Eco Friendly Notebooks and Journals

14 Best Eco-Friendly Notebooks & Journals

Keeping a journal offers therapeutic benefits while also helping you organize your everyday life. Writing your thoughts, feelings, and ideas down on paper is perhaps one of the easiest and most effective ways to keep a journal. But paper has substantial environmental consequences. Therefore, you can preserve the environment as you preserve your memories by choosing from some of the best eco-friendly notebooks we’ve carefully selected for you below.

From unsustainable paper production to the use of non-renewable forests, through water use and chemical processing, paper can prove to be far from planet-friendly. You’ll find numerous reasons to choose eco-friendly journals detailed at the end of this article, where we explore the paper industry’s impact. 

Meanwhile, journaling is proven to help us create the time and space to process our thoughts. And is even proven to support our mental health. If you’re stuck for inspiration, check out our list of journal prompts and tips on how to write a journal which also includes more details on the benefits of journaling to get you started. 

14 best eco-friendly journals

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Choosing the right journal doesn't have to be difficult; we have curated a list of the best eco-friendly journals available. You will find detailed information on the brands that make these journals to help you decide which is best for you.

Quick links to our picks of the best eco-friendly notebooks and journals:

1. Dingbats

Dingbats green notebooks
Photo Credit: Dingbats

Size: A6, A5, A4, A4+
Product range: stationery
Ethical practices and value: 100% vegan, FSC certified paper, sustainable packaging
Store location and shipping: based in the UK and offers international shipping

Dingbats make eco-friendly notebooks and journals that highlight the beauty and challenges of our natural ecosystem. Dingbats donate 2% of its sales in the UK to the World Wildlife Foundation.

The Forest Stewardship Council certifies the paper used in these Dingbats notebooks. Dingbats are the first and only book manufacturer to hold this certificate. The faux leather they use in book covers is vegan and biodegradable. Even their adhesive is water-based instead of the commonly used animal-based products. For its total avoidance of animal-based materials, the brand received an EU V-Label. 

Furthermore, the company treats the wastewater from its manufacturing and lets it flow back into the surrounding rivers. All the factories associated with Dingbats’ production are trusted to be water efficient. They also have strict carbon emissions control. The packaging choice for this brand is recyclable shrink wrap which takes 40% of its materials for sugarcane ethanol. 

Shop Dingbats on Amazon or Direct

2. Rocketbook 

Rocketbook eco friendly notebook
Photo Credit: Rocketbook

Size: letter, executive
Product range: Stationery
Ethical practices and value: reusable, BPA-free, recyclable 
Store location and shipping: based in the united states and ships internationally

Rocketbook fuses digital technology and traditional note-taking to offer up a genuinely eco-friendly journal. One of the best things about Rocketbook notebooks is that they are infinitely reusable. You simply scan what you've written, save it to cloud storage, and then erase your jottings and reuse the page.

The brand makes its journals and notebook pages with polyester composite. They provide a special pen for jotting down all your notes and thoughts with each purchase. The pen, Pilot FriXion, is the only recommended pen for writing in your Rocketbook journal. You also receive with each purchase a microfiber cloth that works as an eraser.

From the HDPE cover to the blank pages and PVC spiral spine, every part of Rocketbook journals is recyclable. They also use recyclable and biodegradable Kraft paper for some notebook covers.

In 2019, the brand honored earth day by producing special notebooks and planting a tree for each one sold. 

Shop Rocketbook on Amazon

3. Hemp Heritage

Hemp Heritage Hemp Notebooks
Photo Credit: Hemp Heritage

Size: 7” x 7”, 3” x 4.25”, 8.5” x 11”, 5.5” x 7.5”, 11” x 14”
Product range: stationery
Ethical practices and value: recycled materials, non-toxic, local materials
Store location and shipping: based in the US and ships worldwide

Not every person expresses themselves with just words; some people like to illustrate how they feel. Hemp Heritage offers both drawing books and journals to cater to both forms of expression. They line their notebooks and journals on one side only with soy ink and leave the other side blank for doodling.

From the product name, we know that the first good thing about the Hemp Heritage journal is that they make it from hemp. The brand uses hemp grown in North America, with the paper stock comprising 25% hemp and 70% post-consumer recycled paper. Their eco-friendly notebook line is chlorine and acid-free.

The journal cover is an extra heavy debossed chipboard with a spiral black wire binder. It gives the journal an elegant look.

