Little Steps: Kids, Sustainability and Spring

Spring is springing, birds are chirping and it is time to get the kids out of the house.

For those of us who love the outdoors, who love hiking, running, listening to nature and seeing it bloom, Spring is both a joy and a problematic time.  You see, kids have a different idea of nature.

See a bug? Hit it or squeal and run.

Enjoy a quiet stroll in a beautiful forest? Or ponder what we are having for lunch/dinner/snack.

Work in the garden? Um, no.

Transferring our values to the little ones takes more than a good example.  It takes the inner fortitude to haul a 50 pound child on your shoulders 4 miles into the mountains so they can see something more beautiful, more amazing.  It takes the patience to try over and over again to explain why hitting a plant/insect/me is not a great idea.

For you parents who continue to bring the kids out to the wilds, the parks and backyards to introduce them to nature, I salute you.  I will see you on the trails also carrying 4 days of food for a 3 mile hike. I will stop your kid from falling in the lake if you catch mine.

‘Blood moon’: Incredible astronomical event coming up!

So this is coming up and unless it is poring rain, I fully expect to be out and watching this.  You have four solar eclipses in the next year, so collect all four and get the kids outside too!  Plus this is happening on tax day, so a ‘blood moon’ may feel apropos.

The upcoming ‘blood moon’ has undoubtedly excited many astronomers and amateur stargazers alike and the event is just one of four ‘blood moons’ expected to happen over the next year and a half. As detailed in an April 2 report from DesignNTrend, in just two weeks, on Tuesday April 15, a total lunar eclipse will occur, a phenomenon that occurs when the Earth passes between the Sun and the Moon.

The following text further explains the ‘blood moon‘ phenomenon.

“As the Earth begins to cast its shadow on the moon, the moon will partially disappear from view. Then the moon begins to appear brighter with a red or orange hue thanks to Earth’s atmosphere bending toward the moon,” DesignNTrend writes.

Too cool.  More here!

The Recycled, Recyclable Pocket Folder

Pocket folders are organizational tools, keepers of artifacts, photos, kids pictures, important business papers, important and odd ideas, a company prospectus, memories, the past and the future.

What you put in a pocket folder is important to you, so why would you use one that is toxic and ugly?

Insertable clip in pocket for 3-ring binders - Naked Binder

At Naked Binder, we think that the materials you use should be designed not only to hold paper, but to have a great feel and look.

Our bare board pocket folders are made from up to 100% post consumer waste paperboard.  Recycled and recyclable with a slightly tactile feel in the hand, our pocket folders offer sustainable and elegant organization that fits in the boardroom, the yoga studio and the home office.

Color can vary a little from a light gray to a somewhat browner gray.  Our 2-pocket folders are a bit more on the browner gray right now due to the post consumer waste in the mix.

Elegant, recycled, recyclable pocket folders. Making organization more fun and better designed!

Custom 3-Ring Binders that are 100% Recyclable

So, many of you know that Naked Binder has a sister company that makes custom printed 3-ring binders, pocket folders, tab dividers, awesome boxes of all types and more.

Corporate Image is a eco friendly green printer – using soy inks, FSC certified and recycled papers, the same 100% post consumer waste binders board we do and all of their products are 100% recyclable.

We here at Naked Binder have been working with them to develop a new custom 3-ring binder – fully printed cover with a white or black liner on the inside.  And it is here!

custom well made 3-ring binders - Naked Binder and Corporate ImageThese binders are cased and lined like hardcover books, strong, sustainable and, well, really really customizable.

They are laminated, which always gives us pause at Naked Binder, but, for use in offices and for binders that are handled a lot, it does extend the life of a 3-ring binder pretty significantly. Also, though we haven’t done a nationwide survey, the recycling centers we did ask all said they would and did recycle the laminate also.

So, doing a high end proposal?  Have a green meeting?  Going to a sustainable conference?  Just need some awesome printed binders? These binders are available in quantities of 50 +.

Custom 3-ring binders, 100% recyclable, amazing art potential.

You can check them out here and there is a FAQ page here.

A Great Recyclable Pocket Folder

Why not dress your papers in a really good looking Pocket Folder?

Recyclable Two_Pocket_Folder         Insertable binder pocket

They are Beautiful

Natural, elemental and well designed for long life, our pocket folders have the best of what you want in a pocket folder. Whether you are using them for proposals, green board meetings, art project proposals or around the house, you feel good with an all natural pocket folder.

Plus, they are super easy and fun to customize.

You Recycle Everything Else

Why not recycle your pocket folders and 3-ring binders? You care enough to do the right thing down to composting food scraps.  We make it easy to go that single step farther and make your office products recycled and recyclable.  We have even composted the binders.

