Paper is one the material that can be easily recycled, which includes everything from packaging to mail, makes up the largest percentage of the municipal solid waste stream at 33 percent. It’s one of the most recovered materials, as recycling opportunities are often readily available.
Paper recycling might seem like the sort of thing best left to paper mills, but it turns out you can recycle your own paper at home without too much trouble. You’ll be able to eliminate some household waste – like junk mail, used printer paper or old wrapping paper – and create something unique and handmade at the same time.
What You’ll Need:
- Waste paper
- A blender or food processor
- An old picture frame
- Mesh or screen
- Felt, cloth or sponge
- A rectangular bin to hold water
- Tear the paper into small pieces and put into a blender with warm water. Blend until the mixture becomes a fairly smooth pulp.
- Assemble your “mold”; attach your screen to your frame using duck tape, staples or any other method that will keep the screen affixed to the frame’s edges.
- Pour the pulp into your bin or pan, then sink the mold into the water mixture. Pull the mold up, and pulp should cover the screen. At this point, you can add decorations. You can even add seeds to make plantable paper. Be sure to add a little more pulp to cover the decorations so they adhere to the paper.
- Use a cloth or sponge to press out excess water. Now you need to let the paper dry. You can let it dry on the screen, you can flip the mold over and let your paper dry on another surface, or you can press a cloth into the mold so the paper adheres to it and can dry on the cloth. Any of these options should work. Just be sure to let your paper dry for a day or so.
If you don’t recycle your used paper and instead throw it into the trash, it goes where all trash goes — to the landfill.
Recycled paper use saves resources and reduces the paper industry’s impact on the planet.
Using 100% recycled copy paper instead of 100% virgin fiber paper saves:
- 100% of the trees,
- 31% of the energy,
- 53% of the water, and produces
- 39% less solid waste.
In the United States we use enough paper in a single day to fill the 838 miles of the Library of Congress nearly FIVE times.
The Paper recycling activity can start at school, college, home, office, local community and even at drop off centers.
We all need to show our interest in recycling to make it successful.