Climate.” It proved that we can teach others to change their behaviors before our climate changes, for the worse.

We set out with the help of Working Hands, a local nongovernmental organization, to convince people to give us their old shoes
instead of throwing them away. Shoes take
forever to break down in a landfill, and if you burn them, it pollutes the air. We gave people a reason to smile by donating their old shoes and helping the environment.

Working Hands trains volunteers in preparing shoes to be used again through washing and refining. The young volunteers learn the creative skills behind the shoe-making process. The project is also a fascinating study in recycling consumer goods. It was a huge success, and encouraged us that we can do something to control pollution.

All the shoes were taken to remote villages in the district of Khotang, where they were distributed to poor families. We chartered a local bus and every passenger on the bus served as an ambassador, carrying a recycled pair of shoes to someone who needed them.

Yes, we Rotaractors can change before our climate changes.

13 thoughts on “Recycling old shoes to protect the environment

  1. Did you know that the reuse and recycle of old electronic devices benefits the environment immensely? Although reusing is entirely different from recycling both offer benefits pertinent to the upkeep of the environment.

    Reuse and Recycle Old Electronics

    There are millions and millions of electronic gadgets being manufactured globally each year. And the refuse will be so huge if left to rot in landfills. It therefore makes a lot of sense to reuse or donate or recycle old electronic gadgets that have been outmoded, no longer serviceable or perhaps has lost its aesthetic appeal.

    Reuse: The usual gripes about old electronic gadgets are centered around performance and noticeably on its looks. Most devices have upgrade options so that old models can operate at par with newly released models in terms of performance. Laptops or computers for instance have built-in upgrades to increase processing speed and RAM memory or install new OS to improve performance. The aesthetics of the gadget however is an entirely different thing because previous models won’t look as good as the new one in terms of shape, size, weight and in looks. However, some makeover process like refurbishing is available to make old gadgets appear new again.

    Donate used electronics: Gadgets that are way pass its prime but still in good operating condition are given to charitable institutions. Some people’s trash is gold to the others. Most of the collected electronic gadgets are packed and sent to developing countries that can make extensive use of the old gadgets. Delete completely all personal files and take the batteries out before sending your gadget for donation. These devices are recycled separately.

    Recycle old electronics: Most gadgets that enter recycling facilities are dismantled and important parts are recovered. Recycling two million laptops for instance is equivalent to providing energy to 7,000 U.S. households annually. Two million cellphones generate 70,000 pounds of recoverable copper, 150 pounds of gold, and around 70 pounds of palladium. It does not yet include the amount of natural resources conserved and CO2 prevented from contaminating the environment.

    Remember that if you fail to reuse, recycle or donate used electronics, this can be a disservice to the environment. Now that we are met with vanishing reserves, all effort must be made not just to recycle old electronics but all other things, including equipment manufactured from virgin materials.

    Next time you tire of an electronic gadget, there are options to reuse, recycle or even donate used electronics but never toss it into the trash bin.


  2. Wow, this is truly inspiring. I also donate my old/unwanted pair of shoes since that was what my Mom taught me. I always appreciate the things I have and it actually feels good to know that other people can make use of something I don’t.


  3. Pingback: Recycling old shoes to protect the environment | Warsaw Rotary , Club 3393, District 6540

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.