What are you supposed to do with all your old shoes that are too small or too worn out to even donate? Nike’s reuse a shoe program will take them off your feet for you and turn them into new sport surfaces for other athletes to tread on, closing the product’s life cycle. What is really great about this program is that the recycling process utilizes all portions of acceptable shoes (and Livestrong bracelets) for different purposes: rubber for new track surfaces, fabric for padding underneath basketball courts, and foam for tennis court underlayment (and a host of other uses as well). It’s all part of Nike’s Better World campaign which spotlights Nike’s robust list of low impact products (and cheeky eco-friendly slogans) for athletes worldwide. In fact, Nike scored number 3 of all companies surveyed in the Climate Counts corporate environmental responsibility rank organized by Clean Air-Cool Planet.
As a global leader in sports equipment manufacturing, I applaud Nike’s efforts in recycling, responsible manufacturing and promoting environmental awareness. I hope that this kind of stewardship spreads throughout all sports businesses and organizations in order to keep this planet prime for all future athletes, or as Nike puts it, kick ass without kicking the planet’s ass.