Re-Mark-Able!: Kids spur marker makers to launch recycle programs

Have you ever had an inspiring idea that people thought was cray, cray, cray?

This shot of inspiration is dedicated to kids and the kid in you. I hope this inspires you to color outside of the lines!

The “Green Team,” an environmental club at Sun Valley Elementary School in San Rafael, Calif., is literally making its mark on the planet!

When they learned used markers ended up in landfills, they wondered why there wasn’t a recycling program.

“I’ve thrown away about a hundred markers and I just want them to recycle them because it’s creating landfills and it’s getting into our oceans and it’s killing the animals,” Green Team member Nando Castellar, 11, explained with a sad face.

The kids learned that Crayola makes about half a BILLION markers a year but the company has no recycling program, so they wrote to Crayola for answers.

Land Wilson, children’s author and parent volunteer leading the Green Team, said Crayola wrote back and replied, “There’s no one here you can talk to about that. Sorry…”

But the kids didn’t take “NO” for an answer.

They started a petition on, asking Crayola to start a “take-back program” for their markers.

Nearly 92,000 people signed it.

A movement was born.

Meanwhile, Crayola’s competitor, Dixon Ticonderoga, heard about the kids’ plea and was inspired to start a recycling program.

That’s when Crayola had a change of heart and started a recycling program too.

“We’re so excited because this is a prime example of kids being powerful and kids making difference and changing the world,” Wilson said.

These kids are small, but they are mighty.

More than 1,000 schools are taking part in the recycling program today!

The lesson here: The answers are not always black and white. Color outside of the lines even if it seems impossible to make a big change. Don’t take no for an answer and look for another way. These kids were persistent and resilient.

Take Action:

1. Ask your local school to start a marker recycling by setting up collection bins around campus.

2. Watch this instructional video

3. To send back your markers, sign up with Crayola ColorCycle or Dixon Ticonderoga’s Prang Power Recycling Program

For more about these amazing kids and their project, check out my Go Inspire Go blog and video.

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