3 Ways to Reuse Paper

Get creative with everything from newspaper scraps to grocery bags

By recycling and reusing paper, we not only save money, but we also reduce our carbon footprints and impact on global warming. Most people think that the only way to recycle paper is to toss it in the big blue bins that sit next to copy machines. However, here are some creative ways to reuse paper.


Although many people don't realize this, most paper products can be put in a compost heap — but they need to be shredded first. You can reuse old paper bags and other miscellaneous bits of paper by turning them into rich and fertile soil for your garden to enjoy. Don’t waste paper — turn it into produce!

Just be careful that you do some research to make sure it’s OK to compost the kind of paper you’re trying to reuse. For example, you can’t compost paper that is heavily dyed or glossy magazine print.

Arts, crafts and gifts

Whether you have scrap paper, newsprint or paper bags, there are many ways that you can use these types of paper, especially if you have children in your life. For example, you can have your children decorate newspaper or paperbags to be used for gift wrap. If you have papers that are printed on one side, stick them in a cupboard for coloring pages the next time your children want to get artsy. And, if you have a student in the house, any scrap of paper — whether it’s an envelope or an old receipt — is reusable paper.

All types of scrap paper can be used to figure out math problems, write phone messages and make collages. And don’t forget that each piece of paper has two sides. So, stick pieces of paper that have printing on only one side back into the printer. You can use them for personal printing, like directions, grocery lists and journal entries.

Get packing and organized

Newspaper is the universal, free packing product. If you’re shipping a fragile item or storing Christmas ornaments for next season, newspaper is the perfect way to make sure they won’t get damaged. Paper bags are perfect for sorting and organizing items, such as your weekly recyclables, as well as working your way through an old attic. And let’s not forget that even the smallest scraps of paper can be used for labels. Paper labels work just as well as professional ones when they're taped down, and this can save you a great deal of money.

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