Ever felt bothered about throwing out that last bit of wood from your favorite pencil? While most of the world has transitioned to everything digital – from taking notes to writing absolutely anything – there are still those who love their pencils and paper.
Well, a startup in Cebu called Eco Hub Cebu has come up with a great way to recycle pencils that are too short to use: plantable pencils! It starts at an introductory price of 20 pesos each. Some comments on Eco Hub Cebu’s Facebook page say that the price is steep; but honestly, it is worth it! You can do your part in saving the planet just by planting the pencil in soil.
Each HB pencil is tipped with a gelatin capsule that contains seeds instead of the usual eraser. They currently have the following seeds available: mint, carrot, basil, morning glory, lucky flower, chili, sunflower, and tomato.
Germination of the plants vary depending on the seed variant. According to Eco Hub Cebu, “The fastest and most popular variant is basil, which germinates between five and ten days after planting. In just two weeks, you can have a pot of fresh basil.”
The best way to plant the pencil is to use a pot with a drainage hole at the bottom, place it on a saucer, and fill it with good potting soil. Water the soil, so it is moist but not soggy. Plant the pencil at an angle and not too deep – with the capsule side down. The soil should just cover the seed capsule. The pot needs to be placed where it is reached by natural light while avoiding direct sunlight. The ideal room temperature is 20 degrees. Like most plants, it is necessary to water it on a regular basis. For seeds that are just germinating, watering should be done in the saucer and not directly on the soil.
The website adds: “The idea is to plant the pencil stub when it is too short to write or color with. This gives the pencil a new lease on life. Instead of being thrown away, the plantable pencil becomes a symbol of sustainability.”
The pencils are also ideal for use by children. The capsule used is 100% preservative-free, non-GMO, allergen-free, and gluten-free. If these are accidentally ingested, they are completely harmless. The pencil itself is made with sustainable wood, graphite, and clay.
As Eco Hub Cebu is a startup and currently does not have any distributors or resellers, the easiest way to order is through their Google Form. There is a 7- to 16-day lead time for orders.
The company’s main goal is to balance sustainability and affordability. They also offer other eco-friendly products, such as metal straws, reusable utensils, shampoo, and soap bars.