Dear Claire,

I discovered something interesting the other day. April being Earth month, there’s a lot in the news about recycling and reusing – especially reusing, now that the market for recyclables is so unpredictable and given how much energy it takes to recycle something. This reminded me of some of our tips about spring-cleaning and repurposing plastics and finding new homes for unwanted possessions. But sometimes there are things that can’t obviously be reused or deposited in mainstream recycling. What do you do for example, with that now-empty marker or felt-tip pen?

Anyone who has children is probably familiar with the profusion of these things in the house – I still find them absolutely everywhere! Unwanted but usable crayons and pencils can be donated to schools, but for those markers that have run out of ink, Crayola Colorcycle is partnering with schools in the US and Canada to set up collection stations and promote ecofriendly practices. And BIC has a similar initiative in the UK.

A circular system

BIC’s program is in partnership with Terracycle, which operates globally to recycle hard-to-recycle waste: baby food pouches, glue sticks, musical instrument strings, even cigarette waste – to name a few. Terracycle’s mission is to reuse and recycle in ways that keep things circling in the community, rather than ending up in landfills, and their site is worth a look – they have all sorts of inventive ways to go about this. World Creativity and Innovation Day falls the day before Earth Day, and I think this is a great example of the impact of creative thinking and our ability to take little steps to make a difference – for our environment and for us all.

Keep the pictures, recycle the pens!

So, if anyone is looking for an Earth month / spring break / Easter holiday project for their kids… gathering up old pens, packing them up and taking them to the post office or a collection center is a nice little way to help the planet, and it tidies up the house 😊

Much love,

One thought on “How to recycle what you usually can’t

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