Upcycled or Recycled Paper

Recycled paper basket, duitang.com

Upcycling is really too elevated a concept for my rustic recycled paper notepads. The paper in the pads is recycled by me or at least reused by me.

For the notepads, I collect any standard 8 ½ by 11-inch paper that I have – business letters, flyers, paper I’ve printed and discarded, anything that is printed on one side and blank on the other. I fold them in half with the blank side on the outside and hold them together with a large binder clip. I now have a 5 ½ by 8 ½ -inch notepad.

I got the idea for the pad from my husband who had created his own recycled notepad by stacking used business envelopes, the back or blank side up, and holding them together at the top with a binder clip. A perfect notepad for lists.

Why use the paper again? The more we use paper to its fullest before recycling it, the less paper we buy. The less paper we buy, the more kindly we treat the environment.

According to HelpRecycle.com, recycling one ton of paper saves 17 mature trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, and 2 barrels of oil. If all our newspaper was recycled, we could save about 250,000,000 trees each year.

And we can recycle more than just office paper. Again, according to HelpRecycle.com (a great source for information on recycling):

* Corrugated paper and cardboard can be used to make new paperboard and corrugated boxes.

* Newspapers can be recycled into paperboard, new newsprint, insulation, and animal bedding products like kitty litter.

* Office paper can be recycled into writing paper, tissues, and paper towels.

* Telephone books can be recycled into egg cartons and wine boxes.

If you are feeling particularly crafty, you can create your own elegant recycled paper notebooks following Martha Stewart’s directions. Or make the beautiful storage basket shown above from used packing paper following the directions here.

Perhaps the ultimate in recycling paper (or not depending on how you feel about old children’s books) is the Golden Book Gown. If the books were damaged and not able to be passed along to another young reader, then making them into a fairy tale gown is certainly the fashionable way to go.

What are your favorite ways to recycle paper?

≈Linda Hetzer is an editor and author of books on home design, crafts, and food,

and coauthor of Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home

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One Response

  1. Storage baskets that are made of natural fibers are still the best in my honest opinion. :

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