This environmentally friendly notebook was sent to me by O’BON a little while ago, and I’ve been a little slow in getting around to reviewing it. The unique thing about it is that the paper in it is made from sugar cane pulp which is also known as Bagasse. This green notebook can be found at the O’BON site here, along with many other green office supplies from them.
My first thought about any environmentally friendly office supplies always tends to be one of caution and suspicion, especially in this case where the paper is made of something as unique as the pulp extract from sugar cane. In the past I’ve been pleasantly surprised by some of the notebooks that use regular recycled paper, so I was anxious to try this paper out to see how it held up compared to other environmentally friendly office supplies.
Before we get into the paper itself, I’m sure you have noticed the bright colorful design on the cover of the notebook. It might be kind of hard to tell from the photo, but in addition to just being a nice bright cheerful photo, those spots of condensation y ou see on there are actually little raised, clear glossy spots of finish to give it a more realistic look. I thought this was a pretty nice touch, and just one more thing that makes this notebook unique among other green office supplies.
The back cover of the notebook has a similarly nice image, minus the three-dimensional simulated condensation. You will also find all of the environmental claims back here. There are a lot of claims about how environmentally friendly some products, materials, and processes are, and from what I’ve read, the sugar cane pulp used to produce paper is actually a waste product that in the past had no actual use, so it truly is a good thing to be able to find a useful purpose for it in making paper, but I do see the “Made in China” stamp on the back here which always makes me reconsider what environmental laws and best practices might be applied in the manufacturing process.
Speaking of the paper, I guess its about time to get into the details of the sugar cane notebook paper inside this cool looking notebook. For starters, the notebook is filled with 80 pages of ruled 5.83″ x 8.27″ paper that uses soy based ink to print the lines. The paper has a soft white finish to it, as opposed to a bright white glossy finish and it provides for a very smooth writing experience.
In the writing sample above you can see that I tried out multiple pens and they all wrote and performed very well for me on this sugar cane paper. The pens used were the Sharpie Pen, My Lamy Studio Fountain Pen with Levenger Cardinal Ink, the Uniball Jetstream Premier ballpoint, the Pilot Hi-Tech-C Coleto, and a Waterman Expert Rollerball. Each pen wrote smoothly, and none of the ink either bled, feathered, or showed through to the other side of the paper in this notebook. As for drying times they all dried quite fast (1-2 seconds) except for the fountain pen ink, which took about an extra second (3 seconds total) to dry. One of the biggest tests for me with green notebooks is having the ability to write on both sides of the page, and with this one, the paper definitely holds the ink well enough so that it doesnt show on the other side and prohibit you from being able to write on the back of the page.
Oh, and after a totally unfair chew-test (because they never made any claims to this effect) I can tell you that just because this notebook paper is made from sugar cane pulp, doesn’t mean it tastes any better than non sugar cane paper. 🙂 Hopefully I wont have the need to taste any other home office supplies in the future, but one never knows.