22 September 2009

Let's Review: Recycled Pencils

Oh, I know, I've been down this road before, what with my evisceration of the Smencils and their packaging. But at some point while I was mulling over the whole recycled pencil situation, and poking around on the intertubes, I came across another purveyor of recycled pencils. One thing led to another, and a week or so later, I had a bunch of O'Bon pencils and a couple of their notebooks on my doorstep.


Let's start with the obvious: they're not scented. You don't need to wash your hands when you're done writing with them, because they're not scented. You don't have to wrinkle up your nose and cringe, because they're not scented. This is a good thing. The mere idea of scented pencils is just bewildering - why did someone think that was a good idea?

So, O'Bon = good, because they don't smell. But they are also fetchingly designed. The company sent me five packs of pencils. A dozen colored pencils, each one wrapped with a vibrant photograph of fruit in the appropriate color. Three 10 packs of black pencils: pop-art rainbows, animal prints, and my favorite, newsprint. And a set of artist pencils - 10 pencils graduated in hardness. Each set is packed in a cardboard box; the 10 packs are in an efficient triangular box - no plastic tubes! no vinyl case!

They sharpened easily, and did I mention that they don't smell?


The company's mission is pretty good, and unlike Smencils, I can't find any holes in their environmental argument. In their own words:

Why buy O'BON products such as O'BON pencils?

Multiple reasons. By using old newspaper to make our pencils, we aren't cutting down any trees or using any new raw materials to make our products. By choosing O'BON, our customers are making the better environmental choice. The graphite in the pencils are wrapped with used newspaper so tightly that the graphite inside is given a strong layer of protection. This means that the graphite hardly ever breaks, resulting in a pencil that lasts about 3 times longer than the average wood one. And to top it all off, our designs are the best in the business.


See for yourself. I can't possibly use all of the pencils I got, even what with having a first grader who has homework to do, so I'm giving away a set of the wildlife pencils and a matching notebook. Leave me a comment on this post before day's end on Friday, and I'll choose a winner at random. [Edited to add: Mama Goose wins the pencils and pad!]






Disclosure: The company sent me 52 pencils and two notebooks, for which I paid nothing, but which have a retail value of under $30 in the aggregate. Nobody paid me for this review, and the giveaway was my idea.

18 comments:

susan said...

I love pencils and notebooks and the ways Curious Girl plays with them. Not that we need more pencils around here, but we're all always happy to acquire some more.

Mary G said...

Pencils are important; they have to be newly sharpened before the crossword can be done, the softness and hardness is critical, the no smell is the best news I have heard for a long time. How are the eraser ends?
The one thing I love more than pencils are pencil brushes, in vibrant colours. I hide the good ones from my grandkid. I'm a meanie.
(I am not applying for the give-away, I live in Canada, but thanks for the website.)

apathy lounge said...

I'm SO buying those for my classroom!

phd in yogurtry said...

ooh, and we all know tighter is better. Or harder, depending on your preference.

Awesome Mom said...

I am glad you found something that lived up to it's claims. We could totally use some pencils. I am sure we will be going through a ton with all the writing practice Evan has to do for Kindergarten.

Kelly said...

Violet has recently discovered the wonder that is our electric pencil sharpener. I'm running low on lumber.

de said...

The thought that the graphite breaks infrequently has me all a-tingle. 98% of the time we'll just get the pencil sharpened and the tip will break off from somewhere just above the wood. Makes me want to snap them.

Angeline said...

We have a whole bunch of recycled pencils and we are loving it. It uses newspaper or magazines to wrap the lead up, you can literally see the printed words as you sharpen...

Libby said...

these sound great--I especially like the idea that they break less often than regular pencils.

liz said...

Ooh! Ooh! Me! Me!!!! I need cute pencils to bring with me and my blue clicky pens on my doors!!!

Kyla said...

We use a lot of pencils around here with 4 of us in school! LOL.

I really like the way you approach reviews. It is refreshing.

The LIbrary Lady said...

So are these readily available and do they cost 10 times what you'd pay for the standard boring ones we buy at Staples?

We buy a LOT of those. Not only do they break, there never seem to be any around when needed. Perhaps our cats eat them.

The girls use them. I don't--I hate pencils because they still make me think of math classes and cringe.

FreshHell said...

Ooh, I love free stuff! Especially free eco-friendly pencils and notepads. They look beautiful. I'm glad (very very glad) they aren't scented.

Mama Goose said...

I don't know what it is, but I get so excited about pencils! It must be fall in the air and the whole back to school kinda feeling.

Thanks for telling us about these!

RuthWells said...

Love it!

Mayberry said...

Throw my name in that hat. Just the other day my kid was saying her classroom is already low on pencils (this is the 4th week of school)!

bron said...

Great idea to use newspaper but who knows how long that
material will be around? :-( Let's hope they can keep it up.

slouchy said...

we always need pencils!