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Green Goodies for St. Patrick’s Day

9 Mar

Saint Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, and while everyone around the world celebrates their own way, “green” is always involved. Whether that’s literal or eco-inspired, we’re sure the following round-up will inspire you to keep green close at hand this following weekend (at least so you don’t get pinched!).

1. Moleskine Passions Wellness Journal (5 x 8.25 in.) - acid-free paper
2. Leuchtturm1917 Large Hard Cover Ruled Notebook (5.75 x 8.25 in.) - acid-free paper + archival quality
3. Apica CD-11 Series Notebook (Set of 3) (5.75 x 8.25 in.) - acid-free paper
4. Poo Poo Paper Stationery Sets (11.5 x 8.5 in.) - tree-free alternative fiber
5. Mudlark Eco Clare de Lune Boxed Note Cards - 80% post-consumer recycled content + printed soy-based inks

And a few interesting St. Patrick’s Day:

“The shortest St Patrick’s Day parade in the world takes place in DripseyCork. The parade lasts just 100 yards and travels between the village’s two pubs.” Wikipedia

“Though green is a very popular color on St. Patrick’s Day, the original color that was very popular and often related back to St. Patrick was not green, but blue.” TopTenz.

“There are four places in the United States named after the shamrock, the floral emblem of Ireland: Mount Gay-Shamrock, WV; Shamrock, TX; Shamrock Lakes, IN; and Shamrock, OK.” History.com

“Another St. Patrick myth is the claim that he banished snakes from Ireland. It’s true no snakes exist on the island today, Freeman said. But they never did. Ireland, after all, is surrounded by icy ocean waters—much too cold to allow snakes to migrate from Britain or anywhere else.” National Geographic

 

Live Your Life in Color: Paper and Color Theory

28 Feb

Leuchtturm Journals on EuropeanPaper.comHave you ever noticed how many restaurants use red? Next time you go out to eat, keep an eye out for how many establishments have red logos or signs, red-hued menus or table linens, and even red décor. It’s no coincidence: Psychologists have long recognized that red stimulates appetite.

Marketers and social scientists study colors and how they affect people across industries. The effects of each color have been studied and interpreted and are used as a common, subconscious way to sway a consumer. However, it’s not just for industry professionals; you can leverage the benefits of color theory, too!

Be Productive (or at least make others think you’re productive)

Choose blue. As you go about your workday, notice how many corporations use blue in their logos and on their websites. Most shades of blue convey trust and honesty. Light blue presents calm and focus, while darker shades of blue exude power – think of a navy suit. Consider painting your office your favorite shade of blue or, if you don’t get to choose your paint colors, add in blue accents with photos, desk accessories, or even a light blue journal (like the Leuchtturm1917 Pocket Ruled Journal).

Calm Those Shaky Nerves

Moleskine Volant Mini Ruled Notebook (Set of 2) (2.5 x 4) on EuropeanPaper.com

Moleskine Volant Mini Ruled Notebook (Set of 2)

Confrontations are part of business life. No one likes to deal with tense, stressful, or ugly meetings, but when you must, settle your nerves by taking minutes in a lavender Moleskine notebook. Lavender is known to be a calming color. You’ll help yourself feel a little more settled – and, who knows? It may rub off on your colleagues! And, since those Moleskine sets come with both lavender and purple, use the purple when you want to convey wisdom. Deeper purples, long considered royal colors, convey dignity, wealth, and success.

Snap Out of a Creative Funk

Whatever you do, skip brown! Brown has a reputation for being boring and just too practical. Instead, focus on bright cover colors. While a bright red could do the trick, your best bet might be a sunny yellow, which will help give you energy. To up your creative spark, take yellow Rite in Rain notebook outdoors to gather inspiration! (Read more about Rite in the Rain on our blog here.)

Convey Your Excitement

Demonstrate your enthusiasm for a new project or generate a little excitement with orange. Brighter orange shows a youthful, peppier optimism, while a darker-hued orange shows warmth. The Rhodia collection seems tailor-made for displaying bright, cheerful, excitement! Not an orange person? Consider a simple orange pencil from Rhodia instead of bigger splashes of the color.

