The weather has been MUCH nicer lately, and although it isn't exactly flip flop weather yet, I'm definitely in the mood for spring! I thought it'd be appropriate, with all the recent sunshine and warmer weather, to make today's challenge about recycling flip flops!
At least for me, I had these pairs of flip flops that I absolutely loved for 3 or 4 years, but they eventually became so worn down that I couldn't really wear them anymore. I'm pretty sure I still have them somewhere in my closet, but right now they're just taking up space. Flip flops are another thing that we don't really think of recycling, but you can do a lot more good with them than just helping the environment!
Uniqueco is a company based in Kenya that recycles flip flops. According to their site, every years thousands of old flip flops wash up on the beaches of Africa, which makes for a huge mess that people have no place to put! So, the solution? Well...
Local artists use the materials to make jewelry, ornaments, artistic pieces, etc. that are sold to companies around the world! This is helpful in many ways. First of all, it reduces waste and cleans up the beaches that have been cluttered by flip flops. Secondly, it helps the economy in Kenya, especially in the poorer areas where these artisans are from and where the company gets the flips flops. Thirdly, part of the proceeds from the jewelry, etc. is used to purchase tools and to instruct people in poorer communities to use free resources, like these flip flops, to make a living. They are also used to fund conservation programs, many focussing on protecting marine life and oceans! According to the site, they have already collected over 175,000 thousand flip flops that would have otherwise gone to waste! Pretty, awesome, right?
For more information, check out this video about the company!