“I wonder… What happens to these crayons after we leave?”
While enjoying family dinner at a restaurant one evening, entrepreneur and father Bryan Ware posed this question to his wife, as their two boys happily colored at the table.
Sadly, the life of a restaurant crayon is a short one. Restaurants typically throw crayons out after only one use – and because crayons are not environmentally friendly, they turn into a waxy sludge that never biodegrades and clogs up landfills. More than a half-million pounds of crayons are discarded every year, which equates to roughly 60 million crayons!
The Crayon Initiative collects donated crayons from restaurants, schools and homes across the country, then melts them down and remanufactures them, reducing waste.
Since 2011, Bryan and the Ware family have proudly dedicated themselves to sorting countless crayons in their own backyard, cooking them down in their kitchen, and recycling them for future creative use.
Better yet, the recycled crayons are distributed to art programs at children’s hospitals across the U.S., brightening the lives of young patients during their stay. With the aid of thousands of volunteers, The Crayon Initiative has taken great strides to help keep the earth clean, while spreading joy to kids in need by providing them with an endless supply of free art materials.
That’s what we call thinking outside the Crayon Box.