Clairefontaine Basics Large Spiralbound Notebook With Pockets (6 x 8.25) on EuropeanPaper.com

Clairefontaine Basics Large Spiralbound Notebook with Pockets

Show Eco-Prowess

Convey to your colleagues that you are an all-natural, environmentally-conscious consumer with a green notebook. The color green evokes a down-to-earth vibe and symbolizes growth. However, green also is considered the color of envy and lack of experience – so choose a shade or hue that is found in nature, like muted tones, olive greens, or rich, leafy shades.

Control the Boardroom

In color theory, black is a neutral. Slick black is associated with power, elegance, and formality. Run meetings with a hardcover, black Moleskine to convey sophistication. Black also can be used to display a modern or traditional sensibility – so leverage black to enhance your natural style.

In the end, though, whether you select colors to help adjust your own mood or to subtly sway those around you, make sure you choose ones you like as well! If pink makes you happy, pick pink!

 

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 Meet the Writer:Maggie Marton is a freelance writer who lives in Bloomington, Indiana, with her husband and their three darling dogs. View more of Maggie’s work at MaggieMarton.com

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A Guide to Recycled Paper

23 Feb

There was a time when recycled paper came in two hues: washed-out gray and off-yellow. Now, recycled paper is available in a rainbow of colors, a range of materials, and even with custom printing options. But not all recycled paper is created equal!

Buying recycled paper reduces the amount of waste ending up in the landfill. It also saves energy – recycled paper uses much less energy to produce – and recycling causes less air and water pollution than manufacturing “virgin” paper. However, make sure you’re getting the biggest environmentally friendly bang for your buck. Keep in mind a few recycled paper definitions that will help you choose the most eco-friendly option whether you’re buying journals, stationery, or even office supplies!

Post-Consumer Waste vs. Pre-Consumer Waste

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recycled paper must be made from at least 30% post-consumer waste. That means that 30% has been used by a consumer, turned into a recycling program, and then reused to make new paper. Pre-consumer waste, on the other hand, uses scraps left over from the paper manufacturing process. While it’s good to use up that waste, it’s even better to eliminate it from the paper production process altogether, which means buying paper with the highest post-consumer waste content that you can find. For example, the Mudlark notecards boast 80% post-consumer waste, a very eco-friendly choice for writing that thank you note!

Recycled Content

You might find paper products labeled with a “recycled content” or “contains recycled content” claim. In these cases, the product has less than 30% post-consumer waste or contains only pre-consumer waste. While it’s great to buy products that use any amount of recycled content, these paper options are on the low end of the eco-friendly paper scale.

Chlorine Free

You might see a number of chlorine-related claims on paper products. The bottom line: The chlorine bleaching process produces tons of toxins that may disrupt our immune systems. If you’re looking for top-shelf eco-friendly paper products, you want to find the “100% chlorine free” claim, which means the virgin paper wasn’t bleached with chlorine at any point, or – even better – the “processed chlorine free” claim, which indicates that the recycled content wasn’t bleached with chlorine.

Acid Free

Acid-free paper production neutralizes the acids that occur in wood pulp to create longer-lasting paper that won’t yellow over time. The paper itself can last from 500 to 1,000 years, which has made it appealing to archivists and scrapbookers, but that long-lasting feature has made it a subject of numerous eco-debates. However, the process to make the paper is significantly more environmentally friendly than the process to produce standard paper. So don’t choose paper simply because it’s acid free; choose a paper that is environmentally responsible in some other way and is acid-free.

Tree-Free Fiber

A tree-free fiber claim on a paper product means that material was derived from a source other than trees. These tree-free options are usually a little more expensive but provide you with the most sustainable paper option. Tree-free fibers include animal poop, hemp, textile scraps, sugar cane husks, and more. Check out the Cherry Blossoms Large Lokta Journal or the Poo Poo Paper Elephant Silhouette Journal for tree-free fiber options.

