Electric pencil sharpeners – what next?

I have asked the question of how much technology do we really need in a previous post.  I now have to question the need for electric pencil sharpeners.

Why bother with electric pencil sharpeners?
Image: Wikimedia Commons

So what is hard about sharpening pencils? What is wrong with the low tech options of a hand cranked model?  Even that is overkill in my opinion.  The small hand operated type works just fine.

An electric pencil sharpeners needs all sorts of materials that need to be mined,  transported, refined, transported again, manufactured into the final product, shipped around the world, and then purchased by the customer.  And what happens to it when it is at the end if its useful life?  It should be recycled but at present that is not likely to happen here in so-called clean-green New Zealand.  An electric pencil sharpener also contains embodied energy, a proportion of which will be from fossil fuels.

So here we are, squandering the future of Earth on unnecessary items such as electric pencil sharpeners.

About Alan Liefting

Alan Liefting is the founder, a shareholder, and the Managing Director of Ecotech Services. The views expressed here are his own and do not necessarily represent those of Ecotech Services Ltd.

2 Responses to Electric pencil sharpeners – what next?

  1. Rachael Findlay-Clarke says:

    I have a severe wrist injury for which I have had two injections of cortizone. The entire muscle in my forearm is also hideously tight. The twisting action of sharpening pencils is very hard on my wrist and forearm. But I don’t just sharpen one pencil at a time… I sharpen 22. One for each of the little people in my class who are unable to do this for themselves. I do not question the need for electric pencil sharpeners.

  2. Ellen says:

    Clearly don’t know about working in a classroom then! It isn’t about being lazy! Repetitive strain injury is real, the painful blisters on my fingers are real. I wonder if this well educated person drives a hybrid car? Far more damage to Earth than a bloody pencil sharpener that might be used for 15 minutes a week in a classroom!

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