Did you know that 135 million plastic pens are produced every day around the world? And do you know where much of the plastic we use end up? Unfortunately in seas and oceans, damaging aquatic ecosystems and the survival of the species that inhabit them. We can do something? Of course. We’re still on time. And any action, even the most insignificant one, can have a favorable impact on the environment. Convinced that there are no small steps, Prout World has created plantable pencils that return to the earth what it gave it for its elaboration.

A tool as old as the pencil, which has turned 456 years since granite was discovered in 1564 and used to mark sheep in England, has been able to adapt to the new times and survive the digital tsunami. Every year 14,000 million pencils are produced around the world, but instead of throwing them away when they have reached the end of their useful life as we are used to doing, what this Danish startup proposes is to turn them over and plant them in a pot to see germinate within one to four weeks plants, flowers or vegetables.

This is achieved thanks to a capsule of seeds that incorporates the pencil at the end where the classic eraser would normally go. In this way, they achieve that their pencils -100% natural and made of certified wood that is from sustainable forests where a new tree is planted each time one is removed have a double life. Thus, when they are too short to write or color, they are introduced into the earth and in a week the first sprouts of basil, thyme, sage, cherry tomato, sunflower, forget-me-not, carnation, margarita, chia, thyme grow.  coriander or fir. We want to inspire people to take small steps daily to live a greener and more sustainable life, defends Stine Cristina Mynster, Director of Communication and Public Relations of this Danish company. We try to give the consumer a new life when his first performance is over. In this way, he becomes a symbol of sustainability. And it makes you think: if I can plant a pencil after using it, what else can I do for the environment? ”

Its founder, Michael Stausholm, fell in love in 2013 with the idea that a group of students from the University of Massachusetts, in Boston, had developed as part of a work on what the office tool of the future would look like. They put their invention on Kickstarter and this Danish entrepreneur decided to buy the patent from them and founded Sprout World. Since then, they make about five million plantable pencils a year and have sold more than 30 million in more than 80 countries to businesses and organizations as well as private consumers through the Sprout World store or on Amazon.

Also, these original pencils can be personalized. Companies put their logo and message on them and use them for promotional gifts. Some entrepreneurs even buy them as their business cards instead of traditional cards. Private people also personalize them for gifts at weddings, baptisms, anniversaries, or birthdays, Mynster explains. We want to inspire with good examples, be a positive inspiration. There is a tendency to blame the consumer for not being sustainable, but it is not the way to do it, it is counterproductive, he adds. That is why in just a few weeks they will launch a new product the world’s first makeup pencil that you can plant after use. A 100% natural black eyeliner that transforms into wildflowers. Who is going to want to throw it away like this when it no longer serves?