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Tools of the Trade: Highlighters

Make the switch from plastic pens to wooden pencil highlighters and cut down on plastic waste.

I think most people would be aware that plastic waste is a huge environmental issue. Whilst I don't live a completely "plastic-free" lifestyle I take every feasible opportunity to cut down on the use of plastics, especially disposable ones. So let's take a look at highlighter pencils.

If you just think about school usage alone, the numbers are already boggling. My son's primary school booklist has included at least 2 of packets of highlighter pens (amounting to 8 pens) for the last few years, so think of the amount of highlighters that get sent out with school supply orders every year. These are simply disposed of when empty and countless others would be binned after having the lids left off or lost by unthinking kids. The numbers start to add up.

The great thing about highlighter pencils is they can be used along with other standard pencils for colouring in for awesome fluro-coloured highlights. They are made with sustainable wood, with the only usage waste being biodegradable shavings. They are going to last until they are fully worn down and won't prematurely dry out. If you particularly select the fatter pencils, you can also sharpen them with a blade to create different tip shapes (have a fatter wedge to highlight, or a thin tip for writing a note). Also, for those of us who like to highlight in books, manuals, diaries, planners and journals, there is no bleed through onto the page behind. Winning all round!

I've had these 2 Faber-Castell Textliner Dry pencils for somewhere between 15-20 years (!) and whilst the current version looks a little different, you can still buy them. There are a few brands available fairly easily at the normal retailers. Consider making the switch for your desk next time your highlighter runs out.

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