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Shoes take 1000 years to decompose

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Jan 22, 2010, 10:24am   #1
~Fabulousity~'s Avatar
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~Fabulousity~
Member
I still can't stop buying them...I rarely throw them out anyway



If I had to estimate, I would assume I currently own and wear about 40 pairs of shoes, between all the boots, sandals, heels, and flip flops in my closet. You can say Iím a bit of a shoe addict. But after learning how long it takes for soles to compost, Iím re-thinking my love affair. According to Thomas Briel of BIO-D Biodegradable Shoes from Simple Shoes, your average footwear sits in a landfill for about 1,000 years before they decompose. Just think about that for a second. Over the course of a lifetime, Iím sure people accumulate hundreds of shoes. Multiply that by the population of the world, and weíre quickly destroying our lovely Earth just with what we wear on our feet. Because of this, Simple Shoes designed an entire collection of shoes that only take 20 years to compost, instead of the overwhelming 1,000. Now that I know the damage my shoes are doing to the environment, Iíll really think twice about buying a pair I donít actually need. Will you? [Treehugger]
Jan 22, 2010, 11:17am   #2
Mrs. SR's Avatar
Mrs. SR
very grateful
Seriously, 1000 years.... Wow, I'd better rethink my love of shoes. Thanks.
Jan 22, 2010, 11:55am   #3
Nico3327's Avatar
Nico3327
Member
I have a hard time believing that this applies to all shoes, although I guess it could. But I really don't think it takes 1,000 years for natuaral leather shoes to decompose, especially if they wind up in a landfill where they are subject to the elements. I would think this would pertain more to shoes made from PU and other man-made materials.
Jan 22, 2010, 12:33pm   #4
legaldiva's Avatar
legaldiva
Member
That makes me feel much better about buying used everything on Ebay.
Jan 31, 2010, 9:45pm   #5
Robyn Loraine's Avatar
Robyn Loraine
Member
I'm going to agree with Nico3327, I think it's the plastic shoes that take so long to decompose. Leather and fabric shoes would probably decompose faster. Just think about it like this; an apple decomposes pretty fast (even in a landfill) but a cigarette (which is mostly chemicals) takes 10 years to decompose. It's about what they're made of.
Feb 1, 2010, 2:00am   #6
Jorgey's Avatar
Jorgey
Louis Vuitton Don
Statistics can show whatever you want lmao.

Anyways, fashion > comfort > sustainability LOL
Feb 1, 2010, 1:16pm   #7
Vintage Leather's Avatar
Vintage Leather
Bag Lady
according to the state of nevada education department, the average Leather shoe takes 40-50 years to decompose, rubber takes 60-80, and synthetics can take up to 1000...
Feb 1, 2010, 1:29pm   #8
HauteMama's Avatar
HauteMama
.
But the issue is that even biodegradable materials do not decompose in a landfill. Most landfills are lined in huge plastic sheets to prevent groundwater decontamination, and then they are covered by impermeable layers and then covered again by soil when they are refilled. None of the things in a landfill are exposed to air, water or sunlight - the very things it takes to make anything decompose. So it is a bit dishonest to say that even "green" shoes (or even paper bags) will decompose quickly if they are landfilled; they won't. They WILL decompose faster if they are composted, but there are very few large-scale composting operations, and even fewer of them who will accept things like shoes. Almost nothing that goes into a landfill will decompose in fewer than 1000 years.
Feb 1, 2010, 1:46pm   #9
coconutsboston's Avatar
coconutsboston
Member
Originally Posted by HauteMama
But the issue is that even biodegradable materials do not decompose in a landfill. Most landfills are lined in huge plastic sheets to prevent groundwater decontamination, and then they are covered by impermeable layers and then covered again by soil when they are refilled. None of the things in a landfill are exposed to air, water or sunlight - the very things it takes to make anything decompose. So it is a bit dishonest to say that even "green" shoes (or even paper bags) will decompose quickly if they are landfilled; they won't. They WILL decompose faster if they are composted, but there are very few large-scale composting operations, and even fewer of them who will accept things like shoes. Almost nothing that goes into a landfill will decompose in fewer than 1000 years.
I agree. That said, think of the elements your shoes are exposed to every time you wear them out...snow, sand, rain, etc. I would almost be afraid to buy a pair of shoes that supposedly decomposed in 20 years because wouldn't it lessen the shelf-life so to speak? I wouldn't want to walk outside in the elements and be afraid the soles of my favorite stilettos would disintegrate...
Feb 16, 2010, 7:58pm   #10
ecmf's Avatar
ecmf
Member
sorry to bump, but this is a great thread, what about clothes??? bags??? and other things we "collect"???
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