The Green Blog
Coloring the World with Crayons: Ways To Go Green in All Colors1/10/2013
Today, the world is a very colorful place and when it comes to classrooms and playrooms, much of the color is thanks to vibrant artwork created by children using wax crayons.
Crayons have been a staple of childhood art since their invention. They were first made from charcoal and oil in Europe. However, over time, powdered pigments of various colors and hues replaced the charcoal, while wax was substituted for oil. Today, in the U.S. alone, 12 million crayons (equaling 60 tons) are made every day. The majority of the petroleum-based wax they are made from ends up in our landfills, which can take years, or even decades to decompose.
So next time you collect broken, unwanted or discarded crayons lying around your playroom or sitting in your child’s old pencil box, why not repurpose, reuse or recycle the crayons instead of dumping them?
Below, Green Apple Supply offers step-by-step instructions on how to make fun art projects using discarded crayon boxes, make funky recycled crayons with your kiddos, and where to send your unwanted crayons so they end up in the hands of an eager child instead of the local dump.
Melted Crayons — An Art Tutorial
Like the top image? Seen images of crayon drip art, like this, on the popular social media site Pinterest? A graphic designer from Michigan has been making unique works of art, like the one pictured above, by lining up crayons on a foam board and melting them with a heat gun. Why not create your own rendition?
Supplies you will need: Lots of old crayons, a canvas, hot glue gun, glue stick, hair dryer, yesterday’s newspaper to keep your mess contained, and at least an hour of time.
Step 1: Pick out the colors that you want to use and line them up on your canvas or foam board.
Step 2: Using a glue gun, glue the crayons to the top of your canvas or foam board with the tips of the crayons facing down.
Step 3: Choose a work area next to a wall and near a plug. Line the floor or work area with newspaper, lean your canvas or foam board against the wall, and plug your hairdryer in. (Make sure you fully cover the area surrounding your work area with newspaper— the wax can splatter.)
Step 4: Begin applying heat to the crayons. Try concentrating on one area at a time, working your way across the canvas or foam board. Aim the heat towards the bottom third of the crayons. It will likely take 5 to 10 minutes on each area. Experiment with your blow dryer’s strength and heat settings. (You may need to alternate the heat and or strength settings as needed throughout the process)
Photo credit: http://www.etsy.com/listing/109060374/16x24-rainbow?ref=v1_other_2
Create New Crayons At Home
Have crayon stubs that are too small to hold? Don’t throw them out. You can use them to create new funky crayons at home — and your kiddos can help!
Supplies you will need: Old crayon stubs or crayons that are broken, scissors or knife (for adult use only), oven, an old muffin tin, and at least 30 minutes of time.
Tips: You can line your muffin tin with foil cups. You can also use candy or soap molds to create crayons that have funky shapes.
Step 1: Collect all of the broken crayons or stubs lying around the house.
Step 2: Peel off all paper.
Step 2 (to be completed by an adult): Cut the crayons into small pieces.
Step 3 (to be completed by an adult): Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Step 4: Fill your muffin tin with crayon pieces — you will want a layer of crayon pieces that is at least an inch-thick.
Step 5: Put the muffin tin in the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes, or until the wax is melted. Make sure to take them out as soon as all the crayon pieces are melted, otherwise they could burn.
Step 6: Take the muffin tin out of the oven and allow the tin to cool before you pop out your homemade crayons to use.
Photo credit: Providence handmade: http://providencehandmade.blogspot.com/
Recycling Crayon Program — Send Your Crayons To A Better Place
Have bags of old crayons that never seem to be used? The CRAYON RECYCLE PROGRAM takes unwanted, rejected, or broken crayons to a better place, were they will be recycled into new crayons. Since it’s inception, the CRAYON RECYCLE PROGRAM has stopped more than 85,000 pounds of unwanted crayons from going into landfills. By sending in your old and unwanted crayons you can add to the success of this great program and help keep the petroleum-based wax out of your local landfill. The old crayons scattered throughout the house can be out of your home and on their way to a better place in two easy steps!
Step 1: Collect all old, unwanted and broken crayons.
Step 2: Put crayons in a sturdy box and send to:
Crayon Recycle Program
1755 Lois Drive
Shoreview, MN 55126
Photo credit: Crayon Recycle Program: http://recyclecrayons.tripod.com/
Buying Crayons — Some options when shopping for your next set of crayons
While crayons might not be the most “green” they will undoubtedly appear on your kids school supplies list year after year. So, what do you do the next time your child asks for a new set of crayons? Below are two alternatives to the traditional petroleum-based wax crayons that are better for the environment and promise not to break the bank.
