Monday, September 19, 2011

Growing flowers from your shoes

Take one pair of smelly, used-up running shoes, bury in the garden. Wait. Flowers sprout. Really. I haven't been drinking wine this hour of the morning, Oat Shoes do just that.

Made from hemp and cotton, the idea is that you run, use them up and instead of dumping them on the growing mountain of garbage we produce every year, you bury them so they can biodegrade and then the flower-thing happens. 

Oat Shoes
According to their brochure: "The ingredients used for OAT's recipe are a combination of natural materials like hemp, bio-cotton and cork, together with certified biodegradable plastics. This means a given amount of the plastic has been tested to break down in an ideal environment for 90+% in 6 months." 

It's not quite as magical as it sounds, the seeds are contained in the tongue of the shoes and that's designed to decompose and spread the love once the shoes are buried. The Dutch company ships overseas so there's no excuse. (Although as I type that I'm wondering does having shoes shipped to my little island negate the eco-benefit of growing them afterwards??)

An Italian fan of the shoes walked the length of the Danube River this summer wearing them, so they must be pretty durable. They're not cheap at €149 ($205). I'll let you know if I order a pair - or if anyone reading this has tried them out, get in touch with your experiences.

Have you seen any other eco-sports products lately?



Snowcatcher said...

Now that's a cool idea. They should make ski boots and cycling shoes that do that!

niamh said...

@snowcatcher - good idea, maybe drop them an email?