Inspired Habitat: Got Paper? Reuse It Before You Recycle It

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School is back in full swing and along with it comes piles and piles of paper. Sure, you could put it all in the recycling bin, but why not find a way to reuse it and give it a second, or even third life first?

Print on both sides – you’ll save money and each piece of paper gets used twice. Obviously, you don’t want to reuse confidential documents, and it’s not something you want to do for a presentation.

Make notepads – got a stack of mismatched paper with one clean side? Put it clean side up, cut it into uniform size and either staple it or put a binder clip at the top to create a handy notepad.

Create a journal – take a cue from Martha Stewart and create a handcrafted journal from scrap paper. It’s super easy, super green and you probably already have everything you need.

Donate – ask around town at the local library, reading room, senior center, doctor’s office, homeless shelter, school, etc. So many of these places can use old magazines, if so, take them there rather than the trash!

Notebook dividers – if you have oversized magazines with good photography, pull out the pages you like, hole punch them to match your notebook and voila! You’ve got really cool dividers.

Collage it – go old school and create a collage from pictures you like. Why not decorate the cover of your recycled journal with a cool collage?

Make envelopes – check online for a template to transform your magazine pages into envelopes. Add a stick on address label and you’ve got something really cool that will brightent he day of any deployed soldier, or elderly relative.

Bookmark it – magazine subscription cards, stiff ad pages and other colorful pieces make handy bookmarks for your reading material. When you’re done, just toss them in the recycling bin.

Compost it – if the paper isn’t glossy, tear it up and toss it in the compost bin. This is a great tip if your “green” stuff like food scraps and lawn trimmings outweighs your “brown” stuff like leaves.

Wrap it up – sure, we all know the trick of using the colorful Sunday comics pages as wrapping paper, but why stop there? Got a sports fan in the house? Wrap their gift with the sports section. Sending a gift to your grad student who’s majoring in political science? Use the politics and opinion pages for wrapping.

Shred and pack – cushion that care package you’re sending off to your college student with shredded up newspaper. Just be sure to remind them to dump the paper in the recycling bin, or if their school has an agricultural department, add it to the compost.

Inspired Habitat is written by local environmentally-conscious lifestyle website Bambeco, a company committed to advancing a more sustainable world.


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