It is truly a wondrous and modern age we live in. Left and right advances are being made in all fields. Telecommunication, nanotechnology, green energy, you name it and we’re reaching new frontiers.
A new technological leap has been made. It’s in a field that’s important—environmental sciences. But its nature is so odd, so unique, and yet so brilliant that it leaves you wondering, what else is possible?
It’s a pencil. A pencil unlike any other, not just because it isn’t filled with lead. And not because it’s biodegradable. It’s actually bio-renewing.
Students at MIT invented what they call the Sprout pencil. The wood is cedar. The filling is graphite and clay. A seed capsule is fitted to the end of each pencil. Once you’ve worn the pencil down beyond usability, you then plant the pencil in soil.
When watered, the capsule that holds the seed at the pencil end dissolves. The seed, or actually 3 seeds, are released into the soil. They then begin to grow like any other plant.
The pencil also comes in handy as a plant marker. There are over 20 varieties of Sprout pencils, including all sorts of plants, herbs, and vegetables. Each pencil has the plant name etched into the wood so you can identify it.
Another cool aspect of the pencil, especially for plants like peppers and tomatoes, is that they give the sprouting plant sturdy support. For those of us who aren’t green thumbs, each pencil comes with instructions.
The one drawback: beware of chewing on the pencil. It’s a bad habit in general, but if you get saliva on the pencil end, the capsule will start to dissolve. The seeds will spill out and then you’ll just have a regular old pencil.
The idea began as a design project to make something for the “eco-friendly office of the future.” Students zeroed in on the lowly pencil and transformed it into a product that raised more than $40,000 in its Kickstarter campaign.
Their launch in Europe began in Denmark in June of this year. It was the global first market to test the Sprout pencil. The results: over 100,000 sets were sold with huge levels of re-ordering already underway.
Eco-centric consumers will also like the 100% sustainability and handmade, natural material used in its manufacturing. They’re already available on Amazon, running you $19.95. Pricey? What about the cost of a destroyed environment?
We’ve truly entered what Miranda from Shakespeare’s The Tempest says is a “brave new world.” The next step…hopefully a laptop, which once you’ve fried its hard drive and used up its storage space, you can throw in the ground and get a whole garden.