24 October 2009

How green is your Filofax?

We hear so much these days about global warming and protecting the environment. Whilst I would never consider myself 100% green, I leave my impact on the planet like any other average person. Something triggered the question in my head about 'How green is using a Filofax?'

So as usual a quick dive in to Google pulled up a few sites that were relevant to this discussion.

The first obvious search result was Filofax's own Environmental Policy which mentions all the things you might expect for a large company. I will let you read it for yourself rather than copying it in to this post.

I also came across a blog post at Green Girls Global who where saying that they had tried to buy recycled Filofax inserts but Filofax no longer supplied this type of paper. However, when you look back at their policy they do obtain their paper from mills that obtain pulp from sustainable sources. Also Filofax is a premium product, I'm not sure off-white paper would have quite the same appeal over time as ordinary paper. I have some inserts from 20 years ago and they are only slightly off-white (aged) now.

[Update:  On a closer look, Filofax do in fact sell plain pages using recycled paper, may be they didn't at the time of the Green Girls Global blog post.... ]

You can even buy organisers made from recycled printed circuit boards. I'm an radio engineer but these don't really appeal to me for my organiser. I do prefer more natural materials, circuit boards are made from fibre glass, so they will be a bit 'scratchy' and rough around the edges.

So they are all the obvious things about being green I suppose. What it's made from and what you put in it... but there's more....

Your Filofax doesn't as far as I know contain any batteries that need special treatment when it's time to dispose of them. It doesn't require chargers or electricity to run it. It doesn't contain precious metals... precious memories may be!

Whilst the production of the organiser might involve certain chemical processes to treat and dye the leather. Given the life span of most organisers and averaging out the impact of your organiser on the planet, it's fairly low impact really. How many mobile phones or electronic organisers will still be functioning and still look as good in 20 years time? Also how many products can you still buy 'inserts' or parts for them 20 or more years later?

Unlike conventional diaries you are also only replacing the pages you actually need to replace each year, this has always been one of the great attractions for me about a Filofax, no need to transfer all my contacts, birthdays, and other reference information across to another new diary each year.You also have the ability to customise the contents to your exact requirements.

From the posts and comments, a lot of us store pages for later use/reference. I do this with my diary sections. But to-do lists and other consumable pages I recycle or shred, so I'm being fairly green in that respect I suppose.

So all in all I think you can congratulate yourself in using a fairly green solution to planning and organising your life.



  1. Just to let you know, Steve: the German Filofax store does sell lined white note paper made from recycled paper.

  2. Thanks for that.... not all the sites are the same, I was thinking what is German for Recycled... but I didn't need to worry!!

    I can manage French and English ok, but German I need to get my in-house languages expert in to help me... my dear wife!


  3. Just checked the UK store and they sell it too!

    So overall that make Filofax even more green....

  4. I can understand wanting to buy recycled refills for the Filo. And if Filofax doesn't supply them, I know that other planner companies do, if you are brave enough to cross over from the Filo world.
    I do my own bit of reusing. When it comes to the blank pages (notes, to-dos, etc), I use every last inch of the paper. I cross out what's done and finished with and continue in the blank spaces - this is done for all of my lists and random notes. Any new projects get their own new crisp pages. But once I'm done with it, it becomes scrap for other use. Only when I can no longer use it, does it get thrown away.
    Of course, this is also done as a cost-saving method as well.


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