Colourful Christmas decorations made from recycled crayons

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Colourful Christmas decorations from recycled crayonsThe European Week for Waste Reduction has brought energy among the community of Sannat, especially the children who attend the Primary School of Sannat together with their parents. In the weeks running up to the 19th of November, calls were made at school to collect broken, blunt and forgotten crayons.

The idea was to turn these almost finished crayons into Christmas decorations and instead of adding to the ever growing waste, give them a new life.

Students at the Sannat Primary school are used to helping in waste reduction programmes. Last year they widely participated in Eko Skola projects with success and this year’s project was again something which was welcomed with great interest.

It did not take long for the ‘Crayons Collecting Box’ to be filled with unwanted crayons. This particular box was placed outside the assistant heads’ office and every morning children placed the crayons they brought from home into it.

Calls for almost finished crayons was also made to the rest of the Sannat community through the Parish Weekly bulletin which reaches all the Sannat families at their homes. Calls were also made to collect unwanted candles, used batteries, used Christmas cards and also plastic bottle caps. The school said that these were all for one common aim, that of making the environment around us healthier, and helping to create satisfaction in children and adults for what they were doing.

Children’s participation was in full swing. They were responsible in collecting and weighing the plastic bottle caps which were collected by the Sannat people. But the greatest enthusiasm on children’s faces could easily be seen during the ‘Christmas Tree Decoration Exchange 2016’ programme, where children had to turn the collected unwanted crayons into Christmas decorations.

For a number of days students had to peel off the paper wrappers from each crayon. Once ready, the crayons were collected into different compartments according to their colour. Then children used a weighing balance to weigh each group of crayons as part of a Maths lesson. Children took turns to take the readings in kgs. They were expected to use their Maths knowledge to change the readings from kgs to grams. We had a total of 38.3kg.

Next the children had to break crayons into pieces. Smaller bits will melt more quickly in the oven and will therefore have less time to run and bleed into neighbouring colours. So a knife and a hammer were used to cut the crayons into smaller pieces, small enough to be placed into the moulds.

Moulds were then filled with crayon pieces. They were filled with a mixture of crayons, all of different colours. Children made sure that they just slightly overfilled each mould, as the crayons melt down and take up less space.

Once ready the moulds were placed in the oven and baked for 10-15 minutes at 180 C – 200 C, or until crayons are completely melted. The moulds were then removed from the oven very carefully, so as not to spill any melted colours.

Crayons were given enough time to cool and harden. When ready the decorations formed were pulled out from the moulds. Careful attention was given not to break the decorations as they are pulled out.

The school said that students felt great satisfaction as they started labelling the formed decorations. They were also asked to bring used bubble wrap to make their own padded envelops. All decorations done were then labelled in order to be sent in these envelops to 29 European schools participating in this exchange.

A good number of Christmas decorations are going to be sold to parents during the School Christmas Concert on the 21st of December. All proceeds will be going to the school fund.

“But the greatest feeling was that children managed to reduce the waste around us and instead use the unwanted stuff again in something more lively………Christmas decorations which were not only done to be sent to other European schools but also to decorate our school Christmas tree.”

Sannat School said, “all children feel that this year’s school Christmas tree is owned by them. It’s theirs, they did it ………done by waste.”

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