Are Notebooks Green?

The Recording Thoughts blog asks “Are Fountain Pens Green?” This made me think about whether or not notebooks are green. There are plenty of notebooks out there made of recycled paper, which helps, but otherwise, those of us who consume a lot of notebooks are also killing a few trees. A Filofax-type notebook might be slightly more environmentally friendly than single-use notebooks like Moleskines. An electronic notebook such as a Palm PDA is probably the most green of all, though of course use of paper isn’t the only factor– there may be chemicals, etc, that go into the manufacture of electronics that are not good for the environment, and since people often replace their electronic devices after a year or two, a lot of them are ending up in landfills. It’s a mystery… but I’m going to try not to lose any sleep over killing the planet in this particular way, as I really don’t think I can stop using notebooks!

2 thoughts on “Are Notebooks Green?”

  1. I sleep in peace, knowing that the heavy metals and other materials that go into building electronic devices are infinitely more polluting that even a pile of a hundred notebooks, once in the landfill. One may even think of a notebook (made of paper, which is made from trees) as a way to store carbon, which is sort of a good thing environmentally speaking (although that point could be debated – it’s always more complex than it seems).

    However, as most notebook lovers, I also have a computer. Actually, two computers. And a couple of AlphaSmarts. But at least I don’t have fancy cell phones or PDAs that I replace all the time…

    Sometimes I feel like I need to replace my computer. I buy a notebook – even a fancy one, like a Circa system – and feel much happier at the end of the day.

  2. Good question, are notebooks green? Some are and some are greener than others. But there is also the thought of the act itself in using a notebook, a pen and a paper, instead of a computer…something so physical, …I hope you understand what I mean (I lack the vocabulary for this ) But, I kind of wanted to tell you about the notebooks I am making by hand. To begin with I use the empty cereal boxes for the hardcover and decorate it with recycled paper which I have recycle myself. Both the cereal boxes and the paper I recycle would otherwise have been thrown away. For the binding and decorating I use the fish skin of Salmon. The pages are recycled from cardboard boxes. Naturally there is some glue involved, but I try to buy the most eco-friendly glue I can find, and then there are the wire bindings. That is what I use for my notebooks, and all done with my own hands (except the fishskin, which I buy) That leads me to another thinking, how are the notebooks we use made; in factories with machineries and few employees or are we perhaps supporting real people like you and me 
    Best regards from Iceland 

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