Here at Shred with Us, we produce copious amounts of shredded paper on a daily basis. Disposing of your important documents in the most secure way possible is of the utmost importance to us, but our commitment often leaves us with unwanted paper. In this blog post, Shred with Us explores fun and inventive ways to not only dispose of, but create life out of shredded paper. An obvious way to reduce, reuse, recycle in terms of shredded paper is by adding it to a compost heap, if you have one, or someone else’s if you don’t. This is the most environmentally friendly solution. Consider it “brown” waste and put an appropriate amount into your heap, then let the microorganisms and/or worms in the soil do the recycling. But if you want a more innovative way to recycle, consider these options brought to you by Shred with Us.
Pack Stuff with It
With anything from delicate china to expensive electronics, shredded paper beats styrofoam popcorn because you can pack it tightly into those areas where you’re afraid something will rub, bump or shift. Use it for mailing items. Use it for packing stuff you’re going to put in storage. An extra helpful tip (to avoid paper everywhere): bag it in Ziplocs or other plastic bags– it works just like those plastic air pillows some companies use to ship goods.
Make a Sachet
Stuff your discarded, shredded paper into a sachet, sprinkle some essential oil in there and sniff away! To make a sachet, simply sew one piece of lace trim across the top of each fabric piece. Place the fabric on top of each other aligning the lace together with the good sides of the fabric facing in. Sew along the three edges of the fabric, leaving the lace side completely open.
Use for Mulch
Use your shredded paper as a mulch in any garden (this works especially well in a strawberry patch to keep them off the ground). One of the best uses of the paper is as mulch under your shrubs and trees. Spread it out, wet it down and cover it with a bit of pine straw. The resulting Paper Mache consistency will prevent weeds better than most other mulches and will let water and fertilizer through just fine, thanks to its porous quality.
Make Paper or Paper Mache
Making your own paper simulates the manner in which it is made in an industrial setting. The paper pulp is put into a machine with a long moving screen. Then, the water drips through the screen. Then the screen moves through part of the machine that presses and dries the pulp. Now you have paper. But that’s not your only option, you can also create a Paper Mache bowl or basket. Mix it with glue and water to make a dough and form it into something you can use: a basket, lamp etc. There are even people who make jewelry out of it. You will simply need all-purpose white flour, sugar, water and alum powder for this fun and easy craft.