I love a good notebook. For journaling, to use as an organizer for day-to-day tasks, and simply to sketch or jot down any ideas I may have throughout the day. It’s the ultimate multi-tasker!
A paper notebook can help unleash creativity on so many levels, but how do you find the best sustainable notebooks on the market, so that you’re not wasting precious resources, or harming the planet in the process?
That’s where our list of eco friendly note books come into play. We’ve gone into more detail below about why you should think about making the switch to an environmentally-friendly alternative to your usual paper notebook. So if you’re not yet decided, head down there to have a read. Otherwise, let’s dive right into our heavily-researched recommendations!
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Best Eco-Friendly Journals Recommendations
You’ll find a full write-up on all of the following options down below, but if you’re in a hurry, here’s a quick summary of our favorite finds!
|Bamboo & Sugarcane
|Elephant Dung & Recycled Paper
|Recycled Coffee Cups
|Green Field Paper
|Hemp & Recycled Paper
|Gitchi Adventure Goods
|FSC Paper & Recycled Elements
|Onyx and Green
|FSC Cert Paper
What makes eco notebooks different?
At this point, you may be wondering what makes eco-friendly notebooks so different from regular notebooks? And why should you bother making the switch? To answer these questions, we need to look at some statistics.
According to The World Counts website, 28 million hectares of forests have been destroyed every year since 2016. To put this into perspective, that’s a forest the size of a football field lost every second of the day.
Of these 28 million hectares, 33-40% of industrial wood traded around the world goes to the pulp and paper industry to create notebooks, textbooks, and regular reading books. If the wood is not sourced sustainably, this can have a devastating effect on natural environments and wildlife habitats.
Therefore, when considering purchasing a regular notebook, it’s only natural to want to seek out alternatives, but how can we spot ethical, sustainable notebook brands, when there is so much ‘green-washing’ out there?
Firstly, manufacturers of eco notebooks care deeply about our planet. Most have unique backstories which detail their motivation for starting their business. However, that’s not the main thing to look for, anyone can write a backstory, the proof is in their products and manufacturing processes, and in the suppliers and sustainable material they use.
The good news is, there are amazing established companies and start-ups offering dynamic, forward-thinking alternatives to regular paper products. Today, we can purchase ethically made notebooks made from recycled stone paper, sugar cane fibers, plants, and even animal poop, giving us much more choice when selecting a book for journaling, planning and sketching.
In addition, a few brands selling environmentally friendly notebooks have taken innovation to another level, creating technologically advanced digital notebooks. These notebooks can convert your written text and sync it to the cloud and other devices you own, allowing you to share information seamlessly with friends and colleagues.
In our comprehensive list, we show you some of the most inventive recycled notepads and biodegradable notebooks available today.
Our Favorite Sustainable Notebooks
If you’ve been searching for a new eco bullet journal for a while or require eco friendly composition notebooks for recording project ideas at home or work, take a look at our list of the best eco-friendly notebooks below for inspiration.
This brand is all about helping the planet thrive, so much so that they named their brand ‘Pan’ – meaning All-inclusive and ‘Gaia’ – meaning Mother Earth.
The materials science company are spread out across the globe, a mix of technologists, scientists and designers creating products to help enhance our basic needs.
No trees are harmed in the making of Pangaia’s eco-friendly journals, instead to create them, they use bamboo fibers and waste from sugarcane production.
Their tree-free notebooks are A5 in size, with blank paper inside for sketching, note-taking, and doodling. The paper is carbon neutral, and they can be ordered with covers in a range of bold, bright colors.
Their eco journal notebooks are the perfect gift for adults and teens and the company also sells a range of clothing and water bottles that adhere to their vision and mission. They also plant more trees with every purchase, helping to maintain the equilibrium of our planet.
One of the best sustainable notebooks you can buy today, the innovative notebooks by Eco Maximus are created by hand from 75% real elephant dung and 25% recycled paper.
These earth friendly notebooks are available in 5 colors, in A5 size, containing 40 pages of unlined multicolored paper.
