Onyx and Green

Sustainability in the office

Who They Are

Onyx and Green’s founder, Danny Fonfeder, has quite the mission statement. Including promises such as “be as fair to your suppliers as you are to your customers,” and “go with your gut,” he’s driven to make Onyx and Green a company with serious values. Danny, however? Not so serious. He approaches his task of creating beautiful office supplies at reasonable prices with a joyful sense of humor that shines through with every product. By using low-impact, recycled, and recyclable materials, Onyx and Green is dedicated to contributing to a positive future with every pen and pencil. Onyx and Green aims to lead today’s children into a future where items like writing paper aren’t detrimental to our Earth, but work with the natural processes we’ve been given.


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Why We Like Them

Onyx and Green offers a complete range of office and school products made from recycled, natural, and post-consumer materials. By using bamboo, stone, corn starch, sugar cane, and biodegradable fabrics like ramie, jute, and cotton, they’re crafting creative solutions in environmentally friendly ways!

Many of their pencil cases and school bags utilize natural and recycled fabrics that are not only biodegradable and recyclable, but are practical and durable, from the day you get them to the day you recycle them. They also highly encourage upcycling when possible. This has inspired their recycled products line, with items like post-consumer recycled paper, post-industrial recycled plastic, recycled rubber, newspaper, PET bottles, milk cartons, and aluminum. By reusing these materials, their office supplies have the same durable construction, but create less waste than traditional manufacturing.

When many people think of office and school supplies, they immediately think of paper. As one of the most used office items, Onyx and Green wanted to find sustainable alternatives that could reduce harmful deforestation. Their Stone Paper uses recycled construction site debris to create a paper product without any wood, water, or bleach. Crushed stones are converted into flawless white paper that is waterproof and tear resistant. They also utilize sugarcane fibers for their Bagasse paper, another ecologically friendly alternative to traditional wood paper. By using the often-wasted byproducts of sugar manufacturing, they turn sugarcane into a white paper indistinguishable from traditional paper. Plus, the process uses less bleach, water, and energy than traditional manufacturing.

Not only are their products low-impact, they strive to extend their impact to their packaging. Onyx and Green uses recycled materials for their packaging, and they print their labels with soy-based ink that has a lower impact than traditional ink. While Onyx and Green’s already has established groundbreaking sustainable practices, they continue to look for new, creative ways to reduce their impact. Their packaging is constantly upgraded as they look for the most eco-conscious design for their dedicated customers.

  • Cork
    Cork
  • Bamboo
    Bamboo
  • Recycled Paper
    Recycled Paper
  • Sugarcane Pulp
    Sugarcane Pulp
  • Plant Based Resin
    Plant Based Resin
  • Low Impact Ink
    Low Impact Ink
  • Recycled Plastic
    Recycled Plastic

Cork is a renewable resource, as cork trees can be harvested without cutting down the tree. The bark is stripped from the cork tree once every 9-12 years, and the trees can live for 200-300 years when harvested properly. Natural cork is biodegradable, and can be recycled into anything from yoga blocks to flooring.

As a member of the grass family, bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on earth. It requires no irrigation, pesticides or fertilizers to grow, and can be harvested within 3-5 years, as compared to approximately 30+ years for traditional hardwoods. Bamboo is extremely adaptable and produces more oxygen per acre than large tree species, while using a fraction of the water to grow. Its durable and lightweight qualities make bamboo a great alternative for hard wood products!

Recycled paper can contain both pre- and post-consumer recycled content. Once paper is sent to a recycling facility, it’s washed to remove any inks and converted to a watery slush called “slurry.” This slurry is spread and rolled to create different types of paper. This process keeps paper out of the landfill, prevents trees from being cut down, and saves the energy and resources needed to create virgin paper products.

As sugar is harvested from the sugarcane plant, a fiber is left behind, called bagasse. This fiber has been left as waste or burned as fuel in the past, but companies are learning to utilize it in a more earth-friendly way. By breaking the bagasse down into a pulp, it can be molded into paperlike products. This sustainable process doesn’t require additional cultivation, as the sugarcane plants are already harvested for other uses! The biodegradable material made from sugarcane pulp can be used in napkins, cardboard, toilet paper, and more.

Plant Based Resins are used as an alternative to fully-synthetic plastics. Instead of using Petroleum as the main base ingredient to form plastic, some companies have started replacing a portion of the ingredients with plant and vegetable extracts. This lowers the amount of resources extracted to create purely synthetic products, and often provides a use for agricultural byproducts such as corn or flax. Some plant based resins are made from 100% plant materials, and can be composted in industrial facilities. EarthHero recommends checking with your local compost facility to determine which items are safe to compost.

Companies can adopt multiple practices to print clothing, books, and catalogs in a more environmentally safe way. Low impact inks can include vegetable, soy, or water based alternatives, and generally do not contain harmful toxins like heavy metals or phthalates.

Recycled plastic utilizes salvaged post-industrial plastic scraps and post-consumer products such as water bottles and other plastic containers, and transforms them into new products. The containers are sorted, crushed, and then heated to form resins, which are liquid plastics that can harden into new shapes. These resins can be molded and used to create anything from carpet to outdoor furniture. Recycling plastic lowers the amount of petroleum extracted and the production of greenhouse gasses associated with first-time plastic production. Plus, by using these existing materials, we’re benefiting from the original energy and resources spent to create them in the first place, while diverting waste from the landfill.

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