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Reusing Paper

Category Reusing
You can help cut waste significantly by finding ways to reuse paper in your home or office. This is a guide about reusing paper.


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By 12 found this helpful
July 28, 2010

Instead of throwing away copy paper that has been run through the printer or copier, I have started to save them. Place the used paper in a file folder or appropriate sized box to keep the corners flat and paper unwrinkled. I then use the back of these sheets to print proof reading copies or other things where it doesn't matter if the back has already been used. It can really save money and resources. I do this at home and at work and feel good about getting all the use I can out of every sheet of paper.

By Beverly from Lambert, MS

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December 28, 2011

Often when I print out items from the internet, like free knitting patterns, and so on, I end up with pages of almost empty printed pages. I gotten into the habit of saving them to use when I happen to run out of paper. You see, if I feed them into my printer with the printed side UP (you will have to check your own printer), I can them print on the opposite side. When I put together my stash of paper to re-use, I realized that I had quite a bit of paper there! It's a good practice to get into.


By pam munro from Los Angeles, CA

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By 6 found this helpful
February 15, 2010

As a bookkeeper, I go through scads of calculator tape. Yes, I'm old fashioned and still like to see my input. I only rip the tape off at the end of the day and the next day I use the clean backside of yesterday's tape for today's use.

Rather than throwing out printed faxes and emails that I don't need anymore, I simply turn them over and use them as scratch paper. Saves me a bundle on buying pads of paper and I'm recycling at the same time.

By Wilhelmina from Amherstburg, ON

Comment Was this helpful? 6

May 14, 2009

In my office, we get a lot of junk faxes and other used paper, old statements, cover sheets etc that are no longer needed. Instead of throwing these papers away I take them home for my kids to draw on. Of course there is no personal info on the paper.


I don't have to buy painting or coloring paper and it is a great way to recycle left over paper that otherwise would've gone in the trash. My son is a perfectionist and refuses to erase if he makes a mistake he starts all over again so this has saved so many trees :)

Source: My getting tired of my kids going through literally hundreds of pages of paper each month drawing.

By LAQUINTA KNOWLES from Nassau, Bahamas

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August 19, 2010

If you are like me, you have a tablet and pen beside the phone. Once a message is written and dealt with, I then put a big "X" through it, telling me it's no longer valid.

Comment Was this helpful? 4

October 20, 2016

The best way to not waste paper is to avoid using it, but that is nearly impossible. Many people don't have digital access and still have to rely on paper copies of everything.


Instead, we need to recycle it and find ways to utilize every inch of paper so nothing is wasted.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 3, 2008

This is about paper. Any and all kinds of paper. The appearance of it; the feel of it; even the magic smell of it. Newspaper. Catalog paper. Wrapping paper. Wall-paper, but most of all stationery. That is writing paper. I love the history of papyrus, Chinese paper, Japanese paper.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

September 13, 20050 found this helpful

How do you reuse paper? Please state the kind of paper you are reusing.


September 4, 20020 found this helpful

I collect all A4 sized paper only that come with junk mail and any old letters, etc and use the blank side for typing on. I place them in my printer blank side down (in my case) and print on it. This is for editing purposes or printing information I simply want for my own use.


I have also requested family and friends collect the paper for me also.

I usually sort them and discard any that would not be suitable such as wrinkled or torn edges and make sure any staples are removed. Also I do not use the very shiny paper.

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September 5, 20020 found this helpful

We collect the stickers (lots in contests and magazine subscription offers) and good pictures from junk mail, ads and magazines for decorating packages. I use brown paper or tissue paper and glue on the bright images and stick on the stickers. Also good for making greeting cards. I keep a box especially for this and when I find a fun image, I clip it out and put it in the box. That way there are always plenty to choose from. The kids love to do this, too. Friends love our novelty packages!
- Rosemary

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September 6, 20020 found this helpful

My friend works for a large company where they do all of their office printing via a central LAN printer. A banner page prints between each job, to identify who the output belongs to.


My friend puts all of banner these sheets aside and when she has a boxful, she gives them to me. I reuse them in my home office to print rough drafts.

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September 6, 20020 found this helpful

My children like to color and draw on any paper that has a blank side. Anything else I shred for packages I mail.

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September 6, 20020 found this helpful

I save pictures & stickers.I've backed some of the "collector plates" with cardboard & hung them on the wall. I've made Christmas ornaments. I have envelopes full of the stuff everywhere,even scrapbooks .I've also made fridge magnets. It's free, fun & a form of recycling.
- Linne

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September 7, 20020 found this helpful

I used to work at a copy and shipping center, where it seemed we were always in need of shredded paper, for packing (especially at the Christmas season). Most shipping centers will gladly accept your clean paper and shred it for packing material, they may even be willing to pay a minimal fee for the material if it can be provided on a regular basis (delivered).

- Liz

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September 12, 20020 found this helpful

I reuse wrapping paper and tissue paper for gift wrap. If the paper is too worn out, I sometimes cut little sections of it and glue it on a plain colored paper.
- Dianne Roe

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October 17, 20020 found this helpful

I use thick layers of newspaper as mulch in the garden.

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January 22, 20030 found this helpful

I've heard of using the store flyers that come in your newspapers, as well as the Sunday comics as unique giftwrap.

