children-hospitals-recycling-crayon-initiative-bryan-ware-13There are still some things that you just can’t do with e-books and digital paper, and one of those is the good old tactile experience of coloring with crayons. Yes, you can use paint programs on computers and tablets, but it’s just not the same.

A lot of restaurants realize the appeal of crayon coloring, and offer crayons to keep kids amused while their parents eat—and then all those crayons get thrown away and end up in a landfill. That didn’t sit well with Bryan Ware, a father who learned about this one day, and was appalled at all the waste. So he came up with a creative solution.

The Crayon Initiative is a charitable organization that collects and recycles used restaurant and school crayons, melting them down and remolding them into thicker crayons, more easily grasped by young or special-needs kids. He then donates these crayons to hospitals for use by kids there. “If these crayons give them an escape from that hospital room for ten minutes, we did our job,” Ware says.

I think that’s a great thing. Though I do have to wonder what happens to the crayons after they spend time at the hospital. I’m sure they don’t get completely used up there, either, so they still end up in landfills sooner or later, and they don’t biodegrade. All the same, it’s great that they can get some more good out of them. There ought to be more projects like this, as I’m sure there are still a lot more crayons being thrown away than the Crayon Initiative can hope to rescue.


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