Sustainable Certifications

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC) are both non-profit, non-governmental organizations that promote responsible forest management. Seals from these organizations indicate that paper has been approved in their certification processes. As is the case whenever multiple organizations provide the same function, there is significant debate over which certification is better; in North America, it seems the preference is for the FSC seal.

Finally, to score more eco-friendly points, look for recycled paper that is printed with soy-based ink. Traditional ink is petroleum-based, so soy is a gentler alternative.

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 Meet the Writer:Maggie Marton is a freelance writer who lives in Bloomington, Indiana, with her husband and their three darling dogs. View more of Maggie’s work at MaggieMarton.com

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Keep Your Green Resolutions with PooPooPaper

9 Feb

Shop all Poo Poo Paper on EuropeanPaper.com

 In a time when people are becoming more aware of their impact on the environment, many people will resolve to live a greener lifestyle each new year.  This can involve recycling, using less energy, investing in carbon offsets, and many other resolutions that will require consistent attention throughout the year.  However, it may be easier to simply start small.  Keep your resolution to “go green” by slowly making the switch to more sustainable products.  These products are not only environmentally friendly; they have amazing stories behind them. Take PooPooPaper for example.

Inspiration

PooPooPaper was no accident.  Founder Michael Flancman grew up loving the great outdoors.  From canoe trips and ice hockey near Toronto, to kayaking and mountain climbing in British Columbia, “the outdoors were in my fabric,” Flancman said.  This passion combined with an intrigue of business and manufacturing led Flancman on a natural course to found the Alternative Pulp and Paper Company and PooPooPaper Products.

The process from poop to paper is really quite intriguing.  Basically, animals such as elephants, cows, horses, and donkeys, which have fiber-rich vegetarian diets, produce almost as much poop as the amount of food they consume. Their “digestive systems … don’t really break down the vegetation all that well, [so] their poop has plenty of fiber even after their meal is consumed.” As fibers make pulp, which makes paper, Flancman saw the possibility to make paper without the use of trees, and instead he started using animal dung. After the dung is collected, it is rinsed and boiled, then formed into paper.  The whole process is a little more complex and takes a bit of time to get to the finished product, but it is fascinating to see how it is done.

What Recycled Really Means

Most products now have some sort of recycled stamp on them.  Many boast that they are at least partially made from recycled material, but when it comes down to it, the recycling process can be just as bad as the creation process and the underlying product still relies on tree-based pulp.  Some companies are taking part in what is often referred to as “greenwashing.”

According to Flancman that means, “the act of blatantly and intentionally misleading the public by offering a product for sale that falls well short of the purported sustainable benefits claimed or suggested.”  There could not be a better definition.  PooPooPaper products are the exact opposite.  They are made from the fibrous waste of a variety of animals.  No chlorine or bleach or other harsh chemicals are involved, and even soy-based ink is used exclusively when printing designs.  While these are certainly great achievements, the company is always striving for a more efficient process.

Sustainability as Reality

The driving force behind PooPooPaper is simple, some might say even downright playful, and rightfully so.  It is to create a product that is “immeasurably more sustainable than its tree pulp-based counterpart” while at the same time having fun. Really the best way to explain their motivation is to rely on the slogan: “PooPooPaper – Playfully Outrageous with an Underlying Message of Sustainability.” Not only is the company model sustainable, they donate to several non-profits committed to wild land conservation and animal protection.

Resolving to live a more sustainable lifestyle is a process.  Start by supporting a company that makes sustainability their foundation.  PooPooPaper strives to “spread the word of sustainability to as many people in as many places as possible through our unique, memorable, fun, educational and meaningful products.” Their goal is to spread the word; your resolution is to use a more sustainable product.  Together, both goals will be met.   After all, seeing the paper on the coffee table will be the constant reminder to waste less, save more, and live smart.

