For the past year, RAFT has collected and diverted 700 cubic feet of material every day.

Students use RAFT's recycled materials to learn STEM concepts

Students use RAFT’s recycled materials to learn STEM concepts

Earth Day is a beloved national holiday celebrated on April 22nd. This year Resource Area for Teaching (RAFT) joins the celebration by collecting and diverting 700 cubic feet of donations from businesses located in and around San Jose and Denver, Colorado.

RAFT provides affordable hands-on education tools that engage students and increases their learning comprehension. Since its creation in 1994, RAFT has achieved its mission by upcycling donated materials from local businesses that would otherwise end up in landfills. RAFT’s resource center collect anything from bottle caps, cardboard, and raw wood, to promotional branded items, fabric scraps, and corks.

“Without these supplies we wouldn’t be able to build our educational kits that are so important for a child’s development. We especially focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). We want students to explore these concepts in creative and investigative ways that lead them to advanced exploration and gives them the confidence to solve real-world problems,” says Grainger Marburg, RAFT’s CEO.

The practice of upcycling has resulted in awards for sustainability from Acterra, an environmental education and action nonprofit, and San Mateo County for RAFT Activity Kits. Upcycling delivers an abundance of affordable hands-on learning materials and supplies for educators and their students while also diverting roughly 460 cubic feet of materials from landfills each and every day.

“We donate to RAFT because we know that the materials we donate will be innovatively repurposed for use in public school classrooms. We’re a “green” company ourselves and supply sustainable products to foodservice operators nationwide. Sustaining the earth is important to us as a company, and RAFT helps us to make our footprint even smaller,” says Allen King, President of Excellent Packaging.

RAFT is a certified Bay Area Green Business, a program that is part of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to help companies make the switch to green business practices. Businesses interested in donating surplus materials, manufacturing discards, extra promotional products, lab equipment, or office supplies should visit for additional information on contributing to RAFT’s innovative upcycling programs.

About Resource Area for Teaching
RAFT believes the best way to spark the love of learning for the next generation of thinkers, innovators, problem-solvers, and creators, is through hands-on learning. A nonprofit organization since 1994, RAFT supports over 10,000 educators each year who teach over 835,000 students. Find out more about RAFT and how to get involved at