Also, when my hubby was working for another company, they switched out all their letterhead stationary, envelopes, address labels, etc. & tossed them in the trash. Hubby asked if he could have them, they all looked at him like he'd lost his mind & said yes. To this day, I'm still using some of it!! You might watch for businesses going out of business & approach them for their office supplies, paper or other, that they'll be doing away with. On that same note, I also got a postal meter when the company hubby worked for went to a digital postal meter. There is nothing wrong with the one, that he brought home, they no longer wanted!!

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By Becky (Guest Post)
September 9, 20040 found this helpful

I use old newspapers as temorary plant pots, which I then plant into the ground. I also use newspaper while cleaning out my hamster cate.

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November 7, 20040 found this helpful

I found simple instructions for recycling paper on the internet. I think I got them at but I'm not sure. You just tear your paper (all kinds - what kinds you use determine what color the paper you make will be) into small pieces and throw it into the blender with some warm water (I soaked mine for a few hours first). You can also add odd fibers (I used some from the wild cane that grows behind our house), leaves (I used those too) and I even threw in a few broken eggshells :) You blend it up and then strain it over a frame made from a wire coat hanger pulled into a square with old pantyhose stretched over it. As you work on it, dip it into a shallow pan with a few inches of water and a Tbsp or two of white glue in it. This helps the pulp to stay together. Pat it down to size, dry and iron. I am drying mine on old folded newspapers. Some people hang theirs to dry, but I didn't want to try to peel mine up until they are more solid. NOTE: ALWAYS USE WAY MORE WATER THAT PAPER IN YOUR BLENDER, MINE ALMOST CAUGHT ON FIRE :) I have my first batch drying now and I got a beautiful light brown heavy textured artsy paper that I am going to stencil on to make gifts for Christmas. They will be very nice and unique framed when I am finished. Hope this helps you.

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January 7, 20050 found this helpful

Make Scratch Pads

Cut into about 3-1/2" wide strips and clip with a binder clip and use for scratch pads.

Uses The Other Side For Testing

Print on the other side of the paper, when testing a project that you are creating, before the final copy.

Make Scratch Pads From Junk Mail

Save the coupons you get in the mail with blank backs; use for scratch pads.

By Syd

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March 10, 20050 found this helpful

Use the notices that come home from school (and we all know that there are tons!) as scratch paper - in addition to saving money you're recycling!

By Kelly Wakefield

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By risingsun1234 (Guest Post)
July 21, 20050 found this helpful

i get the valpak savings coupons in an envelope..some coupons are printed only on one side. i sort such coupons and use the white side to write my grocery list or as small notes for reminders, handy notes near the telephone to write down information etc.

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September 14, 20050 found this helpful

I don't know about you, but I seem to use a lot of paper in my printer and most of it is printed on but not needed as it only has a little info on it, but it's a shame to just toss it. I fold into 4 sections and cut then staple them together and set them by the phone and computer for notes and list. I do it with mail too. We get so much junk mail that is printed on one side and mostly the 8x11 sheets and I do the same to it I also give it to the kids to draw on!

By PatriciaL

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By GraNita (Guest Post)
September 14, 20050 found this helpful

I bought a book on a few weeks ago and when it arrived it was wrapped in a section of the local newspaper. I thought this seller was really into recycling & saving...

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September 14, 20050 found this helpful

I save all printer paper that is only printed on one side on a shelf above my puter, then when I need to print something I use the blank side. I also save junk mail that is only printed on one size. It all goes into my pile to be used again. I only use "new" paper when i want a clean copy for mailing, distribution, etc.

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By Martha (Guest Post)
September 14, 20050 found this helpful

I keep all the return envelopes that come with credit card offers and write my grocery list on them. I take needed coupons out of my organizer and place them in the envelope when I grocery shop.

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By joesgirl (Guest Post)
September 20, 20050 found this helpful

1) When cooking bacon I take an empty plate & line it with a doubled up sheet of a newspaper ad. I then place a doubled up paper towel on top of the newspaper ad & place the cooked bacon on it to drain. The newspaper allows me not to use so much paper towel & it's a freebie

2) When I purchase something that is wrapped in tissue paper I save it & then when I remove my decorations from my christmas tree I wrap them individually in the tissue paper. Again, it's a freebie.

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December 21, 20050 found this helpful

We routinely use both sides of computer printer paper here, since a lot of printing is one-sided, and it doesn't matter what's on the other side. Just keep two stacks of printer paper, used and new, so you can easily switch when you need "up-town" paper for a clean print job.

I always save tissue paper, because I hate to pay for it. Always ask if there is free gift wrapping, no matter what you buy, even if it is a gift for you. You ARE actually paying for it in the item's price, after all. Tell them you want it "on the side," and will wrap later at home. True, but irrelevant.

I save bows and usable-sized received paper, and keep it in the tall box (former vacuum shipping box) with my purchased and home-made wrapping supplies. Little toys, trinkets and such from kids parties are great package tie-ons. Clean out your drawers--you have a place for them now.

I put all the paper dowels from toilet tissue and kitchen towels in a bag for the school. I also use kitchen towels as the lady below suggested. Flour sack towels from K-Mart are less costly for the kitchen, so I use paper towels for draining fried food, one layer, with newspaper underneath. I also use this to clean wax from candlesticks, since I don't want wax in my drains, letting the hair-dryer heated wax drip on it.

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