1. Good old-fashioned recycling
This should go without saying, but always recycle your old copies of The Slate if you do not plan to reuse them. After this article, hopefully your paper will find a new purpose. If not, find a recycling bin.
2. Food for worms
Composting is a fantastic way to recycle. The newspaper should be shredded to allow for oxygen to enter the soil. The Slate is considered a “brown” composting material which means it will add a lot of carbon to the mix that needs to be offset with nitrogen and protein-rich materials like food scraps, coffee grounds, grass clippings and manure. Good composts have equal parts “brown” and “green” material. The ink the paper is printed with is safe to use for compost in plant gardens.
3. Parcels for plant babies
Looking to get some seedlings started in your dorm? If you’re any sort of gardener, I’m sure you’re familiar with biodegradable peat seed pots. You can easily make these out of paper pulp from old copies of The Slate.Because of the lignin presence in the paper, they will hold up longer. Lignin is found in the woody exterior of plants and makes newspaper slightly more resistant to decomposition than other papers. Your paper cups won’t break in on themselves as soon as they get wet.
4. Keep your garden thriving
Newspapers have a use every step of the way in gardening. Save a few pages to shield your plants from cold snaps in the spring; a newspaper tent will keep your sprouts nice and safe from any winter chill. You can also use newspapers to prevent weeds from growing around your plants. Simply cover the area around the base of the plant in a layer of paper and then cover the paper in a layer of soil.
5. Breaking news: it’s your birthday
Wrapping paper can be expensive and difficult to find if you’re on a college campus without a car. Reuse this copy of The Slate to wrap your next friend or family member’s birthday gift. It is not only environmentally conscious, but provides a unique, upcycled look.
6. Protect your packages
If you’re mailing a gift or sending a valuable, make sure you save newspapers to protect and pack items. Bubble wrap and packing peanuts are not always recyclable nor do many people have them on hand. Not only will they take forever to biodegrade, but these can add unnecessary costs to your already pricey shipment. Newspaper is soft enough to not break items, yet sturdy enough to keep the contents of your package safe during trasnsit.
7. Around the dorm
The Slate is a terrific odor remover. Old newspapers can be used in shoes, bags and refrigerators to get rid of unwanted smells. Unlike boxes of baking soda, you can put newspapers anywhere. While you’re by the fridge, grab some fruits and wrap them in a paper to help them ripen. Newspapers will also prevent apples from rotting too quickly.
8. Take one home to mom & dad
After using your grill or oven, soak newspapers in water and lay them on the warm grill plates or oven racks for about an hour. Open the door, peel off the papers and wipe any residual material and there you have it: clean grates.
9. Homemade logs
Making a campfire without a firestarter can be difficult. Newspapers can be twisted or balled up to make starters for your camping trip. If you’re feeling a little fancier, it can also be cut up and mixed with lint from the dryer and stuffed into a cardboard toilet paper roll to make a mini “log.”
10. Paper from paper
If you’re on the same side of TikTok I am, or had an especially crafty elementary school teacher, you may already have some recycled paper-making knowledge. Paper is pretty easy to make out of recycled materials. You only need a few basic materials and some patience. You can also make paper out of any used notebook paper or worksheets from past classes, and even used tea bags.
11. Have a Martha Stewart moment
Papier-mâché is a classic use for old newspapers. If you haven’t thought about dipping strips of newspaper in glue since elementary school, I’m here to tell you that it’s just as fun as an adult. You can make beautiful hanging lanterns, decorative bowls and so much more from copies of this very newspaper.
12. Newspaper for neat freaks
Newspapers are surprisingly one of the best substitutes for paper towels. Old copies of The Slate can wipe windows and absorb spills, and they leave behind less residue than a paper towel. Out of glass cleaner? Try equal parts vinegar and water for sparkling mirrors and windows. If you happen to break a glass, damp newspaper is great for blotting up small fragments (that a broom might pass by, and a bare foot won’t). Newspapers can also line the bottoms of trash cans, litter boxes and cabinets for hassle-free cleanup and easy replacement.
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