Smart Ways to Reuse Old Newspapers

It took some time, but the American culture has fallen in love with recycling. Even though things like community wide recycling programs and curb side pick-ups of recyclables seem new, in reality, earlier generations have been recycling for years. The difference is that instead of dropping old newspapers, cans, and glass bottles in a large bin, your grandparents repurposed items. When you learn how to repurpose, you’ll save money and enjoy a strong sense of self-satisfaction. Instead of throwing your old newspapers in the recycling bin, try using them in these creative ways.

Make Your Own Window Cleaner

Make a solution that’s one part white vinegar and three parts water. After reading the morning newspaper, wrinkle one sheet of it up and dip it into the vinegar water solution, and wipe the now soggy newspaper over your dirty window. The result is streak-free, clean glass. One word of warning, pull on a pair of rubber gloves prior to handling the wet newspaper so your hands don’t get covered with newspaper ink.

Never Purchase a Fire Starter Brick Again

Instead of spending your hard earned money on commercial fire starters, keep some old newspapers on hand. When you want to light up your fireplace, woodstove, or firepit, grab a few of these old newspapers, ball them up, and use them as a quick fire starter. Some people even use this method to start outdoor grills.

Keep Shoes and Purses in Shape

Have you ever pulled your favorite purse out of the closet only to find it wrinkled and creased from months of sitting on the shelf? Ball up old newspapers and stuff them in your shoes and purses. The paper does an excellent job of helping the items maintain their shape when you’re not actively using them.

Make Your Own Seed Pots

Gardening stores charge a small fortune for seed pots, but you can use your old newspapers to make your own for free. Take some old newspapers and cut the sheets in half. Slip the cut up sheet into a glass jar and let it unfurl against the glass. Fold the edges of the paper around the mouth of the jar, and turn the jar over and gently slide out the newspaper. The paper should retain the shape of the jar. Now you can fill your new paper pot with soil and plant your seeds.

Insert your homemade seed pot into the ground and care for it the same way you would if you’d planted the seeds in pots you’d gotten from a gardening store. The paper holds moisture and doesn’t harm the ground when it decomposes as the seeds mature.

Eliminate Weeds From Your Garden

Since the beginning of time, gardeners have been waging war with weeds. If you have a raised bed garden, use your old newspapers as a weed barrier. You won’t believe how easy this is! Just spread a layer of newspaper over your raised bed before you fill the bed with soil and compost. Not only does the newspaper discourage weeds from sprouting, it also helps your raised bed garden retain moisture.

Kitty Litter Liner

You can use your old newspapers to housetrain puppies, but you can also use them to make cat care a lot easier. Take old newspapers and line your kitty litter pan. The paper absorbs moisture and odors. It you leave the edges of the paper exposed, you can grab them, and easily lift the old litter out of the box for disposal. It’s much less mess than pouring litter straight into the pan.

Protect Your Countertops

Are you planning to cook something messy and dread the cleanup? Before you start, cover the countertop with a layer of old newspapers. When you’ve completed the project, just remove the papers from the surface and drop them in your recycling bin. Cleaning your kitchen has never been so easy! This trick also works to protect your table when the kids work on a messy art project.

Wrap Presents

Use your old newspapers as gift wrapping. If you’re giving something delicate or putting together a gift basket, strips of shredded newspaper make a great filling that’s free!

Pack Boxes

Bubble wrap is really expensive, but you don’t have to spend a small fortune on packing materials. Ball up sheets of newspapers to fill up the empty space in your boxes.

Line Your Drawers

Cut up some sheets of old newspapers so they perfectly fit inside your drawers and cupboards. The paper absorbs odors and spills and costs less than the expensive liners you’d get at a home improvement store.

Ripen Fruit

Do you have a fruit bowl full of tasty treats that aren’t quite ripe? Enjoy the fruit sooner when you wrap them in a layer of newspaper. This is an old trick to speed up the ripening process. It works on avocados too.

Create Compost

Run some of your old newspapers through your paper shredder and mix the scraps into your compost pile. Not only will worms be attracted to the paper, it also reduces compost odor.

What are some other creative ways you have reused newspaper in your home? Give us your best tips in the comment section.

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About Ms. Prepper

I’m Laura P, aka, Passion Prepper, aka, Storage Prepper! I’ve been homesteading nearly all my life and prepping for the last 6 years. I strongly believe our great country of America was built on self-sufficient families like mine and yours. Politics bores me, learning new stuff, getting outside and living life thrills me.

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