We just instituted the Crayola Colorcycle program at my daughter’s elementary school. As our Parent-Teacher Organization recycling chair, I worked with our brand-new student council, which has representatives from all the 3rd and 4th grade classes, to get them to establish and expand this program in our school. Crayola recycles is quite simply that- an opportunity to send back used-up markers to Crayola, where they recycle them into fuel. Shipping the markers is paid for by Crayola. In our school, the kids worked to establish a marker collection box in each class, and a big collection box right by the school entrance, where they can add each classroom’s markers. I go in every so often, put all these into a shipping box, and send them off to Crayola for recycling. Any school in the US, and in some regions of Canada, can sign up for this program.
I don’t know how much of a “climate win” marker recycling really is -and I’m still trying to get more information from the company about how this fuel is actually sold, distributed, or otherwise used. This isn’t a huge climate win because we are taking plastic and turning it into a combustable fuel. However, I am excited about its potential for getting our kids more aware about the life cycle of their every day materials. And it is progress that item that would other wise end up in the landfill, contributing to landfill volume and carbon emissions, instead gets one more lease on life.
As much as Im not a huge fan of markers- I prefer crayons and pencils at home as the less plastic and more friendly alternative- markers aren’t likely to get out of our school any time soon. I don’t know about your school, but in mine, pretty much every parent is asked to send a new pack of markers with their kid at the beginning of the school year. Think about the fact that every elementary and middle school in our country probably goes through thousands of markers a year. That’s kind of amazing to process. So if we can do something with these disposable materials to extend their usefulness, that is at least a start.