Are Crocs Bad for The Environment?

You know those foam clogs that everyone has? The ones you wear all the time, in and out of the house, because they’re so versatile and comfy. Those Crocs. I love mine and buy new pairs every single year.

But there’s this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that maybe Crocs aren’t good for the ecosystem, that maybe I’m contributing to all the plastic trash that is clogging our landfills. After all, Crocs have come under fire in the past decade for being bad for the environment. But is this true?

Crocs are not considered bad for the environment because they are manufactured with a non-absorbent, closed-cell foam resin called Croslite. The exact composition of this resin isn’t widely known, but it isn’t biodegradable and can be recycled.

The carbon footprint of the shoe industry is massive, and it’s going to get worse. The footwear industry is one of the largest industries in the world, valued at over 379 billion USD in 2021. It is also energy-intensive, responsible for 1.4% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

If you’ve looked through your closet and have found something not worth keeping, you’re not alone. Every year, Americans throw away approximately 300 million pairs of shoes, according to the Department of the Interior.

We’re constantly buying new ones to replace the old. While this might seem like a relatively harmless habit, there are huge problems with it: Shoes are made from leather, rubber, plastic and other non-biodegradable materials. Consequently, they don’t decompose quickly in landfills. Even if they were made from biodegradable materials, they’d still be incredibly difficult to break down on their own due to their complex composition.

It’s bad enough that toxic chemicals are used to make many shoes, but what’s worse is the fact that these chemicals are released into the environment, accelerating the rate of global warming and climate change.

The temperature of the Earth’s surface has been steadily rising for over a century. There are many factors that contribute to this rise in temperature, but one of the most significant is the increase in greenhouse gas emissions. In 1906, scientists began collecting data on average surface temperatures around the globe using thermometers placed at meteorological stations across land and sea.

As more stations were established, there was an increase in data collection; this led to more statistically significant results about temperature trends. Since 1906, the surface temperature of the Earth has reached up to 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Enough of the history. Let’s talk about Crocs, their contribution to the global carbon footprint, and how to give these shoes a new life outside of landfills.

What’s the Impact of Crocs on the Environment?

Generally, branded footwear contains toxic materials, including fire retardant chemicals, plasticizers, bisphenol A or neomycin, colophony, chromium, arabitol, and abietic acid. 

Crocs are different from other shoes because they’re made of Croslite, a closed-cell foam resin that’s nonabsorbent and easily washable.

The closed-cell foam is composed of copolymer ethylene-vinyl acetate, which is used in the majority of athletic shoes, raising environmental concerns from critics.

Like other synthetic materials, Croslite, which is used to make Crocs, is not biodegradable. But can the shoes themselves be recycled? Yes! Unfortunately, many recyclers will just add them to other trash that may contain unknown material.

Can Crocs Be Recycled?

Since 2002, Crocs have been popular footwear. They are colorful and can be worn in water, which makes them trend not only in the US but also in other countries around the world. With more people buying and wearing Crocs, you might wonder whether you can recycle your old ones.

Crocs can be recycled because they are made from a material that is recyclable. The easiest way to recycle your Crocs (and other shoes) is to donate them to Soles For Souls, who would be happy to accept them.

Many customers dispose of their old shoes. But yours don’t have to end up in the local dump.

If you’re ready to part with some of your Crocs, you can send them to Soles4Souls.org. This organization will gladly take your donation, as long as it’s in average or good condition.

Crocs Men's Santa Cruz Playa Slip On Loafers Slip-On, Khaki/Stucco, 9

3 Recycling Options For Crocs

If you have a pair of Crocs that you’re ready to retire, don’t throw them away! Here are some ideas for how to reuse them or share the “Crocs love” with others.

Donating Crocs

As with many things in life, nothing lasts forever. After a while your Crocs will wear out and eventually you want to throw them away. But don’t. Recycle Crocs! Donate them to those in need. You’ll be decluttering your home, making others happy and alleviating global warming. So where and how can you donate your old pairs of Crocs?

If you have any unwanted shoes, consider donating them to Soles4Souls.org. They’ll take as many pairs as they can get! If their donation procedure isn’t convenient for you, then…

crocs mens Men's Yukon Vista | Slip on Shoes for Men With Adjustable Fit Clog, Espresso, 9 US

Sell them to a local thrift store. The first step is to do some research and find the best provider, but make sure your Crocs are in wearable condition since someone will buy them!

