In short, it might be time for a new pair of recycled flip flops.
But, how can you recycle the ones you’ve got now? After all, tossing them in the trash should be our last option. Is there anywhere you can send them to be recycled?
How to Recycle Flip Flops
I have found only one place you can send your flip flops in for recycling.
The organization is called UniqueEco. They’re a non-profit based in Nairobi, and they accept used flip flops from all over the world. They employ local artisans, who turn these used flip flops into beads, sculptures, and other handmade pieces.
UniqueEco then sells these pieces all over the world. They employ over 150 people, and the funds raised by the organization are spent entirely within local communities. They purchase tools for local villagers, and educate the locals on sustainability and convervation, and why it’s so important. They also spend a great deal of time cleaning up local beaches.
This is a wonderful organization to support because its mission is so close to the heart of ours here at EarthDivas. And if you want to recycle your flip flops, it’s the only place I’ve found that will actually do it.
So, where can you send them in?
Unique Eco Designs
P.O. Box 15565-00503
Now I know that sending your flip flops to Nairobi might not appeal to some. After all, you have to pay postage, and live with the knowledge that you’re contributing a lot of Co2 into the atmosphere to get them over there.
So what else could you do with your flip flops to reuse them? Well, I found some crafty ideas online…
1. Use them as Summery Doorstops
One woman I found online said she uses her old flip flops as doorstops in the summertime. I could see how this would be a unique, fun way to reuse them!
2. Use them as Furniture Movers
All you have to do is cut out the rubber sole and superglue them into milk jug tops (or bigger tops, like those from jelly jars). Then you’ve got free furniture movers that will save your back if you need to slide the couch across the floor.
3. Use them in Crafts
If your flip flops aren’t TOO destroyed, you could wash them and let your kids cut them up to make hanging mobiles. This works great if your flip flops are thin and brightly colored.
4. Use them as a Notice Board
This is another cool idea if your flops aren’t too destroyed.
Nail several pair to your wall and use them to stick messages and pictures on. This would be a fun way to decorate, especially in a hallway or kitchen.
I really wish there was a local organization (local as in…the United States) that recycled flip flops. But, we’re just not there yet. But doing something with your flip flops other than trashing them should always be your first option.
If you have any other crafty ideas for recycling your flip flops, I’d love to hear them!
Filed under: Eco Living on June 1st, 2010