Eco-minded scribblers: 100% post-consumer recycled notebooks have now become a lot easier to find. A new set of simple, everyday ecosystem notebooks are now available at every Barnes & Noble, as well as some independent stores.
These U.S.-made notebooks — made by Sterling Publishing using New Leaf paper — are not only all-recycled but also chlorine free and printed with veggie inks. The elastic strap that holds the notebook shut’s made with organic cotton, as is the bookmark.
Best of all, each notebook even has an ID number on the inside back cover that lets you track the materials that went into making the notebook. Like Icebreaker’s baacode, all you have to do is enter this code on the Ingredients page of ecosystem’s website to find out where each component was made.
While all these green features are outlined in the notebooks’ band wrapping and inside cover, the casual user won’t really notice any sort of difference between this notebook and the rainforest-destroying type that costs the same price. The ecosystem notebooks are made with strong, sturdy paper for those who want to keep their jottings indefinitely. Each page is finely perforated — so pages can be torn off easily and cleanly, but are unlikely to accidentally rip out or fall off. A slightly expandable pocket on the inside back cover can also hold notes, ticket stubs — or paper airplanes folded from the perforated pages.
Each 192 pages, ecosystem notebooks come in five colors (kiwi, clementine, lagoon, watermelon and onyx), four styles (blank, lined, grid, and calendar), three cover options (hardback, “flexi,” or paper), and two sizes (small and medium) — though not all sizes and styles come in every color and cover option.
I got the flexi cover — a light and bendy yet resilient waterproof material that’s a good option for those who want something stronger than a simple paperback — but in the future, I’ll opt for the paperback since they’re a little lighter, more recyclable — and a lot cheaper. A set of 3 small paperback ecosystem notebooks costs $6.95 (a set of 3 large paperbacks costs $10.95), compared to $9.95 for a single flexi and $13.95 for a single hardcover. Find ecosystem notebooks at your nearest Barnes & Noble store, or support local stores by using ecosystem's store locator.
Want similarly green notebooks from an all-green company? Sustainable Group also makes great 100% post-consumer recycled notebooks that are thinner, for those seeking something less than 192-pages thick. Sustainable Group’s website only lets you buy by the case, but at back-to-school times, you can find these notebooks sold under the New Leaf label at some local Whole Foods, which may also carry tree-free paper notebooks with a spiral binding. Or if you’ve got time on your hands, make your own post-post-consumer recycled notebook!