One night while out for a birthday dinner, Bryan Ware was shocked and saddened to find out that any crayons put on the table for kids, whether slightly used or not even touched, had to be thrown away and eventually ended up in the landfill. Bryan took those crayons with him that night. He was convinced that the life of restaurant crayons didn’t have to end there. It became his personal challenge to find a creative way to recirculate the endless supply of free materials and bring the Arts to children everywhere.
The wax from crayons is not biodegradable and will never break down, leaving a waxy sludge in our landfills for centuries to come.
Bryan knew someone had to do something, and he was someone. He soon launched The Crayon Initiative, which organizes crayon collections that take unwanted crayons, remanufactures them, and provides them to hospitals that are caring for our kids.
Hospital arts’ programs provide in-hospital entertainment and learning programs. During a hospital stay, it’s important for children to continue normal childhood development and skills building and to keep life as close to “normal” as possible for them. Art helps hospitalized children by alleviating anxiety, providing psychological support, and offering creative outlets for self-expression. Childrens’ arts programs also enhance problem-solving and critical thinking skills, and promote creativity and imagination. Children can escape into a world of fantasy penned by their own imagination just by using crayons.
The Crayon Initiative supports environmental efforts by diverting crayons from the landfills. Annually, over 500,000 pounds of broken crayons are discarded in landfills throughout the country. By collecting unwanted crayons from restaurants, schools, as well as other locations, and recycling them into new ones, The Crayon Initiative is doing our part to prevent crayons from depositing in the landfill.
The Crayon Initiative aims to donate 10,000 packs by the end of the year!
How can you help?
- Donate your old crayons or host a crayon drive at your school! here’s how.
- Encouraging restaurants in your area to collect and donate, by raising awareness on social media, and spreading the word around your town. They will provide you with The Crayon Initiative’s collection boxes for distribution. Visit the Volunteers page for more information.
- Donate cash. Cash donations to help fund crayon remanufacturing, collection drives, future grants for art programs, and pay crayon shipping costs.