If you enjoy collecting stationery and notebooks, chances are that this includes planners and diaries. Planners make it easy to schedule tasks and appointments. With diaries, you can track your activities, record reflections, and express your creativity.
Although many people consider getting a digital planner, a paper planner gives you the freedom to draw, scribble, jot, and create in ways a screen doesn’t. Whether you’re considering getting a brand new planner for yourself or a friend, why not consider an eco-friendly planner?
Why Choose an Eco-Friendly Planner?
If you’re on your sustainable journey, you’ll be familiar with the impact of paper waste on the planet. 93% of paper comes from trees2.
Whereas a great deal of paper is now sourced from replanted forests, wood products, including paper, are still said to account for around 10% of deforestation.
Tropical deforestation, according to The Environmental Defense Fund, contributes around 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions1. Furthermore, paper accounts for 25% of waste in landfills. And paper processing can additionally use energy and water unsustainably.
Apart from these facts, we must also consider the extra materials that planners and diary brands use. These materials include elastic ties, plastic tabs, plastic folders, and spiral binding. These materials contribute to waste as well and can hinder the recycling process.
You may be wondering, “Shouldn’t I then completely switch from physical planners to digital ones?” for sure, that’s a great eco-option. However, if you prefer diary writing with a pen in hand, there are eco-friendly planners you can purchase.
From the felling of trees down to the treatment and disposal methods, it’s important to make conscious choices. Makers of sustainable planners, journals, and diaries use eco-friendly materials in their products and packaging.
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly journal or notebook instead, check out our list of the best options. And if you are looking for a journal to use for work, you can also grab your choice of the best eco-friendly business cards perfect for networking.
What to Look Out For When Shopping for Planners
Apart from the top suggestions in this article, here is a simple guide to aid your purchase decisions. Look for these pointers when shopping for your next paper planner or diary.
Recyclable or compostable
When shopping for your planners, diaries, or journals, look out for those that use recyclable paper or that are compostable. Many traditional planners come with extra materials, like plastic pieces or plastic-coated ring binders, that make it difficult to recycle or compost. So, try to purchase planners that are made up of components that are recyclable or compostable.
Reclaimed or recycled materials
We’ve established how virgin paper takes a toll on the planet’s resources. To curb this, many sustainable planners and diary brands use recycled materials. By using materials like post-consumer recycled paper, they save a ton of resources when making every planner.
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper
FSC-certified paper means that the company or brand uses sustainably sourced paper. Furthermore, with an extra touch of care for the planet and the product, you'll usually find excellent paper quality when opting for sustainable options.
Blank, undated pages
There’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to this. However, choosing planners and diaries with blank pages and no dates can help you use the products for longer. This way, you’re not constrained to specific years, especially if you don’t use your planners daily. Check out our list of journal prompts to overcome your writer's block.
11 Eco-Friendly Planner and Diary Picks
Here are our top picks for sustainable planners and diaries to help you set your daily intentions, create notes, and track and organize your goals.
1. Beatific Happy Planner
The Happy Planner comes in a wide variety of colorful and inspiring cover designs to inspire your daily jottings and diary entries.
Blissful happiness in an eco-friendly planner
The store owner handcrafts each item with a focus on blissful happiness. To bring happiness into your everyday life, the happy planner includes prompts and opportunities to reflect and capture your goals. Coupled with inspirational quotes, reminders for self-reward, and plenty of room to get organized, these make a great choice for those who might appreciate the structure to aid positive thinking and gratitude.
Furthermore, you’ll find options for customization and soft and hardcovers. Beatific makes its planners and diaries from recycled paper and plants a tree for every purchase. They also support Project Girl Code, an organization working with girls vulnerable to exploitation to help educate them with digital skills.
2. Dingbats Notebooks
Dingbats has established itself as an eco-friendly brand of journals and notebooks. The brand creates traditional notebook styles in various colors, designs, and inner ruling options.
An interesting feature of this brand is that it creates collections for its books. The collections include wildlife, earth, and pro, with wildlife being its signature collection. If you’re into bullet journaling, then you’ll appreciate the offerings from Dingbats.
100% vegan certified planners that give back to nature
Dingbats use FSC-certified and acid-free paper. For the book covers, the brand uses vegan leather. It is also vegan-certified by the EU V-Label. Extra features the notebooks come with are inner pockets (for storing cards) and bookmarks (to access a page quickly).
