Environmental In-Box: Paper Notepads, Folders, Calendars & Binders
Even though you try to live a paperless life, every now and then you just might need a notebook or binder to help you stay organized. When you do, take a look at the very earth-friendly solutions offered by EcoJot.
Why Am I So Impressed? This Canadian company makes its products from 100% post-consumer waste - which means it's really recycling the paper you recycle. All the inks and glues are vegetable-based and biodegradable. No new trees are used in EcoJot's papermaking process. Manufacturing is powered by biogas captured from a nearby landfill. And the focus is on using local materials as much as possible.
What I Especially Like: EcoJot's website is a model for transparency. Not only is it easy to navigate; it also provides extensive information on the eco qualities of its product (i.e., saying its paper is "100% post-consumer waste" is much more informative than saying the paper is "recycled.") Plus, the artwork that adorns the covers on the calendars, agendas, journals and workbooks is whimsical and fun. If you have to write down your "to do" list, putting it in an EcoJot journal might make it a little less painful.
What Could Improve? Even though online shopping is all the rage, I'm a big fan of being able to walk into a local store and get the product I need. From what I can tell, EcoJot is still not widely available in the U.S., so buying it when you're out shopping could be a problem. Help improve its availability by asking store managers to put EcoJot on their shelves. As much as I like EcoJot's transparency, we're taking their word for it when they tout their eco-credentials. I'd like to see third-party verification of their eco claims. Plus, there are no product prices on the website. They're probably available in the downloadable catalogue, but that file is large and takes time to download - especially when someone is looking for quick price comparisons.
What About the Packaging? The protective packaging they use is corn-based, rather than nasty polystyrene.
Corporate Responsibility: The company sources materials locally when they're available. It also contributes a monthly portion of sales to a non-profit organization called Evergreen.
Product Comparison: Staples' Eco-Friendly Composition Notebook could give EcoJot a run for its money. The paper is made from 80% sugar cane waste and printed with vegetable and water-based inks. It's easily available online, along with 3,000 other products in the company's "Eco-Easy" product line. Sasquatch notepads, folders and journals also sport an upbeat design. But the company's website is vague about the eco benefits its products offer. "Made mostly of recycled paper..." says their PR. I want to know how much "mostly" is, and whether it's mostly post-consumer waste."Fewer trees are cut down and less water and fossil fuels are used during processing," they claim. Again, I want to know how much. On the plus side, Sasquatch is more widely available than EcoJot, given its sale by retailers like K-Mart, Target, and Wal-Mart.
Price Comparison: The Staples Eco Notebook is only $2.49. I didn't see prices for the other products on their website.
How Many Purses? Two plus. Even though EcoJot doesn't have third party certification, it's a terrific choice when you've actually got to put pen to paper. With third party validation of its eco-claims, increased retail availability, and more obvious prices, EcoJot will have no problem securing a coveted "three purse" rating.