Zero Waste Pens

Zero waste pen

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.

Refillable roller ball pen

Do you have a life long pen? If it could write itself what would it say about you?



4 thoughts on “Zero Waste Pens

  1. Yes, such a waste to use so-called disposable pens.
    Some years ago I did a Masters degree and when I finished it my mum gave me some money to buy something nice with. It felt appropriate to buy myself a good fountain pen, so I did – I think it’s a Watermans pen. I have a nice pencil case that I take around to all the schools I visit for work, and when I need to write something down (i.e. not on the laptop), my fountain pen is what I use.
    I have to say, it’s often a bit of a talking point as not many people use them these days.
    I regret buying one that uses cartridges but I suspect I could buy a converter so I could use liquid ink if I want to – in fact, maybe that’s something I should investigate next time I’m in town…

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