Print Management Insider Blog

Coloring Outside the Lines: How Child’s Play Changed Crayola

Posted by West McDonald on Sep 3, 2015, 2:02:03 PM
As positive as I try to be, I find myself getting a wee bit more cynical and a touch more cranky every year.  Once bitten and twice shy I suppose.  Every once in awhile, however, I see a company or a person doing something really cool and I find myself believing, once again, that surprisingly simple things can make a huge difference.

Recently my wife shared with me a project she is working on at our kids school which was inspired by the “Make Your Mark” campaign.  It was a petition started by Sun Valley School in San Rafael California that was asking Crayola to start a “Take Back” program for old markers to keep them out of landfills.  You can see the video HERE, just make sure you have some tissues near by.

Want to know the cool thing? Crayola took the advice from the kids at Sun Valley School! They started the Color Cycle program and now collect not only their own markers but markers of ALL types.  To date there are 2,000+ schools involved in the Color Cycleprogram and it has since sprouted up in Canada.  Thanks to the efforts of my wife our school is now on that list.

Crayola has taken things a lot further than just collecting used markers.  They have adopted a solar farm for producing their own green power and have set their CO2 footprint for 2015 to an astonishing Zero (0) Metric tons.  Crayola may produce all the colors in the rainbow but their favorite seems to be green.

crayola recycle

As a business owner you can help inspire the next generation of leaders by writing a letter to the Sun Valley School kids to let them know you support their greening initiatives.  If you are a President (or “THE” President), you can send your letters here:

Sun Valley School
The Green Team
75 Happy Lane
San Rafael, CA

It’s up to us in the business and education communities to ensure our kids learn by example.  We often say it’s “up to the next generation” and I have been guilty of that expression myself.  We can all be better mentors by practicing better greening initiatives in our own schools and companies. Our children will look up to us for generations if we show them our better side by doing the right thing.

Here are 3 additional things you can do to help your company or school to be a lot greener:

        1. Print Less:  Companies like Print Audit have software programs that can dramatically decrease waste print and reduce color output. Not only will you improve your green footprint but you’ll save your business or school a ton of money (30% to 60% of total printing costs) in the process. A friend of mine once said that “the least costly page is the one you never have to print” and I couldn’t agree more.  
        2. Recycle Your Toner Cartridges & Old Computers: Check with your local toner or MPS provider to see if they collect things like batteries, computers, and original toner cartridges.  Companies like Think Recycle have some incredible statistics on their website for just how powerful an impact can be made.
        3. Use Alternative Paper Sources:  Not all paper is created equally. Make sure your paper is recycled, sourced from 100% renewable forests, or from alternate sources like hemp, sugar production waste and wheat stalk waste.  Ask if your office equipment supplier uses paper from companies like Social Print Paper and others to help keep our planet full of trees!
toner recycle

Of course there are a ton of things we can do beyond this small list.   What kinds of things has your organization or school done to implement green initiatives?  How are you working with your kids to help inspire their green thinking? What have your kids taught you about doing more good for the environment?  We look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas about how we can all contribute to a greener future

Topics: business, business strategy, Business Tips, environment, footprint, green, managed print, office, Office Equipment Dealers, print audit, Print Behavior, print management, print tracking, printers, printing, Printing, recycle, Savings, school, success, Technology, technology, tips

West McDonald

Written by West McDonald

West McDonald is Vice President of Business Development for Print Audit.

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