Being in an environment where we all have ample resources, it is so easy to neglect the price behind it. I was amazed by the discussion on the process and the number of natural materials to produce single graphite and it also rang the alarm bells in my mind that we are overusing the material around us. As professor Vesna mentioned in class that 8 million trees have been cut down every year to produce pencils, this astonishing number leads me to do more research on “Plantcils” and to think of what other reusable or sustainable materials could be used to replace trees of making graphite.
Along with the huge amount of pencil production, deforestation is getting worse. According to a LiveScience article “Deforestation: Facts, Cause& Effects”, “In the past 25 years, forests shrank by 502,000 square miles (1.3 million square km) — an area bigger than the size of South Africa.” So why are trees so vital to both animals and the environment? In the article, also mentioned that more than 41 million people are having tree-related jobs, at the same time, trees play an important role in the ecosystem — maintaining the carbon dioxide emissions and the human respiratory system. Plantcils is a startup company that focuses on making new types of pencils with recycled materials, for example, old newspapers, cardboard. From my personal perspective, not only do we need to replace those unsustainable materials but the mindset of avoiding using them and protecting the environment.
While looking for art projects related to deforestation, I found an art with Lego bricks project by Sean Kenney, he claims that “many species of animals in the world are threatened or have become extinct because of mankind’s destruction of their natural habitat”. I personally love how he used lego to build a 3D pixelated leopard so as to reflect how these precious species are being replaced by advanced technology. A lot of tech-companies urge consumers to buy new electronic products by promoting the idea of reducing papers and pencils. But how would we know that it won’t lead us to another pollution, electronic waste, in the coming decades?