Home Green Family Green Parenting Reuse those Crayola Markers

Reuse those Crayola Markers

Markers dry out and then what, they end up in our landfills. Children love them and if they are washable and non-toxic, parents and teachers love them. I know how to recycle and reuse crayons but markers? I’ve never known how to recycle them and even when I tweeted about it and did some research I couldn’t dig up much on the recycling of markers. One of my favorite sites, Earth 911 couldn’t even help me. Disappointing. The best answer I could come up with came from Yahoo answers. Yes, Yahoo answers. What I learned is this, there is no green way to dispose of child friendly, non-toxic, washable markers. Sorry. I wish that there was. The plastic is just not recyclable and it won’t bio-degrade…that I know of. I’d love to learn otherwise and I’m sure my readers would too. If you know something share but I’ve written to the companies and I’ve gone to the store and there are no tips on the packages for recycling.

In the meantime, I’m going to make sure the caps are kept on the markers last as long as possible. I’m also going to promote reusing the markers and the caps on the markers. How?

To reuse the markers and caps:

1. Take a small cup of water, dip the marker into the water and whala you have a watercolor paint brush. The children have fun and you are reusing the ink that you thought was dried up but with some water, you have a marker paint brush.

2. Re-Use the caps and put them on your fingers to finger paint with…my children love this!

3. Talk to your children about putting the caps on the markers to use them for as long as possible. This alone can reduce the waste of the markers.

4. Try to use crayons instead of markers because from what I’ve experienced, I can recycle them personally and they can be recycled by companies.

5. Write Crayloa and other companies and urge them to make recyclable markers and ask for their suggestions. I just saw a 52 pack of markers at the store today and all I could think of was that they would end up in the landfill.

What else can you Re-Use the markers and the caps for? You tell me. Any ideas, share them here. I’d love to hear and so would teachers, parents, greenies and anyone sensible, I imagine.



SIMILAR ARTICLES

5 Tips for Living GREENER

0 337

14 1137
  • http://www.healthychild.org Janelle Sorensen

    Maybe we should start mailing the dried up markers back to the manufacturers to make a statement. If we all did it during the same week, it would have even more impact.

    Another reuse idea: hot glue them around an old frame for hanging all the lovely drawings your kids make.

  • http://www.beadeddesert.blogspot.com Beaded Desert

    Well, depending on the age of your kids, you could reuse the caps in crafty ways. You could drill a hold through the closed off end. Then paint the caps or re-use magazine or other papers and decoupage them around the caps. Viola! Easy and fun “beads” to make bracelets and necklaces from. If you’re real handy with a drill, you could also drill through the sides to string as a pendant. Makes for fun “toy” jewelry for dress up time.

  • http://www.greenandcleanmom.org Green & Clean Mom

    Great idea Janelle! I’m going to do this and start a campaign! Fabulous idea. Be proactive about this and make a statement that we want markers we can recycle! I love it!

  • http://www.jonesberry.blogspot.com Rebecca

    This is something I used to do as a kid, but got in trouble for… Soak the tip of the marker in water and then holding it tight fling it downward so that the ‘ink’ comes flying off and you get a cool splatter paint effect. You could try doing it on brown paper bags for gift wrap but I’m not sure if the colors would saturate enough. Warning: the reason we got in trouble was because when you fling the marker it kinda goes everywhere, including the walls of the garage.. might not make a good indoor activity. =)

    Rebeccas last blog post..New Study on Autism and Vaccines!

  • RoseyJ8

    Hi Green Mom,
    Here’s a little something that I’ve done with old crayons.
    Remove the paper on the outside of the crayon stick
    Chop the crayons up into little pieces
    Sprinkle the pieces onto a piece of fabric, a tea towel or a t-shirt
    Place brown paper under the textile and on top of the crayons
    Iron with a hot iron.
    Keep changing the paper until all the wax is absorbed and only the color pattern remains.
    This is a great rainy day activity to do with the kids
    It brings new life to old t-shirts
    Cheers,
    Rosey J

  • Meghan

    If your marker dries out because the cap was left off, but you know there’s still ink in it, tape a string to the bottom end. The spin the string around your head, and it will move the ink back into the tip of the marker. Just be careful when you take off the lid, because if you’ve spun it too forcefully, there will be a bunch of extra ink on the tip.

