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Published on May 23, 2013
At Sun Valley Elementary School in Marin County, Calif., one student asked, “Where do we recycle our Crayola markers when they dry out?”
As 11-year-old Nando Castellar drew a factory polluting the air and water, he explained that he colored the water a faded blue because “it’s not as blue as it used to be. It’s getting darker and then the sun is not as yellow as it used to be. It’s kind of like messing up the earth,” he said in a sad voice.
“I’ve thrown away about a hundred markers and I just want them to recycle them because it’s getting to our landfills - it’s creating landfills and it’s getting into our oceans and it’s killing the animals.”
Land Wilson, a parent volunteer of Sun Valley Elementary School's "Kids Who Care" program did some research and couldn’t find an answer to the Crayola conundrum.
They wrote a letter to Crayola urging them to recycle their markers. Crayola sent a letter praising them for their enthusiasm, but didn't offer a solution.
To rally support, the students created an online petition that quickly generated more than 90,000 signatures.
Dixon Ticonderoga, an art and office supply company (and Crayola competitor) heard about the online petition. The public support inspired them to create a recycling program where schools can send Prang Markers postage-free back to the company’s headquarters in Florida for recycling.
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