The book covers are decorated with beautiful artwork showcasing the gentle giants in their natural habitats and are a must-buy for any eco-conscious travel writer, nature lover or poet.
But that’s not all. The company also have a conservation trust, Maximus, doing great work to raise awareness in Sri Lankan communities on living in harmony with local elephants.
18Hoch2 had an ingenious idea to produce their DIN A5 notebook with paper from recycled takeaway coffee cups in their native Germany.
The books contain recycled paper on which all kinds of pens can be used, and it has thread stitching so that the book doesn’t close when you’re writing.
The banderole is ingeniously made from wildflower seeds and if you don’t use it, you can plant it in soil.
The company gives back too, donating 1€ to the rainforest foundation OroVerde with every single purchase.
These yellow A5 hardcover eco journal notebooks contain 140 blank pages of recycled coffee cup paper, perfect for those who like to jot down ideas or sketch and doodle.
Green Field Paper Company make their eco products in the USA. Their journals and sketchbooks are made from chlorine and acid-free paper, and they are suitable for archiving too, which means you can jot down important ideas and designs and refer to them years later!
Their primary journal and sketchbook products come in 5 sizes, made with 25% hemp, and 75% post-consumer materials, and they are 100% sustainable.
Their Hemp Heritage collection books are exceptional choices for artists, as the front page is ruled with soy ink and the back side of the pages are blank for sketching with pastels, pencils, charcoals, and watercolors.
Each sketchbook or journal is spiral bound with a debossed chipboard cover and prices are reasonable for the quality you receive.
The ideal notebook trio for travel writers, bloggers and digital nomads, the Adventure Notebook Collection is handmade from environmentally responsible FSC and Green Seal Certified paper. With different adventure themes on the cover, these compact pocket books are equipped with a 48-page interior with dot grids on the pages.
They are made in the USA using 100% renewable electricity and 100% post-consumer fiber paper and when you make a purchase, the company donate to support U.S. National Parks, state parks and outdoor spaces. All packaging is 100% recyclable, reusable or can be composted and shipping is carbon-neutral too!
The notebook collection comes with 3 theme designs – ‘Into the Backcountry’, ‘Under the Stars’ and ‘Through the Dark’. The set is reasonably priced, making them wonderful gifts for the adventurer in your family or friend group.
The perfect journal for travelers, this eco-friendly notebook is made with tree-free paper which derives from the Himalayan Lokta bush. These bushes only grow in high altitudes, and as they regenerate quickly, they’re a sustainable resource.
The paper is made by cooking the bush fibers into pulp and then drying them in the sun using a 1,000-year-old Nepalese paper-making technique. The result? Rustic-looking, earth friendly notebooks that are ideal as travel journals, diaries, doodle, or sketchbooks.
The book spines are created using vegetable dye and the covers are made from pomegranate and indigo.
These books are great gifts. They come in 5 x 8” sizes containing 96 naturally flecked pages (192 sheets), and the price point is worthy of such a unique, hand-crafted product steeped in tradition.
These A5 hardcover white marble notebooks are made with soft elasticated stone paper with perforated pages, a pocket, and ribbon bookmarks.
The high-quality notebook is durable and strong, containing 224 pages, of which 112 are lined, 64 dotted and 48 blank, making them perfect for all types of work planning, designs, notetaking, and journaling.
As the pages are made from waterproof stone paper, ideas and text remains intact for much longer, plus, if you use the imSTONE erasable pen alongside it, you can also erase your information to keep it secure by making the text invisible!
The stone paper notebook offers a silky-smooth writing experience, and as the pages are waterproof, notes and texts can’t be ruined if you spill your morning coffee or smoothie over the pages!
If you’re an environmentally conscious purchaser and want to help save trees and reduce air and water pollution during production, or you want to keep passwords and sensitive information secure, these notebooks may be the right choice for you!
These blank page, medium size notebooks are ideal for jotting down notes, drawing or writing stories and poems.
The notebooks are sized between A5 and A6, perfect for popping in a bag or backpack for on-the-go use.
