Most Efficient 3-Ring Binders


Bloggers are drafting up their top 10 list posts and techies are e-organizing their hard drives for the new year. But if you’re old school — or have a boss who forces you to stick to ink-and-paper ways, here are some efficient 3-ring binders to help you catalog and file away 2008.

I stuck to binders with 30%+ post-consumer recycled content, and used 1″-ring binders as the price guide. Most of these binders are available in many different sizes:

Sustainable Group’s ReBinders


Pick from the original Rebinder (at least 35% post-consumer recycled content cardboard) or the tougher Greenback Rebinder (85% post-consumer recycled content chipboard). Both are assembled in Seattle by Northwest Center, which provides job services to disabled and disadvantaged people. Plus, if you manage to destroy your binder cover somehow, you can recycle the remains then replace them with new covers, simply by detaching and reattaching the 3-ring steel part by following the directions on Sustainable Group’s site. Find Rebinders at Whole Foods marketed under the New Leaf label, or buy them in bulk online for as little as $3.95 per 1″-ring binder.

Circuit Board Binders


Made of old computer circuit boards, these binders would make great gifts for your coder friend. Get them for a pricy $28 each at Green Earth Office Supply — or make your own by following the directions on Instructables.

Naked Binder


The stylish, acid-free Naked Binder has a board cover made with 97% post-consumer waste from Connecticut. Assembled in the U.S., the binders also come in spine-wrapped or all-wrapped versions (wraps are made of cotton). The company boasts that the binders are 100%-recyclable — though most consumers would be hard pressed to find a recycler for minute amounts of scrap cotton or steel rings. Still, the binders should efficiently last a while, since they’ve been tested up to 50,000 flexes. Each binder costs at least $8 a pop at Naked Binder.

Vuncana Recycled Rubber Binders


Made from 100% post-consumer recycled rubber, Vulcana binders come with an inner side flap and business card holder. But priced at $36.50 a pop at Vulcana, this binder’s way out of my price range.

TerraCycle Eco-Binders


TerraCycle Eco-Binders boast at least 75% post-consumer recycled content for its paper cover. Plus, the steel rings are made of 80% recycled material. The cover’s extremely hard and durable, but if you manage to damage it somehow, you can send it to TerraCycle for repurposing. Find 1″-ring binders at your nearest OfficeMax for $3.99.



The EarthBinder’s made with 96%+ post-consumer recycled chipboard in Omaha, Nebraska. You gotta buy them in bulk though; a set of 10 1″-ring binders will cost you $4.11 per binder.

Universal Eco-Friendly Round Ring Natural Kraft Binders


Made with 62% post-consumer recycled content, these Universal Binders are widely available for as little as $2.17 a pop.

Aurora Products Elements Eco-Friendly Round Ring Binder


Aurora Binders boast 70% post-consumer recycled content. However, because the paperboard’s covered with polypropylene, recycling the end product seems a difficult task for the consumer, to say the least. These binders are available widely; 1″-ring binders cost $3.99 at The Green Office.

The Green Office’s 100% Recycled Binders


Eco-office supplies company The Green Office has its own line of binders, made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper. The company claims that the eco-binders’ spine “extends the lifetime of this binder by over three times that of conventional square back binders” — but I haven’t tested out that claim myself. Get them for $5.99 and up each at The Green Office.

Comments 3

  1. I like the fact that the ReBinder touches on all environmental aspects. It’s locally made using recycled materials from the state of Washington. The recycled content is FSC Certified, so it comes from a trusted source. Removable rings is the key. These other binders have rings rivetted to the spine, so recycled or not, no recycling facility will take them attached together. I also love the fact that they work with the disabled. The local news in Seattle just did a story on the company and your heart really goes out to folks with disabilities.

  2. Or you can email and I can send you a used one. VERY efficient!
    Email J I M W 3 1 1 @ y a h o o . c o m

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