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15 Uses for Newspaper

Updated on November 28, 2010

If you are like most people then you receive a daily newspaper. Those newspapers can really add up each week and while it is great to recycle them with a recycling company, it might be better to think of other ways to reuse them. If I can reuse something I have on hand, then that not only uses that item again, but it also prevents me from buying something different in its place. A win-win situation for sure. Here are some ideas I have for reusing newspapers.

1. Fire starter. I would very much prefer to roll newspapers up tight for kindling than go hunting in the yard for small branches and twigs, or worse yet - buying kindling.

2. Weed barrier. When we create new flower beds or garden boxes, or add a new layer of mulch to existing beds, we always put down a layer of newspaper first. This not only prevents weeds but also nourishes the soil.

3. Add it to the compost pile. I shred newspaper and add it as a brown ingredient in our compost pile.

4. In a pinch I have used it to wrap presents. For a sports fan you could choose the sports section published after a big game or use the comics for kids to keep them laughing.

5. Use to absorb odors. Stuff in shoes, slide pages between musty smelling books, etc.

6. Mats. You can use these as mats in the car for muddy shoes (or clothing!), mats under paper when kids are painting, mats under messy dinners, etc. When I tackle big kitchen projects like carving pumpkins or shucking lots of corn, I put newspaper down underneath where I am working. Makes clean-up a breeze.

7. Get creative! You can make sailboats, hats, airplanes, weave baskets, etc. Use your imagination a lot can be done with folded paper.

8. Protect items during shipping. I use crumbled up newspaper all the time for packing material. Much cheaper than bubble wrap!

9. Absorb grease. When I am cooking something super greasy I will lay out a few layers of newspaper and top with one paper towel (instead of using three or more paper towels) and pour the food out onto that.

10. Use in the bottom of pet cages or litter boxes. It helps absorb odors and urine and is easy to remove come cleaning time.

11. Use to wash your windows. This is the only way I can streak-free windows!

12. Fix something lopsided. Can be easily folded to the right height to stop a wobbly table or chair.

13. An instant booster seat for children. Wrap a stack in some tape so it doesn't slide around and you have a custom fitted booster seat.

14. Use as filler in the bottom of pots before adding dirt. I have a couple of really large planters and if I fill them completely with dirt they are too heavy to move. Shredded newspaper helps reduce some of the weight.

15. Shred the colored ads to use in gift bags instead of tissue paper.


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    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Very good tips and so useful. Full marks

    • albajuma profile image

      albajuma 7 years ago from Nairobi

      Like this hub Jennifer,so creative.

    • RicardoE profile image

      Ricardo Enrique 7 years ago from Guatemala City

      what a nice hub :)

      topic number seven inspired my new hub, I hope it is ok to link it here:

    • leni sands profile image

      Leni Sands 7 years ago from UK

      I love this - recycling at its best, great ideas. Thanks for sharing.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 7 years ago

      What clever ideas!

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 7 years ago

      Number 14 is a use I never thought of but will use next time I freshen my flower pots.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      What clever ideas. Newspaper does have more uses than just to be read. Great job.

    • cwarden profile image

      cwarden 7 years ago from USA

      These are some great ideas. Thanks! I think it's much better to reuse things whenever possible instead of just turning them in for recycling.