Digital devices makes our daily life convenient but our old skills deteriorate at the same time. For example, writing papers is common but writing on an actual paper seems an amazing skill to own now.
The auto correction, imaginative typos, and other useful functions are spoiling you without you even noticing. Have you experienced trying to write down a word but you couldn’t put the letters down in the correct order?
I’m an old-fashioned bear. I always keep notebooks and pens at home. Writing on paper calms me down. It forces my train of thought to slow down and match my writing speed. But it comes with a downside – it’s not too friendly for the trees. So the guilt has made me look for a more sustainable way to satisfy my hand writing fetish.
There are paper made by responsible companies that replant trees they cut down to make paper. And then there are products like Paper Guardian that tries to make reusing paper an easier habit for people to pick up.
What is it
Paper Guardian is a misleading name. You might think it is a guardian that protects paper. Tree Guardian might have been more appropriate. Yes, Paper Guardian saves the trees by trying to reduce deforestation rate through encouraging reuse of paper.
Look around in your office and home for unwanted paper. How much of the used paper could be reused on the blank side? Junk mails, misprinted documents, single-side printouts. The idea is to reuse such paper. It’s not a new idea.
Paper Guardian is a notebook that lets you fill it up with reusable paper. It tries to reduce friction and improve usability to encourage more people to reuse paper.
Your scrap paper is too big to fit in the notebook? Fret not. Paper Guardian comes with a built-in metal cutter to let you resize your paper to fit the notebook. The cutter is shaped like a metal ruler instead of a knife. So it shouldn’t cause any problems if you wish to fly with it.
And Paper Guardian leads by example when it comes to being environmentally-friendly. It is made from recycled polypropylene which is safe to use and helps to recycle.
What problems does it solve
I always find one-sided paper waiting to be be reused around my place. It is bear nature to not waste things, and it happens to be not environmentally friendly to just toss the paper. I tried reusing the paper but it’s a pain to keep them organised. And I often end up messing up the order or losing sheets here and there.
I’ve tried clipboards, paper clamps, folders. Okay, I was actually going on a buying spree in the stationery shop. Did you know reusing paper is such a great excuse to buy all sorts of interesting products? Anyway, all these options helped a little, but only if I keep the stack of reused paper on the desk. If you want to carry the stack of notes around, good luck with that.
This is where Paper Guardian worked to solve a pain point for people like me. It keeps your paper organised, makes it look like a proper notebook, and comes with a built-in cutter to make sure the paper you have fit in it.
Who is it for
On the Kickstarter campaign page, the creators says Paper Guardian is designed to reuse paper, save trees, and fight deforestation.
Let me translate it into English for you: it works as a nice case is for people who want to organise their paper for reuse. This lets you maximise the usage of paper, aka a slice of dead tree, and it helps us to reduce our paper consumption. And if enough people do it, we can save trees from being cut down and help to fight deforestation.
So the Paper Guardian is for people who want to contribute to protecting the environment.
Nowadays, many of us are going paperless. Yet we can’t avoid using paper in this digital age. Certain things still require a paper trail. And in the process of doing so, we generate paper wastage. Hands up if you’ve had a printer that just wouldn’t print and you waste a stack of paper.
This can also be a good gift for your kids. They can learn to write or draw on reused paper. And it would let them know the importance of saving the earth, aka saving ourselves.
Is it innovative
The idea is not innovative at all. There are many products out there that try to empower you to reuse paper. Paper Guardian just makes it easier for a specific group of people who want to organise their reused paper into a notebook.
But as the saying goes, the devil is in the details. Small design touches makes a big difference. We often treat reused paper with less respect than it should. I mean, I often can’t find my scissors and I would just resize them with my
bear bare hands or a ruler. Don’t blame me. It’s called scrap paper after all. So I’m glad Paper Guardian lets us treat reused paper with a little more respect.
Is it worth it
Paper Guardian retails at $65. You can get it an an early bird price of $49 during their Kickstarter campaign.
You can get clipboards on Amazon starting from $10. For example, this Saunders Metal Clipboard costs $24.94. It is a very similar concept but with a less refined design, at least for my taste. You either love or hate that traditional clip.
I’m an emotional shopper. And superficial. So how a product’s looks holds sway over my purchasing decisions. Paper Guardian looks great and I would gladly pay more for its design.
I want to look good holding my notebook. Or at least the notebook should look good.
Are there any alternatives
Yes. There are many clipboard notebooks on Amazon.
And if you get creative, you can organise your used paper without having to get a tool just to do so. Or you can borrow your grandma’s needles and threads to make your own small notebook from used paper.
Of course, the ideal is to use less paper by avoiding printing out documents where possible.
With the increasingly extreme weather, we are starting to understand the importance of environmental protection. You don’t need to wear your underwear outside to save the Earth. Just reduce and reuse. Make small efforts every day and if enough people do it, the results add up.
If you aren’t in the habit of reusing paper, start with gathering all the reusable paper in your house and office. Perhaps that will help you visualise how much paper goes to waste.
The next step is to figure out how to reuse that paper. Whatever way you do it is secondary. Paper Guardian just happens to be an option. As long as you make the best use of the paper, you are doing your part.
Hi, I’m Rainee.
I’m a reindeer that identifies as a bear. I’m the Critical Bear that does standup comedy.