Whether kids are scribbling a Mother's Day card or working on a poster for a science fair, markers come in handy for all different stages and grades. Really, from the time they're tiny tots, children love on the staple art supply—and they love them hard. Quite often, they'll forget to put the cap back on, leaving the marker to dry out and be relegated to a box or trash can. And the latter is of course the worst case scenario, because the plastic markers end up in a landfill, adding to the havoc that we're wreaking on the earth.
Thankfully, there is an eco-friendly way to dispose of Crayola markers. A mom from Hawaii recently took to social media to spread the word about a program the company runs called ColorCycle.
"15 pounds of dead markers that will not end up in Maui’s landfill or ocean," Hali McCloud wrote. "Did you know that Crayola has a program called ColorCycle? If you collect the dead markers, they’ll send you a free shipping label and you can ship them back to Crayola to be recycled! My kids found out about this and were so excited to set up boxes at their schools. These markers were collected in just 3 months at my son’s preschool! Imagine what we could divert from landfills during the whole school year at every school! The only problem is, that right now they don’t pay for free shipping in Hawaii or Alaska, so I’m paying the shipping out of my own pocket but it’s totally worth it to not ever find these markers on our beaches! #savemauisreefs #sharkpitdesigns #doyourpart #drowninginplastic #wastefree #recycle #colorcycle #crayola #crayolacolorcycle #maui #hawaii #lahaina"
Crayola explains on their ColorCycle website that they will pay for shipping when you return dried-up markers to them for recycling, but as McCloud pointed out, this doesn't apply to charges for shipping from Alaska or Hawaii, which is a bummer. Nonetheless, it's likely worth spending a few bucks out of pocket to make this smart, eco-conscious move.
McCloud tells Parents.com that she was shocked to see just how many people care enough to pass along her post, which has wracked up 173K shares and over 10K comments.
"[People are] tagging friends and leaving comments like, 'Let’s start this at our school!' It makes me feel great to see all these people that are willing to do this simple, easy thing to help our environment," she says.
It's been especially heartening for McCloud, who runs an eco products company called Shark Pit Designs (which donates 100% of profits to groups working to save Maui’s reefs and coastlines), does beach clean-ups, and works to educate tourists on the dangers of chemical sunblocks to coral reefs. "It can get discouraging, so seeing the number of shares of my post is uplifting," she says. "There are still a great many people who love the earth. And the ColorCycle program really is incredibly easy. I really appreciate that Crayola offers this. I just wish they would include Hawai`i and Alaska. We need it the most."
No doubt, McCloud's post is raising awareness about ColorCycle—and motivating parents, kids, and school employees everywhere to do their part.