I have read a few articles from Zero Waste/Minimalist bloggers about using refillable pens which have intrigued me.
While not strictly reusable, over the past years I have tried to invest in high quality pens for the family using expensive brands such as Staedtler and Djeco. We’ve tried to look after them, putting lids on and keeping in cases etc. But even these run out in the end and have to be thrown away.
The other week I came across an old roller ball pen which I had used at university (and even earlier). I had completely forgotten about these refillable pens! At school I had used a fountain pen and roller ball (I remember that Bic pens were frowned upon because they always leaked). Now my eldest happily takes half a dozen of disposable pens to her secondary school and, when at work, I don’t think twice at using one of the throwaway pens from the stationery cupboard.
But these disposable pens have to end up somewhere – usually in a hole in the ground where they won’t decompose for centuries.
So I decided to try to make a difference and, even though my pen hadn’t worked for 20 years, took it off to WHSmith to get a refill. And they still do them! I deliberated a lot while searching for the refill but eventually took the plunge, brought it home and – hey presto – the pen works again! It really is like being reunited with an old friend. This pen must have seen me through numerous lectures (I believe it even came with me for my year abroad studying in the U.S.). It would definitely have been used for my finals, and almost certainly writing letters (remember them?!). And now, 25 years later, it’s writing shopping lists for me.
Do you have a life long pen? If it could write itself what would it say about you?