• Colored pencils are an art medium constructed of a narrow, pigmented core encased in a wooden cylindrical case. They are typically utilized for sketching or drafting, but may also be used in final compositions.


  • The core of colored pencils are wax or oil-based and contain varying proportions of pigments, additives, and binding agents. The core is then housed typically by wood, which requires raw wood to be harvested.


  • The wood that houses the lead varies in origin. Certain manufacturers only use reforested wood, and do not contribute to rainforest depletion. There are natural wax compounds used for the pigmented core, but manufacturers can also use petroleum or oil derived waxes that benefit the oil industry.

Human Health

  • Due to the frequent contact with children, health standards for colored pencils are very strict; therefore there are no known health risks of colored pencils.4

Safe Use and Exposure

  • Colored pencils are safe to use without protection.

Proper disposal

  • Colored pencils can be disposed of in normal trash, or donated to givetake.

Safe Alternatives

  • Colored Pencils are a safe alternative to other drawing materials such as markers or paints.
  • Woodless colored pencils offer five times as much core than a normal pencil without requiring any wood to be harvested.3


  1. “Colored Pencil”, Wikipedia,
  2. “Can you tell me how Crayola Colored Pencils are made?”, Crayola,
  3. “Koh-I-Noor Woodless Colored Pencils”, Blick,
  4. Consumer Product Safety Act,