Shop Hemp Heritage

4. Karst

Karst Stone Paper Notebooks
Photo Credit: Karst

Size: A5, A6, A4,
Product range: stationery
Ethical practices and value: certified B Corporation, tree-free, recycled materials, carbon-neutral
Store location and shipping: based in the USA and delivers worldwide

This paper company makes paper from stone. They produce their innovative stone paper from a mixture of calcium carbonate (limestone) with resin. The paper is waterproof, providing a durability edge over traditional paper stock.

Karst uses ethically recycled limestone sourced from construction waste. The resin is non-toxic and also recycled. The manufacturing process does not require water, acid, or chlorine. They gear their material choice and entire production process towards creating zero waste journals.

The numbers stack up favorably, with journals from Karst having a carbon footprint that is 67% smaller than traditional paper. They offset the footprint they have and still plant a tree for every product sold.

You can recycle your Karst journal through the plastic or paper waste stream. When you burn stone paper, it does not release any harmful gases.  It goes back to its original chemical state. If it ends up in a landfill, it will biodegrade within 12 months.

Karst assures consumers that it pays its workers fairly and provides a safe working environment.

Shop Karst

5. Ciak

Ciak notebooks
Photo Credit: CIAK

Size: A5, B6, A4, B7
Product range: stationery
Ethical practices and value: handmade, vegan, recycled  material, acid-free,
Store location and shipping: based in Italy and ships worldwide

Ciak is an Italian paper brand that produces handmade eco-friendly notebooks for students, travelers, and businesspeople. The journals come in a variety of colors and have a horizontal elastic closure. A ribbon bookmark is attached to the notebooks.

The Ciak Mate journals are entirely free from animal-based products, with each of these stylish numbers featuring a soft vegan leather cover. At the same time, Ciak makes their eco notebooks covers from recycled leather. Ciak recycled paper is sourced from their manufacturing partner, Favini factories, a reputable and certified company. 

This eco-friendly notebook brand’s production process is environmentally friendly and runs on renewable energy. The notebooks are free from acids and harmful chemicals.

Shop Ciak on Amazon or Direct

6. Onyx & Green

Onxy and Green Eco Friendly Journals
Photo Credit: Onyx & Green

Size: 6” x 9”, 4.4” x 0.4” x 5.9”
Product range: stationery and clothing
Ethical practices and value: tree-free, recyclable, eco-friendly packaging
Store location and shipping: based in

With playful designs of school and office supplies, Onyx & Green makes journaling fun and treeless. This eco-friendly journal brand uses various sustainable materials, including bamboo, calcium carbonate, sugar cane, corn starch, cotton, ramie, and jute. These materials are all vegan and biodegradable. 

Onyx & green uses sustainably sourced limestone from construction debris to make its stone paper journals. They make their Bagasse paper from the agricultural waste of sugar production. These paper types consume less energy, water, and chemicals than regular paper. Their packaging is recycled and printed with soy ink.

The brand is very passionate about recycling, so it ensures its products are durable enough to survive use and recycling. Onyx green has a dedicated line of stationery made from recycled materials only using post-consumer recycled paper and animal-based post-industrial recycled plastic. Other recycled materials include newspapers, rubber, aluminum, PET bottles, and milk cartons. 

Shop Onyx & Green on Amazon

7. Northbooks

Northbooks
Photo Credit: Northbooks

Size: A5, 
Product range: stationery
Ethical practices and value: locally manufactured, FSC certified, SFI certified, zero acid
Store location and shipping: based in the USA and ships worldwide

The Northbooks brand believes it was born out of a necessity to create top-quality notebooks for minimalists. Northbooks makes its notebooks from sustainably sourced paper certified by the FSC and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).

Northbooks uses about 30% of old waste paper in manufacturing. The paper, although recycled, is of high quality and is resistant to bleeding and feathering. They don’t add whitening chemicals to the paper. Its natural cream color makes it great for creative activities like sketching and water coloring.

The brand sources and manufactures its products locally in the USA. Its local manufacturing helps to boost the economy and cut back on shipping emissions.

Northbooks has a tree planting partnership with Eden Projects. For every book you buy, the company will plant a tree in the rainforest.

Shop Northbooks on Amazon

8. EcoPaper

Eco Paper Banana Notebook
Photo Credit: Eco Paper

Size: 6” x 8”, 8.5” x 11”, 
Product range: stationery
Ethical practices and value: tree-free, chlorine-free, sustainable material, acid-free
Store location and shipping: based in the united states and ships

Featuring artistic covers, EcoPaper offers consumers journals made without virgin tree pulp. The brand makes its eco-friendly notebooks strictly from agricultural waste from coffee, tobacco, and banana processing. 

