Sustainable office tools

We are in September and this is the moment when we all go back to the office and back to school after the summer holidays. This is the time when you will check if your kids have verything they need in their school bags and you will probably also buy one thing or another for your office desk. But when it comes to office tools the question is often the  same : “are my office tools sustainable”?

We would like to help you with some criterias and also show you some amazing products answering exactly this question.

What are sustainable office tools

As explained in our blog before about sustainable fashion, cosmetics and more  it is not always easy to know what is really sustainable. The best thing would be to have items which you can use eternally and whenever you do not use them anymore can compost without any harm. In a perfect world we would make things without harming humans, animals and our planet. But unfortunately the world is not perfect and this means we need to compromise on some things.

But you can still find innovative and new options for your business.

Reuse as much as possible

Let’s talk about your little (yellow) papers, the Post-its. These are definitely a help not to forget anything, to remind you of urgent tasks and they are super practical in usage. The problem is that the usage is so easy, that too many post it papers are used every year. They are definitely a great office tool but for sure are not sustainable. How many are used exactly every year we cannot say, but already the biggest brand producing them sells every 50 billion each year. The problem is that they are made out of new paper without any tractability, using huge amounts of water and resources to produce them.

First versions with recycled paper

Even from the big players there are now some versions of recycled paper. But most are not and none of them have real certificates and are transparent of how they are done. The company prefers to jump on the lie of recycling and says: Great news all our products can be recycled and hand over the problem to the consumer.

Little fun fact: do you know why most of the sticky notes are yellow? – Simply because when the product was created in 1974, the yellow paper was in their factory an overstock product. They took what was there. So the beginning was sustainable …. But not for long.

WhyNote reusable post-its

But the good news is that there is an alternative: WhyNote is a brand from Switzerland and has worked exactly on this problem. With one solution: the endless memo post. They simply imagined a solution which you can use and reuse again and again. You can write with a special pen on them ensuring that your message will not get swiped away. To get it off use some water and then use them again.

WhyNote is a brand from Switzerland making their Post-its with FSC certified paper. They are manufactured in Italy, in a solar-powered factory, and then packaged in Switzerland by the Polyval Foundation, which contributes to the professional integration of people with disabilities.

Their solution is helpful, easy to use and fun existing in several colours and not just yellow. They are perfect for kids and adults from creative designers to your daily office routine.

Buy local

How often do you buy a pen or a pencil which looks great but you have no information of where it comes from and how they are made? Worse, many pens are thrown away every year. Only in the USA the number is estimated to be at 1.6 billion of pens per year go to trash. And most of them are made of plastics which end up in landfill or get burned. Pens are not sustainable when it comes to office tools. The solution is to buy a good pen from one of the established brands where you can simply buy a refill but keep the pen. The investment is worth it.

But how about pencils? Pencils sound like a better solution as they are not made of plastic. But did you know that per year 82.000 trees are cut down to make them? And again: Most times they are made in Asia or other places. You do not know where and how they have been made.

ALL THE WAYS TO SAY as a local brand

As you probably know, we at Bag Affair, are eco-feminist wanting equality as much as we want to protect our planet. And we fell  in love with the brand ALL THE WAYS TO SAY. This French brand was founded in 2015 by Claire Leina together with her husband Jean-Charles Da Rocha. Both living in the South of France; it is truly a family business. Their daughter, Tess ,is for now too young to work with them but let’s see when she will design the first item.

The brand offers office supplies from weekly planners to notepads and notebooks to pencils. All of them are made in France and with amazing graphical designs. You find a wide selection for the plant lovers  to feminist messages. [No surprise that we fell in love ☺ ]

Claire designs in Aquarelle which following is digitalized to get her designs on the products. The variety of designs is incredible and for sure part of their success as today the brand sells internationally.

But their sustainable engagement is certain as well. They donate 1% of all sales to the association “1% for the planet”,  they only work with FSC certified paper or fully recycled paper. The products are not in plastic either but in bioplastic from corn which can degrade fully. Their approach is just very complete!

Our favourite collection is the one with the feminist messages where you find amazing pencils, made in France and with strong messages, check the collection out here!

Choose recycled products

Paper is probably the one big problem when it comes to office supplies. To make your office tools more sustainable you need to pay attention to the type of paper you buy. The best thing to do is to buy only FSC recycled options.

This label assures that the forests are exploited in a sustainable way without overconsumption. Further, it divides into different categories showing how much recycled paper is in the product. The Forest Stewardship Council divides in the following 3 types of FSC:

recycled: containing at least 70% of recycled fibre and only 30% new.

Mix: made of 70% new fibres from FSC forests and 30% recycled.

100 : Made of 100% new fibres but as well 100% certified from FSC forests.

Pay attention to the label with the little tree and already assure that forest management has been done in a sustainable way.

Back to work

But now let’s all return to work! Use your memo notes again and again and write your next appointments in your new agenda with made in France pencils.

We would like to thank the partner brands for sharing their story with us and we will keep you updated about new innovations they bring.