It was 2004, and Steve and Kathy Stanton were looking for ways to keep the leftover materials from their manufacturing business out of the landfill. They started taking these byproducts — die-cut cardboard hearts, ribbons and long cardboard tubes — to their son’s preschool to be used in class projects. Needless to say, the children loved the materials and eagerly put them to good use. In fact they came up with many more ways to play with the items than most adults could ever imagine. And so Trash for Teaching
Trash for Teaching is a nonprofit, Los Angeles-based company that collects clean and safe cast-off materials from manufacturing processes (that would otherwise become trash) and repurposes them as an educational resource. Then they bring these materials directly to children to be used as craft supplies. Their programs include teacher and classroom workshops, birthday parties and even a mobile "treasure truck" that brings craft supplies wherever they're needed.
Schools can sign up for an annual membership that entitles them to shipments of recycled craft supplies all year long. You can also buy their materials by the pound right at the warehouse site. What a fantastic idea!