Running on Shoes
By Saray Deiseil
"Let me play and I will dream big, Let me play and I will be strong,
Let me play and I will lead, Let me play and I will succeed, on and
off the court, Let me play and you will see how strong a generation
raised on sport can be."
- Let Me Play
Nike's Signature Community Effort
Imagine if you had the power to give children across the globe a new soccer field, basketball court or dance floor. You’d do it, right? It’s a beautiful thought and it’s possible, simply by donating your old shoes to Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program. As Nike’s Corporate Responsibility Manager, Alicia Procello said, “We are all a part of the process of recycling.”
In 1993, Nike closed the loop on its manufacturing and developed a process in which old shoes, typically thrown into the garbage, be sliced into three parts; Nike Grind rubber, Nike Grind Foam, and Nike Grind Upper. The parts would then be ground up to create artificial turf, used in playing fields and courts. This innovative stride diverts mountains of shoes that would otherwise be placed into landfills harmful to the environment and our health.
In March 2008 Nike joined forces with LA84, a private non-profit foundation and legacy of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. LA84 received forty percent of the 1984 United States Olympic Committee surplus endowment, which has devoted more than $175 million to youth sports in Southern California. This investment has been a benefit to two million boys and girls, and more than a thousand youth sports organizations. The partnership between Nike and LA84 was formed in the spirit of teaching valuable life skills through sport and reducing their ecological footprint. They have jointly funded the construction of 20 facilities to date, and are committed to finishing 84 play surfaces by 2010.
“In terms of playable space (in Southern California)…we’re very limited,” Patrick Escobar, Vice President of Grants and Programs from LA84 said. “It’s essential to use as much as that space in the best way possible.” Patrick Escobar is an advocate of green space but realizes that if we were to have more playable fields, we would get 30-60 more days of play-time in a year. Nike Grind Turf will eliminate the time between the seeding and grass growth process and give the opportunity to keep play space available rain or shine.
The Reuse-a-shoe program allows everybody to participate, showing that even small actions like recycling your shoes can benefit the environment and our health. To learn more about Nike Reuse-a-Shoe program please go to Nikereuseashoe.com. Nike Reuse-a-Shoe has bins in all its US retail locations, over 150 stores. To find a location near you, us the MAP provided by Nike. We hope that you can be part of the road to sustainability.