The World Needs You

No matter what you believe the cause is, the climate is changing. News that the arctic circle was warmer this year than in possibly 120,000 years.  Not this decade, 120,000 years.  When the ice melts, the sea absorbs more heat and a viscous circle is in play.  The things you use contribute to that.

Vinyl is toxic and off gasses nasty chemicals for it’s entire and very long life. Even in landfill.  If it burns (there are 9500 landfill fires in the US every year)  Those clouds of toxic gas just spread and spread.

Our pocket folders are made of 100% recycled paper, meaning no trees are taken down (off doing good things in nature) and less energy and water is required than to make new paper.  Since they are 100% recyclable, this circle continues!

You Are Smart, Beautiful, Strong and Wise

We love that about you.  That is why we make the products we do. The best recycled and recyclable pocket folders.  That’s right.

Art Friday: Robert Ashley – Composer

Robert Ashley, Composer

Robert Ashley, Composer

Art Friday again!  NPR has a great piece on Robert Ashley, who died at age 83. He was brilliant and will be missed, especially among composers working in experimental genres.

Read a bit and check it out here.

Robert Ashley, a restlessly innovative American composer, died at his home in New York March 3 from complications of cirrhosis of the liver. NPR confirmed the composer’s death through his wife and manager Mimi Johnson. Ashley was 83.

Although not a household name, Ashley blazed an individual path in opera throughout his career, which spanned five decades. Far from resembling any traditional form of opera, Ashley’s works are constructed of intricate speech-song recitations on a vast array of topics — from Renaissance consciousness to TheWall Street Journal. He composed his operas not for the stage, but for television — a foreshadowing, of sorts, of MTV

Listen to the NPR story here.

Trying to find a good way to store magazines?

I don’t know about you, but saving magazines is a frustrating thing for me.  Either I have no idea where in the foot tall stack the information I need is, or I end up shoving them in a dark space, only to find them years later.

So we stumbled on a way to turn your 3-ring binders into magazine storage! This offers me a chance to search for magazines by year (or multiple years) and keeps them neat on a shelf. Eureka! A way to organize my home and office that is eco friendly!

easy magazine storage in a (recycled) 3-ring binder

This photo shows a vinyl 3-ring binder.  Ignore that.  If not for the toxic nature of vinyl binders, then for your magazines.  Naked Binders are all acid free, meaning that they will not make your magazines brittle and yellow over time.  We can’t say that for vinyl binders.

But the idea is great.  This is in essence how libraries store newspapers.  Simple. Neat. Inexpensive. For teachers, work journals, research guides and nearly everything you might want to keep, these magazine holders seem like a great way to go.

Now your recycled 3-ring binders can protect your favorite magazines!

Link to magazine holders

Green Meetings – look better, get more done

Greening meetings is a mix of using better materials and having smarter meetings.

Greener Meeting Materials:

Bare Board, eco friendly, recycled and recyclable 3 ring binders - Naked BinderWe are not going to beat around the bush here.  We sell eco friendly recycled binders so we just have to say – stop using vinyl binders! While they do hold paper for their lifespan (about 3 months if they are being used), they are toxic and nearly impossible to recycle. Plus they look like you are in grade school again.

If you move to a recycled and recyclable 3-ring binder, they are non-toxic, last for 250,000 flexes (use it 20 times a day for 34 years!) and they look great.  After the meeting, that binder can be proudly used for years by the attendees and then recycled.

For all of your papers, we know you already use recycled copy papers, print two sided and minimize the amount of paper you are using already, so we probably don’t even have to mention that.

Use a pitcher of water and washable glasses not bottled water.  Live downstream from Duke Energy?  Perhaps a really good reverse osmosis purifier would be in order.

Better, smarter meetings.

First off, keep them short.  Know exactly what you need to discuss, let people prepare ahead of time so the answers are front and center.  This does two things, everyone can get back to work (useful!) and they are sitting down less.  Sitting down basically makes you less efficient and alert.  If the meeting can be active, have people up and moving – work in groups, write on white boards so people can stand up.

If you have to sit, make sure it is short and to the point. Then turn the lights off when you leave.

Greener meetings may mean less of them, but when they are necessary, make sure the materials are greener!

Desktop organizer ideas from one of our Canadian friends

For those of you with cluttered desks and a bit of craftiness about you, a friend of ours sent us these DIY desktop organizer ideas.

1> For your pens and pencils:  That can of soup you had for lunch can be turned into a fancy desk top pen holder.  Seems like this would be nice for collecting your change at the end of the day (also known as the “vacation fund” around the house.)

tin can organizers

DIY desktop organizer

2> If you have a shoebox, toilet paper rolls and some nice papers and a little time, you can organize all of your art supplies in style.  Having a youngish child, this seems like a good things for his art supplies also!

DIY desktop organizers

DIY organizer

Reuse, Recycle! DIY, be organized and cut the waste!

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