If you’d rather help some folk save money, try donating your Crocs to a coat closet. These are often found in churches, community centers, and other public buildings—but they’re good alternatives to thrift shops. For one thing, coat closets have a much wider selection than you’ll typically find in a thrift store, and many items are new or gently used.

Besides, they give out shoes free of charge, whereas people usually have to pay something for their haul at the thrift store. If you don’t mind giving away your old Crocs for nothing in return, coat closets are the way to go!

The holiday season is not just about giving and receiving gifts. It’s also a time to give back to the community and help make other people happy.As December approaches, you might notice an increasing number of infomercials on TV promoting various charities in need of donations.

However, these organizations are not the only ones who accept your unwanted items. You can also donate them to NGOs that accept clothing, shoes and other household items that you no longer use. So this holiday season, when you shop for gifts, don’t forget to make extra room in your budget for those things you might want to donate too.

Crocs Kids' LiteRide Pacer Sneakers, Black/Black, 5 Big Kid

Reusing Crocs 

If you aren’t able to donate your old crocs, I encourage you not to throw them away. There are many easy ways to reuse them that don’t require much skill or creativity on your part.

No matter how cute or comfortable Crocs are, the reality is that they won’t last forever. They’re made from a soft, squishy material called Croslite that’s molded into a shoe shape and doesn’t have much support or structure.

While this makes them lightweight and flexible, it also means that they start to lose their appeal as you wear them more often and the years go by. After a while, it’s time to replace your beloved Crocs with newer ones. But what do you do with your old pair?

For me, after I’ve worn out the grip of my Iconic Crocs, I’ll wash the clogs and leave them in a basket at my front door. My guests can wear them as “slippers” when they visit me.

crocs Women's Leigh Wedge Chelsea Boot Rain, Espresso, 10 M US

The truth is that there are some benefits to keeping your old Crocs around the house. If you have a pair that’s seen better days, consider using them in your garden. Many homeowners use their old Crocs in the backyard because they are resistant to mold, weather, mildew, and other elements.

Deer attacks have been one of the main concerns of homeowners in the United States. You may be facing the same problem, and if you don’t know how to deal with it, your solution lies in your storage room. To repel deer from your property, place colorful Crocs outside. The animals will think that those Crocs are actually people on the lookout, so they won’t dare come close to your home.

Also, Crocs serve as excellent planters. Just fill them with fertile soil and your favorite flowering plant, then nail them to a tree or post. With a bit of creativity, you can craft something that exceeds your wildest imaginations!

Speaking of being creative, I use my old Crocs when mowing the lawn. I used to wear running shoes, but they get all green from the freshly cut grass.

What I really like about my old Crocs is that I don’t have to worry about them getting grass-stained, because I can just wash my feet off with a hose when I’m done.

In addition, Crocs make attractive and useful containers for holding pens, toys, or any other items around the house. You can paint them, but remember to choose shades that match your interior decorating scheme.

Crocs are easy to turn into fun, whimsical figurines. You can make them look like your favorite animals—such as puppies and bunnies! Involve your kids in this DIY project for a family activity they’ll love.The simple colors and shapes of Crocs provide a great canvas for animal creations, and they’ll enjoy making something new. If your kids are younger than six, you might want to help them with the cutting and gluing.

If you want other stellar ideas for recycling your Crocs, do some research online. Many video tutorials are available that can help you learn new ways to upcycle your old Crocs.

Reuse, Recycle, and Donate Today! 

Although Crocs don’t contain toxic materials that could harm the environment, they take a long time to decompose when dumped in landfills. This is why we should avoid throwing them away.

If you are a beginner at recycling Crocs, then the best piece of advice that I can give you is to be patient. It takes time and practice to master the art of reusing Crocs.

Setting a SMART goal could also help. As years go by, you’ll find reusing old Crocs less of a burden than you imagined.

When you choose to use worn-out Crocs for your DIY project, you’re not only saving the environment __ you’re also saving money.

f you don’t have time for craft projects, please donate your old Crocs to thrift stores, churches, and community centers. You’ll make others smile and protect the environment by reusing the shoes.

The world is heating up. We’re all aware of that. But have you heard that millions of tons of shoes, made from petroleum-based plastics, are thrown in the trash every year? That’s why many people have been participating in the recycling trend, and you can help save the planet by doing so with your old Crocs.

If your friends and family have worn out their last pairs of Crocs, they can keep the footwears out of landfills by donating them. You’d be surprised how many people are lined up for those shoes!

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