If I have hated any invention, it is the sharpener. The pencil sharpener, I believed to be the most inefficient devices regarding wastage of wood, to the amount of sharpening of the graphite.
When I started using blades to sharpen them, thinking I might look cool, I noticed that the wastage was considerably lower. I even carried out an experiment where I used two sorts of pencils, one sharpened by a sharpener, and another by a blade, and used them over one month to see which one would last longer.
My observations were quite surprising. No matter what pencil I used, I always seemed to lose it just after 18-21 days. Because of my forgetfulness, the experiment to find out which one used wasted wood could never be concluded.
Unlike the coyote from Looney Toons who gives up easily, I repeated the experiment and saw that the blade one, does use less wood.
Armed with my investigative skills, I went to proclaim my findings to my team and advise everyone to use blades to sharpen their pencils.
But my reasoning was questioned, when I saw my editor using a recycled pencil, which uses no wood at all.
I thanked high heavens for stopping me as I would have been shamed by my editor for wasting time, in carrying out useless experiments. Instead, I went online to learn more about recycled pencils.
About 15-20 billion pencils are made each year. So if a 60-foot tall tree, 3-4 feet in width were used in making the pencil, it would take about 60,000 of those trees. Recycled pencils are set out to replace their wooden counterparts.
Recycled pencils are usually made of old newspapers that have been turned into workable mulch. This mulch then holds the graphite in place and is then baked for drying.
The following is a list of recycled paper pencils that I found online, and link to where you can buy them!
Launched by a 52-year-old mechanical engineer from Pune, Rajesh Singh has a variety of products that have a tinge of eco-friendliness along with a desi touch. The recycled paper pencils are only 50 rupees per box of 10 pieces. You can buy them here.
2. Stationery Mela
Vikash Khandelwal had started a business as a stationery supplier in Coimbatore. He quickly switched over to the eco-friendly option when he came across recycled pencils. His website sells eco-friendly stationery products in bulk from files and folders to recycled paper pencils.
Plantcil is an innovative company that sells recycled pencils in all shapes and sizes, including colour pencils, fruit pencils, to plantable eco-friendly pencils. You can also order plantable pens, gift cards and eco-notebooks! You can check out the website here!
With these options in hand, saving wood and preserving nature is a simple matter of making the right choices (instead of conjuring useless experiments).
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)