When shopping from the wildlife collection, you can pick your desired page rulings. Dingbats offer plain, dot grid, lined, and grid pages. NB these are notebooks you can use as planners and diaries but don't specifically come dated for flexible use.
On the website, Dingbats has a section highlighting its commitment to the earth. You can find specific details about the brand’s choices and certificates. Although the brand uses shrink wrap, it uses a material containing sugarcane ethanol, which is recyclable in many countries. Dingbats donates 2% of its UK profits to the World Wildlife Fund.
3. Wisdom Supply Co. Zero-Waste Weekly Planner
Wisdom Supply Co. designs and creates stationery targeted at preventing waste in our environment. This small company intentionally creates its eco-friendly products with reuse, repair, and recyclability in mind.
Some of its products include weekly planners and school and office supply kits. If you’re looking for new sustainable planners, you can check out the company’s 2022 zero-waste planner.
The wisdom of a planner made from rapidly renewing sustainable fibers
With 116 pages crafted from 100% post-consumer recycled paper, you’re certain you’re reducing your environmental impact. Also, you have the option of picking your cover material when purchasing your zero-waste planner. Wisdom Supply Co. offers covers in various material types, including hemp, recycled denim, straw, and cotton. Across its various notebook and planner variants, the company avoids using plastic.
This planner offers weekly spreads and a monthly at-a-glance section. You can create your daily to-do list, write notes, and track your tasks. To show its commitment to sustainable practices, the company includes details on how the consumer can properly dispose of products and ensure proper recycling.
You can also explore the various notebook styles that you can use for sketching, writing diary entries, bullet journaling, and taking notes.
4. Ponderlily Undated Planner
Ponderlily creates eco-friendly journals, planners, and notebooks that can serve multiple purposes. From the production to the packaging of its items, the brand stays committed to sustainable practices. We’re highlighting the undated planner because it gives you the freedom to plan and write as you wish.
Ponderlily provides its customers with a range of color options when browsing its categories of planners and journals. For the undated weekly planners, you can choose from linen, grey, charcoal, and cayenne variants. However, swing by the shop for more options, including those with monthly and weekly spreads.
Simple classic lines for creative diary-taking and planning
The elegant-looking covers and designs of the planners reflect a fusion of both aesthetics and functionality. The eco-friendly undated planner empowers you to schedule time for self-care, plan your days, and set goals. You can write in and fill your planner with details like things to try and meetings each week. The planner also features pages and spaces for gratitude, intentions, and notes.
This Ponderlily planner offers more than a pretty cover and aesthetic page layout. The brand uses plant-based ink and thick recycled paper for the finished product. With 240 planning and double-spread pages for weekly and monthly content, you have enough space for plenty of entries.
5. The Daily Planner by Lavendaire
The Lavendaire brand is built on the concept of lifestyle design. As a result, it’s no surprise that the creator started designing planners and workbooks.
Eco-friendly planner with room for reflection
The Daily Planner consists of 184 pages, completely undated, thereby giving freedom with your entries. The purpose of this planner is to help you design your days to be meaningful, productive, and effective. Each page consists of spaces to write your daily intentions, self-care habits, to-dos, and gratitude list. There’s also a space for you to fill in your daily wins and accomplishments as a form of diary entries.
The Daily Planner is printed on FSC-certified 100 GSM mix paper, and the cover is vegan leather. The brand uses food-grade inks for its printing. Lavendaire also offers notebooks that come in pastel-colored sets. As a part of its eco-conscious practices, the brand uses plastic-free recycled paper boxes to ship its products.
6. Papier Diaries
Papier is a stationery brand that creates a wide range of notebooks, journals, diaries, cards, and planners. From the “diaries and planners” section on the site, you’ll find many designs to choose from.
The diaries feature spaces for you to write your to-do lists, goals, and reviews for the week, month, and year. A unique service Papier offers is giving you the ability to personalize your diary cover. The brand collaborates with various artists and illustrators to produce unique and stylish designs.
Planners for years full of potential
Papier commits to sustainable practices in three main ways. The brand makes items to order, sources its papers sustainably, and adopts paper packaging. By establishing a made-to-order model, the brand can curb emissions from running a large warehouse. The virgin paper comes from FSC-certified forests, and shipping items for diaries are recyclable. On the brand’s website, you can find information on how to recycle your Papier products.