To make high-quality paper, they mix the Agro-fibre with 100% post-consumer recycled paper. The recycled pulp comprises old magazines, newspapers, office paper, and tetra packs. The ratio of Agro-fibre to recycled paper is 20:80. They don’t use bleach or chemical additives to whiten the paper.

EcoPaper manufactures its eco-friendly notebook products in Costa Rica under environmentally friendly conditions. They also pay fair wages and provide a safe working environment in Costa Rica and the USA.

Shop EcoPaper

9. A Good Company

A Good Company Notebooks
Photo Credit: A Good Company

Size: A5, A6
Product range: stationery, mobile accessories, decor, 
Ethical practices and value: B Corporation, carbon negative, recycled and sustainable materials, transparency
Store location and shipping: based in Sweden and ships internationally 

A Good Company makes eco-friendly notebooks from a variety of recycled and natural materials. They use recycled limestone to make carbon-negative stone paper journals and diaries. A Good Company completes each print with ethically sourced, non-toxic soy ink.

Every journal is Cradle to Cradle certified and wastes no water. Their packaging and shipping are plastic-free. Also, they do not add wood pulp or chemicals to the manufacturing process. Consumers can recycle old journals or let them degrade naturally in the landfill.

The brand maintains its negative carbon status by offsetting shipping and production emissions. And also through its tree-planting efforts in Zambia. A good company donates 4% of its profits to its charity organization, A Good Foundation.

Shop A Good Company

10. Ecojot

EcoJot Journals and Notebooks
Photo Credit: Ecojot

Size: 6” x 9”, 
Product range: stationery
Ethical practices and value: locally manufactured, vegan, sustainable materials
Store location and shipping: based in Canada and ships internationally

The Ecojot company was founded in 2007 by siblings Carolyn and Mark Gavin. In 2012, the brand won the Ancient Forest Friendly and Order of the Forest Awards by Canopy. The award-winning brand makes colorful eco-friendly notebooks and journals for retail and custom orders.

Ecojot paper comes from post-consumer recycled waste paper. They get the old paper from the reputable cascades mill, Quebec. The glues and inks used to manufacture Ecojot’s journals are vegetable-based. 

Ecojot donates books to children in disadvantaged communities through its Buy 1, Give 1 program. Therefore, for every book you buy, Ecojot will donate a book to a child in need. They also donate to Umoja Global, Center for the Arts, Haiti, The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, and others.

Shop Ecojot

11. Stone

Stone journals
Photo Credit: Stone

Size: 21cm x 13cm, A6
Product range: stationery and accessories
Ethical practices and value: vegan leather, stone paper, environmentally friendly,
Store location and shipping: based in the UK and ships worldwide

Named after their choice of sustainable material, Stone produces hardcover notebooks. The notebook has alternating lined writing pages and plain drawing pages. So you can get as creative as you want to with your journaling. Stone also offers customization services.

Although the brand advertises The Classic Stone notebook as a chef’s companion, anybody can use it. The brand has other notebooks designed exclusively for chefs, baristas, and bartenders. The stone paper notebooks are durable waterproof and greaseproof products. As such, wine and oil spills are not a problem. The notebook is also a lay-flat type, and that makes for writing on the go with ease.

Stone gets its limestone from offcuts found in quarries. They make the hardcovers with faux vegan leather. For their passport-sized memo, they even make the cover with stone paper.

Shop Stone

12. PooPoo Paper

PooPoo Paper notebooks and journals
Photo Credit: PooPoo Paper

Size: Mini, 6" and 4"
Product range: stationery
Ethical practices and value: tree-free, chemical-free, handcrafted
Store location and shipping: based in Thailand and ships internationally, 

This innovative brand literally makes Poopoo paper from poo. The brand uses animal poop to make some of the best eco-friendly notebooks. The animals are herbivores that do not completely break down the leaves and fruits they consume. As a result, there is a lot of fiber in their poop.

They mix the poop fiber with any available agro-fibers sourced from corn husks, banana stock, hay, and others and use whatever raw material is in season. They make their organic paper from 85% animal poop and 15% agro-waste.

Although made from the poop of cows, horses, buffalos, and so on, the paper is odorless and handcrafted without chemicals. They reuse the wastewater from the cleaning and boiling stage for production or to water trees. They dye the paper with food coloring and natural inks. Also, they do all their printing with soy ink. 

The brand allows its workforce, which is about 95% women, to work from home. It gives them very flexible hours and does not put their earnings at risk. Poopoo paper company is certified by the Social Accountability International SA8000 standards. 

