April over at Carolina Pad (@carolinapad on Twitter) was kind enough to give me a stack of new office supplies for review, so this is the first bunch that Ill be reviewing. All of the products in this review are part of the Carolina Pad Sasquatch line, which are environmentally friendly. In addition to being based in the US (Charlotte, NC) they also do great work through their “Commerce with a Conscience” program that helps out teachers who work in low-income schools, and their partnership to donate a portion of the sales one of their lines to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
You will notice that in all of the writing samples for these notebooks, I stuck mostly to green color pens in tribute to the “green” or earth friendly aspect of these notebooks and stationery, although I did throw in the Uniball Jetstream a highlighter, and the Pilot Begreen earth friendly pen.
The first items we will look at from Carolina Pad are the Personal Book and the matching 2 Pocket Folder. The Personal Book is a 7″ x 5″ 80 page notebook made from 100% recycled content. The 80 pages are perforated, and held together with a double coil binding to prevent snags. The inside cover of this notebook has a small pocket for holding onto those loose papers that we all tend to accumulate over the course of time. The two pocket folder has a nice matching earth-tone and environmental pattern on it, and is designed to fit into a standard 3 ring binder and has pre-punched holes for this purpose.
The above writing sample shows how some commonly used pens and a highlighter perform in the Sasquatch Personal Book. They all write very smoothly on this recycled paper, and with the exception of the Vision Elite, Staedtler Liquid Point, and the Bic Z4 there was no feathering or bleed through on this paper, which is always a concern with recycled paper. I was really surprised at how smooth and nice the pens and the Post-it flag plus highlighter reacted to this paper.
Next up is the Carolina Pad Sasquatch Journal, which is made up of 60% recycled content and measures 8.5″ x 5.375″. Much like the Personal Book, it has a double coil binding (which is my preference) to eliminate snags, and personally I feel that it makes for a more sturdy notebook. In addition to the double coil binding, the Sasquatch Journal also has a much thicker front and back cover to give you a nice firm writing surface.
The inside of the Sasquatch Journal and the writing sample show some impressive results. The writing surface was very smooth, and the same pens that showed some bleed through before, now didnt show as much with this paper. I also really like the design of the pages of this notebook, you can see that the top left of each page in this notebook has a non-intrusive leaf logo that reminds you of your responsibility to be earth friendly, and the pages have a nice green accent on the right border, with matching green ruled lines.
The next item in the Sasquatch line is the Ideal Pad, yes, Ideal, not Idea…I had to double check that myself before writing this. The cover of the Ideal Pad is front and center in the first picture of this post with the light color cover. The Ideal Pad is again, full of 120 sheets of 100% recycled paper that measures 8.6″ x 6.5″ with perforated edges, bound by the double coil binding to prevent snags. The front right side that you see in the picture above shows a plastic-like divider that contains a flap that lets you slip loose paper behind, and also a small flap that has a tab that acts as an envelope. Initially I thought this would be big enough to hold a CD or DVD, which would be cool, but it is slightly too small. You can get a CD/DVD in there, but the flap wont close. Regardless, this extra bit of storage is very nice to have. The Ideal Pad is also broken into three sections with tabbed dividers to help you organize your notes.
Here we are with a writing sample in the Sasquatch Ideal Book. The perforations on each of these notebooks are very easy to rip out without getting jagged edges, something that is always a pet peeve of mine with perforated pages. Again, you have the same three offenders when it comes to feathering and bleed through with this paper, but for the most part you can definately see that a majority of types of pens work very well in these notebooks. This writing sample also shows the two tabbed dividers that break the notebook into three subjects to organize your notes. One thing you dont see in the scans and photos of the Personal Book is the back cover with an environmentally themed crossword puzzle to help you kill time in those boring classes or meetings.
The last item in the Sasquatch line that we will be looking at here is the Composition Book, which is similar to the other composition notebooks that you are familiar with. The Carolina Pad Sasquatch version of the Composition Book is made from 100% recycled paper and measures 9.75″ x 7.5″ and is 100 pages thick. The inside back cover of this one has a word scramble game to keep you occupied during those mind-numbing meetings and boring classes just like the Ideal Book. I intentionally skipped the writing sample on the Composition Book for two reasons. The first reason is that the paper in this notebook appears to be identical to the Ideal book, so the samples would be the same, and I am also planning on doing a giveaway that includes some (if not all) of the Carolina Pad items I was so generously given. I do like how this composition book differs from the standard ones you always see that are usually black, white, blue, and/or green. This one has a nice green patterned leaf cover with a brown binding tape to hold it all together.
Overall the Carolina Pad Sasquatch line is great, its got a very high percentage of recycled content, they all show great design and color schemes that match the environmentally friendly objectives, and they all do very well with most of the pens that you would typically want to use with these types of stationery. If you are interested in picking up some of these notebooks, you can find them at most Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart, Walgreen, and Staples retail stores.