Have you ever wondered how many things are made out of paper? You are using paper for many purposes in your daily life. From printed magazines and newspapers to books and notebooks and even product packages. Due to the technological advances of the printing press and harvesting of wood, nowadays, you have access to a high amount of available paper. Its affordability led to high levels of consumption and waste. But it’s the moment to understand the impact paper waste has on the environment, and to control your impact on the health of the planet.
Why should we recycle paper?
How many times did you ask yourself this question?
To understand why it’s important to recycle paper, you need to know that 93% of the paper you use is made from trees, and you should already know they are vital for human life. The canopies of a tree trap dust and absorb pollutants from the air, so they work similarly to a physical filter. A single tree removes 1.7 kilos of dust and pollutants annually. Trees benefit both the environment and humans because they slow down global warming and reduce stress levels and heart rate. The conclusion is simple when you recycle paper, you save trees and promote a healthy life.
Deforestation isn’t the only issue paper waste produces. To produce one kilogram of paper, manufacturers use 324 liters of water. A single A4 sheet needs 10 liters of water.
Even if it’s not possible to stop manufacturing paper, you can minimize the amount of waste you produce if you recycle and reuse.
Here is how.
Three ways you can recycle paper at home
Paper recycling is simple because in many states you can take paper waste to a local collection that transports it to facilities that turn it into new products. Sticky labels, wallpaper, baking paper, paper stained with paint, dirt or food, and used paper towels cannot be reused.
When you cannot pop used paper to the local collection, you can recycle it at home. Let’s discover the easiest three ways to reuse it.
- You can transform it into a compost. Waste paper is one of the essential ingredients of compost. If you don’t have time to make compost, then you can shred paper into small strips and put it on the soil in the garden. Sprinkle some water on it, and leave it there because it will keep the soil moist and provide necessary nutrients for the plants.
- It’s a great alternative for packing material. When you don’t know how to recycle newspapers, you can use them to adorn gift boxes. Newspapers and magazines are also useful when you transport glass items. By wrapping them in paper or bubble wrap you prevent them from breaking. Paper is used to filling gaps in boxes when you move delicate items.
- Transform waste paper into a fresh one. This task requires plenty of work, but it’s a great activity for the ones with free time and crafty fingers. If you want to teach your children how to recycle paper you can involve them in the process. It’s a messy but educational job.
Multiple communities started recycling projects to protect the environment. The Danish island of Bornholm launched one of the most ambitious programs because it intends to encourage the local community to reuse and recycle every scrap of waste. The Bornholm officials state that by 2032, they will treat waste as a resource. The program requires citizens to sort their waste into metal, plastics, paper, and glass. However, the green mindset isn’t new for Denmark because it encourages companies and individuals to use recycling containers to stop waste. You should follow Danishes’ example to reuse and recycle every piece of waste.
Some creative ideas to recycle paper
You can reuse waste paper to create items, you need around the house or decorations.
For this project, you need some plain bowls made from steel or glass. Create stripes of paper from magazines, and glue one layer above the other, surrounding the bowl. Glue paper around the bowls until you achieve the desired thickness. It’s important to allow the paper bowl to dry for over 10 hours before removing it from the form.
You never have enough baskets around the house to store items. You need to master the art of weaving for this job because you will cut strips of paper and weave them to create the basket of the desired size. Check an online tutorial if you want to give it a try.
Paper gift bags
Why spending money on gift bags when you can create them at home. You only need two sheets of newspaper. You fold them horizontally and then staple them at the loose ends to get the paper bag. Use some old clothes or strings to make the handle. Everyone loves customized gifts. You’ll go a step further with this idea because you’ll customize even the package.
Part of the fun of the festive season is making ornaments at home. Paper decorations are elegant and cost-effective. 3D paper snowflakes are perfect decorations for the Christmas tree. You can use white paper or newspaper to create them. The only extra supplies are the thread and glue. Cut four ornaments with a pair of scissors in the desired shape, and then fold each of them in half. Apply glue to one half of the decoration and press a second one onto the glued side. Continue with the other snowflakes until they get a 3D shape.
For these decorations, you’ll need some colored newspapers or magazines. You can use old newspapers to create vintage ornaments. You’ll need a plastic or rubber ball to make the base of the decoration. Cut the paper into circular forms, apply glue on the ball and stick the pieces onto it.
The effort from any individual is crucial to transform the world into a paperless one. Here is where you can start. Feel free to use your imagination.