Plantable pencils challenge use-and-chuck-away culture

The Sprout pencil grows into a plant if you place it in a pot.

In 2012, three students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston put their idea for a plantable pencil on the world’s biggest crowdfunding site, The immediately successful campaign launched the world’s first germinating pencil after it caught the attention of Danish sustainability consultant Michael Stausholm.

According to Stausholm, the company, Sprout, aims to become a world leader in the field of innovative, sustainable, green products, manufactured using degradable materials and under decent working conditions.

It’s first product, the Sprout pencil can be planted in a pot with soil once the writing end is worn down. The eraser end of the pencil is actually a seed capsule that can grow into flowering plants, herbs, and vegetables.

“One of the major strengths of Sprout pencils is their capacity to pull such a complex issue as sustainability down to earth. One of our important tasks is to make sustainability pragmatic and comprehensible – but, most of all, fun. Our plantable pencils and paper are perfect for spotlighting the reuse of the Earth’s resources. We’re talking micro level, but we’ve all got to start somewhere,” says Stausholm.

The whole pencil is non-toxic and sustainably produced from local materials. The pencil is made from cedar wood, and its pigmented core is made of a mixture of clay and graphite. The seed pod is made of cellulose and comes with a variety of seeds, including sunflower, mint, lavender, cherry tomato, sweet pea, and wild strawberry.

The company aims to conquer the American market after successfully selling the product in over 60 different countries.

“Sprout is all about sustainability and is a response to the increasing use-and-chuck-away culture that has evolved in our society. Our pencils get a new lease of life when they have finished serving their primary function,” adds Stausholm.