Jul 10, 2019
flip flops in the sand

Flip flops! Who doesn’t love them? Flip flops are fun, cheap, and — to me — the very symbol of summer!

When I was a little girl, they weren’t worn everywhere the way that they are now. Our “shower shoes” were for summer use only. We wore them by the pool and at the beach. Although they were not made any better than they are now, at least the shoes were of limited use. Flip flops were summertime fun!

Flip flops are cheap to manufacture, but they also break and wear out easily. So, they’re often discarded, winding up as plastic pollution and creating a hazard to ocean life.

We should feel free to enjoy them, but we should resist the urge to buy 10 pairs in different colors from the 99 cent store. Millions and millions are discarded worldwide each year and end up in landfills, beaches, and oceans. This problem is compounded by the fact that, for many people around the world, flip flops are the only type of footwear that is available.

To reduce my environmental impact, my next pair will be higher quality flip flops, so they’ll last longer. And I’ll look for models made of a material that is natural and produced through fair trade like the natural rubber ones made by Feelgoodz. Or flip flops made by Okabashi; the company has a mail-back recycling program that offers a discount on new Okabashi shoes.

It’s good to know that TerraCycle accepts any brand of old flip flops for recycling, but only in large volumes. This is a great option if you can collect old flip flops at church, school, or a community organization in order to fill up their $114 box, which comes with a shipping label.

People have even posted solutions for repairing flip flops to help extend their life. And even if they’re way past repair, old flip flops could be repurposed into knee pads for gardeners, gripper pads for furniture legs, DIY rubber stamps, and likely much more!

Think before you flip flop. By being mindful and by tapping into our creativity, we can help reduce our impact on the Earth in so many ways!

Feature image by freegr at Pixabay

Joanna, the Green Maven

About the Author

Joanna Lacey lives in New York and has collected thousands of ideas from the frugal habits of her mother and grandmother. You can find her on Facebook at Joanna the Green Maven.

By Earth911

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