Composing this list is singlehandedly responsible for endangering my wallet while making me cry over orphaned baby elephants (see Nimble’s partnered charity). It is also responsible for subjecting my family and friends to several tangents about circular economies and carbon emissions. It was totally worth it, though.
Just to be clear, I am not sponsored by any of the companies and I make no commission from promoting these items – I just think they’re super cool. A few of these products I own myself and have used, and a few I discovered while researching this list and am now obsessed with. I recommended a few specific items, but many of these companies have a wide range of options and it’s worth checking out their whole catalog! Needless to say, I’m pretty dang excited about these products. I hope you guys like them as much as I do.
This is my go-to daily notebook and has a permanent place of residence on my desk. I use this for everything and it’s become a catch-all for any thought that needs a home on paper – in fact, I brainstormed this very blog post in my Decomposition Book. The Decomposition brand is owned by Michael Roger, a family-owned and operated company that’s been in business since 1949. They make a variety of eco-friendly products, but are best known for their witty take on the traditional composition books we all know from grade school. My favorite thing about these notebooks is the custom illustrated cover art by commissioned artists. Some of my favorites are by the artist Nicholas Mogoegly. I won’t lie, though… I think my next purchase is going to be this one featuring bears eating pears. It makes me smile every time.
If you’re like me, blue light blocking glasses are an office essential. This company makes some of the coolest eyewear I’ve seen. Genusee eyewear is made in Flint, Michigan from recycled plastic water bottles as a result of the Flint Water Crisis. Each pair of glasses upcycles 15 water bottles! Plus, this company truly gives back to their home town. The majority of the Genusee supply chain is within a close radius of Flint. This enables them to support other small businesses and the local economy, all while reducing carbon emissions that are usually the result of transportation from an international supply chain. Genusee also works to create jobs for a diverse population in Flint including the structurally unemployable, returning citizens, and individuals with disabilities. 1% of net profits from Genusee are even donated to the Community Fund of Greater Flint.
As if all that goodness wasn’t enough, Genusee also focuses on closing the loop to create a circular economy with their buy back program. When you are done using your Genusee eyewear they will buy them back for you with a 20% credit towards your next pair. Based on their condition, the used glasses are either recycled for the materials to make new glasses, refurbish and resold at a discount to a value customer, or donate to those in need. They’ll even issue you a $5 gift card for each pair of non-Genusee glasses sent in to be recycled (up to 10 pairs) and you can use that towards your first purchase.
An organized desk makes me feel so much better about my space and enables me to focus on work. That’s why I’m obsessed with these handmade, gorgeous desk accessories. This Poland-based business is run by two woodworking brothers who ship their beautifully designed products worldwide. They focus on quality craftsmanship utilizing traditional woodworking methods and operate on an environmentally conscious business model. Many of their products are joined without using any nails! They use only responsible materials including ecological oils, Portuguese cork, merino wool felt, and sustainably sourced Polish oak and American walnut. For each product sold they plant a tree to offset the wood materials used through the organization One Tree Planted. And did I mention their products are gorgeous?
I’m a huge fan of having a whiteboard hanging on my office wall for reminders, lists, and notes. I’m not a big fan of markers that dry out, smell toxic, and end up in the trash, though. AusPen was designed to fix that problem. With refillable barrels and replacement parts, they hope to create a marker that will never see the inside of a trash can. The barrel of the marker is made of aluminum so these are beautiful and sturdy, while also being fully recyclable. One refillable AusPen replaces 80 conventional (non-refillable whiteboard markers), low-odor, low-tox, no animal by-products, won’t pollute water ways, and no expiration date. They’re even transparent with their ingredients and will email you what they dub the “mad scientist list” upon request. Not to mention, simply switching from sticky notes and paper to a white board is an environmentally beneficial practice! It’s a win/win.
Okay guys, I discovered this company while researching this blog and I’m in awe. I couldn’t choose between the pen and the notebook so this specific brand gets a two product write-up. A Good Company was founded with the goal to create an ethical, sustainable company and to inspire a movement against mindless consumerism. They have climate neutral shipping, climate negative products, plant one tree for every product sold, and are a certified B-Corp. Their transparency is impeccable – every single one of their factories and materials are listed on their website. I’m talking all the details from factory power sources, to material recyclability, to supply chains and even if the workers are unionized. Not to mention, 4% of all their profits go to their foundation to support sustainability efforts in communities around the globe through educational outreach, community support and environmental efforts like planting trees.
