I have been on the way to a greener, more simple lifestyle for years but have never heard of such a 'radical' concept as zero waste before a couple of days ago.
I am now determined to start to declutter and find alternatives to our current way of living.
I wanted to start with something small and took a look at all the pens we have in this small flat. I tested them all and threw 9 out (we have no chance of recycling them as far as I know... and I'm not at the 'confront the store level' yet), but we still have a ton left.
We won't get any more, but it will take us years to go through the ones we already have.
It makes the whole process seem, eh, overwhelming. any ideas?
I can't believe pens made me feel this way and I'm not prepared to let pens get in our way to a less wasteful life.
I brought a huge bag to my office and keep them in a handy container. Now I just grab the pen jar during meetings so everyone has a writing untensil! The pens are still in my life but are now actually being used!
I ran a few businesses out of my home and after several years, I went through my office storage, I found that I had over 150 pens! I gave most of them to my favorite charities (ASPCA and the Humane Society) and kept my favorite blue-ink pens for the house. I sent the plastic ones into the recycling bin. I don't know if they will be recycled, but it's worth a shot. I'm still looking for a good fountain pen that works well for left-handed people.
The Pen Guy and Terracycle are pretty much the only places I know that will take pens even when they no longer work. Rest of the pens can be donated to different charities. Homeless shelters would probably take them as well, along with other art supplies. Foster Care places would be a good choice too. Shelters like Family Crisis Center will take them as well. I volunteered for them for a while and they're always trying to gather art supplies and writing utensils for the children and women that stay at their shelters.
In reply to Spoony: I am left handed and LOVE fountain pens, they were the only thing I could take notes with during my university years back in the 90s, pre-cellphone, pre-high speed internet!
Here are my oldies:
- affordable and writes so well: Creeks 'n creeks, made in France, but does not carry a refilable thingy. Can be found on Ebay.
- Cross: I bought at the time a very affordable plastic model, wrote very well, still does.
- Scheaffer: I got this one at a thrift store (was probably found in a jacket!), stainless steel, writes well even for a left handed.
I got a Mont Blanc as a gift, and despite the quality, I just can't write with it, it just scratches the paper for me! Too bad, it's so pretty and refined.
For my daily writing, I use a rollerball nowadays, again more convenient for left handed people. The refill is made of metal mostly, hopefully it is recyclable. But the writing is so smooth and fine!
I'm tall and have big hands, AND I was an office worker : so my nemesis are : office furniture.
I was not ready to go back to fountain pen, so I did the next best thing: I bought a Franklin Covey blue (plastic) and metal pen with metal refill roller ball. Franklin Covey is made by Cross : similar quality (good weight) at a much lower price.
However, for mechanical pencils, I tried Zebra (recycled metal) like mentioned in the book and they are comfortable in my hand, though at bit light in weight. So I'm down to one roller ball pen and 2 mechanical pencil, which, in my case is a BIG improvement :-)
Best of all : when someone offers me a pen/pencil I learned to answer : no, thank you!