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Our used up markers.

Our used up markers.

I cannot believe school starts in four weeks and six days. How is that possible? The summer is flying by. Last week we even pulled out our school supply lists and started allocating last year’s supplies. Can you imagine? Yes, you read that right. I am the mean mom who doesn’t just go out and buy all new stuff. I make my kids reuse a lot of the items. Scissors, binders, backpacks and lunch boxes get reused over and over again. Pencils and crayons, too.

Sometimes I feel sort of bad about it. Sometimes I don’t. This stuff isn’t cheap but it’s also hard to recycle so I figure the longer we use it, the better it is for the environment. Still, there are some things that simply wear out or need to be replaced. Markers come to mind. We have a large box of markers that are worn out and don’t work anymore, so I made it my business to figure out what to do with them. One visit to the Crayola site and I found my solution.

Crayola has launched a ColorCycle program that takes unwanted markers and turns them into energy. The program, which is completely free for schools, asks people to collect markers, weigh the collection box once the collection is complete (or count the markers), and call FedEx. That’s it. Crayola handles all the rest including paying the postage charges. This is one of those programs that it’s hard not to get behind. Yes, I’d like to do a little more research about how the markers are processed, but I love that our markers aren’t just going into a landfill. I’m so excited about the program I asked our PTA president and vice president if we could run a school-wide recycling program. (As the newly minted chair of the environmental committee at our school I figured that would be a fun first project for us, especially as we, as a school, are replenishing our supplies.) I’m still waiting to hear back, but hopefully some of you will take this idea and run with it, too. Every marker counts, after all!

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