Sustainable pencil stubs Sprout into plants

January 28, 2019 by  
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Have you ever stopped to think about where your pencil came from or what it’s journey will be once it hits the trash? It’s okay if you haven’t, because one company has made it their mission to not only produce eco-friendly pencils that are available in a variety of colors, but also to give new life at the end of the pencil’s functional usability. Sprout World began as an idea from MIT students on the lookout for a more sustainable pencil and has resulted in over 10 million pencil-to-plant product sales. The Sprout pencil starts with sustainable materials such a cedar casings, clay and carbon-based graphite. At the end of the pencil (where you would expect an eraser to be) is a biodegradable capsule that holds plants seeds. So once you’ve sharpened your way through that much awaited manuscript or copious to-do list, your pencil brings new life in the form of plants. Related: These incredible sea creatures are made from dangerously sharp colored pencils As businesses are pushed towards environmental responsibility, Sprout offers a product they can use to their advantage— and that of the planet. The Sprout pencil sketchpad of clients includes notable companies like Toyota, Disney, Marriott and Coca-Cola. Although the private market is noticing the product, around 90% of Sprout pencil sales are currently to companies for use in marketing promotions— which is a major earth-friendly step in the right direction over landfill -clogging disposable pens or magnets. An appealing selling point is the personalization on the pencil shaft along with the additional marketing bling for the pencil sleeve. The seeds packed into the pencil range from colorful flowers to herbs and even vegetables, and buyers can select their preference. The pencils are available in a traditional grey color, as well as colored-pencil packs. Sprout feels that it is their duty to inspire sustainability through their products as well as their own corporate initiatives. With that in mind, they keep production facilities local in Minnesota for the U.S. and Canadian market instead of shipping manufacturing overseas. This not only minimizes the carbon footprint produced by transporting materials, but also provides American jobs. So what’s next for Sprout World? You won’t have to wait long to find out as the world’s first makeup pencil that also sprouts into plants instead of heading into the trash can is due to hit the market any day. Related: Cindy Chinn carves a tiny family of elephants into pencil tips New Sprout CEO, Sidsel Lundtang Rasmussen says, “The idea behind the plantable makeup pencil – like our other sprouting pencils – is to inspire to make small steps towards a more sustainable lifestyle. If you can plant a makeup pencil, what else can you do to recycle and give your belongings new life? The makeup pencil is also especially good as a gift because the receiver will enjoy it for a long time, as it signals originality and consideration from the giver.” + Sprout Images via Sprout

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Sustainable pencil stubs Sprout into plants

Renewable electricity could overtake fossil fuels in Britain by next year

January 28, 2019 by  
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A new report from British power analysts EnAppSys is predicting renewable electricity will overtake fossil fuels as the main source of Great Britain’s electricity generation by next year if current trends continue. In their annual market review report for 2018, EnAppSys says that the levels of power generation from coal and gas-fired power stations fell by 6.7 percent, while generation from renewables increased 15.2 percent. If renewables do pass up fossil fuels in Great Britain in 2020, it will be a first, and it will prove that renewable energy has staying power. “It’s clear that renewables will be generating most of our power in the years ahead, with wind playing the leading role,” said Luke Clark, RenewableUK’s Head of External Affairs, told Clean Technica. During 2018, a large number of offshore wind farms were commissioned or went into full operation and the increase of wind energy led the way in renewable energy generation. Since the cost of offshore wind continues to decrease this means it will likely become the primary source of renewable  energy generation, at least in the short term. Related: Greenhouse gas emissions rose during 2018 after three year decline Currently, offshore wind power generation has a 55.4 percent share of the renewables mix. Between the moratorium on onshore wind and the falling costs of offshore wind, that share should climb even higher. However, there are still some concerns about the UK fuel mix because of the suspension of their Capacity Mechanism— a measure designed to ensure the security of the electricity supply by paying for reliable sources. In November, the European Union ruled that the Capacity Mechanism was illegal. Those payments were going to old coal, gas , and nuclear plants, and some saw them as government subsidies. But, without that money, some of those plants may leave the market. If that happens, it will lead to “decreased security of supply.” Ultimately, the Capacity Mechanism payments will need to be reinstated or an alternative will need to be implemented to fill the gap created by the lost income. Via Clean Technica Image via Free-Photos

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Renewable electricity could overtake fossil fuels in Britain by next year

Cindy Chinn carves a tiny family of elephants into pencil tips

July 5, 2016 by  
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Many great things spring forth from the tip of a pencil, including beautiful sketches, thoughtful prose, and scientific equations. In all those instances, the graphite running through the pencil serves as a tool for expressing an idea formed in the human mind. Chinn’s work is similar in that she carefully shapes the pencil’s graphite into representations of familiar objects (and now animals). The big difference is that Chinn’s sculptures require considerably more skill and accuracy than using a pencil as a writing or drawing tool. Related: A tiny train emerges from a pencil in this intricate sculpture To create the minuscule pencil sculptures , Chinn hand carves the graphite with the help of a magnifying lamp, trinocular microscope, and surely a metric ton of concentration. She plans each piece carefully and the design of the elephant sculpture evolved from her client’s initial request, all before the sculpting started. “I added some grid lines to help me scale the carving on the pencil lead,” she wrote in a blog post . “The client requested a single elephant, but then I turned it into three… then I wanted to add trees… then I wanted to add grass for them to walk on.” The artist, who lives in Nebraska, regularly creates commissioned artworks  such as this, but also sells sculptures via Etsy . If you are enamoured with Elephant Walk, she will even create a custom version of it for you, ranging from $200 to $800 in price, depending on how many elephants you’d like. Made-to-order versions of her famous train pencil carving are also for sale, as well as other items created using a plasma cutter, such as a handsaw depicting a cowboy and horse cut out of the blade. + Cindy Chinn Via Colossal Images via Cindy Chinn

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Cindy Chinn carves a tiny family of elephants into pencil tips

Federico Uribe Transforms Pencils into the Building Blocks of Colorful Sculptural Pieces

May 30, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Federico Uribe Transforms Pencils into the Building Blocks of Colorful Sculptural Pieces Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco design , Federico Uribe , green design , pencil sculptures , recycled pencils , sustainable design , up cycled art

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Federico Uribe Transforms Pencils into the Building Blocks of Colorful Sculptural Pieces

Jessica Drenk Carves Pencils Into Incredible Organic Shapes

November 16, 2012 by  
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The pencil is more than a writing implement – it’s a symbol of creativity and potential. Exploring the structural possibilities of graphite and wood, artist Jessica Drenk turns familiar old Ticonderogas into forms inspired by nature. Influenced by systems of information and a desire to classify and understand the world, her sculptures are beautiful representations of one of the most primitive recording devices. Read the rest of Jessica Drenk Carves Pencils Into Incredible Organic Shapes Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: graphite , jessica drenk , pencil , sculpture , ticonderoga , Wood

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Jessica Drenk Carves Pencils Into Incredible Organic Shapes

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