Research has been ongoing for a few years into the possibility of using shredded and recycled paper as a form of construction material. This came after an aspiring builder created a watertight kayak out of old paper. Old and shredded paper could be combined with a particular gluing agent to bind and seal it against moisture and fire, creating a viable construction material. This new composite material would have the strength of MDF, making it perfect for interior use in house building. It could also be sealed and painted or varnished to create furniture. So soon, you could be eating from a table made of shredded paper.
Make Your Own Paper
If you’re feeling particularly crafty, why not have a go at making your own paper. It’s a very simple process and great if you’re looking for a way to be greener or create beautifully textured paper. If you love scrapbooking or fancy trying a home-made card, this is a great route to go down. It’s an easy process and the end result will be a coarse, thick paper with slightly uneven edges. You can trim the edges down or leave them as they are. You can also make stunning designs by simply using two different colours of pulp and swirling or patterning before you press the paper.
Shredded up paper can be the perfect gardening companion. You can plant it around the base of a tree or in your flower bed to act as a home-made mulch or use it to pad out your compost heap. The soil microorganisms will feast on the paper the same way they would in a compost heap, leaving the nutrients for your plants. You could use it as a bed lining for runner beans – the paper will soak up the moisture and keep it around the roots, keeping your beans happy! You could even use shredded paper to make a seed starter and get the kids interested in gardening.
Litter Box Lining
If you are in the process of litter training a kitten or any other animal, you know how expensive litter can be. Instead of buying it in bulk, try saving up some shredded paper and padding the bottom of the litter box with it. You can then use half the amount of litter coating the paper, and the kitten won’t notice the different. The crystals of the litter still do the work of absorbing liquids and smells, but you only need to use a few. Not the most glamorous of uses obviously, but it serves a practical purpose.
If you’re a big fan of essential oils or scents in your home, shredded paper could be another cost effective method. Keep hold of the little sheer bags that bracelets and necklaces often come in – or just collect some scraps of old materials. Form a bag and stuff it full of shredded paper, pausing at intervals to coat it in the essential oil or scent of your choice. Once it’s full, tie or sew it up for a handy scented sachet to use or give away. For a beautiful mixed scent, try using a used, dry coffee filter for the packaging and vanilla essential oils inside. Try lavender and place it under your pillow to aid sleep, or decorate it and give it as a gift.
For more fun, paper facts or to find out what we do with all the paper we shred, you can visit our website or contact one of our regional offices across the country. If you do try out any of these tips, we’d love to see your results!