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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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10 Fun and Quirky Upcycling Ideas for Last Year’s Planner

3 Jan

Most people stick their old planner on a shelf, wait a couple of years, and then toss it out. If that works for you, go for it! But if you want to try something different with last year’s planner, consider one of these 10 suggestions – all with minimal DIY know-how required.

  1. File it. Okay, so some people do need to file their old planners. Before you do, though, make it useful. Label the spine with the year. Mark pages that had important events or critical phone numbers. Make it navigable before you stick it on that shelf, and it’s more likely you’ll actually reference it in 2012.
  2. Make a secret box.Love the pretty cover of your 2011 planner? Use it! Flip open the front cover. With a straightedge and a pen, measure out a square on the first page of your 2011 planner leaving at least a half-inch margin the whole way around. Use a razor or X-Acto knife to cut out the square (through all the pages).
    Planner party decor.

    #3: Planner party decor.

    You now have a secret trinket box that will look pretty on your desk or nightstand.

  3. Planner party decor. Coat the pages with colorful or glittery paint. Once dry, shred and use as confetti.
  4. Gaze at your year as a decorative paper wreath. Follow this simple Book Page Wreath Tutorial with your planner pages to create chic decor out of 2011.
  5. Day planner to art journal conversion.Without having to rip, cut, or shred the pages, your planner can be the base for a fabulous art journal. Create works of art on each page using images from magazines, stamps, paint, decoupage, or whatever your preferred medium.

    The easiest DIY project ever: Turn your 2011 planner into a coloring book.

    The easiest DIY project ever: Turn your 2011 planner into a coloring book.

  6. The easiest DIY project ever: Turn your 2011 planner into a coloring book. Hand it to a young child along with a box of markers, chalk, or Crayons. They’ll know what to do.
  7. Hardcover hack. Convert a hardcover into a PDA/eReader cover. You’ll need a knife, scrap fabric, a few inches of elastic, and glue. Remove the pages with a knife, but don’t damage the spine. Cut an old t-shirt or scrap of fabric to the fit the inside cover. Set your device on top of one piece of fabric. Stretch a piece of elastic over the device’s corner to the back of the fabric. Secure the elastic in place with hot glue, a couple of stitches, or even a staple. Repeat for all four corners. Adhere the fabric to the planner cover, and you’re done! Just make sure everything is totally dry before you insert your device.
  8. Shred the pages of your 2011 planner and use them as package stuffing.
  9. Great year? Turn your planner into a “Yay, me!” file. Mark all the highlights from your year with colorful sticky tabs. Landed a huge account? Tab the day you scored the client. Received a promotion? Flag that day. When you hit a rough spot in 2012, flip through your tabbed planner and remember all your wins from the previous year.
  10. Bad year? Build an effigy to a horrible 2011. Tear out the pages and toss them into a bonfire or fireplace. Say goodbye to each bad day so you can face 2012 with a clean slate!

I maintain an organized shelf of past planners, all labeled and flagged. Yet, as I compiled this list, I realized that I rarely (never?) reference them. In January, I’m going to create a paper wreath with my 2011 planner, and I converted my 2010 into an art journal. Now that I have this list, I will start finding fun uses for all my past planners that have been collecting dust.

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 Meet the Writer:Maggie Marton is a freelance writer who lives in Bloomington, Indiana, with her husband and their three darling dogs. View more of Maggie’s work at MaggieMarton.com

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Giving the Right Gift: Eco-Friendly Lokta Journals

8 Dec

Cherry Blossoms Large Lokta Journal (5.875 x 8.25)

Cherry Blossoms Large Lokta Journal on EPC

As the holiday season approaches, we are inundated with advertisements to buy, buy, buy! Something for all our family members; something shiny and new for our significant others; something small for all our co-workers; and something for ourselves, of course. The choices on gifts are essentially endless, and the options can overwhelm anyone into simply picking up a gift card, slapping a bow on it, and calling it good.

