Stocking up on new stationery is so much fun. The smell of a fresh notebook, organising new diaries, pens, pencils, binders, folders; or planning out a new bullet journal can bring so much joy… or maybe I’m just a stationery nerd.
However, for those of us who are trying to keep things sustainable, stationery can sometimes be a tricky area to navigate.
Here is Socolo’s guide to sustainable stationery:
1. Use what you have and only buy what you need.
It can be so tempting to go out and do a big stationery haul, but before you do, have a look at what you already have. Make a list of everything you need and how you will use and store the products. This will keep you from over buying and allow you to see if you already have something you can use.. Notebooks last a very long time, if not a lifetime, but markers, highlighter, pens and even rubbers can dry out. So sometimes less is more when it comes to writing utensils.
2. Stop considering your notebooks ruined.
We need to stop being so precious with our notebooks. I’m not saying to stop taking care of your notebooks, but we need to stop thinking that we can’t use the expensive hardback notebook with the fancy binding we bought because we are saving it for something really special and our messy ideas are not good enough for it. Or that a notebook is ruined and no longer usable because we bought it for a class or a project and only actually needed to use a few pages of it, and are now left with a mainly empty notebook. This is how we end up with a pile of beautiful blank notebooks with pages wanting to be written on. So please, do your notebooks a favour and write in them.
3. Look for recycled paper goods
When needing to buy new paper goods, such as notebooks, one of the easiest ways to be eco-friendly is to look for products that are made from recycled materials. This helps to reduce the number of trees used to make stationery products
Please bear in mind that recycled paper has a coarser texture than virgin paper, so it isn't always the best option if you prefer to use fountain pens.
Socolo premium notebooks are made with a 300 gsm 100% recycled card cover.
4. Prioritise sustainably sourced paper
It has become more common to see notebooks and other paper goods that are composed of sustainably sourced paper; in the UK, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) emblem indicates that the trees used to make the paper was obtained ethically, sustainably and responsibly. This ensures that the paper is sourced from well-managed forests, ensuring the planting of new trees for a sustainable future. The PEFC is an international organisation that does similar work all over the world, so if you see the PEFC mark on paper goods, such as the back of a notebook, you can be confident that the paper has been sustainably sourced.
You may notice that a good quality sustainable notepad is smoother and provides better performance than recycled paper for creative journaling or lettering.
Socolo is proud to use FSC certified paper in our notebooks.
5. Reduce plastic
This can be done in a few ways. Opt for refillable products such as pens that ink can be added to, rather than single use. Look for notebooks without plastic covers and avoid products that are plastic wrapped. To keep products in pristine condition, some companies will use a biodegradable sleeve like we do at Socolo. This reduces waste from returns due to product damage in transport, so be sure to look for a biodegradable symbol.
Sometimes we come across products we no longer have a use for. Rather than throwing these things away, donate them. There are many charities that accept stationery products and office / school supplies.
Here are a few: