5 Things To Know When Buying Eco-Friendly Stationery

We all love stationery. LOVE it. Notebooks, greeting cards, bookmarks, cute prints, giftwrapping and gift tags. But we should be mindful about the environmental impact of some stationery has.

We need to protect and look after the planet. However, it’s not as simple as just picking the first greeting card that has a green sticker on it saying ‘eco-friendly’. There are several things you should look out for when buying eco-friendly stationery, to ensure it is actually eco-friendly.

The following 5 tips will help you to build a beautiful eco-friendly stationery collection that won’t cost the earth. 

1. Choose eco-friendly stationery made from FSC certified or recycled card

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a non-profit organisation that ensures forestry is practiced in an environmentally responsible way. When buying eco-friendly stationery, make sure to look out for small print, or a logo, stating that the stationery has been produced with FSC certified paper or card (this information can often be found on the back of a greeting card or notebook, or in the product description if buying online). This means it has come from sustainably managed forests. 

It is pretty standard practice now for most stationery items to be produced using FSC certified paper or card, so if that isn’t stated, it’s a big red flag that the stationery may not actually be that eco-friendly.

Then there is also the use of recycled card. 

There is a great debate as to whether FSC certified card, or recycled card, is more eco-friendly. Some argue that the increased use of recycled card results in less demand for virgin fibres (from new trees), meaning less new trees will be planted. But, paper fibres can only be recycled 5-7 times, before the quality deteriorates too dramatically for it to be used again. To counteract this, recycled fibres are often combined with virgin fibres to ensure the production of a high quality, sustainable paper.

So, what does that mean for eco-friendly stationery? Well, the best option is to find eco-friendly stationery produced on FSC certified paper or card, that is also recycled, like the collection from Paper Daisies by j’adorne. This ensures the stationery is making use of reclaimed materials, reducing waste, and uses new materials which have been produced in a sustainable and environmentally conscious way. 

2. Avoid stationery with glitter, foil or lamination

Stationery is pretty, it’s beautiful, and that’s partly why we love it so much… but sometimes stationery is sparkly or shiny and that often means it isn’t eco-friendly. Any cards, notebooks or gift wrap that uses glitter or foiling cannot be recycled. This means they will just end up in landfill – not good for our beautiful planet! 

Stationery that is laminated also cannot be recycled. Lamination is a printing method that gives stationery a variety of effects. It can make paper or card appear shiny, or metallic, for example. To achieve this, a layer is added to the paper, often made from plastic or other non-paper materials, which results in the stationery being shiny or feeling particularly soft or smooth. But it also means that that stationery is now non-recyclable.

To ensure you are using eco-friendly stationery, choose notebooks and greeting cards that are made using uncoated card stock, and don’t contain glittery or shiny embellishments. The collection from Paper Daisies by j’adorne is printed on FSC certified, uncoated card stock. The hope is that they will be kept and treasured forever, but if not, they are completely recyclable. So you can purchase with confidence.

3. Choose stationery with plastic-free packaging

Over the last decade, we have seen a massive increase in the range of plastic-free packaging alternatives available, that are affordable and easy for stationery businesses to source. There’s not much excuse for using plastic anymore, so always look out for plastic-free packaging when shopping for eco-friendly stationery.

This can include things like buying greeting cards that are packaged in compostable sleeves made from vegetable starch, instead of plastic sleeves, or buying gift wrap that is folded or rolled and tied with twine, rather than wrapped in plastic. 

This also applies to how stationery is shipped once it has been ordered online. Paper Daisies by j’adorne uses either board-backed envelopes, or cardboard postal boxes to ship all orders. These are then secured with recyclable paper postal tape, so the entire parcel is plastic-free. 

When buying eco-friendly stationery online, check the product descriptions of the brand you are buying from, to find out how their products are packaged and shipped. Ensure there is no mention of plastic, or at the very least that they are making a conscious effort to reduce the environmental impact their packaging has. When your stationery arrives in its plastic-free packaging, you can find joy in recycling or reusing all of the packaging, without any plastic ending up in landfill.

4. Look for partnerships with climate-positive businesses

A great way to ensure you are buying eco-friendly stationery, is to do some research into the brand, to see if they are partnered with a climate positive business. This means that they are taking their environmental responsibility seriously and are investing in a way to improve it, as partnerships like these often come at a financial cost. 

5. See if the stationery brand’s eco-friendly values extend beyond the business

Get to know a business on a more personal level (this is much easier with small businesses, as they tend to share more personal content!). By following and engaging with their social media content, looking at what they post, and seeing if their day-to-day living, values and ethics show care for the environment and a focus on sustainable living, you can feel reassured that their stationery products are likely to be eco-friendly too. 

This may not be immediately obvious, but when you spend some time getting to know the owner behind an eco-friendly stationery business, you can often see snapshots of their daily life, giving you an insight into their values and how eco-friendly they really are!

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So there you are, 5 things you should look out for when buying eco-friendly stationery. Check if the stationery is printed on FSC certified or recycled card; avoid any stationery with glitter, foiling or lamination; choose stationery with plastic-free packaging; look for partnerships with climate positive businesses; and see if the stationery brand’s eco-friendly values extend beyond the business.

I am proud to tick all of these boxes with my bespoke stationery business!

Make sure to check out my About page to read about all the things I do to ensure Paper Daisies by j’adorne remains as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible. 

Thanks for reading, and happy eco-friendly stationery shopping!

Jane x