Helping the environment should make financial sense

One of my G-2s ran dry the other day so I stopped at Staples this morning to buy a refill. It turns out that two black or blue refills cost $4.17, but four brand-new G-2 pens (unfortunately including green and red) only cost $6.84.

Put another way, a pen refill costs $2.085 but an entire pen with the same refill is only $1.71. Something is very wrong here. I realise that printer companies have made it cheaper to buy a new printer than ink in some cases, but who would have thought the same applied to pens.

Alternatives?

After a quick search on the net, it looks like Staples is really over-charging us here. The Pilot website sells the refills for $2.35US (~2.93CAD) which would be $1.47 each and $0.24 cheaper than buying a new pen, but the shipping charges from the US quickly remove the advantage.

AvalonOffice.ca has the same two-pack refill for $3.86 but then there are shipping charges as well.

Conclusions

Maybe it’s worth it to pay the extra $0.30 and know that you’re doing the right thing by not encouraging extra packaging in the form of a pen. Plus you can skip having to use red and green ink. But I still say that if we want to reduce consumption, we should be rewarded for it at the cash register.

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