The 9 1/2″ x 6″ Staples Eco Friendly Notebook with Bagasse Paper from Staples caught my eye the other day when I was in the store. I’ve been accused of liking the “plain and simple” look for most things, and I think thats what caught my eye about this notebook. When I picked it up I saw that it was 80% composed of sugarcane waste (also called bagasse) and had some environmentally friendly water and vegetable based inks used to print on it.
Like many environmentally friendly notebooks, Staples took the opportunity to load up the inside cover with some facts and information on how the notebook contributes to preserving the environment. They mention some interesting statistics about the number of trees saved and other interesting things. Beyond the extra info, two things I really like about the notebook are the really sturdy cardboard cover, and the equally sturdy copper-colored coil binding. The coil itself is very thick and sturdy, which gives it a similar sturdy feeling that you find with some of the double coil notebooks. Inside the notebook you will also find a dual pocket divider to store your extra notes or other things.
Below in the writing sample you will see that the paper has unique brown ruled lines instead of the usual black, blue, grey, or violet, I thought this was pretty cool looking. I don’t know why, but I’m always impressed with a quick and clean removal of perforated edges and the Staples environmentally friendly notebook hits the mark in that category.
Unfortunately all of the good that I had initially found with the Staples Eco Friendly Notebook with Bagasse Paper was quickly canceled after doing some writing on the paper. While the start to my writing experience went well with smooth crisp lines and no spreading or feathering, I quickly noticed some serious show through on the other side. If you click on the image of the scan above you will see how bad the show through is, I basically wrote the same review on both sides of the paper. For the most part I can deal with a little bit of show through, however when it comes to environmentally friendly notebooks, you really need to be able to write on both sides without the distraction of show through…writing on one side of a notebook just seems counter-intuitive. The really frustrating thing here is that according to a very thorough review by BiffyBeans, the quality of the paper on these notebooks used to be much better. I had high hopes on this one, but sometimes things just don’t work out