Americans throw away 1.6 billion disposable pens every year according to the EPA. That is a lot of plastic and metal that could be reused or repurposed. If your pen runs out of ink or your pencil is too small to hold anymore, don’t throw them away. It may not seem like much, but every piece of waste adds to an already large accumulation.
How can you use pens for something other than writing? Here are a few creative ideas, but feel free to get creative and share some of your ideas in the comment section below.
- Eraser stamps: Cut out cute shapes from erasers and use them as stamps.
- Pen Picture Frame: Glue old pencils to a picture frame to create a fun, modern look. For a more precise look, trim your old pencils and try using colored pencils.
- Sprinkler Head: Make holes in a plastic bottle. Then place empty pens into the holes. Hook the end of the bottle to a hose and you’ll have a DIY sprinkler head that will disperse water over your yard or garden.
- Garden Name Tags: Write the name of the plant on old the pens/pencils and poke them into the ground in front of seedlings.
- Pen Jump Rope: String lots of pens together to make a jump rope. Old markers also work for this craft project.
- Plant starter sticks: If you seedlings need something to cling to as they grow, pencils and pens are small enough to place in small planters.
Written by Emily Su, Class of 2022