However, if we stop for a minute and take a breath from mass consumerism, we can remember a time when it was not this difficult to pick out or create a gift for those we know and love. If you think about it, most kids hand-make cards and gifts for their parents. The time and energy that went into these gifts were worth far more than anything they could have bought, and they end up being the most cherished gifts a person could receive for a long time to come. So why don’t we continue this into adulthood?

The main excuse is time (or lack thereof), of course. Many adults become so busy with work, taking care of their home and family (and maintaining their sanity), they just don’t have the time to sit down for arts and crafts. Don’t fret though, instead of buying some shiny object that comes across media outlets, there is a way to show you care (even without having the time to do it yourself). I’m talking about eco-friendly products made of handcrafted materials. For example, an eco-friendly journal can have all the flair of a fancy new gadget, all the hard work of a gift delicately crafted by your hand, and all the meaning of something given from the heart.

One of the most commonly handcrafted papers is Lokta paper.  Also called Nepali paper it is made from the bark of the Lokta bush that grows naturally in the Himalayan foothills.  The process is incredibly sustainable, doesn’t require any chemicals or machined manufacturing, and a lot of individual energy from local Nepalese villagers goes into making every one of the pages in a Lokta journal. Here’s a glimpse at the process:

  • Stripping the Bark:
    • The inner bark of the Lokta plant must be stripped by hand and thoroughly cleaned, then chopped into small sections.  The batch is then soaked in water for up to 6 hours to soften the fibers.
  • Cooking Process:
    • After the sections of Lokta bark have soaked, they are cooked in a water and soda solution for 1 to 2 hours.  This process helps break down the cells and allow the bark to become more malleable be formed into paper.
  • Forming the Paper:
    • When the cells have lost their rigid structure, the pulp is pounded with flat rocks to break it down further.  It is then poured into a flat wooden mould and allowed to dry in the sun.

The finished product is a paper that is not only pleasant to the eye and to the touch, but also one that is incredibly strong.  Since the paper is not bleached or cured with any chemicals to alter its look there are individual variances in every strand that enhance the natural look and feel of the paper.  Plus, the Lokta plant is a renewable resource as it regenerates after every pruning (which takes about 2 to 4 years to fully grow back), so a person can not only be satisfied their journal is providing jobs for the Nepalese that will last for years to come, but that the environment is not being destroyed in the process.

Finding the right gift can be a burden.  In today’s society is often too easy to get caught up in the commercialism of the season and forget about finding a gift that has real meaning behind it.  While there are a lot of great gifts out there, the one with a story, hard work, and meaning behind it will surely stand out above the rest.

 

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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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Green Gifts: Thoughtful Eco-Friendly Products for Friends & Family

6 Dec

Whether it’s during the major holiday season or for birthdays or life events, give your friends, family, and coworkers thoughtful gifts that have a minimal ecological impact. Pretty and sleek, eco-friendly stationery and office supplies come in a variety of colors and designs. With so much range, you can find the perfect, environmentally-responsible gift for everyone on your list!

For the Harried, Hurried Exec

Exacompta Exacard Wirebound Business Card Holder on EuropeanPaper.com

Exacompta Exacard Wirebound Business Card Holder

For the busy professionals in your life, give the gift of organization with the Exacompta Exacard Wirebound Business Card Holder. Your environmentally-conscious professional friends will appreciate the 80-percent recycled material. With slots that hold up to 120 cards, you’ll also help them reign in those unruly stacks of business cards. You also can send this to your business contacts as a creative, professional holiday gift. Slip your card into the proper alphabetical slot, and turn the sleek card holder into a fun – and functional – business gift.

For the Daydreamer

Poo Poo Paper Elephant Silhouette Journal on EuropeanPaper.com

Poo Poo Paper Elephant Silhouette Journal

Give the writer, dreamer, or goal-setter a unique gift: a journal made from elephant poop. That’s right; the Poo Poo Paper Elephant Silhouette Journal is made from elephant dung that has been cleaned, processed, and turned into ecologically-responsible journal paper. This one-of-a-kind gift will impress the eco-friendly journal writers on your list. Personalize the journal by writing an inspirational quote or heartfelt message on the inside cover.

