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Archive for the ‘Compost’ Category

I’m assuming that those of you reading this blog already print on both sides of your computer paper at home, so I didn’t bother with a post on that tip. (If you don’t, please start — it just makes sense!) That being said, once both sides are printed and done being used, what do you do with used up paper?

 

At my house, in which a freelance editor and a masters’ student both reside, we accumulate a good amount of double-side printed paper. I keep a box in my office where I stockpile used up paper. Sure, I could just recycle it, but that’s so un-repurposeful.

 

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8 ways to repurpose shredded paper

1. Compost it. Simple, easy and an excellent choice for documents with sensitive or financial information.

 

2. Packing material. Best only for paper that does not contain personal or financial information.

 

3. Kitty litter alternative. Cheaper, safer and better for your household environment. On the down side, you’ll probably have to change the box more often.

 

4. Animal bedding. For caged critters or, on a larger scale, farm animals.

 

5. Gift bag/gift basket liner. Nice alternative to store-bought tissue paper. Would also work well in place of Easter basket grass (I hate that stuff!). For a more colorful and decorative look, shred the newspaper comics section, colorful advertising circulars or repurpose your children’s artwork (I’m sure you can afford to sacrifice a few of the thousand pieces you’re saving).

 

6. Worm food. Perfect for your vermiculture project.

 

7. Make homemade paper. Here’s a cool tutorial.

 

8. Rainy day fun. Fill a kiddie pool or large box full of shredded paper and let your kids go to town. Yes, the result will be messy, but your kids will have a blast and you’ll get some extra time to check e-mail or put your feet up.

 

Photo by Joe Shlabotnik.

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(Sorry for the punny title, but it’s practically unavoidable.)

 

With Easter just two weeks away, there will be many a dozen eggs bought and used for coloring eggs, making devilled eggs and decorating blown out eggs. With all of those eggs come a lot of egg shells. Instead of discarding the egg shells resulting from this year’s festivities, consider reusing them in fun, decorative and practical ways around your house.

 

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How to reuse egg shells

 

To decorate

Mini flower arrangement. Leave it to Martha to come up with such a cool idea like this. Makes a sweet and simple table centerpiece. 

 

Votive candles. This one take a little more effort and craftiness, but if you can pull it off, these eggshell votives would be a nice addition to your Easter decor. 

 

In the garden & around the house

Slug and snail deterrent. Crush up eggshells and sprinkle them around the base of plants in your yard and garden to help prevent snails and slugs. The idea is that these soft-bodied creatures will not slither over the sharp eggshells.

 

Plant food. Mix together dried coffee grounds and dried, crushed eggshells and add to potted and outdoor plants as a boost of nutrients.

 

Plant water. After making hard boiled eggs, use the cooled leftover water to water your plants. Plants will benefit from the extra eggshell nutrients leached into the water.

 

Seedling planters. Start new seeds in an eggshell. When the seedling is too big, you can replant the whole thing in your garden.

 

Compost. Add eggshells to your compost pile. Simple!

 

Bird feed. Sounds strange, but true. Bake at 250 degrees until dry (not brown), crumble and set out for the birds.

 

Calcium for dogs. Eggshells provide an excellent source of calcium. When prepared properly, eggshells are a great addition to your dog’s diet.

 

Clean vases. When broken into small pieces, eggshells can work wonders on cleaning items with caked on grime in hard to reach places, like vases. Also works well with a well-used travel coffee mug. Add crushed up shells, water and dish soap to your vase or coffee mug and shake well.

 

For fun

Eggshell egg heads. The kids will have fun with this idea. Gives you another opportunity to repurpose toilet paper tubes too!

 

Eggshell mosaic. Save the shells from colored Easter eggs for a rainy day project with your kids. They’ll love creating these colorful mosaics.

 

Know how to reuse eggshells in a way that I haven’t listed? Leave a comment and let us know!

Photo by Pink Sherbet Photography.

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Yes, you read it right: DRYER LINT. Believe it or not, there are some practical uses for the grey-ish white-ish puffy fluff that you clean from your lint trap.

 

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Kindling. Dryer lint has long been known in the Boy Scouts culture as an excellent fire starter.* Check out these simple instructions and take some lint along on your next camping trip.

 

Nesting material. Pet stores sell this stuff, but you can find it for free in your dryer! Works well for hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, rats and other similar creatures.

 

Compost material. Lint from organic material (cotton, wool) can be added to your compost pile.

 

Crafts. Really, truly — you can make clay, papier mache and paper from lint. Here are instructions for all three.

 

*Because dryer lint is highly flammable, you should clean your lint trap as often as possible (after every load is best). This will prevent build up that can start a fire and allow your dryer work more efficiently. And since dryer lint is so flammable, it should not be used as stuffing for toys or pillows.

Photo by ewige.

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