Here’s A Step By Step, Easy-Peasy Lemon-Squeezy Guide On How To Save And Recycle Paper!
Paper is one of the most versatile and widely used consumer materials, despite of all the new-age technology. But, did you know production of a single tonne of paper consumes approximately 20 full grown trees? So, just wasting this precious product after a single use does not sound like such a genius idea, does it?
Why not recycle it?
According to the National Environment Bureau, each tonne of paper that is recycled saves almost 14 trees, 2.5 barrels of oil, 4100 kWh of electricity, 4 cubic metres of landfill and 31,780 litres of water.
There are many of us who throw paper in our recycling bins without giving it a second thought. Believe it or not, people have been making paper for 200 years now, and have been recycling it for 100 years. Paper recycling might seem like a big thing to do, but actually, it can be easily done at home without much trouble. By doing this, you will be able to eliminate some household waste - like newspaper, used printed sheets, old wrapping papers and you can create unique handmade things at the same time.
Here’s a step by step guide for you to recycle paper at home and help save the planet’s valuable resources:
What you will need:
Waste paper (anything will work except glossy paper)
A shredder or a blender
Mesh or screen
Cloth or sponge
A rectangular bin to hold water
Decoration like dried flowers, confetti or anything natural you can put into this. (For making handmade paper)
How to recycle paper at home:
Tear the paper into small pieces with a shredder and put it into a blender with warm water. Blend until the mixture turns into smooth pulp.
Assemble your mold, attach your screen to your frame using tape. Keep the frame fixed at the same place.
Pour the pulp into your bin or pan, then sink the mold into the water mixture. Pull the mold up and pulp should cover the whole screen. At this point, you can add your little things like flowers, seeds etc. Make sure to add a little more pulp to cover the decoration so they are attached to the paper.
Use a cloth or sponge to press out excess water. You can let it dry on the screen, you can flip the mold over to allow the paper to dry evenly. Just make sure to work around this so that the paper dries out for a day.
How To Reuse Paper
Reuse printed paper:
This is the easiest and yet it is surprising to see how many people don’t bother printing on the back of scrap computer paper. Use of scrap paper to print things like coupons, meeting minutes, shopping lists and other things, helps you reduce the amount of paper you use. To make it easier, keep a tray scrap paper next to the printer for easy access.
Used wrapping sheets, greeting cards, the comic sections of the newspapers, printed sheets you no longer need and even colourful paper, can be used in origami. From jewellery boxes to paper planes and bookmarks, you can make a bunch of things. Even when you are having a chocolate, that golden paper in which you get the chocolate, is an amazing option for origami.
Beads of Jewellery:
Old magazines and wrapping sheets of paper can be rolled into pretty beads to make unique jewellery. There are so many tutorials on the Internet, that can help you with this. This could be a fun summer projects for kids as well.
Frame pretty patterned wrapping paper (greeting cards, or wallpaper) in simple frames for a boost of colour in your home. Alternatively, use wrapping paper as matting for photos, create a lot of decoration for your house through this.
Reuse of comic books sheets, plain brown paper sheets, newspaper to wrap gifts. You can pretty them up with gifts tags made from scrap paper and leftover ribbons. For small gifts, a fun idea is to use business envelopes turned inside-out to wrap a gift, showing the pretty blue or gray security pattern inside.
Garden Mulch (protective layer):
Non-toxic newsprint can be excellent mulch for your garden plants. Tear the newspaper into strips and put a layer around your plants to keep the soil moist and deter weeds. The newspaper can breakdown and enrich the soil.
A sweet way to reuse greeting cards is to cut out the pictures (pretty flowers, birds, and other images) and use them to create new cards. You might reuse last year’s wedding cards or any other cards which are just lying around in your house.
Buy reusable napkins:
The kitchen can be one of the most wasteful areas of the house with rubbish bins filling up with food waste, paper towels, napkins and other disposable single-use items. Save money and avoid waste by buying reusable napkins.
Using an erasable notepad for taking notes:
Pick up a whiteboard or blackboard and keep it close! They’re handy for saving paper and not necessarily just for school notes. Write your to-do lists and when you are done with those, simply erase and start over.
Now before you go to the washroom and start wiping your hands with a paper napkin. Think twice! Save paper and save the environment.
Illustration By Ranak Mann
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