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The goal our project is to conduct a life cycle assessment in order to determine which writing utensil--out of a choice of wooden pencils, plastic mechanical pencils, or plastic pens--is the most environmentally sustainable. With a variety of different styles of writing utensils currently on the market, understanding which one has the best long term effects on the environment would show how the market should be headed. So many individuals every day utilize some sort of writing utensil, and so the results could signify a need for drastic change in the industry. Sustainable Development Goal number twelve, responsible consumption and production, is a guiding principle to our research in that we would like to find the most responsible choice of the three options.The research was done using a combination of the Economic Input Output Life Cycle Analysis, as well as evaluating other metrics related to sustainability. Using this hybrid style of looking at the Life Cycle allows us to evaluate the utensils from multiple angles. Overall, this issue is extremely important as there are billions of pencils and are used almost universally, and making a more sustainable choice for one’s writing utensil could have a large impact on the planet.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Course Project

Primary Advisor

Erin L Gibbemeyer

Primary Advisor's Department

Chemical Engineering


Stander Symposium poster


Presenters: Eric David Belcik, Connor M Dushane, Ryan Ryan Kronk

EIO-LCA of writing utensils