How to Recycle your Crayons (eARTh Day)

We've been doing some eARTh today. Below are directions for 2 little projects that help you recycle your broken crayons.
At Green Talk I learned that millions of crayons are thrown away everyday and that because they are petroleum based it will take centuries for them to biodegrade! These little projects allow kids to help keep crayons out of the landfills (with adult supervision). 

Children really do hold the whole world in their hands. It's up to us to help them learn how to love her.

Of course we started out celebrating eARTh day with these treats. Then we got busy making old crayons into new eARTh creations.

Here are your supplies for the first activity: making worlds with recycled crayons.  You will need wax paper, an iron, crayon pieces, and a pencil sharpener.  A paper bag is a great help too.

The first crayon activity involved shaving the broken crayons with a pencil sharpener. We separated them by color.

Then spread them out to look like the Earth on the wax paper:
Next cover them with a layer of wax paper.  I put an added layer of paper (from a paper bag) over that.  You don't want any wax to get on your iron.

It doesn't take long for the little wax pieces to melt.  Try not to rub your iron around too much.  It makes the wax slide around.  It's better to just touch it down.  You can take the paper off and check as you go to see how it is looking.  Here is how our 2 looked after the iron melted the shavings.

Then just take a round object from the house and trace around it.  I took the top layer of wax paper off before I did this.
Cut it out and hang in the air.  You've made your own little world :)

We used the leftover bits (you can't sharpen the entire crayon) to melt and make new crayons.
The thickness of your crayons depends on how many pieces you put in.  Don't fill it too full or it will spill over the sides.  These crayons were about a half inch thick.  

Just set the oven to 300 degrees and watch them melt.  

When they are all melted, take them out and let the pan cool. After it has cooled, put the pan in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. The new crayons will fall right out!
Here is a song for you-can you guess the tune? (think birthday)
Happy Earth Day to YOU
Happy Earth Day to YOU
Happy Earth Day to YOU
Happy Earth Day to YOU!

Have a great eARTh Day! And since we are making a week of celebrating the Earth at our house, you're welcome to check back for more ideas during the week.

4 comments: said...

This is so fantastic! Thanks for sharing, I'll be linking to this.

Anonymous said...

Again - I adore this idea - I'm ashamed to admit that I have thrown away the little bits of crayon! I'm going to be all about melting them into those cool bits of circle crayons -t he girls are going to LOVE that! :)

Thank you!

Anna (Green Talk) said...

Thanks for posting about what to do with broken crayons. With your wonderful pictures and step by step instructions, any parent could make the crayon circles and keep crayons out of landfills.

Thanks for the mention as well!

Unknown said...

So Perfect!! Who needs a fancy crayon recycling machine when you can make such cute art? You have the best ideas!!

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