SHRED YOUR WAY TO SUCCESS!
Shred your way through junk mail, old papers, and torn envelopes and make yourself
gift basket stuffing, packing material, animal bedding and biodegradable back yard mulch.
It started as a joke. I guess I was a little too secretive with my projects and my
wife just couldnt resist nailing me for it. Shes such a cut up! It started
with a $19.95 heavy duty personal paper shredder that she purchased on sale from a
discount office store. Little did she know what she got her husband into, because this
little shredder has become a part of my daily routine.
my shredding adventure with the shredders own gift wrapping. As I worked into a
shredding frenzy, I began to pursue my most hated enemy. Junk Mail. Now for years, I have
tried to eliminate the tons of unsolicited advertisements, catalogs, and flyers that are
crammed into my tiny mail box. I have called the companies using their toll free phone
numbers. I have put "returned to sender" with a "remove address" note
on thousands of flyers. (See: Junk
mail FAQ's & Direct
Marketing Assn.) I have contacted corporate offices, and called mailing list
distributors. Nothing really seems to work. Until now. Now... I say bring on the junk
day I go through my mail and toss the envelopes and paper into the shredder. After
checking the catalogs, I rip the pages and feed them to the shredder. For security
reasons, I separate any personal information with account numbers to a normal trash can
and the rest I shred into a separate shredder bin. After a few days of collecting
material, I compact and bag it in recycled plastic bags, ready for use when I need it.
it became very clear to me that paper junk plays an overwhelming role in the totality of
my household waste. After about one week, I was shocked at how much shredded material I
had collected, which begged the question: What do I do with the material?
Shredded paper has a ton
of uses. Since I have been selling a great many items via the mail, I use most of my
shredded material as packing material. If I have an especially fragile item, I wrap it in
bubble wrap and pack it in boxes with shredding. Shredded paper has a nice density for
packing material and has worked perfectly for me, with no complaints from consumers.
Instead of using the poly foam, I now use shredded paper almost entirely. It costs
nothing, and I can always make more if I need some. If you use a combination of thin paper
and dense card stock, youll find a very nice packing strength. I separate different
types of shredded material, and use the most diverse for packing material. When I have
plenty, I save plastic bags full of the material for later use, and I always keep a bag
near the fireplace as fire starter fuel.
paper is also an excellent source of animal bedding. Paper insulates against cold
weather and absorbs liquids and waste. Instead of using the traditional cedar wood
shavings try using shredded paper. If you are concerned about animal odors, try a gently
spray of any kind of fragrant oil onto the paper. Cinnamon, peppermint, clove, vanilla, or
eucalyptus oils can be used. You can also try a light spray of lemon juice, citrus
cleaner, or pine oil. Many animals really love the paper. I suggest using thin papers such
as newspaper. Color catalogs are not the most absorbent, so save most of those for your
packing material. After the animal bedding is used, scoop it into your compost bin.
baskets are the newest thing for busy people. You can make them
in advance and have them ready for wedding gifts or at Christmas
time or any other occasion. One of the most beautiful baskets that I
ever saw, used a bed of multi colored shredded paper among the
gifts. Finally! I found a use for the colored paper that my work
place tossed into the trash. By shredding a ream of useless orange
paper, I made an excellent bright bed for gift baskets. An
alternative for colored paper is the shredded Sunday color comic
pages or shredded brown paper bags. This material looks even better
if you shred it into a small container that forces it to compact.
Compacting the material into a small container while the machine
shreds, produces a folded spring-like look to the paper. This works
well for unexpected care packages for family, friends, or lonely
college students also.
I started to overflow with shredded paper, I tested itís use as backyard mulch
material. Because the paper material is inherently
biodegradable, it does breakdown with the elements, such as
sunlight, moisture, and bacteria. You need to monitor what you shred
if you use it for mulch. Some materials like plastics and cellophane
envelope windows do not breakdown well. In addition, some catalog
inks may not be recyclable, although many printers are now using soy
based biodegradable inks. Newspapers break down fast, but all the
shredded paper is subject to a low flash point for fire. In
addition, the shredded paper seems to stay on the ground, due to the
fact that it intertwines together, but birds and squirrels seem to
love the stuff for their nests. The most appropriate use seems to be
as an excellent compost additive. If you breed worms, as many people
with compost and recycling gardens tend to do, this is an excellent
material that worms go crazy about. Just add some dirt, water, and
table scraps. (See worm stuff: The Burrow Supplies Happy-D-Ranch
See compost info at: Home Depot).
a craft supply, shredded paper can be used as paper mache. Make a
simple paste from flour and water. Use equal parts of flour and
water. One cup of each ingredient makes about two cups of paste.
Saturate the paper strips, preferably newspaper, and cover molds,
such as plastic liter soda bottles, or inflated balloons. Make PiŮatas
or little animals. Make eyes with buttons or Ping-Pong ball halves,
legs with golf pencils, golf tees, or folded cardboard. Decorate
with acrylic or poster paint. Be creative. Take a look at these
sites for help: paper
One tightwad reader uses a blender, some water, and shredded paper
to make ready-to-press home-made paper or paper mache' mulch.
If you have other
creative uses for shredded paper, please let me know. Iím always
looking for new ways that people can shred their way to success.
officemax.com or staples.com
for places to buy shredders.) - R.James
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