Read all about it

Do you read the newspaper? According to the EPA, the United States publishes 24 billion newspapers a year. That is a lot of paper printed every year!

I know we all now know enough about our ecological crisis to recycle those newspapers. There really is no excuse not to anymore. But, what if you could get more from your paper after you’ve read it, but before you recycle it?

You’ve paid for your newspapers and the trees used to make the paper have already been processed. Why not make these newspapers do more during their “lifetime” which could help cut down on other wasteful products later?

I love finding new or new-to-us ways for us all to be more green in our homes. (You can read all about my Greener Living series right here.) So without further ado, I give you…

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7 Tips to Give Your Newspaper a Workout

  • Ripen your tomatoes. Gently wrap not-quite-ripened tomatoes in a sheet or two of newspaper and let them sit in a cool, dark place, like your pantry, for a day or two. Your tomatoes will come out of the paper more ripe and easy to slice.

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  • Freshen-up your boots. Newspaper is a great odor absorbent paper. Stuff a roll of newspaper into your boots or sneakers and they’ll smell fresher the next time you need them. This trick also works for coolers!
  • Pack a box. Shred your old newspapers and use them as safe packing material when you need to mail a box. The box recipient can re-use your box-filler or recycle it themselves. You’ll save money on bubble paper and help keep it out of the landfills.
  • Wrap a gift. Cartoons for kid’s parties, sport pages for sports fans (father’s day, birthdays, etc.), business pages for graduation gifts, the combinations are endless. Planet-friendly wrapping that celebrate the gift recipient’s interests is thoughtful on many levels.

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  • Make a homemade craft table. Cover your kitchen table with several layers of newspaper and secure it with a good painter’s tape. Your will table be protected from scratches and spills, perfect for crafts projects for all ages. Clean up means rolling your “tablecloth” right in to your recycle bin. Use this for messy picnic table meals outside, too!
  • Clean your grill. Soak layers of newspaper in clean water and then lay the papers out flat over a still-warm grill. Close the grill lid and leave it for up to two hours. The steam of the warm, wet papers will loosen the grime off your grill.

Best of all…MOST important of all…all of these tips allow you to dispose of your now-more-well-used right into your recycling bin. No more lazy Sunday newspapers just lying around on the floor by the sofa at your house! They need to get to work!

Can you use these pre-recycling ideas in your home? Do you have other great tips for using old newspapers around the house? Does anyone ever see any “paper drives” as fundraisers anymore? Leave a comment and share!

Posted on September 21, 2011, in Green Living. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I know it’s not very eco-friendly, but we used to start fires in the fireplace with newspaper instead of kindling. That went away when we moved to a house with gas fireplaces.

    There’s always the old stand-by of the giant paper hat for kids parties. A similar design also works as a paper boat. Lots of cheap fun.

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