Why do we recycle crayons? Crayon Collection believes that the life of a crayon goes far beyond a single use, and we are leading the charge on changing habits of waste. Using the most relatable object for kids, the crayon, we hope to rethink unsustainable habits, and advocate for all of us to reduce, reuse, repurpose and RECYCLE!

Children hold the fate of our environment in their hands. We are learning more and more each day that unless drastic changes are made, the damage being done to our planet could be irreversible. At Crayon Collection, our crayon initiative is one that allows children to not only realize a habit of waste they are taking part in but to create change. We inspire kids to notice that crayons should not be thrown away and to lead the charge in their neighborhood by sharing this crayon recycling initiative with their classmates and peers. This initiative of collecting still good crayons and donating them to underserved schools nearby gives children the opportunity to see the impact of their efforts first hand. Once children have collected and recycled their crayons they can enter their zip code on our “school finder” to locate a school needing supplies. The schools we serve are identified as TITLE 1, which has more than half the school living under the poverty line OR a Head Start Center, that also serves some of the most vulnerable families living in the United States. These schools are thrilled to receive crayons and both the children donating the crayons, as well as the children receiving the crayons, experience a wonderful sense of joy, and connection.

The Crayon Collection focuses on a localized effort so that everyone who participates is helping other schools within their own neighborhood. The idea has expanded internationally as the work being done is so focused on community therefore, anyone in any part of the world can get involved. We do not ship crayons as it is so costly, and adds more of a carbon footprint. Plus, the crayons we see are virtually unused but even broken crayons are welcomed by the schools we serve. Teachers create new projects with broken crayons that are rich with many learning opportunities.

Here are some statistics that reveal the vital need for each community member to rethink habits of waste.

  • 150 million crayons are discarded annually throughout the U.S. by restaurants alone
  • Most crayons are made of paraffin wax, which contains petroleum, a toxic chemical to the environment.
  • If we don’t recycle crayons, they eventually end up in our landfills where they NEVER biodegrade.
  • Meanwhile, in 2017, American teachers spent a personal average of $900 each to outfit their classrooms with school supplies.