The Plastic Project: My Home Office

Office ink.

I’ve never thought so much about ink. That was, not until January and my resolution to rid my life of single-use plastic. Then, I thought about ink a lot. I thought about ink so much, in fact, that I didn’t get this post written and posted until, well, now.

The 2022 plastic-free experiment started in my home office, where I have little plastic. Actually, almost none  – save two things: Printer ink and my fountain pen.  Let’s start with the easy one: Find a replacement for fountain pen cartridges.

I’ve used a fountain pen for most of my writing – some 20 years – and I love the way it feels to write with one. I’ve always used the disposable plastic ink cartridges for ink, and my first task for the Plastic Project involved finding a non-single-use replacement. In the recesses of my dusty mind, I remembered seeing something in the new pen box called (I’ve since learned) a converter. 

Fountain Pen
I love this pen. It cost me $75 at a GeckoFest almost 10 years ago and it’s been worth every penny.
Cathy Salustri

While trying to find a converter that fit my pen, I learned a bit about the history of fountain pens, something I was not expecting from this project. But what I didn’t learn was what size I would need, because when I bought my pen roughly 10 years ago  – at one of Gulfport’s annual street festivals, GeckoFest – I either didn’t get one or threw out the converter because I didn’t see myself using it. 

Thankfully, although the company who sold me the pen, WriteTurnz, hasn’t returned to GeckoFest in quite some time, the company still has a website. I emailed Jason asking what size I needed and if he could suggest a company, and he calls me almost immediately and offers to send me one that fits. He also offers to repair my much-loved, much-used, much-abused pen.

(This pen, incidentally, has wood that came from a cabbage palm that fell during Hurricane Charley in 2004, cost me $75, and has been worth every damn penny. I use it for everything and it’s on my person almost every time I leave the house. I highly recommend this company if you want to move away from disposable pens.)

As for printer ink… We have plenty of cartridges right now, but when we re-order, I’ll order refillable cartridges, and this has caused much consternation and stress, because one, I suspect refiling the cartridges won’t exactly be a tidy process, and two, I have remarkably little faith in how they’ll work. If anyone has any guidance on refillable inkjet cartridges for a Canon TR8500, I’d love to hear it!)

Next up: The guest bathroom (I keep looking at all the plastic in our main bathroom and it overwhelms me… I’m going to have to work up to that one.)