Looking for a Gorgeous Eco-Friendly Notebook? Check Out These 6 Companies

Woman writing in a notebook

SSC / Getty Images

Whether you want to keep a daily journal, sketch a few doodles, or just jot down a good idea now and then, it's nice to collect your thoughts in one place instead of letting them drift around on loose sheets of paper.

A notebook offers a convenient solution, but it can also involve committing to a significant amount of paper consumption. And while it might not be the biggest part of your environmental footprint, there's no need to cut corners with the sustainability of your notebook. Here are a few examples that use recycled, sustainable, or even tree-free fibers.

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3 notebooks with different bicycles on the covers


The paper products made by this Canadian company are fun, stylish, and functional. They’re made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper and use vegetable inks and adhesives. All components are sourced within Canada and the United States, and the final product is manufactured in Canada. Ecojot is a B-certified corporation and was awarded the Ancient Forest Friendly Award in 2012 by Canopy. Ecojot sells a wide range of beautiful journals, workbooks, planners, note cards, eco giftwrap, prints, sketchbooks, and the so-called “notebooks with perfect binding.” Shop online at Barnes & Noble in the U.S. and Chapters-Indigo in Canada.

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Banana Paper Company ad with several notebooks and a smiling woman

Banana Paper Company

This company sells tree-free notebooks. It sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Their paper is made from the agricultural waste of products such as bananas, coffee, mangoes, lemons, sugar cane, hemp, and tobacco. The fibers are washed and ground, mixed with a ‘base fiber’ made of 100% post-consumer recycled paper, and made into attractive paper that has a light natural coloring and little bits of visible fiber. If you live in the United States or Canada, order online via EcoPaper. There is a variety of bound and spiral notebooks, as well as other blank paper products such as business cards and sticky notes.

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Green Field Paper Company

3 spiral-bound journals with different designs including a sun, tree, and moon

Green Field Paper Co.

This American company has been creating notebooks and other paper products sustainably since 1992. It sells both homemade and machine-made hemp paper, as well as seed-embedded paper that can be planted after use. The Hemp Heritage collection of notebooks and journals features archival quality, chlorine- and acid-free paper that is made from 75% post-consumer paper waste and 25% hemp. They are printed with soy ink on one side, making it easy for people to write and sketch in the same book.

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Line of brightly colored journals

The Journal Shop

CIAK is an Italian company that makes beautiful notebooks with 100% recycled, acid-free, and archive-quality paper that comes from FSC-certified sources. The company has long been known for its aesthetic appeal, and it’s easy to see from the photo above that such a notebook is one you will treasure for years to come. The Journal Shop says, “It’s a pleasant notebook to write in, soft enough to the touch but still durable, water resistant, and crushproof. In fact we’ve got some old CIAKs on the shelves and the binding is still as strong as it was years ago.” CIAK notebooks are sold online by The Journal Shop, which is based in the U.K. but offers free worldwide delivery for purchases over £75 ($75 USD).

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Several colorful Calepino notebooks on displace with abstract cover designs

Calepino (via Facebook)

CALEPINO notebooks are handmade in Nantes, France. This family-run business has made the noble decision to “support the local expertise, to plan their approach on an impartial human scale, and to reduce all transport related to the manufacturing of the product.” The cardboard is made in an old factory that’s been running since 1927. Each book is individually controlled, and the covers are folded and composed by hand. The paper is 100% recycled, does not contain any dangerous substances, and is printed with vegetable inks. To avoid using plastic, the notebooks are stored in recycled cardboard. Delivery to countries outside Europe and France is 12€ ($13.50 USD).

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Notebook with a giraffe on the cover


Yes, you read that right. This company makes paper from animal manure – or, rather, the “poo fibers from elephants, cows, horses, donkeys, Thai buffalos, and others.” As the company explains on its website, all of these animals are herbivores and all possess somewhat inefficient digestive systems that don’t completely digest and break down all the fibers that they eat. This results in a significant amount of fibers remaining intact when these animals poop.” PooPooPaper collects the manure, boils it in water (no added chemicals) to remove all non-fiber materials, mixes with other non-wood plant fibers such as corn stalks, pineapple husks, hay, banana tree trunks, and mulberry bark, and then processes into paper. The company donates a portion of profits to conservation work and animal reserves worldwide. You can order online a variety of products, including journals and notebooks, from the aptly named “Poo-tique.”