If it feels like every time you turn around your kids have outgrown their shoes, don't just toss those perfectly good sneakers, loafers and sandals all into the garbage or recycling bin. There are tons of great nonprofit organizations that allow you to donate old but wearable shoes. Even if—miraculously!—your kids' athletic shoes are actually worn into the ground, they're perfect candidates for shoe recycling.
- Soles4Soles is a great charity that accepts donations of all kinds of old shoes and distributes them to people in need in disaster zones and the developing world. Visit their website to find a drop-off location closest to you. If you know other moms who struggle with recycling or donating their kids' shoes, you could even band together to host a shoe drive.
- Homeless shelters are always in need of shoe donations. They would welcome donations of clean, gently used shoes (and clothes) of all kinds.
- Not even the mankiest, moldiest, nastiest shoes have to go into the trash. Nike's Reuse-a-Shoe program collects shoes of all kinds and brands for recycling. After the recycled shoes are broken down, the resulting rubber compound is turned into athletic surfaces like playgrounds, courts, and tracks. Your kids' brand-new shoes might even be made of this material! Check their website to find a shoe drive or donation location near you.
- Don't forget to get your kids in on the shoe recycling action ... remind them that for every pair they get rid of, they can get something new!