Why a recycled 3-ring binder matters

Every year in the U.S. 50 million+ 3 ring binders are bought, used, broken and thrown away. The vast majority of these are vinyl binders.

  • That means there is 50 million+ lbs of toxic garbage going into your landfill – Every year.
  • That means that 30 million lbs of vinyl is being produced, waste being generated, pollution released.
  • That also means that the chances are, the toxic off-gassing that characterizes vinyl is happening in your office or your home.

A recycled and recyclable 3-ring binder – say from Naked Binder – offers an alternative to this toxic cycle.

eco friendly, recycled and recyclable 3 ring binders - Naked Binder

The binders are made from 100% FSC certified post consumer waste paper.  Recycled paper uses less energy and water than virgin paper and produces less waste.  Also, you don’t need to send trucks out into the forests to haul trees to a mill to make your binder.

The entire binder is recyclable. All of it. 100%.  Naked Binder uses no plastics, no vinyl – nothing that is not easily and universally recyclable. That means there is no landfill, and the materials are back into the recycled material universe, perhaps to make a new 3-ring binder! This includes the Notebook binders, the colorful Project Binders and the Naked Binder.

These recycled binders are non-toxic.  No BPAs, no dioxins – none of that. That means your kids can use them safely and that if you want (and I have) you can compost the binder.

Whether you are greening your office, or going back to school, eliminating vinyl is an easy way to be healthier while getting a stronger better looking 3-ring binder. Win win win win win!

A recycled and recyclable 3-ring binder offers you a stronger binder that you can use with pride knowing that not only are you healthier and better looking, but you are saving the planet also!

Still Swell at 85 – Inspirational guy

From CARVE magazine

This bloke is a legend. 85 still surfing, got an incurable cancer doesn’t let it get him down just raises cash for cancer sufferers less fortunate than himself. It is shot by Dean Saffron for the Byron Bay Surf Festival. Not see the other clips but we say “Give Magoo the bleddy cup already”

Still Swell at 85

The nickname Magoo conjures up images of a well-intentioned but incapable character bumbling through life’s daily adventures, even for those too young to have been exposed to the iconic cartoon. While Barry “Magoo” McGuigan is a lovable spirit, this is where the similarity ends as being Australia’s oldest competitive surfer generates extreme focus.

This short piece explores Magoo’s perception of being involved with surfing since the advent of the sport and the deeply personal ways that surfing has shaped his philosophy to life. Unassuming in nature, Magoo is a man of few words but his message is profound and this inspired the film.

You can vote here


Getting ready for School? Is it too soon?

Getting ready for going back to school takes a little more time if you are trying to do it with green school supplies.

While you don’t need to panic at this point, it may be wise to start looking at where you can get your green eco friendly school supplies.

A few hints.

School Binders.

Many schools put out a list of what they think your kids will need for the school year. These lists almost always specify 3-ring school binders, often vinyl binders. No offense to your school, but often their supply lists were made a long time ago and haven’t been updated.  I ran into this and ended up supplying the whole class with recycled binders, since the teacher was so excited.

We at Naked Binder know that you have choices, but there are things to consider when looking.

How long will it last? Cardboard binders are cheaper, but…cardboard binders.  Vinyl binders will fail at the hinge meaning you have to duct tape the cover back on in a few months. Naked Binders will not fail at the hinge – we had it flexed 250,000 times at a lab and it was still working.

Ring size does not = Binder spine size. Most often, the Big Box stores sell binders by spine size which tells you only how much space it takes up on a shelf, but nothing else.  Naked Binder uses ring size as a measure of exactly how many sheets go in a binder. We do have the dimensions of our binders listed on the shopping page to help relieve confusion.

3-ring binder ring sizing chart - Naked Binder

3-ring binder dimensions, 1" binder, 1.5" binder, 2" binder







Is it non-toxic and recyclable? Asking this question just eliminates vinyl binders. The answer to those questions is that vinyl is toxic and not recyclable anywhere you can go.

School Paper

The higher the recycled content, the better for the forests.  The cost does go up however, so you may have to look around.  For scratch pads, we generally use paper that was printed one sided, cut in half and put in a notebook binder (a half sheet 3-ring binder).  Easy to care, reuses waste paper and it is contained which is useful with kids.

Clothes and jackets

My kids grows like a weed, so buying new clothes all the time is an expensive hobby. If you have older siblings or cousins see if you can get their old clothes.  Chances are a lot of what you get is basically new since all kids seem to be picky about what they wear.

