5 ways to reuse paper at home

Let's start with newspapers

Old newspaper

Everyone gets newspapers at home. Many of us read the news online too, but the feel of the real thing is irreplaceable.  It apparently takes 12 trees to produce 1 tonne of non recycled newsprint paper. If you don’t give up on your daily print paper reading habit, how can you make a difference?

Well, the simplest thing to do is to use the newspaper for other activities that strain natural resources, and balance out our overall carbon footprint.


Here are five great ways to reuse paper at home:

  1. Clean Windows and Mirrors: Newspapers are great to clean windows or mirrors with, as the ink contains chemicals that aid the cleaning process. Don’t we hate chemicals you ask? Yes, we do, but in this case since the chemicals already exist in the paper and one way or another will find it in our soil or water, making the most of them and reducing our dependence on other chemicals (glass cleaners for instance) would make more sense. All you need to do is crush the paper up in your hands, dip it in some water and clean. Use a dry piece of paper to wipe away any water marks and squeaky clean results! You can also combine the paper with a home made cleaning a spray by mixing equal parts of vinegar with water, usually 1 cup of each will suffice. This mixture is non toxic which is great especially if you have children at home and can even be used on computer monitors and television screens.
  2. Papier Mache: If you have kids at home, Paper Mache projects are the great way of reusing old paper, and keeping your kids off the iPad or phone, and creatively engaged. All its takes is old newspapers and glue.  Watch this video for a step by step guide.

3. Shoe care: when it comes to maintaining your footwear, newspaper can be very versatile.

  • Insert rolled up newspaper inside your boots to maintain their shape.
  • Wrap shoes in newspaper especially leather shoes in the rainy season to avoid moisture getting into them
  • Crumple up and put newspaper into your running shoes to deodorize them (the paper absorbs the sweat, and the ink apparently has a deodorizing effect)

4. Basket/ Magazine holder: Get creative on a rainy day, and try making this medium sized basket made entirely using old newspaper, stapler and double sided tape. It’s a great way to store knick knacks around the house including magazines

5. Gift Wrapping: What better way to use old newspaper than using it to wrap gifts. The black and white base looks sophisticated, and can be accentuated beautifully using ribbons or cloth. This is a perfect idea specially for a return favors at your child’s birthday party, and you can get your kids involved by getting them to do their own art (such as hand-prints) on the wrapped gifts to give it a truly personal feel.

Do you have any other ideas to reuse paper? Share them with us!


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