Old newspapers are usually a nuisance around the home, but there are plenty of ways to recycle / upcycle them usefully.
"Mother folded newspapers concertina-shape and showed me how to cut decorative edges. These were made to cover shelves Dad had made for the kitchen walls. Her crockery and cookery utensils were soon in place. Every day a fresh sheet of newspaper was folded, cut, and placed on our table. It was a tablecloth well suited to little children and their many spillages. These used 'cloths' were kept for kindling." VERA DEACON. Depression Down Under, 1977.
Use several layers of newspapers as a mulch around vegetables in the home garden or add shredded, wet paper to the compost heap.
A thick layer of newspapers under rugs will keep the room warmer in winter.
Make new paper from old.
Make Beautiful Recycled Paper Out of Paper Shreds
Step 2: Add small quantities of flowers, grass, and leaves for fun, colour, and texture.
Step3: Spread it out on a flat, fine-holed, wire-mesh screen—use a rolling pin to flatten.
Step 4: Smear a tablespoon of cornstarch over the paper to increase its strength.
Step 5: When it dries, you can use this paper as stationary, to decorate used boxes, or even to make celebration cards. (For an even prettier look, glue dried flowers on top of the paper.)
Better quality raw materials produce a better grade of paper, so you need strong scrap paper to make strong hand-made paper. Newspaper, cardboard and blotting paper are made from low grade pulp, or pulp that has already been recycled. Glossy magazines and some junk mail contain filters, binders, sizing and varnishes - but experiment. Newsprint, because of the ink, turns out rather grey. Mix newspaper with other papers, or boiled up cotton rags cut into small pieces. Raw newsprint yields a creamy coloured paper.
A wad of newspaper polishes window glass or mirrors like nothing else.
Use as a pot holder - Works in a pinch to keep from getting burned.
Use as table cloth padding. As a light reflector when taking photographs.
Cover your craft area with newspaper - the all-purpose work table protector!
Use to decorate crafts - Painted, fringed newspaper is great for all kinds of crafts, especially Eco kids crafts.
Make Papier mache, paper hats, a kite, filler for puppet heads, doll heads and bodies, packing for gifts and packages and so on, crumpled up newspaper can't be beat. Gift wrap and make pretty bows from shreds of newspaper, be creative! Use certain parts of the paper for gift wrapping - the sporting pages for the football lover, cooking pages for the gourmet lover.
Stuff newspaper into your shoes or boots or purses when storing. Helps keep their shape.
Dress patterns - newspaper works for making your own clothing patterns.
Newspaper blankets - People who slept in parks or shanty towns during the 1930s Depression knew the insulating value of a few sheets of newspaper. Layer sheets of paper between blankets, or you can sew them into wads to make a "bedspread". It will keep you just as cozy as a fire. Great for our four legged friends to keep warm too.
Sop/Sponge - use to sop up grease from oven, stovetop, driveway, car washing.
Cleaning the car - use newspaper to clean glass with a vinegar and water spray bottle. Even when using green-friendly cleaners, for city dwellers,it is better to avoid the driveway and instead wash the car on the lawn or over dirt so that the toxic waste water can be absorbed and neutralized in soil instead of flowing directly into storm drains or open water bodies. Sop up those sudsy puddles (with newspaper) that remain after you’re done. They contain toxic residues and can tempt thirsty animals.
Newspaper logs - Old newspapers make excellent homemade fuel for the fire, potbelly or wood stove. Roll your own newspaper logs which will burn slowly and evenly in place of wood. Roll the newspaper from the bottom of the page (that is vertically) to make a tight wad about 6 inches thick. Wetting the paper first helps. Fasten the log by spreading out two sheets of newspaper and wrapping up the rolled papers, tucking in at the corners.
If you have a Cinva ram you can use it to make newspaper bricks. Paper must first be soaked and pulped, then squeezed into a brick shape and left to dry thoroughly before use.
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