For the Creative Genius

Eco Vintage Journal on EuropeanPaper.com

Eco Vintage Journal

The blank tree-free pages of the Eco Vintage Journal beg for sketches. The artist in your life will be inspired by the hand-painted images adorning the cover of each journal. Because many artists develop preferences for materials and media, it can be difficult to find just the right thing. These journals give an artist plenty of blank space with room to scrawl in a travel-friendly size.

For your Nearest & Dearest

Mudlark Eco Hayden Leigh Memento Boxed Note Cards on Europeanpaper.com

Mudlark Eco Hayden Leigh Boxed Note Cards

For a gift that is as wallet-friendly as it is eco-friendly, pick up a recycled paper notecard and pen a love letter. Though it sounds too simple, a heartfelt, handwritten note will give the recipient a lasting memory and a keepsake that will last longer than another scarf-and-gloves set. Write a note to your mom telling her how grateful you are for all she’s done for you. Pen a romantic note to your partner detailing why you love them. Send a letter to your friends explaining why their friendship means so much to you. Tie a bow around the envelope and leave it under the tree – or draw a bow on the envelope flap if you’re sending it through the mail. This simple, eco-conscious, budget-friendly gift can be a meaningful gift that may even spark a new tradition.

Lama Li Eco Hemp Pencil Bag on EuropeanPaper.com

Lama Li Eco Hemp Pencil Bag

For the OCD Organizer

Give the gift of storage to your favorite organizer. The Lama Li Hemp Pencil Bag is handmade from uber-eco-friendly hemp. At four-by-eight inches, it’s big enough to tote pens, pencils, and highlighters, while being small enough to tuck into a purse or laptop bag. Plus, it’s a gift with good karma: Proceeds from sales help support rural economic development projects inNepal.

For the Fountain Pen Aficionado

Conklin Mark Twain Crescent Blue Marble Fountain Pen on EuropeanPaper.com

Conklin Mark Twain Crescent Blue Marble Fountain Pen

Channel an American legend with the Conklin Mark Twain Crescent Fountain Pen. A classic refillable pen is an eco-chic alternative to traditional writing instruments. Americans buy around 106 billion (yes, billion!) ballpoint pens each year. All that plastic eventually ends up in the landfill. Spend more on an elegant pen that will last a lifetime, stay out of the garbage, and inspire your grateful recipient.

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 Meet the Writer:Maggie Marton is a freelance writer who lives in Bloomington, Indiana, with her husband and their three darling dogs. View more of Maggie’s work at MaggieMarton.com

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JUST IN: Rite in the Rain

30 Nov

Rite in the Rain on EuropeanPaper.comJUST IN: Rite in the Rain Notebooks are now available on European Paper Company! Keep reading for more information on Rite in the Rain; then check them out on EuropeanPaper.com!

“Outdoor writing products for outdoor writing people.” Founded by Jerry Darling in the 1920′s, Rite in the Rain (RITR) products were originally created for the logging industry and have spread throughout all outdoor industries for work and individual use alike.

Widely reputed to protect journal entries, sketches, notes and doodles in not just wet weather, but humid and hot situations too, Rite in the Rain paper is formulated specifically for the outdoor rigors of adventurers, military personnel, and weekend warriors of all ilk.

The RITR Breakdown:

  • The Rite in the Rain Soft Cover Notebooks – also called Rite in the Rain Field-Flex Perfect Bound Notebooks – are the most durable and weatherproof go-to notebook for outdoor professionals and enthusiasts around the world. Check out the pocket-sized soft cover notebook here and the larger-sized soft cover notebook here.
  • The Rite in the Rain Hard Cover Notebooks – also known as the Rite in the Rain “Professional’s” Perfect Bound Notebooks – are made to withstand the elements with their rigid covers and weatherproof paper. They are the perfect indestructible notebook for outdoorsy people. Find the 4.25 x 6.75 in. hard cover notebook here and the slightly larger 4.75 x 7.5 in. hard cover notebook here.
  • The Rite in the Rain Spiralbound Notebooks are made with a Poyldura cover material containing post-consumer recycled material to withstand the elements while staying eco-conscious. Shop the Spiralbound Notebook by clicking here.
  • The Rite in the Rain All-Weather Standard Clicker Pen is the ideal ballpoint pen for outdoor use with any Rite in the Rain Notebook. Click here for more on the pen.