The notebooks are sized between A5 and A6, perfect for popping in a bag or backpack for on-the-go use. Similar to a previous product, these books are also manufactured from the bark of the Lokta bush using ancient Nepalese traditions.
The bark is beaten into a soft pulp and poured over wooden frames floating in water, then they are spread out evenly before being dried in the sun. When the process is complete the paper simply peels off the frame.
The innovative, tree-free notebooks contain 64 blank textured pages, offering a unique creative experience, and they are available in a range of colors. They make great gifts, and the price point is affordable for younger customers too.
Pictostone notebooks are ideal to use in the office, at home or while traveling. The brand is named after ‘pictograph’ and ‘stone’ – both means of early communication among our ancestors.
Ancient peoples would etch, draw, and paint important information onto cave and rock walls, and this was the inspiration for the company to use stone paper instead of regular paper in their products.
They make the stone paper from calcium carbonate and crush it into a fine powder, while mixing with non-toxic resins which are then rolled into thin sheets of paper. The process is tree-free, water-free, bleach and acid-free, plus, the paper becomes water, tear, and fireproof in the process!
These particular A6 pocket notebooks feature an elegant, debossed logo on the front, and they contain 176 pages of water-resistant paper. An expandable pocket in the sleeve allows space for cards, photos, ID and more, and the brand offers notebooks in a range of shades and sizes to cater to different tastes and requirements.
The eco journal notebooks are perfect for students, digital nomads, and travelers for jotting down ideas and notetaking, plus, they easily fit into a bag or backpack.
If you love all things math and technology or create statistics for a living, Rocketbook Matrix Graph Notebook may be a perfect choice for you.
Perfect for those working in technical roles, the Rocketbook reusable notebooks have 30 graph pages with 0.25-inch grid formats for precision, dedicated index pages, rulers for measurements and so much more.
It may look like a regular notebook from the outset, but the Rocketbook is ingeniously infused with tech at every turn.
These state-of-the-art notebooks allow you to write scan and erase notes and information seamlessly, plus, the book is supplied with a Pilot Frixion pen so you can write on the paper and erase the text, simply by adding a little water to the microfiber cloth.
If you want to save your ideas securely, mark a cross at the bottom of the page next to a QR code, and AI will transport your data to a cloud-based service such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Slack or email via the company’s iOS and Android app. The information can then be shared with colleagues, students, and teachers.
As these notebooks are completely paper-free, no trees are harmed in their construction, and as they are reusable, you won’t need to replace them very often. They cost much the same as many paper notebooks too, so if you enjoy working with tech and want an easy way to work, Rocketbook is definitely worth considering as an option.
Agood have created the first climate-positive notebook in the world – the Hardcover Notebook A5, made from recycled stone, which means no water wastage, no deforestation, and no use of harmful chemicals in the products.
The paper is super smooth to write on, enabling a sleek writing experience and each book can be customized with lined, blank, or dotted paper and a variety of cover colors. These books are long-lasting, wrinkle-free, tear and water-resistant, which means if you spill juice over your work, you can simply wipe clean with a cloth.
Agood offset all carbon emissions from the production of their books by planting trees, plus, they donate 4% of each purchase to A Good Foundation, which benefits communities around the world with sustainable initiatives.
This brand is perfect for creatives who want to feel like they’re making a difference with their purchases. They also sell softcover notebooks, diaries, sketchbooks, eco friendly bullet journals, and A6 pocketbooks.
The company founder of Northbooks was a student of environmental sciences in New York and always used a notebook to record ideas and designs, but the lack of affordable, good quality notebooks was always an issue, so his mission became to design a better notebook.
Today, the company use recycled materials, sustainable supply chains and plant a tree in the rainforest through Eden Projects for every Northbooks order.
Their collections have a minimalist design, with blank, dotted, square or lined pages, soft covers, or tear aways with perforated pages. Covers are plain in design, with their logo in muted, neutral colours and they offer sketchbooks, dotted bullet notebooks, A5 blank softcover and 3 packs of notebooks all at decent prices.
The recycled paper is resistant to bleeding through, ghosting and feathering and it’s pleasant and enjoyable to work on. If you’re looking for a functional notebook for drawing, sketching, and designing and jotting down ideas, Northbooks is a great choice.
Onyx and Green spiral bound notebooks are college ruled with perforated pages. They contain 240 pages manufactured from sugar cane fibers and are sized at 8 inches x 10.5 inches making them ideal to use at school, college, at home, work or while traveling.
The 3-subject notebooks are perfect gifts for students and the price point is reasonable for the number of pages and the highest quality.
Appointed are an American brand based out of Washington D.C., who have taken the humble notepad and elevated it to new heights.
All of their products are environmentally conscious and built for longevity and utility, and with a range of notebooks, journals, jotters, sketchbooks, and eco friendly notepads in a variety of sizes on offer, they cater to everyone from digital nomads to office workers, home users and artists.
They partner with a U.S. papermill who shares their values and now their FSC™ certified paper is made with 2/3 renewable energy. It’s acid and chlorine free too, keeping our waterways clean and pollutant free. The bookcloth covers are biodegradable, and made from 100% cotton, plus, they are odor-free and pH neutral.
The Mini Linen Jotter fits seamlessly into bags and backpacks, making them ideal for jotting down notes and information on-the-go, while the Artist Pad, is ideal for mixed media creativity, ranging from watercolors to pastel drawings and pencil sketches.
Their yearly planners keep you up to date with all tasks and goals, while the extensive ‘Workspace Collection’ keeps your desktop organized and efficient wherever you are.
Prices are reasonable for such elegant and inventive products, plus, you can choose different colors, interior set up such as lined, grid or blank paper, and even add a personalized monogram if the notebook is for a gift!
Decomposition notebook designs have a delightful nostalgic feel about them. They are themed around nature, architecture, food, and travel with a range of colored and patterned covers to unleash your creativity and imagination.
The company use 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper to create their eco friendly spiral notebooks, and with sketchbooks, writing books, recycled notebooks, and binders on offer, you’re sure to find stationery to suit your personal needs.
All products are made in the United States and printed with soy ink, therefore, they’re non-toxic. They are perfect to utilize for a multitude of creative pastimes from doodling and drawing graphs, to writing poetry, or jotting down innovative ideas.
The eco-friendly notebooks are lined, dot/grid or blank inside and contain between 72 sheets (144 pages) or 80 sheets (160 pages). The price point is affordable for most people, so you can continue to add to your Decomposition notebook collection!
Award-winning Ecojot is a family-run, sustainable stationery company operating out of Toronto, Canada.
They sell 100% post-consumer recycled paper notebooks, planners and journals made from old waste paper which is milled in Quebec. The inks and glues they use for their products are vegetable based, and they donate books to kids in need around the globe.
Their creative notebooks, planners and journals feature bright, vibrant colors, themed around US and Canadian cities, animals, flowers, and love.
If you’re a wildlife supporter, head straight for their ‘Elephant Love for the Sheldrick Trust’ Collection, as the company donates 50% of their net proceeds to help protect and look after orphaned elephants in Africa. They also support the RSPA of Southern Australia, Live It Earth, Umoja Global and Center for the Arts in Haiti.
Products are reasonably priced and come in a variety of designs and sizes, ranging from the 80 sheet ‘lite’ notebooks to full landscape weekly planners and inspirational bound workbooks. The colorful covers will appeal to kids as much as adults and the books can be ordered in larger pack sizes.
If you’re interested in reducing paper waste, Paper Saver notebooks work by repurposing your own paper from the home or office into their spring steel binders!
The 100% reusable and refillable notebooks allow for 100 pages of writing paper to be added to them at any one time. The books are a vegan-friendly option too, with a faux leather, scratch-resistant, water repellent, and easy to clean cover.
The Classic Paper Saver Reusable Notebook from the company’s North America collection is designed for letter-size paper fitting up to 100 pages with easy insertion. The company also have printable templates you can download to keep your notes organized effectively too.
Teens and adults will adore the Sparkle Paper Saver Reusable Notebook – ideal for use at work, home or school with a little bling added to the cover to brighten up the day.
