A beginner’s guide to eco-friendly stationery

Eco-friendly stationery is a broad category that encompasses recycled and sustainable stationery, along with zero-waste gifts like eco-friendly notebooks that can be fully recycled once they have been used.

The term applies to all kinds of green stationery, from eco-friendly pens and pencils, to recycled notebooks and ethical stationery gifts – and different products might have different ethical and environmental credentials.

For example, some eco stationery may be made from ethically produced materials like sustainably managed timber, while others might use more recycled raw materials or be designed in such a way to avoid ending up in a landfill site.

In this guide, we’ll look in more detail at what makes green stationery ‘green’ and why it makes sense to buy eco-friendly stationery for yourself and others.

What is sustainable stationery?

There’s no strict definition of sustainable stationery. It could be recycled or recyclable (or both), it might use raw materials that would otherwise go to landfill, or it might be ethical in some other way.

Because it’s such a broad definition, there’s plenty of choice, allowing you to choose a sustainable pen that fits your lifestyle and your own eco priorities.

Why should I try sustainable stationery?

There’s really nothing to lose. Sustainable stationery often does not cost any more than its traditional equivalents, and there are some really stunning designs of eco pens, pencils and notebooks to choose from.

You can make a conscious effort to be environmentally friendly

If you want to take action for sustainable living, without making major changes to your lifestyle, eco stationery is a simple first step to take.

Sustainable stationery products function exactly as normal and there’s usually no visible difference either, so you get peace of mind without compromise.

It sets a good example

As well as improving your personal eco profile, you can encourage others to take their own action for sustainable living too.

Zero-waste gifts are a great way to do this, by giving friends, family and co-workers an eco-friendly notebook, pen or pencil and putting them on their own path towards eco-friendly living.

You will reduce waste

Sustainable stationery is typically designed to last longer. In fact, any refillable pen will generate less waste than a disposable pen, so opt for a cartridge pen, traditional fountain pen or refillable ball pen if you want to do your bit.

If you are in business, you could consider giving a customised pen as a corporate gift, to encourage your customers to cut down on their use of disposable stationery too.

How does eco-friendly stationery help the environment?

Eco-friendly stationery (depending on the product) can divert materials away from landfill during its manufacture, and reduce landfill waste due to disposable plastic pens being thrown away.

Sustainable stationery is also more likely to use renewable raw materials such as wood and eco plastics, rather than single-use plastics made from fossil fuels.

How is sustainable stationery made?

Green stationery is made from sustainable raw materials – and these, in turn, are produced using ethical, long-term sustainable practices.

For example, the largest pencil brand in the world, Faber-Castell, has a pioneering forestation project in Brazil and Colombia where two million trees are planted every year.

Whenever a tree is felled to provide timber for the 2.3 billion Faber-Castell pencils manufactured each year, a new one is planted.

This is just one example of how sustainable stationery can be made and managed, as well as what makes Faber-Castell so special in the world of pens, pencils and paper.


Light Teak Heartwood Fountain Pen

Which sustainable stationery products should I try?

At The Pen Company, we stock a variety of eco stationery and eco-friendly pens, from recycled and sustainable raw materials to cartridge-free fountain pens. Here are three of our personal favourites.

The Heartwood Fountain Pen

The Montegrappa Heartwood Fountain Pen is a stunningly crafted sustainable hardwood pen and an icon of Italian woodworking and design.

You can use standard ink cartridges or, for even better sustainability over the long term, use a cartridge converter to reduce waste.

Caran d’Ache 849 Nespresso Ballpoint Pen

The Arpeggio Caran d’Ache 849 Nespresso Ballpoint Pen has some pretty unique eco credentials, as it was created in collaboration between Caran d’Ache and the coffeemaker brand Nespresso.

As a result, each pen features an aluminium barrel made out of a Nespresso capsule. It’s a clever way to improve the eco-friendliness of the pen while dealing with the concerns surrounding single-use coffeemaker pods.

Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen

The Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen has been a favourite since its launch in 1966 and has undergone fairly few design changes over the years.

Its piston-filling mechanism means the Lamy 2000 can draw ink from an inkwell, so there are no fountain pen cartridges to dispose of after frequent use.

Final thoughts

We could all live a little more sustainably, but simple steps like using more sustainable stationery allow us to do so without compromising on our existing lifestyles in any significant way.

Many people have already swapped plastic drinking straws for metal, bamboo or paper equivalents. Switching to green stationery is an obvious next step.

And with such a great selection of eco pens and pencils, eco-friendly notebooks and zero-waste gifts available, there’s no reason to delay investing in a great-quality pen or pencil that will stay by your side for many years to come.

From a young age, Natalya has been interested in all kind of stationery. From owning an assortment of coloured pens and pencils to buying a new notebook to write in every week. Natalya loves working for The Pen Company as it aids her in continuing her stationery passion as an adult.

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