Green Steps Recycle was our 4th project for 2016-2017.

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Shoe Recycling is a Green Steps project about conserving the environment by recycling items instead of throwing them away. This Green Steps project has 3 components:

  • Students learn something about recycling items
  • Do something about conservation by recycling and repurposing items
  • Teach others about what they have learned about conserving the natural resources

We planned this project for the STEAM Club–where students meet every other week to engage in learning activities and socialization opportunities. This club is designed for families who are looking for activities with limited time commitments. This learning club is for all ages.

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Try it for yourself! 

Learn: Conserve and Recycle

This particular lesson has two components: an environmental awareness project and a community service project.

  • Environmental awareness: Old shoes pose a problem for the environment: The chemicals seep into the soil and the decomposing releases methane gas into the air. Instead, shoes can be recycled into playgrounds and sports fields.
  • Community Service: What we consider an old shoe can be used in countries where they do not have shoes. Many of our shoes will be used to empower locals who can sell the used shoes. They can patch up and repair them to give the shoes a longer life.

Students learned about the components of shoes that could be recycled and repurposed. We played a game where we “tossed” old shoes as a reminder for where we should be tossing old shoes. Handling the old shoes actually taught us a little bit about our own attitude about being grossed out by someone’s old shoes. And yet, someone else in the world would be really grateful for that shoe.

Do: Shoe Recycle Project

Shoes can’t be recycled at the local recycle center. There are groups and programs that specialize in recycling and redistributing shoes. Keep the Midlands Beautiful is doing a shoe recycle challenge from April 1-May 15. Our students are collecting shoes from their neighbors. And we have placed collection bins at all FOUR church locations where our classes regularly meet, so that congregants can also participate with us.

We have collections in Blythewood, Irmo, Newberry and West Columbia. Any shoes that cannot be donated to Keep the Midlands Beautiful (or miss the deadline) can be turned in to Souls 4 Souls or ShoeBox Recycling.


Teach: What have you learned?

The STEAM club volunteers went to the STEM class at our West Columbia Co-op location to teach what they learned about the shoe recycling challenge. Students were able to explain the environmental and economic reasons for recycling shoes. They played the shoe toss game–which is such a fun way to remember not to toss your shoes in the landfill.

Students also created mini-posters for a bulletin board display to explain the project to the church members at our West Columbia location. The students also came out for Earth Day at Soda City to help promote the Shoe Recycle Challenge.

See more about Green Steps Schools: