How to choose Sustainable Stationary
January 31, 2022
Many of us enjoy the fragrance of fresh books and the crunch of a sharpened pencil. But have you ever considered the origins of these items and their environmental impact?
It is estimated that 24 trees are needed to create one ton of conventional office paper—that is, one tree is cut down for every 10,000 to 20,000 sheets. Every tree chopped down depletes the earth’s oxygen levels and adds to global warming via deforestation, which is exacerbated by growing pollution levels.
While pencils and paper will continue to be used, they are now available in sustainable and eco-friendly variants as well. Several startups and even established stationery firms are doing their part to make the world a greener place, from putting a seed in every pencil to printing new notebooks with recycled material.
There are some ways to create a sustainable stationery future:
- Make use of what you already have. Scrounge up stray pens and neglected notebooks (they’re typically mainly empty!).
- Consider donating any school materials that still have a useful life and recycling those that don’t for items you know you no longer need.
- Search for places or sites for second-hand stationery. eBay is a great location to get used online school materials including books, graphing calculators, and other equipment (especially now that many classrooms and home learning programs demand iPads!).
- If you weren’t able to cross everything off the list with the first two, look for a zero-waste online business or a general ethical online shop for eco-friendly back-to-school items as a chance to teach your children about conscious purchasing.
There are some ways to choose sustainable stationery items:
- Search for labels ‘Sustainable PEFC-FSC certified’
Get rid of the plastic mechanical pencils (as well as the plastic lead refill tubes) right now. Why not plant a tree with your old pencil? Sustainable PEFC-FSC certified wooden pencils include a non-toxic natural clay and graphite core and are zero waste. They’re then topped with a biodegradable seed capsule instead of an eraser.
When your pencil becomes too stubby to write with, simply plant it according to their planting instructions. Use the DIY possibilities of these to teach your child the fundamentals of apartment gardening! Choose from graphite pencils, colored pencils, and inscribed sets. We all need to keep growing in our life, therefore let’s start with these pencils.
2. Opt for Stationery Items from Fairtrade Certified Social Enterprise
If you’re concerned about your children misplacing their pencils, “tree-free” recycled newspaper pencils are an eco-friendly alternative. The HB soft graphite pencils are totally made of recycled newspapers and magazines. They don’t have any wood at all, and they’re rather lovely.
These are ideal for children because of their simple peel-and-sharpen design. To be truly zero waste, make sure to assist them in composting the peels. Each pencil is hand-rolled in Sri Lanka by a Fairtrade-certified social enterprise. Sets of five or ten come in biodegradable, unbleached paperboard cartons.
3. Look out for Materials That can be Recycled after Purchasing
Sharpen your environmentally responsible pencils with the two-hole eco-friendly pencil sharpener made of sustainably derived bamboo and repurposed stainless steel. Remove the blades for recycling and compost the bamboo body at the end of its life.
It comes with an unbleached cardboard background that has been printed using soy inks. The recycled (and recyclable) plastic part that keeps the sharpener inside is the only minor drawback. This means it’s not completely waste-free, but it’s the closest thing we could find on the market.
4. Check for Non-toxic Materials used in Manufacturing of Stationery
Many erasers are entirely made of natural rubber latex (to erase pencils) and silica sand (to erase ink and some markers). All of your mistakes may be replaced with a single zero waste eraser. Individual erasers are wrapped in a safe, compostable sleeve made of 100 percent recycled pulp. Avoid multi-packs since they are plastic-wrapped together.
5. Use Pens that are Made from BPA-free recycled plastics and natural grass
While more ecological pens are available, they are still mostly wasteful, and greenwashing is a worry. Refillable fountain pens are the greatest zero waste pens. That being said, you can get a fountain pen for a low price, and while it’s not completely waste-free, we believe it’s one of the finest choices. It is a good blend of extremely minimal waste and affordability. Natural meadow grass and BPA-free recycled plastics are used to make eco-friendly grass pens. Pens, in our opinion, are an excellent use of recycled plastic, especially when they can be refilled, as in the case with these pens, which are almost zero waste. These pens are manufactured in a plant that uses sustainable energy sources such as biogas and waste heat.
6. Choose Hand-woven Stationery Items
You’ll need someplace to keep all of your eco-friendly items in! If you don’t already have a ditty bag, look for a line of eco-friendly school supplies. 100% cotton zippered pencil bags are available in a variety of colors. Each bag is hand-woven by underprivileged women in rural Nepal in order to offer employment for these impoverished people. The thick, ultra-durable weave is built to survive, even when buried behind your environmental books in your rucksack.
7. Prefer Decomposable Books
College-ruled decomposable books are a great non-toxic and biodegradable option for taking notes. Each sheet is composed entirely of post-consumer recycled paper. With so many nature-inspired cover designs (printed with soy inks), you may find something for every subject or mood.
8. Ditch Toxic Paint Coatings
Unbleached folders and volumes are now constructed from 22-point chipboard that is 100 percent recycled FSC-certified post-consumer waste. This substance is thick and long-lasting, removing the need for any hazardous coatings, such as acids that can damage paper. Plus, your child (or you) may customize it as they like. Companies are increasingly ensuring that every component of their goods is at the very least recyclable and, ideally, biodegradable. They do not cover items with vinyl or plastic, and the papers are devoid of lignans and poisons.
Wild We: Your Sustainable Stationery Partner
Wild We is India’s eco-friendly stationery brand. They empower people to actively stand for causes they collectively believe in, through powerful designs on sustainable stationery. Wild We use stationery as a medium to raise awareness and funds for causes like Research, climate change, animal rights, women empowerment, and more. Their collection is made from the finest all-natural ingredients; stationery made with natural fibers that do end up in a landfill.