Write Green with Recyced Newspaper Pencils

Write Green with Recyced Newspaper Pencils

Autumn always reminds me of my own school days, and I smile broadly at the memory of sitting outside the principal's office of my tiny Catholic grade school, yet again. Sister Bernadette just couldn't get her habit around the fact I was in love. She deemed it inappropriate to write "I <heart> Shaun Cassidy!" all over my white pleather Jordache purse with a pink felt pen. I had written the same thing on my Pee-chee folder, that time in purple. What really Frenched her toast was the forbidden Teen Beat magazine found in my desk. But I had to keep it in there—I just had to. I took a picture of myself and pasted it next to Shaun's face. I told her he wrote "Hey Deanie" for me after he secretly attended my piano recital where I performed a crisp version of "Da Doo Ron Ron."

School supplies were a far second thought to my cute boyfriends. I, in fact, adored my pearl pink erasers and pink Trapper Keeper, but who really cared about pens and pencils when Eric Estrada was riding his police motorcycle in CHIPS?

But now I have a little person who I am trying to raise in an eco-conscious home, so pens and pencils matter a lot more. Each year 80,000 trees are destroyed to produce more than 14 billion pencils. It is cool to see eco-friendly innovators replacing virgin wood with recycled newspaper. This solution saves trees, reduces our carbon footprint and brings us closer to a more sustainable world.

All pencils in my house and funeral home are made out of recycled newspapers, and the varieties are made with high-quality HB graphite—the lead has then been encased in the rolled-up, recycled newspaper. Whole newspaper sheets are rolled around a high quality No. 2 lead. No mulching or mixing with toxic chemical is required. A special adhesive formula is used to bind the newsprint together into a cohesive trunk—as hard as wood. Approximately four pencils can be made from one broadsheet of recycled newsprint. After drying, the pencils are smoothed to a consistent round barrel. Newsprint images are still visible on the pencil surface, and they sharpen quite easily. Just like wood.

But if your little person needs to smell their words, then Smencil Pencils (in 10 flavors!) might be just the right choice. These are also sheets of recycled newspaper which are tightly rolled around the No. 2 graphite writing cores until pencils of typical thickness are formed. Then they're hardened, allowing them to be sharpened just like wood pencils. Next, they are soaked in gourmet liquid scents. Once they're dry, they are attached with the erasers and stickers are applied around them that identify which scent was infused into each Smencil. They have their own fragrance tube with scrumptious scents, such as Bubble Gum, Cinnamon, Tropical Blast, Grape, and Root beer. Ten lip smackers in all.

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If color is what you are after, the Wildlife Series Color Pencils feature 12 different animal designs, each representing a different color. Animals and colors contained in the set are Turtle (green), Zebra (black), Parrot (red), Alligator (dark green), Leopard (yellow), Tiger (orange), Snake (light brown), Bear (dark brown), Kingfisher (blue), Starfish (pink), Hummingbird (light blue), and Marine Fish (purple). Each pencil comes with its own distinctive painted-on animal design, and the top inch of the pencil displays the name of the animal on the pencil in solid color. And most importantly, the barrel is made from 100% recycled newspaper.

It's that simple to go green while you write. Just remember to use both sides of the paper!

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Elizabeth Fournier is affectionately known as The Green Reaper in her tiny community of Boring, Oregon. She is the owner of Cornerstone Funeral Services and works as a green mortician, educator and advocate who is always ready to lend a hand, or a shovel. She is also the voice of the autopsy exhibit in the forensic wing at the United States National Museum of Medicine.