As people all over the world generate more waste every year, a local sorority has paired up with the Nike Foundation to help change this trend.
The Sam Houston State University chapter of Alpha Chi Omega is currently hosting a drive in conjunction with the Sam Houston State University Health Department to collect used tennis shoes as a part of Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program. The program, first implemented in 1993, accepts worn out shoes as well as shoes returned due to defects or flaws from collection points across the world.
The used or defective shoes are then ground up and used to build new athletic facilities for kids in low-income areas. Since its inception, Reuse-A-Shoe has made possible the construction of over 170 facilities across the U.S. and in countries such as Japan, The Netherlands and Australia.
“Our main goal is just to get as many pairs of shoes as we can,” AXO member Claire Denton said. “It takes something like 250,000 shoes just to make one facility.”
Three different parts of the shoes are used to create a variety of athletic surfaces from tracks to tennis courts. Rubber from the sole of the shoe can be used to make weight room flooring, foam from the midsoles is used in playground surfacing and ground upper fabric can be used for padding under hardwood basketball courts.
“There’s a big need for recreational facilities right now, especially for kids since childhood obesity has become an issue,” Denton said.
The drive hosted by Alpha Chi Omega will be accepting shoes from now until Wednesday, May 10. Shoes can be dropped off at the Alpha Chi Omega House on sorority hill or at the Huntsville Recycling Center on I45 just north of Highway 75. Shoes can also be taken to Tracy Housson in the Health and Kinesiology Center.
“We really don’t get much recognition for this since it’s Nike’s program,” Denton said. “But it’s something I wanted the sorority to get involved in.”