Thrift and second hand stores are also useful, but if you have good connections with parents, organize a clothes swap party where parents have food (and drinks?) and bring in everything they can’t use anymore.  (this works for adults too!)  Worried your kid will not have the newest clothes? As a third child not having new clothes until I was old enough to buy them, I find myself singularly unscarred by the experience.

That is all for today.  Remember, eco friendly school supplies can be harder to come by in your local stores, so expect to put a little more time in your search.  On the other hand, you are a hero to a generation and training your child to do right by the planet.


Interesting Day for Printing History

An interesting day in book binding history 539 years ago today!

The Day in Jewish History / First volume of Hebrew work printed

The second-oldest extant Hebrew printed work, ‘Arba’ah Turim’ is one of the most important compendiums of Jewish law.

On July 3, 1475, Meshullam Cusi Rafa ben Moses Jacob printed the first volume of the important halakhic work “Arba’ah Turim” (“Four Columns.”) It is the second-oldest dated work still in existence, printed in Hebrew a mere 21 years after Johannes Gutenberg printed his first Bible with movable type.

The book can now be found at Padua’s Biblioteca Civica Bp 6747.

Padua Biblioteca Civica

Explaining CMYK, PMS and RGB for web and printing

What are the differences in color profiles for print and the web?

Boy are we happy you asked. While Naked Binder is not making custom binders and folders, our sister company Corporate Image does. Many designers are starting with web and digital design and then moving to offset printing. Whether you are making custom 3-ring binders and pocket folders or postcards understanding how the processes and colors work will make a huge difference.


CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black), or four color process, is a subtractive color model, meaning if you add together CMY you should get black.  Color mixes being what they are, Black was added to make sure a true black could get printed.


RGB (Red, Green, Blue) is a additive color process generally used for digital devices and internet.  This works on the same principle of mixing light in which a mix of red, green and blue gives you…white.  Try that with ink.


PMS colors offer you a way to match exact print colors- since slight variations in mix on press can change a color.  Lets say your have a VERY specific corporate color in your logo.  CMYK will come very close, but if you want to be exact, you probably want to run the PMS color as a spot color.  You can specify PMS for digital use, but it will get translated to RGB.

The logocompany.net put out this great info-graphic and we thought you should take a look:

PMS, CYMK and PMS spot colors explained! Corporate Image

Don’t you feel informed?  Thanks Logo Company!

Gardening – is it safe to use newspaper to stop your weeds?

At Naked Binder, we care.  We also garden. So when Grist’s column “Ask Umbra” ran question as to whether it was safe to use newspaper in the garden to control weeds, we perked up.

We are re-posting part of that here for you. Listen and learn about what and where your toxins are coming from!  (the whole article is here)

Grist - ask umbra photo - is it safe to use newspaper in the garden

Q. I am able to buy from our local newspaper company the ends of their rolls of newsprint. They are too small to be run through the machinery, so they are not printed on. I am considering using long strips of this unused newsprint as mulch in my vegetable garden, but I’m wondering if it will supply dioxins or other undesirable chemicals to the soil as it degrades?

Greensboro, N.C.

A. Dearest Peter,

What’s black and white and read all over, and protects your veggies from weeds? Newsprint, that liner of birdcages and bulker of papier-mache projects everywhere, is also often touted as a useful garden or compost additive. But is it really safe to lay the classifieds alongside your cucumbers?

In your case, it sounds like we don’t even need to consider any inks (head over here for that discussion) – it’s just a matter of whether or not that familiar, ashy-gray newsprint passes environmental muster. I won’t make you wait for the answer here, Peter: It does. The paper, composed primarily of wood fibers, breaks down rather slowly, making it an effective option for weed control that doesn’t introduce anything undesirable into the soil. If you decide to go this route, the West Virginia University extension has some tips for you.

You mention that you’re specifically worried about dioxins, so you probably know that these cancer-causing, hormone-disrupting, all-around-nasty chemicals are a byproduct of paper-bleaching processes that use chlorine (among a number of other sources). Fortunately, though, “There is no reason to expect there to be dioxins in newspaper,” notes Martin Hubbe, professor of paper science at North Carolina State University, via email. Newsprint is instead typically bleached with the more environmentally benign hydrogen peroxide.

This isn’t necessarily the case for other white paper products, such asglossy magazine paperpaper towels, or coffee filters, by the way, but any chemical present is in such small amounts as to be considered safe by the EPA. If you’d rather keep your arugula as dioxin-free as possible, though, keep that in mind and steer clear of bleached papers.

Read the whole thing here at Grist.  There is much more information there!

