Going Green Commitment: Day 25…Making Newspaper, New!

Well, our ‘Going Green Commitment’ is coming to an end. Only six more days left until we’ve completed the month long commitment in our house to make small changes in going green. It has been a wonderful experience and changed a lot of the things we have done around our house. One of the most prevalent changes has been the way we look at paper. Such an effective tool at home and at work, we devalue paper and don’t always take care of properly recycling it or using it the way we should.

One daily flow of large amounts of paper in many homes is the newspaper. Important to stay current on daily local and world news, the newspaper is a part of many’s morning and evening routine and yet often gets stacked up in the closet or garage until it just seems too overwhelming to recycle. One of my most dreaded chores growing up was putting the mountainous pile of newspaper we had built up in our garage over the last six months into paper bags, putting them into the car, and taking them to the recycle station at our local high school.

While I was proud to play my part in recycling newspaper growing up, I was equally excited when I came across some NEW ways to use newspaper around the house, making further use of and recycling newspaper that is in our homes. There are some great ideas on reusing newspaper at The Green Guide and NWA News. Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Packing supplies–A standard use for old newspaper, but nonetheless, very effective. Wrap your old dishes and plates to put in the garage or wrap breakables when moving. Newspaper will provide an effective covering for your items so that they don’t rub together or crack.

2. Window Cleaner–Surprisingly enough, newspaper can be used to clean your windows, rather than flying through paper towels which are much more expensive. Use a minimal amount of window cleaner, but newspaper will get the job done.

3.Top Soil–Newspaper can also be used in your garden as top soil. Place two or three sheets down, then mulch on top and the newspaper and mulch will decompose together, preventing weeds from springing up AND nourishing your garden.

4. Tablecloths–Especially for those spaghetti dinners or pumpkin carving nights coming up, lay the newspaper down on your table to collect all of the gook, then wrap it up and throw it away, making for easy cleanup.

5. Fireplace logs–A great way to start fires on those cool autumn days, reuse your newspaper as fire starter and send it up in flames.

6. Make it art–A fun family project, let your kids go through the newspaper (exposing them to current events and issues) and let them cut out different pictures or phrases and decorate a board or wall in their rooms or in your house, allowing for healthy (and educational) self-expression.

Other ideas on how to recycle newspaper in your home? Leave a comment or idea below.

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