People have been inventing ways to reuse their news since they began printing. Many uses have been handed down from generation to generation simply by the process of "This is what we do." As times changed and people no longer actually used the paper after reading it, putting it in the recycling bin became the thing to do. Now that more of us are becoming aware of limited resources – the planet's as well as our own – new uses for old newspaper are being created.
First, let me give you a few facts about newsprint. Newsprint is the paper used in your daily newspaper. Once made mostly of wood pulp, it is now made with a combination of materials, including wood scraps, sawdust, and recycled paper. According to conservationatree.com, Canada is the largest supplier of newsprint while the United States is the largest consumer. In spite of widespread use of the Internet, the newspaper business is still a thriving industry.
Generations have used newspapers to wash windows or start a fire. Ask anyone who lived during the Great Depression and you are sure to hear a number of ways newspapers were used and reused until they were thrown away or burned.
I recently found some unique and (to me) new uses for old newspaper. Here are seven of my favorites:
1. Get rid of odors. Crumpled newsprint stuffed into smelly shoes for a couple of days will absorb odors. It can also be used in a musty basement, closet or refrigerator. If you've ever had an old freezer, you know that musty smell! Replace with fresh paper each week until the smell is gone.
2. Mulch the garden or compost . Shredded newspaper is not pretty, but it helps keep weeds at bay in a flower or vegetable garden. You can also tear paper into small pieces and add to the compost pile.
3. Use it as wrapping paper . Use the comics for a child, the sports section for fans, or the finance section for the executive. As an added bonus, make a bow from the same section with easy directions online or in craft shops.
4. Protect outdoor plants. If a cold snap is coming in, cover outdoor plants with newspaper pages. Secure to plant stems or borders with clothespins. * This is only good to use if weather is dry.
5. Prevent ice on windshields. Placing several sheets of newspaper on the windshield of a car makes leaving for work on an icy morning easier. Lay the sheets across the glass & fasten with easy to remove tape. In the morning, simply remove paper & drive away with a clear view!
6. Help boots, hats, and purses keep their shape. Stuffing the inside of each item with crumpled paper before storing for a season helps keep their shape and keep odors at bay.
7. Replace paper towels. Newsprint is great for absorbing spilled liquids or wiping grease from a frying pan. It also works great to …