Paper Saver – Product Review

Review by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The Paper Saver is – probably – the most eco-friendly notebook ever

Paper_Saver_notebook.jpg.662x0_q70_crop-scaleThe Paper Saver comes without paper inside, because it's meant to be stuffed with old, discarded printouts from your home office.

Having received my review sample I have to say that it is – in my opinion – a brilliant idea and probably beats any recycling of single-side printed paper and so many pages come as just that. They are used once, such as press releases, and then, generally, though not at yours truly's place, discarded.

The idea is so simple and effective that one can but wonder that it has not been done before. Along the lines of this principle, I have, for years, made A6 pocket notebooks, though with card covers and staples in the center.

The market for eco-friendly notebooks has become, over the years, a large and hot one. Mostly it is a case of beautiful covers enclosing thick piles of 100% recycled paper. No company, however, has taken its eco-minded ethos quite so far as Paper Saver.

Paper_Saver.jpg.650x0_q70_crop-smartAustralian startup, Paper Saver, uses no new paper at all, not even recycled, having figured out an ingenious way to put unwanted, surplus paper to good use – and we all have plenty of that lying around; I know that I have all the time, but I also reuse all of that anyway and always have.

The Paper Saver Notebook is a basic imitation leather cover with a stainless steel binding, nylon bookmark, and elastic, akin to the one used with Moleskine or Leuchtturm 1917 notebooks, and “derivatives”. The basics of this is a folder similar to magazine files – the so-called string binders – with the difference that there is only one metal “rod” instead of several in the case of those files.

Unlike “normal” notebooks the Paper Saver comes with no paper inside – because that is where you are meant to put your own sheets. Just grab a stack of accidentally printed paper, or paper that has already served its purpose in your office (40-50 sheets of either Letter size in the US/Canada or A$ in the rest of the world), and push it into the binding. Fold the other half over and you have got a half-blank notebook of 80-100 pages, ready for scribbling and sketching. Once you fill up those pages, pull out the whole wad of paper, flip it around, and start over again. Personally I would fold the pages in half first to have a fold before inserting the stack through the binding.

Once you have finished your first notebook you pull the wad out again and then you can, if you so desire, send the lot for recycling though most of us, more than likely, would wish to hold on to those notes. I know I would and will. Then add a “new” stack of one-side printed “waste” paper and ready is another notebook.

The idea for the Paper Saver grew out of architect founder Jon Yong's frustration with the sheer quantity of draft designs that were printed and discarded as soon as changes were made. He created a homemade Paper Saver nearly a decade ago before realizing that others might enjoy such a device.

While the Paper Saver, in itself, may not be made of recycled materials and components it will, however, if used correctly, keep paper being dumped in landfill. As the cover of the Paper Saver is faux leather it is also vegan-friendly; another positive.

This is a clever concept with potential to make us all feel slightly less guilty about the fact that 50% of paper used in North American offices, for example, ends up as garbage, and that a about 27% of waste in landfills is paper products. Rather than using yet more resources on recycling and shipping, it makes sense to extend the lifespan of paper that has already been made.

In addition we may also have to ask how much so-called 100% recycled paper really is post-consumer waste and how much of such a claim is actually greenwash.

At present the Paper Saver is in stores only available in Australia but can be purchased via the Internet. Two sizes are available; one for the US-Canada in the letter format and the other, for the rest of the world, in A4. In Canada or the United States, the Paper Saver is only available in black. In Australia and the rest of the world, cover colors include teal, brown, and red.

Very well designed and well made. Really looks the business for business – no pun intended – and at AUS$ 22 (around £14 or €15) is not going to break the bank either considering that this will – probably – be the last notebook you will ever (have to) buy, saving you money and also saving paper.

If you do not like writing on blank sheets of paper Paper Saver offers free downloads of printable lines and grid patterns.

Rating: 5 out of 5 plus an extra 1 point for ingenuity.

© 2017