New Blog Time!

Yay new blog!  Almost the same, but more geared toward immersion school education, since thats where my brain is at anyhow. 

Heres the link:
Hawaiian Immersion School

Same fun updates about the kids and some more general info/interesting links, too. I'm going to try and post at least once a week (Tuesdays?) Hope you enjoy the new format - update those bookmarks! ;)


The Never Ending Slipper Issue

What happens when my children (mainly one child) constantly comes home with broken slippers?!

can you guess which rascal beat through shoes?
This kid tears through flip flops! When the question of sustainability originally came up, I thought I was being clever by finding natural rubber shoes which I bought directly from the distributor in Kona. $10 a pair (not too expensive), ethnically made in Thailand (a place I love), and made from materials that are fully biodegradable. How slick am I?
I was totally miffed when the toe-strap broke just 6 months later. And, unfortunately, not 100% sure what to do with my "natural rubber" shoe in lieu of sending it to the landfill. 6 months is not exactly a short life-span for kids slippers, but they broke long before his feet grew out of them, which was annoying enough for me. I should mention here that the other child still has his pair.

So, solution #2 was a pair of used slippers, hand-me-downs from my cousins. They say that the most sustainable product is the one that already exists (no raw material being used). Unfortunately, used flip flops in decent condition are rather hard to find so I was pretty stoked to score these. Now he had a pair of Nike flip flops that he wore all. the. time. Sure, they were starting to get smelly and the straps were peeling, but they worked. Until last week, when that stinkin' toe-strap broke - AGAIN!  It's always the same strap!

I've tried to execute this repair with a nail through the bottom but it scratches the floor and isn't safe for the kids (they pick at the nail) - plus it made the strap too tight for his chubby feet. Sewing it hasn't worked out either. Then I went online to figure out if there was a way to recycle the slippers rather than just throwing them in the garbage. Unfortunately, Nike only takes back athletic shoes (which is cool, but doesn't solve my problem).

Now we are on solution #3. Okabashi slippers. Made in the USA, two-year guarantee (theoretically, my kids will grow out of them before they break), and a closed-loop production system, which means I can send the shoes back to be recycled if and when they ever do break. Sure, they aren't made of 100% recycled material (the content is based on what the factory has available/what has been recycled) and with shipping they came out to about $20 a pair (ie. crazy expensive). But I'm hoping that this will be a more sustainable solution.  The only issue is that I've never seen these shoes in person so what if my kids hate the way they feel on their feet?  Or what if they are too slippery when they get wet? I'm hoping...praying! that these work out.
Other options were Chacos - they offer repairs but only on the super strappy sandals, which aren't the kind my kids like to wear.
Rainbows - lifetime guarantee, but that doesn't cover the toe strap breaking, which seems to be our biggest concern.
Piper Sandals - again, too strappy for my kids, they like the simple flip flop that they can get on and off easily. Also, these are beyond ridiculously expensive (though I'm sure they are worth it)

Sure, I could just run down to KTA and grab a pair of "Locals" (generic plastic flip flops made in China that everyone wears) but what do I do when they break or I lose one?
Never in a million years would I have imagined that I would spend this much time thinking about the lifespan and sustainability/recycleability of my kids shoes. Anyone have any other ideas for kids footwear that doesn't go straight to the dump at the first sign of damage?