YOU inspire me!

Filed in Blog by on August 6, 2010 12 Comments
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fountain pen inkI have some wonderful emails every week from people across the globe who have been inspired by our work. It’s humbling to read them and my heart is full of gratitude every time I’m told we have touched someone’s life or helped facilitate positive change.

The beauty of the Universe is, what goes around comes around, and there are numerous people who inspire me too.

When we think of being inspired we often think it has to be some massive revelation from a motivational speaker, words of wisdom from the mouth of a famous person or a flurry of words in a self-help book.

The truth is, my neighbour inspires me with the amount of time he spends tending his beautiful garden.

My other neighbour inspires me with how she copes with her husband’s alzehimers.

Little Miss Green inspires me with her love of ALL animals from wasps to horses; each one is treated with the same amount of love and respect.

The other week I was privileged to meet Bron and Isabel. Isabel runs The Plastic Diaries which chronicles their journey into a plastic-free life.

Isabel is studying for an MA in professional writing and is currently researching and writing a book about plastic, so she contacted me for an interview.

They arrived the other week on their way to a friend’s wedding and we sat and chatted for over an hour like old friends. I showed them around the famous recycling centre, introduced them to our even more famous dustbin (Isabel checked to make sure it was indeed empty) and we had a good rummage through my box of ‘return to sender’ items before I talked their ears off about my favourite topic (sorry about that folks, but a willing audience is always a good thing!)

As we talked, Isabel took notes and this is where she inspired me.

You see Isabel, without knowing what she was doing, made me face one of my demons.

It was something I’d been mulling over in my mind since the beginning of the year and not gotten around to doing. Too much trouble you see. A bit of a faff when the convenient option is easier to get hold of and deal with on a day to day basis. And what about the mess, the leaks the dirty fingers?

Ladies and Gentlemen, Isabel took her notes with a fountain pen.

What was great about this moment of awareness for me, was that Isabel, until she reads this post, will be completely unaware how much she inspired me in the time we were together.

That very afternoon I researched ink for my pen. The pen I have was my Grandpa’s, so I needed to get ink and a converter because I’d been using cartridges in the past and what do you do with a plastic cartridge once it has run out?

I chose some ink in a colour to enhance my eyes; well ya know, I ended up on a website that had over 200 colours to choose from – how’s a girl to choose? and I popped a converter in my basket too.

No sooner had I said “I hope the postman turns up soon” when a brown padded envelope dropped through the door with my brand new turquoise ink (in a glass bottle with bakelite lid no less) and converter.

From this day forth I’m converted with my converter and I have Isabel to thank for that. Thank you Isabel, from the bottom of my heart…

Who has inspired you to make a change in your life recently?

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (12)

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  1. Nick Palmer says:

    You can refill cartridges with a hypodermic syringe (with care!).

  2. your whole zero waste approach proves that small things do help to get a solid foothold onto the mountain of impossible goals.
    what a pleasant inspiring article you have written, every change i have ever implemented has begun with such a tiny step.
    now i must hunt for something to convert…first i will scan the Plastic Diaries site for manageable ideas.
    conversion for conservation.

  3. John Costigane says:

    I looked in on Plastic Diaries and found Isabel’s posts just like MyZeroWaste from an earlier time. New enthusiasts are always welcome to the trend and even though they may feel isolated their contribution can be both local, and national with other enthusiasts.

    Writing, like so many others activities, is dominated by plastic options. Finding an alternative is excellent news since this is the best way to promote change.

  4. Mrs Green says:

    @Nick Palmer: Thanks for the tip, Nick.

    @nadine sellers: Hi Nadine, enjoy Isabel’s site; she and Bron are incredibly inspiring and passionate people 🙂

    @John Costigane: Hi John and it’s interesting that we probably all started to learn to write with pencils and then fountain pens. now the trend in schools is plastic biros

  5. Sooz says:

    After reading this I went and found my old fountain pens from school from my drawer, I even have old cartridges and a refillable rubberish cartridge, gave them a wash in the sink and started using one! Thanks!

  6. sandy says:

    I think handwriting looks so much better in fountain pen ink, than biro

  7. Naomi Sandoval says:

    Next some parchment and your robes …
    JUST kidding.

    Seriously, thank you for this. I somehow never thought of pens. And they don’t last anywhere near as long as they used to somehow. I will be eager to see how it goes. I found them very messy in the past.

  8. Mrs Green says:

    @Sooz: Oh brilliant Sooz; well done!

    @sandy: Well it *can* do once you get used to them; at the moment mine is resembling a 7 year olds!

    @Naomi Sandoval: 😀 Well as you know from my facebook update this week, most of my first barrel of ink ended up over my hands and the bathroom walls. I’d forgotten how much nurturing they need too 😉

  9. Sarah says:

    I love my fountain pen. Nice neat nib and deep black ink.

    Then I also love my proper old fashioned dip it in a bottle of ink pen too, and I have bottles of ink in plum, green, black royal blue.

  10. Jen says:

    I have spent the summer meeting countless people across Canada who have inspired me. I met a woman who, despite being fairly severely arthritic at the young age of 33, rides a recumbent bicycle around town and spends her working days educating youth on all things environmental and sustainable. Those who dedicate their lives to teaching youth about zero waste are a true inspiration.

    And that includes you, Mrs Green – I often use your family and the way you and Mr Green have educated Little Miss Green as an example of how you can live zero waste with kids – something that people often think impossible.

  11. Mrs Green says:

    @Sarah: Oh, yummy sounding inks. I think I have a new collection coming on!

    @Jen: What a wonderful story about the lady who educates the young on environmental issues and thank you for your lovely comment about us – you know I’m a huge fan of yours too and I can’t wait to see your movie!

  12. Isabel says:

    Well, thank you Mrs Green, I’m truly flattered! Could you point me towards the website where you got your ink from? When I switched back to my fountain pen last year I bought a converter and ink from the standard high street store and although the bottle is glass the packaging it came in was horrible – at the time I figured it was a better pay-off than endlessly throwing away either biros or cartridges, but if I can get one without any plastic at all, obviously that would be much better… It did take a few go’s to get the hang of refilling, but now I always make sure I have something handy to wipe off any drips as quick as possible. I think the most surprising thing for me, though, was the enjoyment of writing with a fountain pen again – it really is a different experience. Why did I ever stop?

    All the best.

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