Freshman year of college was the last time I was without a yearly planner. Lacking a school-issued version like in middle school and high school, for several months I used a system of post-it notes, lists, and a journal to keep track (or fail to keep track) of to-dos and appointments, until a particularly stressful stretch of weeks sent me scurrying to the local stationery store in search of better overall life organization.
The planner I purchased at first didn’t suit, but a few tries later I found the type of planner I’ve used ever since, a Moleskine. While the paper inside my Moleskine is recyclable, the covers, elastic tie, ribbon bookmark, back folder, and plastic-wrapped packaging are not. The past few times that I’ve purchased each year’s replacement, these details have weighed on me. I thought I could do better, zero-waste-wise, but some habits are hard to think about changing. This year, I finally have.
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-Wisdom Supply Co: When they couldn’t find a planner that met their specifications, the women behind this zero waste school and office supply store made their own: all-paper, made from recycled content, nothing metal or plastic that can’t be tossed straight in the recycling bin. I love the large size, and the ruled pages for each week that give plenty of space for (most) to-do lists. They also make a beautiful version geared towards students.
-Wall calendar: If you’re more of a large-format wall-calendar person, this one is made from recycled paper that’s designed to be reusable as list-paper once the month’s through. Or, better yet, go with one single sheet for the year, like this beautiful version by Egg Press. (Perhaps to be reused as wrapping paper come December?)
-Look for vintage calendars: The years 1991 and 1963 have the exact same parameters (dates, days, and lengths) as 2019. If you’d like to go secondhand, an eBay or Etsy search might turn up an old calendar you can make new again.
-Bullet journaling: The beauty of the bullet journal system, which you can learn for free here, is that you can do it with any notebook, be it lined, unlined, or gridded. Choose one that’s both recycled and recyclable; this and this are good options for sustainable notebooks purchased new. Even better, pick up a secondhand notebook up at your local creative reuse store or dig one out from a stack of office supplies languishing deep in your closet.
Of course, too, there are completely paperless solutions. I have friends who are reliant on Google Calendar or apps like Todoist. I doubt that I’ll ever fully go digital (why even do something if you don’t get to cross it off a list?), but if you have favorite online resources to share, please do.
Other calendars you’ve turned to this year? Questions to ask?