Shop PooPoo Paper

13. Gitchi

Gitchi Adventure Notebooks
Photo Credit: Gitchi

Size: 3.5” x 5.5”
Product range: stationery 
Ethical practices and value: carbon offsets, 1% for the planet, locally made, FSC certified, clean energy
Store location and shipping: based in the united states and ships only to Canada

Gitchi is an ethical outdoor gear brand that saw just how important it is to keep records when going on adventures. They created the Adventure Notebooks, a slim, easy-to-carry journal line. You can fit their eco-friendly notebooks easily into your pocket.

All Gitchi paper products are made in the USA with 100% post-consumer recycled paper. The notebooks are Forest Stewardship Council certified. Greenseal also approves them. The brand runs its entire notebook production on renewable energy.

The brand offsets its shipping emissions, so its shipping footprint is carbon neutral. Gitchi is a 1% For The Planet organization member and gives one percent of its income to support communities in need. Gitchi set up a Public Lands Pledge and donates 10% of the profit from each sale to support and preserve public outdoor spaces.

Shop Gitchi on Etsy

14. Paperage

Paperage Classic Notebook
Photo Credit: Paperage

Size: 3.7” x 5.6”, 5.7” x 8”, 
Product range: stationery
Ethical practices and value: acid-free, recycled paper
Store location and shipping: based in the USA and ships internationally

Paperage hopes to spark creativity in the world with its simply designed journals and notebooks. Their staple product is a hardcover notebook with a ribbon bookmark and elastic vertical closure band.

The brand has a regular virgin tree-based paper journal line, and another made with recycled paper. Paperage admits they don't make the recycled journal totally from recycled materials. However, both types of their notebooks are free from acid and toxic chemicals.

Shop Paperage on Amazon

Environmental impact of the pulp and paper industry

Notebooks are a common feature in our everyday lives. The world consumes about 422 million metric tons of paper yearly. The US and China are the largest consumers of paper in the world. 

In your search for an eco-friendly notebook or journal, it’s worth understanding a bit more about the reasons to choose products made from sustainably sourced or recycled materials.  Below we highlight some impacts paper consumption has on the planet.

Deforestation 

A large portion of paper available today is from wood pulp. The paper and pulp industry consumes over 40% of the world’s industrial wood trade. Unethical wood harvesting can threaten wildlife and forests. Wildlife and natural forests in Papua New Guinea, Borneo and Sumatra, and the Russian Far East are at risk due to increasing demand for pulpwood.

They make eco-friendly paper with the assurance that the forests are replanted, and biodiversity is not endangered.

Related: Read up more about the facts related to deforestation.

Resource waste

Pristine white paper stock usually comes from virgin tree pulp. When we consider how long it takes to grow trees, we realize the considerable waste of forest resources. 

Cardboard and paper make up 20% of global municipal solid waste1. In developed countries, paper manufacturing is the largest industrial consumer of water2.

They usually make eco-friendly notebooks with recycled paper or without tree resources at all. The innovative stone paper featured in a number of our recommendations above doesn't even require water.

Pollution

To whiten paper, manufacturers used in traditional notebooks and journals manufacturers use toxic amounts of chlorine bleach. They also add other chemicals and acids to conventional paper. These chemicals are harmful to human health and the environment as they often find their way into water bodies. 

Also, the energy required to power paper mills is intensive and releases a significant amount of carbon emissions.

However, brands making notebooks that qualify as eco-friendly avoid the use of harmful chemicals or bleach. They are safe for the environment and made using clean and renewable energy.

Social conflicts

Illegal harvesting and irresponsible plantation establishments can lead to violations of human rights and social conflicts. Conflicts often arise when paper companies get licenses over lands over which community members claim ownership. Such conflicts are a common occurrence in Sumatra and Brazil.

Further Reading: We have a more detailed breakdown of everything you might need to know about eco-friendly paper, including certifications, processes, and what to look for a click away. 

Conclusion

Thi article offers practical guidance to make sure your next journal benefits you and the environment. Whether you are a fan of fun designs or prefer a minimalist design, there is a range of excellent eco-friendly notebooks and journals to choose from today. 

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1

Ian Tiseo (2021) Global paper industry - statistics and facts. Statista

2

Pulp and paper. Responsible Forestry. World Wildlife Foundation.

Jen’s a passionate environmentalist and sustainability expert. With a science degree from Babcock University Jen loves applying her research skills to craft editorial that connects with our global changemaker and readership audiences centered around topics including zero waste, sustainability, climate change, and biodiversity.

Elsewhere Jen’s interests include the role that future technology and data have in helping us solve some of the planet’s biggest challenges.

Photo by Keira Burton from Pexels
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