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Arvada Family Upcycles Crayon Castoffs To Help Take Care Of Our Earth

ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4) - A family in Arvada is doing its part to save our planet. They take the crayons the rest of us throw out and upcycle them.

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"This is our crayon collection. This is what we get from around the nation," explained Attila Martonosi as he pointed to boxes and boxes of colorful crayon castoffs.

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All are gratefully accepted by Attila and his wife, Kim, to turn would-be waste into something wonderful.

"I wanted to do my part in helping take care of our earth," Kim Martonosi told CBS4's Kathy Walsh.

Eight months ago, the couple converted a corner of their basement in Arvada into the National Crayon Recycle Program and the workshop for Crazy Crayons. They bought the 25-year-old business from its founder, Luann Foty, who lived in Lake City, Colorado. Attila and Kim have been upcycling crayons ever since.

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"I love just mixing different color combinations," she said.

The process starts with sorting colors, then melting the wax. The liquid is poured into molds. They make animals and the alphabet. Their most popular shapes are Earth Worms, "Recycle" sticks and Eco stars.

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"Gives the crayon five points of life," said Attila.

The pair sell their Crazy Crayons to the Denver Zoo, the Denver Art Museum and other gift shops and websites. The packaging is recyclable, the paper crayon wrappers are sold as fire starters.

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Right now, it is a mom and pop operation with their three daughters helping and learning about the environment.

They'd love to expand to a bigger location.

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"So our house wouldn't smell like crayons," said Kim with a laugh.

For now, the Martonosi family is content to get the world coloring ... one Crazy Crayon at a time.

LINK: Crazy Crayons

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