Runners accumulate a lot of stuff, from running shoes and T-shirts to race bibs and medals. As much as I love to hold onto to some special running mementos, I just don’t have space for piles of running clutter. Here are some ideas for where to donate running shoes or what to do with your old race T-shirts.
Recycle your used running shoes. There are lots of shoes recycling or donation programs that will put your used shoes to good use, including Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program, One World Running, Soles4Souls, and Shoe4Africa.
Sell or donate your running clothes. If you have piles of running clothes that no longer fit you, you can sell your used running clothes at a local consignment shop or on sites like eBay or Craiglist. Or, if you have a stack of race T-shirts that you know you’ll never wear and they’re in good condition, donate them to charities such as Goodwill or Salvation Army that accept clothing. Just make sure wash them if they’re already been worn.
Donate your race medals. Not sure what to do with your collection of race medals? Medals4Mettle (M4M) is a non-profit organization that collects medals from runners around the world and distributes them to people who have demonstrated courage by dealing with disease, handicaps or any similar challenge. The organization accepts donated medals from any race distance, from 5Ks to ultras. They have a nationwide network of doctors and others who award the medals to deserving, courageous people who are running their own race.
Make your race T-shirts into a quilt. If you’re into quilting, you can create a quilt of your running T-shirts. Or, send your T-shirts to a company such as the Campus Quilt Company and they’ll make one for you. This beautiful keepsake is functional, and also preserves your race memories.
Turn your medals into display art. Show off your hard-earned race bling with on a race medal wall hanger.
Use running T-shirts to clean. Old race T-shirts actually make great rags – you can use them for dusting, washing the car, etc., then wash and re-use.
Recycle your electronic gadgets. If you just got the latest Garmin, make sure your older model gets a good home. Donate electronic goods such as watches and cell phones. Or, if they no longer work, check out Earth 911’s website for information on how you can recycle them.
Organize your race photos and bibs. You know that pile of race photos and bibs from races sitting in a drawer? Make this the year you finally get them organized. Keep the race bibs that have special meaning (PRs, first race, first marathon, etc), and purge the ones that don’t have any real significance. Then store the special photos and bibs in a BIBFolio so they won’t get lost or ruined.
Also see: 23 Random Acts of Kindness for Runners