Researchers in the US have created the Sprout eco pencil which is made from cedar and contains graphite and clay in place of lead.
Each pencil has a seed capsule fitted onto its end which can be planted once the pencil becomes too short to use.
With more than 20 varieties available, the capsules can be planted in soil and watered to produce flowers, herbs or even a vegetable patch. At the moment, customers can buy either the Herb pack or the Flower pack. Options include mint, tomato, peppers, basil and rosemary.
The innovative design was created by a group of students at MIT who go under the name Democratech. They explained that the seed capsule is fitted with three seeds of the same flower, herb or vegetable in order to increase the success rate.
When the pencils are watered, their protective capsules dissolve to expose the seeds. The pencils can even be kept in the soil, doubling up as plant markers because they have the names of their seeds carved into the side.
The developers claim the seeds should start to sprout within a week of being planted.
But they warned: “Unfortunately Sprout doesn’t know the difference between accidental and intentional watering, so if you accidentally wet your Sprout it’s time for planting. We’ve worked hard to make a resilient seed capsule but it’s a trade-off between resistance to accidental spills and plantability.”
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