I am not a parent but I have been around kids enough to know that they will put everything in their mouth and there is always a risk when products designed to keep them entertained are also full of chemicals – like crayons. Crayons (and kids), rarely stay inside the lines and will end up in the child’s mouth or the walls. It is not only a health hazard and a cleaning liability, crayons also have an astonishing environmental impact. A Japanese company, Mizuiro Inc., worked with designer Naoko Kimura to create a sustainable alternative to the traditional crayon. Called Oyasai Crayons, they are made with all-natural ingredients!
Did you know that over 150 million crayons are discarded annually throughout the U.S. by restaurants alone? Most of the crayons in the market are made of paraffin wax, which contains petroleum, a toxic chemical to the environment making the product non-biodegradable and harmful – now imagine a child putting that in their mouth. That is where Oyasai Crayons come in – these safe and organic crayons are made from rice bran oil and rice wax from rice bran. Both solid rice bran wax and liquid rice bran oil are byproducts of the rice polishing process so these crayons are essentially made from waste. The pigment is all-natural too, it comes from recycled plant materials like outer leaves of vegetables are typically discarded after harvesting. However, Oyasai Crayons use this food waste by collecting it and converting it into colors for the crayons. In fact, these are the same pigments used for natural food coloring further showcasing that everything in the product is chemical-free.
Naoko Kimura is the one who came up with the idea when he discovered the colorful options that could be produced by vegetables while working as a graphic designer and parenting from home. He worked on the concept and realized that vegetable waste from harvesting was cast out because it didn’t meet standards and that is what he used to produce the Oyasai crayons in his home country, Japan. As of now, the collection features 10 colors made from Japanese yam, green onion, long potato, burdock, corn, snow carrot, apple, cassis, purple potato, and takesumi (bamboo charcoal). Oyasai Crayons meet the JIS standard which ensures they meet the benchmark for crayon strength. They have also earned the European standard toy safety EN71-3: 2013 certificate as a result of a strict safety inspection and continued on to win numerous design awards. It is important to keep in mind that while these are natural ingredients and a food-grade product, these are not edible crayons but simply a safer, more sustainable, and stress-free option for your child to play with.
Designer: Naoko Kimura