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Paper for the Holidays: Gift Giving Tailor Made

29 Nov

Thanksgiving is over (and your belly is probably still full from the feast!), and November is almost gone with its crisp autumn breezes and crackly, colorful leaves. If you haven’t started planning for the major gift-giving holidays, now is a good time to start, plus it will make those busy days and long lists much easier to handle.

Paper is one of the best gifts to get anyone. It can be practical or luxurious, simple or fancy. With some thought, it can also be tailored to fit anyone’s wishes.

The Big Event

Do you know someone who has a big event coming up in the next few months? Perhaps they are getting married, expecting a baby, or graduating college?  If so, paper is the perfect gift.

Why not put together a special package? Start with a set of boxed note cards and a set of thank you cards. Blank notes allow your family or friends to send out everything from event announcements to address changes. The set of thank you cards are a perfect follow up for any gifts given for these life-changing events.

Mudlark Eco Stephanie Boxed Note Cards on EuropeanPaper.com

Mudlark Eco Stephanie Boxed Note Cards

Suggestions: Mudlark offers a variety of colors and designs for everyone. Quotable Cards can also be a great choice, with quotes that reflect each person’s attitudes

Buying Tip: When ordering note cards or stationery, keep in mind the weight of the paper (found in the product description). Written in “gsm,” (grams per square meter), the heavier-weight papers will be higher quality, more durable, and have less risk of ink bleed-through. While sheets of paper may be as low as 80 gsm, cards will frequently be greater than 200 gsm.

A Happy New Year

The beginning of a new year is always exciting. Everyone makes big plans for what they want to accomplish. Help them achieve their goals by getting them just the right datebook. Pocket planners slip into a purse or a briefcase, while large planners provide plenty of room for notes, comments, and much more.

Moleskine 2012 XLarge Weekly Planner

Suggestions: If you know someone who doodles, often with pens, you might choose a Rhodia datebook with Clairefontaine paper because it will hold up under those constant scribbles and heavier inks. On the other hand, if you know someone who prefers to take notes or draw with pencils, a thinner paper Moleskine would be the perfect choice.

Buying Tip: Of course, another terrific way to help people keep track of time and obligations is by getting them just the right calendar. Yep, we’re thinking of none other than Cavallini’s lines of wall and desk calendars.

Journal the Year

Moleskine Passions Wellness Journal

One way to help others (and yourself) start off 2012 is by keeping a journal. It’s a simple solution to many people’s New Year’s resolutions: just by keeping an informal daily or weekly journal, you will keep track of your goals much more efficiently.

Suggestions: Moleskine has a line perfectly geared for people’s passions, aptly titled the Passions Books. These include specially organized journals for those who love everything from cooking, reading, traveling, and gardening, to drinking wine, watching movies, and listening to music. Each journal is unique and sure to please the people on your list.

Eco Warrior

You might know someone who likes something more unique—and more environmentally friendly. This is a broad category and can include products that are made with tree-free paper, recycled paper, or alternative fibers, as well as products that come from companies with sustainable and eco-friendly manufacturing processes.

Valley Eco Pulp Stationery on EuropeanPaper.com

Valley Eco Pulp Stationery

Suggestions: For the adventurous, why not grab them a set of Valley Eco Pulp Stationery and choose between sets made of bamboo, banana trunks, coconuts, mango leaves or pineapple husks fiber. For the sweet, Mudlark has an eco line of boxed note cards with designs to match every personality.

The holidays are a chance to not only show someone you care but also to show that you know them well enough—and care enough—to find a gift that’s right for them. Paper can be a fabulous choice for many of the names on your list, and paper products are easy to buy in order to avoid that last minute panic.

Quick Tips for Making the Paper Gift Extra Special:

Add a sheet of first-class Forever stamps.
Slide in an address book with family and friends already listed in it.
Take an extra step and provide personalized address labels.

What quick tips can you share?

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 Meet the Writer: Tamra Orr is a full time writer and has written more than 300 books for readers of all ages. She is also mom to four and writes an average of 50 letters or more a month.

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One Reason to Choose Eco-Friendly Journals

8 Nov

Losing yourself in the wilderness is one of the greatest joys of life.  It allows the mind a chance to think, it gives the soul a reprieve from everyday life, and it allows the body to relax.  Getting lost in the woods, temporarily at least, can provide a much-needed respite from the rush of everyday life.

See all Eco Journals on EPC by clicking this image

Top down: Poo Poo Paper Journal, Lama Li Hemp Journal, Handmade Lokta Journal

To continue enjoying the raw beauty of nature, we must turn to sustainable choices in our lives, large and small. Each year approximately 300,000 acres of trees are turned into paper in the United States alone.  This paper is mostly used in offices when pure white copy paper is needed, and much of it is then tossed into the waste bin shortly after use. However, in our daily journals, weekly planners, and random note-catchers, we don’t need to be so frivolous. Plus, for an enhanced experience when writing in journals, notepads, or on stationery, I want paper that has some texture and a story behind it.

And if you’re like me when you walk into the woods with a journal, it’s easy to understand alternative paper options when standing amongst nature.  Trees are a renewable resource, but there are several options out there that are even more sustainable that might surprise you.

With a little creativity, and by combining new and old techniques, it is amazing what can be made into paper.  Paper sources have a wide range – here are just a few:

  • Fiber from coconuts, mango leaves, banana tree-trunks, and many other fruits & vegetables.
  • Cotton, flax, bamboo stalks, and hemp.
  • Bushes like the lokta plant.
  • Recycled clothing rags.
  • Animal dung (there is a particularly high yield from elephant dung, and yes, even poo can be cleaned up and turned into a writing medium).

As easily renewable resources—and some that are harvested as waste or recycled products—all of the above paper sources make the argument for choosing an alternative form of paper that much stronger. The availability of tree-free alternatives in a sustainable harvesting fashion is so immense that if the demand increased for them, it could dramatically reduce the demand for paper made of trees.

We can choose to buy a journal, notebook, or other paper product that is made from new paper, OR we can choose to purchase an eco-friendly journal. Whether it is from 100% recycled paper originally made from trees or made from a sustainable alternative fiber, we as consumers have access to more alternative options than ever before (not to mention, more to weigh on our conscious with this information).

Getting out and enjoying nature at its finest is wonderful.  Taking a notebook or journal to document the trip can create memories that will last a lifetime.  But if trees are destroyed just to create those journals, nature can, and will, quickly disappear.

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 Meet the Writer: Scott Sery is a native to Billings, Montana, where he enjoys amazing access to the great outdoors the area has to offer. With years of wandering in the backcountry, and a love for the environment, he transfers his experiences exploring the great outdoors to guides and stories of surviving in the wilderness.

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