The Pen May Be Mightier Than the Sword – But How About “Green” Eco-Friendly Stationery!

“Green” Stationery – sounds a bit like an oxymoron since ‘writing paper and envelopes’ in North America is mostly made out of timber-based pulp. But in fact, eco-friendly tree-free stationery and recycled post-consumer paper are becoming much more commonplace in the United States and around the world than one may have ever realized. But what exactly does this all mean for you and me?

It means that we don’t have to sacrifice our planet’s health with the unwarranted or unregulated wholesale destruction of forests and trees just to write letters, invitations, and good wishes to friends and family. Instead, we now have some really good environmentally-friendly lifestyle alternatives or substitutes such as renewable energy paper and chlorine-free paper and yes – paper made of used clothing and vintage textiles. But let’s begin with a look at tree-free stationery.

Some of the most well known plants used to make non-wood paper are organic hemp, cotton, coffee, mango, banana, bamboo, bean and tobacco fibers. Other lesser known plants used are bagasse and kenaf fibers. Here is a list of specialty companies where you can order such tree-free stationery.

(1) EcoSource Paper Inc. – British Columbia, Canada                                             

(2) Vision Paper – Albuquerque, New Mexico                                                          

(3) Green Field Paper Co. – San Diego, California                                                     

(4) Costa Rica Natural Paper Co. – Costa Rica/Ventura, California                            

(5) Crane & Co. – Dalton, Massachusetts                                                          

(6) Smock Paper Co. – Syracuse, New York                                                                

As for post-consumer recycled stationery, recycling used waste paper, magazines, and toilet rolls is a viable way of providing new paper for consumers without cutting down trees and filling up landfills. In addition, fewer greenhouses gases are produced and less air and water pollution is created in comparison to making paper from fiber in its original condition. Here too is a list of green-minded companies known for their recycled premium quality stationery.

(1) Gumnut Hill Stationery – Windsor, Australia                                                        

(2) The Exotic Paper Company – Taunton, Somerset, England                                 

(3) Green Stationery Co. – Gauteng, South Africa                                                       

(4) Green Paper Company – Columbus, Ohio                                                             

(5) Paper Culture Co. – Millbrae, California                                                                 

For many stationery companies, utilizing wind-generated electricity to manufacture and print their greeting cards, notecards, fine writing paper and pocket journals is another way of “going green” without depleting the Earth’s fossil fuel resources. Notable companies using renewable energy for stationery products include:

(1) Borealis Press – Blue Hill, Maine                                                                            

(2) Jacki Paper Co. – Belmont, California                                                                         

(3) 9SpotMonk Design Co. – Glen Rock, New Jersey                                                      

Another example of stationery companies “going green” is using chlorine-free environmentally-friendly bleaching agents in brightening the final paper product. Two noteworthy companies practicing this method are:

(1) New Leaf Paper Co. – San Francisco, California                                                             

(2) Greener Printer – Berkeley, California                                                                   

But innovation in stationery processes doesn’t stop here – Arch Paper Company in St. Louis, Missouri ( creates business cards, greeting cards, letterpress, and graphics by recycling vintage textiles and used clothing.  And then there are the Benedictine Monks at ‘Abbey Press Printing’ – part of Saint Meinrad Archabbey in southern Indiana – who for the past 140 years have been making an array of cards and stationery in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.   Their Christian commitment to environmental stewardship is far-reaching — and their works — mightier than the sword!

See —                                                                                                                ,%20Promise%20&%20Passion


Have you any green ideas, insights, experiences of your own to add or share?