The Introduction to Agricultural, Food, and Natural Resources (AFNR) class of 9th graders at the Tyrone Area High School explored the human impact on the environment. They grouped together and decided to start a project called Crazy Crayons. The project will take the donation of used crayons to make new candles and molded crayons for use throughout projects, community events, and more. Some of the crayons will be sent to the National Crayon Recycle Program (NCRP) to be turned into new products instead of being put into a landfill.

After the freshman learned about the process to make crayons they researched the impact the ingredients and crayons have on the environment. Crayons can take decades to decompose, not to mention that they contain paraffin wax which has petroleum, a toxic chemical to the environment. Their class came together and set up a plan to collect one ton of crayons by March 15.

“I chose to do this project for the fun and everything else that comes with it. I also look forward to recycling crayons after finding out that it takes around 100 years to break down because of the paraffin wax. Instead of tossing something out that takes more than a lifetime to break down, we will give it a new purpose,” said Brandon Waite, AFNR student and first year FFA member.

The freshman class of AFNR is excited to kickstart their Crazy Crayon Project. They have already gotten approval from the FFA chapter and school district to conduct the project.

“The AFNR class wants to prevent crayons that are thrown away from being placed into landfills and eventually sitting in the Earth’s crust and spending decades waiting to biodegrade. We wanted to find an issue that may be overlooked and set aside when it comes to more pressing matters. We also wanted to commit to a goal that we had set. After reaching or failing our set goal, we as students will learn from the experience and will utilize what we learned from running this operation in the future,” added Brienn Jones, AFNR student and first year FFA member.

Donations can be made in each school building at the main entrance or at Ace Hardware in Tyrone. Collections of crayons will continue past the goal date, but the committee wants to get started on using the equipment they will be purchasing thanks to the Pennsylvania FFA Foundation Learning to Do grants. On Dec. 21, the chapter learned the committee’s grant application was awarded $500 to purchase the equipment needed to melt the crayons and molds to reshape them for other uses.

Any questions can be sent to Tiffany Hoy, FFA advisor, at tmhoy@tyrone.k12.pa.us or by calling (814) 684-4240 ext. 3131.

 

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