Journals and notebooks are universally cherished: creatives love them, professionals utilize them, and society devours them. If anything unites us, it’s our love and use of paper.
Unfortunately, the paper and pulp industry causes massive problems for the environment. It’s incredibly wasteful, using space, natural resources, and energy resources to meet our endless demand for products. The paper industry is the second most air-polluting industry in the US according to the EPA, and it’s the fifth largest consumer of energy in the world.
There are many ways to reduce wasteful paper product use, but what about when you need a journal or notebook? Thankfully, there are many companies with more sustainable options! Here are our favorite eco-friendly journals and notebooks.
Karst Stone Paper
Can you imagine paper made out of stone? It exists and the journals are made by Karst! The company uses recycled stone, repurposed from mining and construction industry waste, to create their beautiful planners and notebooks. They don’t use water, trees, bleach or acids to produce their paper pulp, which means less waste. They use solar energy to help power the process, and when you buy a notebook, they’ll plant a tree.
These notebooks are great when you need a more traditional notebook for work or school. The books are made with 100% post-consumer recycled paper and printed with soy ink. They’re 100% recyclable or compostable, and you can find them at many retailers, including independent bookstores and Barnes & Noble. They come in a bunch of great designs, so you’ll be the hit of the meeting anytime you pull out your notebook.
We love this sustainable-minded outdoor goods company, and we especially love their notebooks! The notebooks are made with 100% post-consumer recycled paper and certified for responsible forestry practices. The paper is made using 100% renewable energy, and when shipping, they purchase carbon offsets to help negate the emissions created by shipping their products. Amazing, right?
Made from a blend of post-consumer waste and agricultural waste, Eco Paper notebooks are tree free. The company is incredibly transparent, and describes their paper making process, mission, and more on the website. In addition to the banana paper notebooks, they also make coffee paper, lemon paper and mango paper versions.
The Paper Saver notebooks were designed with longevity in mind–they can be filled with new paper over and over again. They’re a step up from creating your own notepads (see below), because you have a cover and won’t need to waste tape, staples, or string. Thus, this notebook will be the last notebook you ever need!
If you go to thrift stores, keep your eyes out for journals and notepads. Many people donate unused journals once they realize they’ll never actually use them. Buying a journal is an incredibly personal purchase, so you may not find items you like after one visit. When you do, scoop them up and save them for later use! Other places to find great journals: decluttering family and friends, Freecycle, and estate sales.
Make your own! If you work in an office, start a collection of scratch paper for yourself and your co-workers. It won’t be long before your pile is bursting into new piles. This scratch paper is great for daily use, but it’s also easy to create your own notepads. Make them post-it note size to eliminate the use of small notepaper, and make half sheet sizes for meeting notes, daily action plans, and more. There are plenty of pro-level DIY journal ideas online, but we’re lazy and like the easy method: take a pile that’s small enough to staple, staple 1-3 times on one edge, and you’ve got yourself a notepad! Or punch a couple holes in the paper and bind with some reclaimed string.