This is an interesting and thoughtful thread, especially after getting a lot of empty water/soda/Gatorade bottles out of the car and into the recycling bin (my town does curbside pickup of cans, bottles, #s 1-5 plastics, and newspapers every other week). A friend of mine who has a PhD in chemistry worked for a while for a plastics company who was looking into biodegradable plastic utensils, but I don't know whether you would want that for a pen (I think that is sort of the idea behind the Noodler's vegetal resin, but I also know that people complain that ink dries up in them; I don't know how the Noodler's acrylic pens (or anyone else's for that matter) compares in that regard.
Certainly a lot to think about.
@ Corona688 -- That sounds a lot like silverpoint drawings. I've always wanted to find someone who will fashion me a piece of silver the shape and length of one of the leads for my Berol Turquoise.
@ bluebellrose -- The problem with sugarcane paper seems to be the production costs. I can no longer easily get the sugarcane paper composition books at my local Staples (and even when they *were* available, they were a lot more expensive -- A lot of people are going to say "I can get normal paper ones for 50¢ during back to school sales -- why should I pay $3-4 for one?" (Although I'm now wondering if the added costs are partly due to the strength of cotton growers and processors -- as well as clothing manufacturers -- in the US as a lobbying group (ask me sometime about the woman who grew organic, naturally colored cotton ).
As for your later post about washing and reusing bottles -- that works for glass (assuming that the bottles/caps have been cleaned/sterilized properly). But for plastic bottles? You have to be careful. (The little SafServ card in my wallet is reminding me that I might need to get my food safety recertification in a year or two -- even though I'm not doing the annual sideline business thing this year: after tornado warnings two years ago and wearing about 6 layers of clothing in an attempt to stay warm last year, I told my husband I wasn't making enough money to want to be part of *his* "midlife crisis" any more....)
@ JakobS -- While I have (and will likely continue to buy) new fountain pens, I do have a lot of vintage ones. I like that I'm saving them from being thrown in a landfill, and, truthfully, I often think the nibs are better (as long as the tipping is still good).
@ wallylynn -- My parents and mother-in-law grew up during the Depression. Stuff got saved and reused. Old clothes (even ones in poor condition) went to Goodwill (my mother figured they could be used as rags, if nothing else). But I don't think they ever thought twice about throwing ballpoints away when the pens were dead.
Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth
"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."