In 2012, three students from MIT launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund sustainable pencils. Instead of an eraser at the end, each pencil would be equipped with a biodegradable capsule filled with seeds. When the pencil was too small to use, it could be planted and sprout a variety of edible plants. The idea took off, and now Sprout World sells more than 450,000 pencils a month in more than 60 different countries.
Available in regular and colored pencils, Sprout pencils come with a variety of different seeds: sunflower, basil, cilantro, mint, lavender, sage, thyme, cherry tomato, green pepper, calendula, marigold, forget me not, strawberry, and sweet pea. The seeds are kept safely within a capsule and won't begin to grow until they've been planted in soil—but when the user is ready to show off their green thumb, Sprout has a few recommendations. The company suggests planting your pencil at a slight angle with just a little soil covering the capsule, so the seeds can have a chance to poke through the surface when they begin to grow.
The sustainable pencils can be recycled when they no longer serve their original purpose and foster new life that can be eaten or admired. As they explain on their website, Sprout World aims "to help reduce the world’s use of resources and be an active advocate for issues surrounding sustainability—in terms of production, green consumer products and business."
Besides pencils, Sprout also makes cards and miniature gardens as well as special Valentine's Day themed products to give to your environmentally conscious partner this holiday.