This notebook is made using stone. Yeah, I was shocked too. I didn’t know it was possible to make paper from stone, but as it turns out it’s not only possible – it’s superior! A Good Company makes these notebooks utilizing leftover stone from local industries. The process uses no water or chemicals and runs on solar energy. Plus, since they plant a tree with each purchase, they are actively aiding in reforestation. Not only is this superior in production, but making the paper from stone creates a page that has no grain direction resulting in a frictionless, silky-smooth writing experience. They also say that the pages are waterproof, tear-resistant and wrinkle-free making it the perfect adventure notebook. I haven’t tested it myself, but you best bet this is in my cart as I type.
I’m often frustrated to find that eco-friendly products are obscenely expensive, but this pen comes in at only $8 and looks beautiful to boot. The pen is made from a blend of meadow grass and a small amount of recycled BPA-free plastic. It uses soy ink that’s refillable for only $1.69 per refill – they even has a subscription option so you don’t run out! It was designed with an ergonomic triangular grip and premium quality nib for a super comfortable writing experience. What’s really cool about this pen, though, is the production. The water used in the production process comes directly from the meadow grass the pen is made from. Then it’s continuously reconditioned so the factory doesn’t require additional water from the public water supply. The bio-gas and waste heat from the production process are used for heating water, drying and generating electricity. I am thoroughly impressed.
Worthwhile Paper creates Earth-friendly, screen printed paper goods with a mission to enhance the joy and intention in your life. Their motto is “Paper for purposeful living” (so cute). Most of their products are printed on 100% recycled paper and they also plant a tree for every product sold. Inspired by the beauty of simplicity, artist Kristen Drozdowski creates each one of the designs. Kristen’s partner, Steve, translates their original designs to the screen printing medium and produces each product by hand. They even go as far as to hand-mix all of their inks and open their Michigan studio for in-person visits! I really love the message they send with their products, focusing on mental-health and wellbeing. For this reason, I’ve linked to the “self-discovery” category of their store, but all their products would make a cute addition to your work space.
This is another company that I didn’t know of before making this list and have since fallen in love with. Nimble makes chargers, wall adaptors, cables, and more – all utilizing environmentally conscious practices and materials. They are a certified B corp, 1% for the planet partner, certified carbon neutral business, registered public benefit corporation, and support Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in saving elephants. Whew, that’s a long resume. They’ve pioneered the “Replay” method for tech production. This process consists of collecting existing waste, such as plastic and aluminum, and turning it back into raw materials for new products – all while still meeting UL safety standards. Sustainable without compromising reliability. Even the packaging is made from fully recycled materials!
Not only is the product great, but so is the company. They support a circular economy by including a bio-degradable bag and prepaid shipping label with every purchase. If you send them back old tech products, they’ll recycle it for free to help close the loop on electronic waste. They’ve already recycled over 20,000 pounds of e-waste, phone cases and compact discs. Plus, they are fully transparent with their supply chain. Every supplier is listed on their website and they’ll only work with suppliers who share their values on workers’ rights, sustainable materials, and reducing environmental impact. This is definitely a purchase you can feel good about.
If you haven’t ditched your plastic water bottle yet, then I’m telling you, it’s time. My United by Blue water bottle is a must on my desk. Plus, it’s cute and reminds me to hydrate (I often forget and end up with a headache shriveled up like a prune). Their shop is a bit picked through at the moment because they’re currently running a 50% off end of season sale, so get in before the sale ends!
For every product purchased, United by Blue removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways. So far they’ve removed over 4 million (yes, million) pounds of trash. If you want to take your purchase a step further you can even volunteer with one of their cleanup crews. All products are made in GOTS-certified factories from sustainably-sourced materials. United By Blue is committed to creating products that have only positive impacts; not just on the end user, and not just on the earth, but on the quality of life of the workers who created it. They practice transparency by publishing a full report at the end of each year and continually strive to improve, taking an oath to quit plastic in their own business. They recently partnered with Target and even helped Target initiate their first ever shipment of product without plastic poly bags.
I have been in love with Pela phone cases for years now. Most phone cases are made out of plastic and, not-so-fun fact, only 5% of plastics actually end up being recycled. Pela solves this problem by eliminating plastic all together. Pela products are completely compostable. Plus, in addition to simply offsetting their carbon emissions, Pela is actively committed to reducing their carbon footprint. They do this by helping manufacturing facilities shift to renewable power sources and/or improve the efficiency of their operations. Pela also supports a circular economy through their Pela 360 program. With each purchase they’ll send you a recycled envelope you can use to send in your old phone case. If it’s a Pela case, they’ll compost it, and if it’s a regular phone case, they’ll recycle it. So you can feel better about swapping your beat up case for the new, cute designs they’ve released.
My name is Mackenzie and I'm the founder of Eunoia Design Co.. I help business capitalize on the power of authentic identity through personalized, strategic, design. Thanks for checking out the blog! Don't hesitate to reach out - my inbox is always open.
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