recycling shoes-NIKE-700pxHere are some ways you can recycle worn out items instead of sending them to the landfill — items like shoes, glasses, greeting cards, and computers.

Participate in the Give the Gift of Sight Program, sponsered by Lions Club International, the program makes it easy for you to donate your old eyeglasses and sunglasses to needy people in developing countries. After you drop glasses off, they are cleaned, repaired, and classified by prescription, then distributed.

Donate Your Used Working Computer Equipment to Computers for Kids of America, a nonprofit charity dedicated to improving the computer skills of America’s youth. Their donation program collects and refurbishes computer equipment, and redistributes the equipment to schools and children’s organizations in need. With local chapters around the country, find one near you by searching online for “Computers for Kids of America” or call: 973.567.8341

Recycle Holiday and Greeting Cards. Contribute to the counseling of troubled kids by sending either entire greeting cards or just the fronts of cards, to St. Jude’s Card Recycling, 100 St. Jude’s Street, Boulder City, NV 89005. The youth refurbish the cards by adding new backs, and sell them to help support the program. For more information contact: Phone 1-877-977-SJRC

Recycle Sneakers and Athletic Shoes – Since 1990, NIKE, Inc. has sponsered the Reuse-A-Shoe program which takes in used sneakers (all brands), grinds up selected parts, then remanufactures them into athletic equipment, such as playground padding, gymnastic mats, and running tracks and donates them to worthy causes. More than 1.5 million pairs of worn-out shoes are collected for recycling each year. Call 1-800-344-6453 for drop-off locations or get the mailing address at Reuse-A-Shoe.

Never Throw Away Books or Magazines Books and magazines and inspirational pamphlets are a great aid to rehabilitation for those who’ve been sent to prison or juvenile detention centers. Please search out a correctional facility in your area to donate published materials of any kind- don’t forget the “early reader” books.

Updated in 2014, originally written with information from the Better Homes and Gardens

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