  • Tara

    Found your site because I was just going through my kids' markers getting rid of the dry ones, and was wondering if I could recycle them (i'm a recylcling addict). I'm sad to hear you can't, and I'm going to email crayola, roseart, etc. about it. So you got me thinking of ideas of how to reuse them, and I like the painting one, my daughter will love it, and practically came up with it on her own, as she just minutes ago was getting her pink maker wet trying to make it work, which i've done, but never thought about just painting w/ them. So then I was thinking how all the lids are so colorful and if you just drilled a hole the the other end of the caps, then voila you would have beads for necklaces or whatever for the kids to play w/. Might even be a great school project to have kids donate all dried out markers for painting w/ and all the caps could be collected and some helpful parents could take them home and drill holes in them. I'm quite intrigued by this idea. Thanks for the info :)

  • Tara

    Found your site because I was just going through my kids' markers getting rid of the dry ones, and was wondering if I could recycle them (i'm a recylcling addict). I'm sad to hear you can't, and I'm going to email crayola, roseart, etc. about it. So you got me thinking of ideas of how to reuse them, and I like the painting one, my daughter will love it, and practically came up with it on her own, as she just minutes ago was getting her pink maker wet trying to make it work, which i've done, but never thought about just painting w/ them. So then I was thinking how all the lids are so colorful and if you just drilled a hole the the other end of the caps, then voila you would have beads for necklaces or whatever for the kids to play w/. Might even be a great school project to have kids donate all dried out markers for painting w/ and all the caps could be collected and some helpful parents could take them home and drill holes in them. I'm quite intrigued by this idea. Thanks for the info :)

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/66GJHHO4IDTZT4I4BOARNKEN6Q Isabella

    At Christmas time, we gathered red,green, and yellow caps from my son's preschool and glued them open side down on a wreath pegboard (recycled from a cousin's school project)cut out. We took some of the markers w/caps on and placed them in a salt dough advent wreath and created paper flames for them. During the spring/summer, we use the markers as garden markers when planting seeds and bulbs.

  • TeaSaint

    At one point in my childhood I thought I was told that dipping dry markers in vinegar helped restore the marker to near new. I'm going to try that as I too have not found any other tips online.

  • akaamy

    As a teacher we'd collect the caps and let children, with supervision to avoid choking, play with them. They are great fun for finger play, but they can also be used for color sorting, counting, and in large quantities used for dump/fill activities. If you don't mind digging play dough out use as candles or circle cutters. Certainly glue collages would be a fun choice too. They can also be great fun in the sandbox.

  • Pingback: Markers, Crayons and Coloring with Children | Green and Clean Mom ™

  • Laura

    I was cleaning out my cousins' art room today, and I started throwing away the dried out markers and what I believed to be useless caps. I then stopped, and thought that maybe I could come up with a craft idea for the caps. So I was looking for some ideas and wound up here. The first thing I'm doing when I get to their house on Monday is pulling the dried out markers out of the trash! I know I will come up with something :)

  • http://www.missbrittanysorganic.com Brittany

    I'd be interested in developing an eco friendly recycled plastic marker. there has to be a way! email me at info@missbrittanysorganic.com if you wish to collaborate

  • Bairnns

    When I do discard markers, I keep the caps. This saves searching for the one that inevitably goes missing at playtime- we can always cap all the markers right away because we have extra caps.

    I also use a pair of plyers to gently pull the tip off of a marker I'm going to throw out, then pry off the end and dump the ink reservoir into the trash. The plastic parts can then be recycled with other mixed plastics.

  • Nadia Tomlinson

    I’ve been collecting the caps to use as beads as, others have mentioned, I also pull out the nibs and recycle the casings. Once the nibs are pulled out i put them in a jar of water with a little vinegar to make beautiful, washable, inks that can be used to die things or as watercolours. I will have to keep a few now though because I love the idea of decorating a frame with them!!

  • Christina Rodriguez

    Contact Crayola on Facebook… they will probably give you a generic answer, but if enough people complain they will listen… or start a petition on Care2.com….

  • guest
  • http://www.facebook.com/marie.plummer Marie Watson Plummer

    crayons make fun candles