Ideal for a variety of all-weather applications with outdoor professionals and enthusiasts around the world, Rite in the Rain Notebooks & All-Weather Pen are perfect as a gift or for yourself.

Shop Rite in the Rain products on EuropeanPaper.com!

 

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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Take a Mental Holiday with Cavallini & Co.

23 Nov

Cavallini Brand Story on EuropeanPaper.com

Cavallini’s Roots

Cavallini and Co., one of our most distinctive brands, is devoted to vintage. Classic illustrations of major cities and the natural world create a certain allure to Cavallini’s products.

Cavallini & Co. was founded by Brad Parberry in 1989. Parberry had spent a year of his college experience in Florence, Italy, where he saw a beautiful line of calendars and saw an opportunity in them for the U.S.  He found the source company that had created the calendars in a phone book, gave them a call, and the rest—as they say—is history. From this lucky finding in Florence and a single phone call, Cavallini established a relationship with the Italian calendar designer that lasted for twenty years.

Parberry began the company, originally in his San Francisco apartment, by selling two calendars that looked very much like the wall calendars Cavallini sells today. Those first calendars were designed in Italy by the company he’d befriended. As the company began to flourish and grow, Parberry began finding his own vintage images and created designs for all of the calendars he was offering. As a personal touch, Parberry chose his grandmother’s family name to represent his new paper products and christened the company, “Cavallini.”

Distinct Italian Style

To this day, the company is located in San Francisco and, as such, they have several San Francisco-themed products in their inventory. But Cavallini has a wide and worldly influence when it comes to the images and themes included on their items, such as images from London, Paris, and New York.

All of Cavallini’s products, from its rubber stamps to its charming postcards, carry the feel of days gone by. Its line of New York-themed products, for instance, feel as if they’ve stepped straight from a store in the 1920′s and into Cavallini. The city is portrayed in an art deco style, almost as though the notebooks are advertisements for the World’s Fair. Likewise, many of their city-themed products look like those large canvas suitcases that characters in old films plaster with travel stickers.

All of the products offered by Cavallini are designed at their San Francisco offices by a team of graphic designers who collaborate to create the products and the ideas behind them. From there, a graphics team pull images from Cavallini’s vast archives and put together the finished items.

Cavallini

Sookie Koban, an employee with Cavallini, says the company is possesses  a large archive filled with vintage images that they’ve collected over the years. These images, Koban says, come from “postcard shows, antique stores and from vintage books.” When using these images, Cavallini endeavors to “retain the integrity and authenticity of the images” they collect.

Highlights

When it comes to signature items, Cavallini prides itself on its line of calendars. Koban describes Cavallini’s calendars as “unique in the marketplace as they focus on beautiful art prints.” The calendars are all printed on Italian cream laid paper, a fitting choice since the company began with the calendars Brad Parberry first found in Florence.

The driving philosophy of Cavallini, as described by Ms. Koban, is “to [create] unique high quality products.” This philosophy is evident in every product that Cavallini offers. With each vintage styled creation, Cavallini promises to give its customers an office supply that will stand out among the others on their desks. The imagery used by Cavallini may have otherwise been forgotten, but they bring new life to it through their notebooks, thank you cards, and other office ephemera.

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Meet the Writer: Mary Egan is a recent graduate of Lewis University and is currently interning with a publishing company in Chicago; she also has more pens and notebooks than she knows what to do with. She is the founder of the Jet Fuel Review, a student-run literary journal, and still blogs for them at Lewis Lit Journal.

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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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