7. Green Dreamer Planners
The Green Dreamer sustainable planners target a specific niche of guiding you towards holistic well-being and eco-consciousness. Each new planner includes inspirational quotes, important eco-awareness dates, and weekly action steps.
It also features pages with goal-setting prompts to help you stay ahead of personal and business tasks. The affirmations and weekly reflections section affirms the planner’s goal of helping you cultivate wellness and self-love.
Eco-friendly planners to help you live the green dream
The planners from this business are printed with soy-based ink, plastic-free, and made locally in the United States. Also, the company crafts its pages from recycled paper to reduce waste. The cover page comes in two-toned designs, and you can pick a cover either in blue or red tones. Further options include recycled kraft paper covers.
According to the owner, the business designed its eco-friendly planner “for the green dreamer.” These planners are not only eco-friendly but also interactive and stylish.
In terms of shipping, the brand uses plastic-free packaging to send products out to customers. Green Dreamer’s eco-friendly commitment is reflected throughout the business processes. With each planner you buy, the brand supports reforestation by planting a tree.
8. Earth Greetings Planner
This company takes a holistic approach to sustainability. The company partnered with Carbon Neutral to offset its greenhouse gas emissions as part of its dedication to the planet.
The planners offer a simple layout that makes it easy for you to fill in tasks, appointments, and other entries. The planners not only help you keep track of dates but also serve as sources of inspiration and mindfulness.
Within the planner, you’ll find New Year reflection sections, gratitude spaces, quarterly moon phases, and a full-colored art piece. You’ll also find dotted and lined pages where you can make jottings.
Beautiful plastic and carbon-free planners
The brand produces its planners in Australia and uses vegetable-based inks for its printing. Vegetable ink makes it easier to recycle paper and contributes less waste compared with mineral-based inks. Every planner comes with a compostable cotton ribbon. Also, the brand uses 100% post-consumer recycled paper and plastic-free materials to reduce waste.
Owning one of these planners entails a simple approach to setting positive intentions using the monthly support sections. The company will be donating over 10% of its profits from the 2022 planner sales to organizations that support habitat restoration and native wildlife.
9. A Good Company Pocket Diary
One of the notable features of A Good Company’s offerings is the use of stone paper. This alternative to pulp paper doesn’t require chemicals or water to produce. This clean process also runs on solar energy.
The pocket diary is a great companion that you can easily throw in your jacket pocket. It’s easy to carry around and allows you to document observations and make other quick jottings quickly. So, if you’re a creative who often gets random bursts of inspiration, you can document your ideas on the go. The pocket diary comes in a pack of three and is printed with soy-based inks.
Within the product details, the brand gives suggestions on how best to recycle the diaries. The diary pages are water-resistant, which means no more ink bleeding.
10. BuyEcoGreen Earthcare Recycled Diary
BuyEcoGreen specializes in sustainable school, office, and art supplies. The Earthcare recycled diary serves as a useful tool for budgeting and tracking appointments. The diary serves the traditional function by highlighting sections like calendars and weekly views.
The company uses FSC mix paper with 60% recycled post-consumer waste. It also makes an environmentally friendly choice by using vegetable oil-based inks. Each diary features wire bounds and an inner pocket area.
11. Sasha Kretova Book / Planner
Sasha Kretova, an illustrator and tattoo artist, creates her designs in her small home studio in Finland. Her designs highlight simplicity and sustainability. Each book can serve multiple functions depending on your preference. You can choose from a variety of page options, including dotted, blank, lined, grid, and open date planner formats. You also have the freedom to pick from different cover designs and colors.
Sasha Kretiva uses 100% recycled paper that she sources within Europe. Also, she uses a cotton thread for the bindings. Apart from books and planners, the Sasha Kretova shop also stocks postcards, pins, and earrings.
If you’re a planner or enjoy the art of writing, these monthly planner and diary options will make great additions to your collection. Not only do they come in stylish and functional designs, but they stand out for their sustainable features. From blank to lined pages and varying unique features, you’ll find something that fits your goals.
Asner, G. (2006). Measuring carbon emissions from tropical deforestation: an overview. New York, États-Unis, Environmental Defense Fund.
The World Counts. (n.d.). Paper waste facts