The company also offer several further collections and gift cards, so that you can pay this zero-waste idea forward to friends and loved ones.
Australian stationery company Karst began their mission by asking all of the right questions when it comes to using paper in our daily lives. Questions like, why aren’t journals waterproof? And why are we still using 18th century practices in papermaking today?
All of these questions led to a revelation, that paper no longer needs to be made from wood. So, they started making it from dust, combining calcium carbonate and resin to create something unique.
The result? Stone paper, which is strong, water-resistant, and easy to write, draw, sketch, and paint on.
Their stone paper products mean no waste, and no use of chlorine or sulfates to create them. The paper is recyclable, friction-free and with no grains, you gain a smoother all-round writing experience.
The A5 stone paper journals are luxurious to the touch and reasonably priced for a twin-pack with both lined and blank pages, plus, they come in a range of appealing muted shades which look great on any coffee table.
The daily planners are perfect for keen organizers, helping to motivate, inspire and be more productive throughout the year. They also sell sketchbooks in A4, A5 and A6 sizes usable with watercolors, pens, and pencils.
The price point may be a little higher, but for the high quality of products and innovation behind them, they are definitely worth a look.
RHINO ethically made notebooks are perfect for work, school, or study. The A5 size, lined notebooks are made from 100% recycled materials, containing 160 pages and a hard cover and twinwire spiral binding which allows pages to sit flat while you’re writing or sketching. The books are printed using water-based inks which are solvent free, and they are reasonably priced, catering to younger customers too.
These rhino themed notebooks make wonderful gifts for wildlife and nature lovers as the company is dedicated to raising awareness of the Sumatran rhino, plus the notebooks are infused with plenty of interesting animal facts so you can learn as you write or draw.
To date the company has raised over £100,000 for Save the Rhino International Charity through purchases alone, so if you’re seeking a new notebook and want to help protect the wildlife too, the RHINO A5 could be for you.
One of the most sustainable notebook brands on the market today is Dingbats. This eco-friendly stationery company hand-make their notebooks using all degradable and recyclable materials.
The company are committed to protecting wildlife, which is why you will see a debossed animal motif on the degradable faux leather covers of their products. They are 100% vegan too, certified by the EU V-Label – the first and only notebook brand to hold this certification in the world.
Their notebooks and journals are elegant and minimalistic, available in a range of colors, in eco friendly A4 notebook, A5 and A6 sizes. Customers can choose from ruled, grid, blank, or dot grid pages, made from 100gsm silk cream, acid free paper (also fountain pen friendly – no leaks or bleed through), and most books feature 96 sheets or 192 pages and a handy inner pocket and bookmark.
As if that wasn’t impressive enough, 2% of their UK revenues go to the World Wildlife Fund UK.
If you’re looking for a modern, alternative way to take notes, ReMarkable 2 digital notebook may be the product you’ve been searching for.
You can write directly onto the tablet, and it converts your notes into text. It allows for reading and signing documents and PDFs and organizes everything for you too!
This next-generation paper tablet is slender, sleek, and quick and easy to use, it comes with a pen and the battery lasts for up to 2 weeks without charging.
Encased inside an aluminum frame, the super-thin tablet has a paper-like display with fast, responsive functionality. The canvas display is much easier on the eyes than regular blue light displays, and it even makes the sound of writing or marking on paper during use.
Work is synced instantly to the cloud and available on your phone and laptop when you need it. If you’re technically minded and enjoy using new gadgets, it’s the most advanced paper tablet on the market today, plus it reduces paper wastage and it’s long-lasting, therefore won’t need to be replaced very often.
The downside? The upfront cost is quite expensive, plus, after the first year of free use of their Connect service, you have to pay monthly to use it.
As you can see there are amazing alternatives available to regular notebooks available today. From books made from stone paper to recycled notebooks and digital notebooks that sync everything to the cloud, all of these options are great eco-friendly choices for those who like to make conscious purchases and protect the planet.
As always, if you feel there’s another environmentally friendly notebook out there you think we should feature, please let us know!