By Vick Rana, Group Chairman of Red Ridge Global
We often think our world has become so advanced, what with smartphones and computers everywhere, even Alexa and Siri and whatnot. Yet, every time you want to think deeply about something, visualise it, and plan it out or design it, chances are you put away all the smart things you own and isolate yourself with a paper and a pencil. Or, want to lead a brainstorming session with your team, or trying to solve a really tedious problem. You reach out for a… pencil.
Yes, the humble pencil, which has been around for centuries, still steals the thunder of artificial intelligence. The same humble pencil that to this day, costs next to nothing. The pencil, that is everybody’s very first writing instrument. No amount of technology will be able to do what this one does. It makes your ideas tangible and your inspirations come alive.
The pencil has been around for quite a few centuries, and that too in the form we are only too familiar with: graphite sticks encased in wood came into being in the 1560s. Since then, we have seen mechanical pencils make their mark, certainly, but the most common, accessible form continues to be the wooden pencil. For a good reason too. These are very inexpensive and extremely convenient to use and carry; or lose and replace them with new ones.
It’s also the original autocorrect technology when accompanied by an eraser, whether stuck on its stub or not. As far as a writing instrument goes, the pencil comes up aces.
Did you know that the US alone uses up 2 billion pencils a year, and in the process, consumes 82,000 cedar trees each year too? Just to make its pencils. Imagine the global impact of pencil consumption on the environment!
This is the reason why it’s time to go for an upgrade. Today, we can choose to go green, so that our pencils don’t eat up trees and instead, help contribute to circular economy. Despite there being plastic pencils made from recycled plastic, these don’t offer a sustainable alternative for the long term, for ultimately that plastic must enter landfill.
Enter paper pencils.
Made of compressed paper that has been segregated as refuse, these are pencils made by rolling sheafs of paper under high pressure to create a replacement encasing for the graphite rod.
What makes paper pencils special: Made of 100% recycled paper, these pencils help to deploy paper waste more productively. It also means that no trees are harmed specifically for the manufacture of pencils. Apart from that, paper pencils are…
1. Round, smooth and won’t snap into two: Made for extensive writing, these pencils provide you the comfort of a smooth grip that leads to fluid writing movement. Prolonged writing is unlikely to end up in achy fingers and wrists.
2. They’re plantable: Certain brands have gone the extra mile to make an already green paper pencil greener. Literally. They’ve turned your run-of-the-mill pencil into a capsule of plant seeds that you can plant in the most hassle-free manner and watch a green friend come up in a pot just effortlessly. All it takes is use your pencil right down to a stub and then plant the stub in a pot of soil. Water, sunlight, the works and done. Now that’s not something a wooden pencil can do.
3. An agent of eco-awareness: Plantable paper pencils help their users spare a thought for the environment and help them contribute to a greener tomorrow by making it easier to grow a plant.