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‘Tis The Season For A New Datebook

By Jenn (TinyChoices.com) | December 18, 2007

2008 recycled planners datebooks

I love the New Year for so many reasons… the biggest of which may just be that, at the stroke of midnight on December 31st, we each have the opportunity to pick up a new datebook (or planner, depending on your preference) and crack the spine open to a fresh snow-white year.

Ok, I’m not really that geeky. But pretty close. This year I was looking forward to the event and bought my 2008 datebook early, and with a little too much excitement. You see, I kind of totally forgot to check for the recycled-content of the paper. Didn’t even think about it. Shocking, I know! The result of this is that I have a whole year ahead of me with the gorgeous little “Moleskine Red Weekly Diary” which I am enamoured of, but on the flip side, I have a whole year ahead of me with a non-recycled content datebook. I will be reminded of this misstep with every appointment I pen. A little green guilt on my head for all of 2008… which can be viewed in one of two ways: either as an omen of the type of year to come (too bleak!) or as a constant reminder of how my tiny choices help make my world happier and greener. I choose the latter.

So, in hopes of helping just one other person from making the same tragic mistake, here are a few links to some greener datebook options:

D*I*Y Planner: “Paper, productivity & passion”
[Free templates available here -- print these on reused office paper and bind with reused paperboard/cardboard, and you've got the greenest datebook around!]
“We are a community of people who see the value of paper as a medium for planning, productivity, creative expression, and exploring ideas. We encourage visitors to share advice and inspiration, and we love to see submissions for templates, kit images and story articles.”

Little Otsu: This lovely Portland, Oregon based shop carries a variety of wonderfully illustrated planners, all of which are “printed in Oakland, CA on 100% post-consumer recycled paper with soy-based inks.”

Blissen: Jill Bliss illustrated The Forest Coral Datebook: “spend a year in the forest and the coral! full color cover, lush green interior pages with 8 repeating original illustrations of all the little details found in the forest and in the tidepools. printed with vegetable-based inks on reincarnation paper [100% recycled, 50% post-consumer waste, and processed chlorine free] and wire-o bound.”

Green Line Paper: “GreenLine Paper Company sells only recycled and tree-free papers because we are environmentalists and we are dedicated to a greener future. In fact, every product represented on this website is environmentally friendly or socially responsible in some manner. Internally we adhere to strict recycling practices and we reduce waste by reusing shipping cartons to process our orders.” Their planners are all comprised of “100% recycled, min 30% post, soy ink.”

At-A-Glance: The great thing about these products is that they’re easily found in paper/office supply shops everywhere, and so are less of a specialty eco-item, thus bringing recycled content goods to the masses. On their website, many of the planners have this information: “Recycled product. Contains paper with at least 30% post-consumer material and may be printed with 100% soy based inks.” C’mon At-A-Glance, you can do better than 30%! And what’s up with the “may be printed with soy inks”? (but, good start!)

niccocjm on Etsy: “My office does not recycle, so in an effort to minimize the waste paper going into the landfill I started making sketchbooks and weekly planners and giving them as gifts. Its a great thoughtful gift for christmas, it will let people know you care about our earth. The books are made from salvaged office paper, and the covers are from salvaged corrugated boxes. They are 4.25″ x 5.5″ When you are done with the book please recycle it. Thanks!!!”

WeMoon: At WeMoon, “you will find the We’Moon datebook, wall calendar and cards to fit your astrological, pagan, women-centered needs… All We’Moon products published on recycled paper with soy-based ink.”

House of Doolittle:
From Treehugger.com:
“The company has been making their products from recycled materials since 1990 (and has been around since 1919) by using 100% recycled paper with at least 30% post-consumer fibers as well as soy ink. House of Doolittle donates 5% of their yearly profits to several different environmental organizations, including: Foundation for Global Community and its Earth Before Us Initiative, Genesis Farm which promotes Earth Literacy, and the environmental sustainability programs of the Institute Of Cultural Affairs.”
(The House of Doolittle site seems to be down at the moment; instead you can buy their products here: “Recycled paper, 30% post-consumer fiber/soy inks • Covers are at least 50% recycled materials”)

*Updated to add:* Thanks to Sangu for this amazing addition: The Slingshot:
“If you can, we strongly, STRONGLY urge you to buy your organizers IN PERSON from a local independent bookstore or Infoshop. Your purchases help these excellent projects keep going. Having non-corporate spaces in our communities is essential to freedom. PLEASE don’t buy organizers on-line or by mail order if you live in a community that has a local bookstore, i.e. any big city in the USA or Canada and almost any major college town. Get off your computer, on your bike and out into a bookstore — it will make you happy! Mail order is depressing when you can deal with real, live people! And those people need you and your $6! Click here for a list of bookstores that carry the Organizer, listed by state….
…If you live in a small town or rural area that doesn’t have a local, independent bookstore or Infoshop, following are some good mail order projects that carry the Organizer – we love them too and they’re real people too, just not ones you can chat with and end up kissing later on at a party. (click here)
…Slingshot delivers all mail shipments to the post office by bicycle! We are an all-volunteer collective; no one makes profit on this project and all proceeds go to support the struggle for liberation! This year’s organizer is printed on recycled paper.”

Do ya’ll know of other green datebook options?
[Image by bettybl via Flickr]

Topics: Home, Waste | 19 Comments »

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19 Comments

Comment by Jackie
2007-12-18 08:15:10

I’m surprised you didn’t list any PDAs or electronic planners. I use a Palm Pilot, in the smaller and lower end of the line, which is a perpetual calendar that also helps me store all kinds of information in an item the size of a deck of cards. No more paper, or cardboard, or spiral rings, or plastics, or worries about inks! There are the added issues with having another electric device to keep charged (though the battery life is remarkably long), so I’d be really curious to see a footprint calculation for the amount of electricity used by my Palm versus the energy that goes into making new planners and then disposing of them every year.