Eco friendly, Recycled and Recyclable Pocket Folders for You.

Vinyl and plastic pocket folders may be slightly cheaper than eco friendly, recycled folders, but lets look at the big picture.

An eco friendly pocket folder for a 3-ring binderEco Friendly Pocket Folders 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, 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

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 (we like our trees out 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. From greening your home to greening your office,  you work to have a healthy environment around you. We try to live up to you, so we worked hard to make the best recycled and recyclable pocket folders.

Green Energy as a Tourist Destination

We found this over at Clean Technica and wanted to share.  Having driven through the wind turbines in the Altamont Pass and through the wind farms of Iowa, I can see the draw of cool green projects – but even I considered myself an outlier on these things.  Turns out I’m not alone:

A guidebook to over 190 green project sites in Germany has sold out in its first printing. The project sites are wind farms, solar arrays, and the like.

german church with solar

The green guidebook was mocked by a guest poster on Grist, who identifies himself as a comedian: “Add that to the list of things I do not understand about Germany. I mean, the country is littered with castles, they’ve got the alps, the Black Forest, a 500-year-old beer hall every three blocks, and half the dudes over there have mustaches like this.”

If visiting a renewable energy site for fun seems like a typically ‘German’ thing to do, just consider what it is like going to see the wind turbines at Altamont Pass not far from the San Francisco Bay Area or on the way to Joshua Tree in the southern part of the Golden State. They are spectacular in their own way, and indicative of a newer energy infrastructure and society in transition.

If you would like to peruse the green guidebook, visit here. Google Chrome asked me if I wanted to translate this page and I said yes, so I could readily see it in English. The author is Martin Frey. Here is an extract from the book on Bavaria (German).

This kind of publication is great because it provides alternatives to the standard vacation spots which have a tendency to get rather packed during the summer season. Sitting in traffic and waiting in line at the most  popular sites is hardly a relaxing way to spend a summer vacation.

Publishing such information is also educational–but not just in an informative way–because it is about experiential education. Such experiences are often what families tend to gravitate towards, like visiting aquariums or museums. Spending time in the outdoors while learning about renewable energy might be more refreshing and invigorating though.

Another thing worth mentioning is that Germany is a world leader in renewable energy so it makes very good sense that wind farms, solar arrays, biogas generators, etc. would be worth visiting there because they are evidence of a national commitment to the move away from polluting fossil fuels to better sustainability.

In fact, a German village not far from Berlin that is energy independent has received several thousands visitors from all over the world. About half of them in 2011 were from Japan!

So, it isn’t only those ‘wacky’ Germans at all that are interested in visiting some of these noteworthy green sites.

Image Source: Agency for Renewable Energies / Gudrun Schützler

Via Clean Technica – go visit them and see what other fun articles they have!

A Loft of Ideas – Or at least Dreams

I always seem to live in a house like I am about to move.  We rarely update the things that are inconvenient or just wrong.  We just live with it.

So when I see places like this, I see a playground of ideas and get a little inspiration to get off my ever increasing kiester and get to work.

houzz blog - very excellent loft


Houzz Blog - Amazing loft - house design

Do I want a cedar soaking tub? Absolutely.  I may have to annex my son’s room to have the room for it, but he might be OK with that.

A lot of the materials are recycled or re-purposed meaning that while this place is a little over the top for most of us, it is consistent with our ideal of recycling and green living.  Love some parts of this place!

For more of this loft or for house and interior design, check out the post on Houzz.

Interesting People: Budding Farmers

Naked Binder is always interested in people doing amazing things, teaching and creating.  Budding Farmers is an organization that works with kids to connect them with their food, where it comes from and how it all works.

Budding Farmers - a quick profile from Naked Binder

Budding Farmers was launched in 2013 by farmer-educator Monica Irwin after her years of experience working within the local food system as a farmer, farmer’s market manager, community educator, and good food activist.  It was founded on the premise that all kids should know where their food comes from and why they should be eating healthy food.  The intention of Budding Farmers is to make fruits and vegetables fun thus creating a culture where children want to eat their veggies!

In 2013, the Budding Farmers program was offered at over 20 farmers markets and CSA farms throughout the Midwest and Northeast United States.  Hundreds of children learned about and ate seasonal fruits and vegetables through Budding Farmers! We’re excited to expand and offer this unique and engaging program to even more children across the US as we continue to grow.~

Check out their site: Budding Farmers

The awesome newsletters: The Budding Farmers Beet

Activities and more!

Live green, eat well and do good things!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 260 other followers