By Naomi Lindquester | Flowstone Education
Local nonprofit Flowstone Education announced it will be collecting sneakers in any condition as part of a fundraising campaign for its educational programming.
In the United States, at least 200 million pairs of shoes and sneakers end up in landfills each year, taking 30 to 40 years to decompose while emitting harmful chemicals into the soil and air.
“When more than 600 million people worldwide don’t even own a pair of shoes, we felt like this was the right fundraiser for us — everyone benefits,” said Flowstone Director Naomi Lindquester.
All reusable sneakers from the sneaker drive fundraiser program will be recirculated to secondhand markets so people can access quality, pre-owned footwear at affordable prices. All heavily used and damaged footwear is recycled to reuse materials or to convert waste into new energy.
Flowstone will also be collecting old phones, tablets and smart watches for recycling. Discarded electronic devices emit toxic substances into the air and ground water during incineration, while the cadmium from a single cellphone is capable of polluting 158,200 gallons of water.
“We hope to raise awareness about the impact of just throwing things away, as much as we hope to raise funds,“ Lindquester noted.
In addition to collecting sneakers and cellphones, a drawing will be held for prizes from local merchants. Bring your recyclable items to the Pagosa Springs Walmart from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22.