Comment by Jenn
2007-12-18 08:28:46

Good point, Jackie! I was an earlyish-adopter of PDAs years ago, but then I once somehow erased four years of data from both the handheld and the computer backup… so since then I’ve been paper-based again. I’ll see if I can wrangle up some stats on electronic PDAs– on the one hand, just one item has to be produced one time, for many years of use… on the other hand, the production of that one item (plastic case and resource-intensive electronic innards) are generally quite polluting. But, I wonder which way the equation would balance out in the end… will report back!

 
Comment by Michelle
2007-12-18 09:29:34

This is not an exact calculation or anything, but being you are looking for comparisons, this is a good place to start to get a ball park:

For computers/pda (you can likely find the kWh your PDA uses to charge and come up with a calculation of how long the charge lasts for, etc; tinker with the default settings by going in to the Advanced Settings and plug that kWh in.)

Energy Star Savings Calculator: http://pmdb.cadmusdev.com/powermanagement/quickCalc.html
-or- links to other office equipment, PDAs perhaps may be in there: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=find_a_product.showProductCategory&pcw_code=OEF

For paper: Environmental Defense Paper Calculator: http://www.environmentaldefense.org/papercalculator/

If you are looking for more specifics on energy use, the EPA actually has that data for the electronics and paper/pulp industries. Just send a comment to this comment and I can send along those links if you’re really looking to dork out.

Comment by Karina
2007-12-18 10:05:21

thanks for all the links, Special Waste Correspondent!

 
 
 
Comment by Karina
2007-12-18 08:47:46

I got an incredibly awesome and *just* the right size schedule book when I went to japan in the spring, and it looks like I can pull the calender part out and replace it. however, I don’t think they sell just replacement calenders (although who knows? I don’t read japanese!) so I might have to do some experimenting with double-sided printing and a long-arm stapler.

Comment by Karina
2007-12-18 08:50:13

oh! and! I totally covet the red moleskine. TOTALLY. it is so pretty!

Comment by Jenn
2007-12-18 09:41:57

I know. I was totally swept up by its charms. *sigh*

 
 
Comment by Jenn
2007-12-18 09:50:03

ps- I bet the DIY Planner site can help you with the reuse of your current datebook!

Comment by Karina
2007-12-18 10:04:35

I have spent some serious time dorking out at DIY Planner – my favorite method of procrastination is productivity planning!

 
 
 
Comment by Michelle
2007-12-18 09:22:53

Well Jenn, the redeeming thing is you can also help off-set the choice by starting off next, next year afresh by ripping the pages out and recycling them. I bet you can even fashion your own planner using the diy link and simply affix the newer version in, and be able to replace just the insert year after year and still have the lurvely moleskin. Also, why not write them a letter or send them an email urging them to use recycled content paper. Even better recycled and chlorine-free paper. (The US Government procurement guidelines urge a minimum 35% recycled content. If you want anymore dorky stats to include let me know, as I am full of them thanks to my job and natural curiousity).

Comment by Jenn
2007-12-18 09:44:11

Brilliant idea of reusing the lurvely red cover! That plus DIY Planner and I think I’ll be all set for years to come. And yep, I’m totally going to write Moleskine and urge them to go recycled/cholorine-free. Thanks for the dorky stats, keep ‘em coming please!

 
 
Comment by Lizbeth
2007-12-18 10:56:36

When 2008 is finished, mail me the date book and I will recycle it as “Altered Art”.
That should help assuage the guilts!

Comment by Jenn
2007-12-19 00:30:14

Hello, closed-loop!
Your art is beautiful…

 
 
Comment by Sangu
2007-12-18 13:45:38

i’ve used a slingshot before:
http://slingshot.tao.ca/organizer.php

From their website:
Slingshot delivers all mail shipments to the post office by bicycle! We are an all-volunteer collective; no one makes profit on this project and all proceeds go to support the struggle for liberation! This year’s organizer is printed on recycled paper.

Comment by Jenn
2007-12-18 15:53:40

*awesome* I’m updating the list now to include this! Thanks!

 
 
Comment by jennifer
2007-12-19 18:53:42

I’m happy you included the slingshot.

Also, thanks for the link to the DIY planner website; I’ve been trying to figure out how to effectively do my own paper planner that didn’t involve 980293840239 scraps of paper floating in my bag.

Lastly, Google Calendar (or gcal) is an excellent paper-free way to organize your life, and all it requires is a google account.

 
2008-04-05 13:56:28

[...] a calendar decision earlier in the year? If you’re still looking refresh yourself with the great info in Jenn’s post from earlier in the [...]

 
Comment by Evaine
2008-05-02 11:18:56

Good post. You make some great points that most people do not fully understand.

“Ok, I’m not really that geeky. But pretty close. This year I was looking forward to the event and bought my 2008 datebook early, and with a little too much excitement. You see, I kind of totally forgot to check for the recycled-content of the paper. Didn’t even think about it. Shocking, I know! The result of this is that I have a whole year ahead of me with the gorgeous little “Moleskine Red Weekly Diary” which I am enamoured of, but on the flip side, I have a whole year ahead of me with a non-recycled content datebook. I will be reminded of this misstep with every appointment I pen. A little green guilt on my head for all of 2008… which can be viewed in one of two ways: either as an omen of the type of year to come (too bleak!) or as a constant reminder of how my tiny choices help make my world happier and greener. I choose the latter.”

I like how you explained that. Very helpful. Thanks.

 
2009-01-08 06:00:53

[...] you’ll recall the Great Datebook Saga of ‘08 (and really, who could forget it?), you can imagine I was a bit hesitant in deciding how to [...]

 

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