Recycled Crayons: If you don’t create your own recycled crayons at home, why not buy recycled crayons that support the National CRAYON RECYCLE PROGRAM?
Crazy Crayons works directly with the CRAYON RECYCLE PROGRAM to create hand crafted, 100% recycled crayons that come in all sorts of fun shapes, sizes and color variations.
Soy Crayons: Soybeans are no longer just for tofu — these days eco-friendly crayons are made out of them too. These Prang Pro Soybean Crayons are a great non-toxic alternative to petroleum based wax crayons.
Tags: Going Green, green crayons, crayons, crayon art, recycling crayons, making your own crayons, Green Apple Supply, history of crayons
Back to school8/15/2012
Eco-friendly School Supplies Reduce Landfill Waste Without Breaking the Bank In the heat of the summer the last thing on most kids minds’ is the upcoming school year. Yet, as fall approaches, school supply lists will begin arriving in mailboxes and store shelves will quickly fill with the traditional back-to-school items.
School supplies can be a significant expense, and they can also have a substantial, and far less obvious, environmental cost. Prior to the new school year, children of all ages will fill shopping carts with paper, pencils, pens, folders, notebooks, crayon boxes, calculators and more. According to reports generated by the National Retail Federation, last year, the average person with school-aged children spent about $603 dollars on back-to-school needs (from school supplies and apparel to electronics and footwear). [http://blog.nrf.com/2012/06/26/consumers-looking-to-cut-corners-with-their-2012-back-to-school-budgets/] However, when it comes to assessing the environmental price of school supplies you have to look further than the receipt you are handed at the check out.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported in a Facts and Figures Sheet [http://www.epa.gov/osw/nonhaz/municipal/pubs/msw_2010_rev_factsheet.pdf] published in November of 2011, that 35 to 45 percent of municipal solid waste (things that we commonly use once and then throw away) comes from commercial and institutional locations, such as businesses, hospitals, and schools.
The good news is that over the years the recycling rate of municipal solid waste is up — from less than 10 percent of municipal solid waste generated in 1980 to about 34 percent in 2010. Unfortunately, solid waste generation has increased and even with increases in recycling and composting there has been an increase in the amount of waste going into landfills across the United States. This year, reach for the eco-friendly options when it comes to your child’s school supplies to help reduce the amount of waste in landfills and save the environment without breaking the bank. Here we take a look at 5 eco-friendly and child-safe items sold at Green Apple Supply that kids love.
|1.) Soy Crayons
||Most crayons are made from paraffin wax, which is derived from petroleum and once thrown away can take years, even decades to decompose in a landfill. Today, Soybeans are no longer just for tofu — these days eco-friendly crayons are made out of them too. Non-toxic Prang Pro Soybean Crayons are made from soybean oil.|
|2.) Recycled Crayons
||By the time most kids reach their 10th birthday, they have worn down more than 700 crayons (about seven pounds). Rather than tossing used crayons away, one program takes unwanted, rejected, broken crayons to a better place — the National CRAYON RECYCLE PROGRAM. The CRAYON RECYCLE PROGRAM works with a company called Crazy Crayons. Crazy Crayons creates hand crafted, 100% recycled crayons that come in all sorts of fun shapes and sizes that kids love!|
|3.) Motherboard Binder
||Most kids have never seen anything like this binder, unless they have been looking inside the home computer, a cell phone or the family television. A company started in 1991 creates these unique school supplies. The company recycles defective bare circuit boards to divert computer, phone and television waste from landfills, turning them into conversation worthy binders (pictured here), notepads and more.|
|4.) Recycled Paper
||Help your kids reduce the burden on the environment by using recycled paper made from post-consumer waste, the market for which prevents used paper from going into the landfill. The higher the recycled content the better!|
|5.) Upcycled Lunchbox
||When it comes to your child’s lunch, forget recycling and try upcycling! Every year billions of drink pouches end up in dumpsters and eventually landfills. TerraCycle® is working with Capri Sun® and Honest Kids® to find a way to capture the tremendous loss of resources and is using drink pouch waste material to put an unusual twist on the traditional lunch box.|