It can be a bit of oxymoronic to be an environmentally conscious stationery addict, since a plethora of items are made with paper.  Though manufacturers are more conscious about incorporating recycled materials into their products, some products can be more finicky than ones without recycled materials.  Alfabet Recycle Notebooks in fact shatter that stereotypical image I have of recycled product; they set the bar high for other green product I will use in the future.

The outer packaging is simple and rustic. A thin cardboard wrap held together by a band that said “Keep it Green”.  Though it is labeled to contain 2 lined and 1 graph notebooks, the particular pack I purchased has 2 graph and 1 line.  There could be a line ruled lover out there who swapped the grid with mine.  The notebooks are manufactured by an Italian brand called Alfabet.  In my impression, Barnes and Noble carries it exclusively, since my past few notebooks by the same company has been purchased there.

Outer packaging.  Rather rustic looking.

Back side of the outer packaging

First impression of the notebook:  they look sturdy!  The covers are made with thin and textured card stock paper, so they can easily withstand any commotion in a purse or backpack.

Voilà, the three little gems inside!

Front and back covers

The covers might be a bit rough to touch, but the inside pages are another story.  the paper is quite smooth for recycled paper, not as toothy as other green products.  Little specks here and there are visible on pages, which added a natural look to it.  Similar to many other recycled paper, the paper color is grayish, but bright enough not to have one’s writing bury in the paper color. The paper is actually made with no trees. Deducing from the emblem printed on the packaging, this notebook is made with 100% postconsumer paper, which embraces the principle of recylcing.

Grid ruled
Line ruled

This notebook does stay flat!

Here comes my surprise:  the paper takes fountain pen ink surprisingly well!  You can witness my overzealous attempt in trying out a variety of fountain pen/ ink combination I currently have.  For certain inks, it does feather, but not to the extent that you will evoke God’s wrath.  In the close-up shot, you can detect a minute spiderweb around the letters, but overall, the writing is still intact and recognizable.

Testing page.
Notice the minimal spiderweb effect for fountain pen testing entries?
There is minor bleed through for fountain pen and Sharpies, but in my opinion, this is pretty wonderful for recycled paper.
Backside of the testing page

Because the paper is not toothy, one can safely use micro/ fine tip pen, such as Hi-Tec-C, with the notebook without the fear of punching holes on the pages.

Writing sample
I highly recommend this set of notebooks for anyone who is looking for a green alternative.  It is economical, sturdy, and acceptable to a variety of media.  The only drawback is that it is only sold at Barnes and Noble, and I am unsure whether it is available at all locations.  For the $9.95 price tag, it is money well spent.
Do you have green stationery items you absolutely adore?


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