Both writing implements have been going strong since Ancient Egyptian times – both have undertaking different forms since and both have been more popular within certain areas depending on resources.
Firstly the typical pencils of today, were first created in the 17th century via heating up ground up graphite & clay into a thin strip to place within a wood casing (before this pencils were raw stripes of graphite)
Nowadays annually -14 billion are produced, with over half of these coming from China.
If every bit of an average tree is used – 172,000 pencils could be made. But we know this isn’t the case, whole forests must have been wiped out for the next budding Picasso or school art project.
Whilst the typical pen (not one of these fancy uber expensive ones) – needed to wait until plastic was commercial available to be made into casing. The ink itself, can be a complex medium, composed of solvents, pigments, dyes, resins, lubricants, solubilises, surfactants, particulate matter, fluoresces, and other materials.
which all leads to environmental issues concerning volatile organic compounds, heavy metals and non-renewable oil. use Not forgetting annually around 1600000000 pens per year are chucked out just in the USA
So the WINNER must be pencils, even if they all come from China. The wood can be sustainably managed, or you can have one of those funky pencils made out of plastic cups.
However you will be buggered if you have no nearby sharpener.
It is a moral but POINTLESS victory.