Life without Plastic

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Broken Crayons Begone (Responsibly)!

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Today we are going to talk about how to recycle crayons properly. Here is the step by-step-process to help you get those broken crayons recycled and keep them out of the landfill.

  • First, create a place for a shipping envelope filled with unwanted junk mail envelopes, with the color marked on the envelope for each color. Apparently black, purple, and blue are hard to sort, so the sorting is optional, but a nice gesture.
  • Try to leave the wrappers on the crayons to help with sorting colors, if possible. 
  • Second, when the envelope is full, seal each envelope.
  • Third, seal with plastic-free tape
  • Fourth, weigh the package or use a flat rate envelope from the post office.
  • Fifth, address the box/pay for postage to the current crayon recycling facility.
  • Sixth, send to the Crazy Crayons Recycle Program.
  • Seventh, (assuming you need to replace your crayons) buy all-natural, plastic-free, bio-degradable older kid beeswax crayonsbeeswax crayons or soy crayons for my vegan friends. Or go ahead and make your own beeswax crayons/recycle old 100% beeswax crayons (the steps are the same if you are using crayons made with only beeswax & not other waxes, just chop up your old crayons instead of the wax) if you have access to good quality beeswax:
  1. Gather 1 oz of beeswax and 1 oz of inexpensive bar soap, along with your all-natural food coloring or DIY the dye from food.
  2. Chop up beeswax into pieces and grate soap. Melt the soap and beeswax in a mason jar in a pan of water. Watch the mixture closely and keep it on Medium-Low. You do not want it to boil or it will foam up putting air bubbles in your crayons. If this does happen, let it set for a couple of minutes, gently stirring to remove air bubbles. 
  3. When the soap and beeswax have melted, divide the hot liquid before adding colors.  Carefully mix in color. The more of the food coloring you add, the more vibrant the color will be.
  4. Lightly grease the mold you will be using to pour the liquid into. Possible molds are ice cube trays, mini muffin pans, or soap molds.
  5. Pour the melted mixture into your mold and allow to dry completely. If the crayons have become chunky and you are using an oven safe mold, pop them in a 350 oven for a few minutes to melt a bit. Be careful not to let them go too long or they will begin to foam up and create air bubbles.
  6.  Remove from mold and color away.

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Here's to keeping crayons out of the landfill and keeping your crayons all natural.

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