Nike has a reputation for being exploitative and uncaring (thanks to Michael Moore’s ambush interview of then-Nike CEO Bill Knight in his film “The Big One”). But I discovered today that they’re not all bad.

Since I seem to be going through shoes like Kleenex these days, and I live with someone who is also piling on the miles, we have bags of old shoes lying around. Well, now I know what to do with them: donate them to Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program. Nike takes old shoes, chops them up into tiny bits and uses them to create a variety of synthetic athletic surfaces, which Nike then donates to local youth programs, parks, playgrounds, schools and other worthy organizations. You can donate any brand of athletic shoe. Even if you don’t believe in human reincarnation, you can still believe in shoe reincarnation.

Nike has a few dozen drop off locations around the country (and in Australia, the UK and Japan) or you can box them up and mail them off to Oregon — happy in the knowledge that now that your feet are done with them, they will absorb the pitter patter of other feet eventually. Find out more about the Reuse-a-Shoe program.

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