The Habitat
Share to PinterestCreative Ways to Reuse Newspaper

Creative Ways to Reuse Newspaper

By Staff Writer
Share to PinterestCreative Ways to Reuse Newspaper

Need some wrapping paper at the last minute? Got weekend cleaning to do? Steal some newspaper pages from your recycling bin, and let them do the job for you.

Your daily paper comes in handy for more than just reading material. Folded, rolled, or layered, it's an effective tool for so many things, from cleaning to camping. If you want an eco-friendly paper product, discover some creative ways you can put your newspaper to work.


Wrap your gifts

Share to PinterestGift wrapped with newspaper.
amanda vivan / Getty Images

Transform excess newspaper into artful wrapping with just a few snips of the scissors. Fancy paper is expensive and usually ends up on the floor anyway, plus it's not recyclable and destined for the landfill.

DIY wrapping, on the other hand, is an environmentally-friendly way to dress up your gifts. Use hot glue and scissors to create stunning shapes, such as holly leaves for the holidays or over-the-top bows for birthdays. With paint, you can even design one-of-a-kind wrapping covered with unique colors, shapes, and patterns.


Wrap your moving supplies

Share to PinterestOpen moving box full of crumpled newspaper
Ryan McVay / Getty Images

Newspaper is an excellent padding material, so it's incredibly convenient when you're on the move. The key is in the crumpling: while the paper itself is thin, crumpled up it becomes a durable and long-lasting barrier.

Crush it into tight balls and place them on the bottom of boxes to secure your most fragile items, or use it as a space filler by inserting pieces into each box's unfilled areas. This helps protect delicate items and prevents them from moving around during transit, so you won't have to worry about unwanted surprises when you arrive.


Line garbage cans and litter boxes

Share to Pinterestpuppy sitting in a litterbox

Replace plastic garbage bags with newspaper just like they did in the good old days. Not only will you save cash, but you'll cut down on plastic waste, too. Since newspaper is sturdy with a deodorizing effect, it's a simple solution for garbage cans and litter boxes alike.

Simply fold it to size and pop it in the bottom of the container — couldn't be easier.


Start your campfire

Share to Pinterestparents setting up campfire
Edwin Tan / Getty Images

Effective kindling can be hard to come by in the wilderness, so if you've got a camping trip planned, bring your NYTimes along for the ride. Gather 5 to 10 newspapers, roll them into tight tubes, and tie each tube into a knot. Light the knot on fire, drop it onto the logs, and watch it ignite.

Since tight paper burns slowly, you've got plenty of time for the wood to catch while you relax and savor the scenery.


Clean your windows

Share to Pinterestperson cleaning the window

Leave your windows sparkling and streak-free by wiping them down with newspaper. Just spray the window with cleaner, rub the paper around in circular motions to loosen the dirt, and wipe smudges away in seconds.

Make sure all liquid is absorbed; this is much easier and cheaper with newspaper than standard paper towels, and it gets the job done just as effectively.


Kill weeds

Share to PinterestNewspaper on green grass
PPAMPicture / Getty Images

Put the LA Times into action and wave goodbye to weeds for the long haul. Cheaper than most weed-killing solutions, newspaper is both sustainable and highly effective. You'll need enough paper (use them layered, not piece by piece) to effectively cover your garden or yard.

Get plant beds wet enough that paper sticks to the soil, then cover the bed with at least two layers of newspaper, 3 to 4 inches away from the plants themselves. Spray down with water ASAP to prevent it from blowing away, then cover with mulch and wave weeds goodbye.


Stuff your shoes

Share to PinterestA pair of wet shoes with folded newspaper inside
undefined undefined / Getty Images

Wet shoes are a nightmare, but newspaper comes to the rescue. Just came in from the rain? Stuff your shoes from heel to toe with crumpled paper, then let them sit for an hour or two. Remove this initial layer of paper, stuffing another dry layer in for another few hours. Remove, then stuff again and let sit overnight.

The end result? Dry shoes that neutralize odor and hold their shape. This is also an effective trick when you're packing for travel or moving.


Ripen tomatoes

Share to PinterestRed tomato on a table with newspapers

Growing your own garden? Speed up the ripening process with the evening news. Individually wrap each tomato in a thin layer of paper, then place it in a dark, dry area. It usually takes about 3 to 4 weeks for ripening to occur, so be on the lookout.

All tomatoes should be placed securely in a box no deeper than two layers for this trick to kick into action.


Line your table

Share to PinterestStack of newspapers on wooden table
bernie_photo / Getty Images

Help keep your special occasion tablecloth in place by lining your table with a layer of newspaper.

Cover the entire table with a single layer of paper, ensuring that it doesn't go over the edges (that's just waiting for someone to pull off the cloth). Layer the cloth on top, and voilà! Your DIY table liner is ready. This one is especially great for the kid's table.


Tire traction during icy months

Share to Pinterestcar on an icy road
rbkomar / Getty Images

Drive more easily in wet, snowy, or icy conditions by putting your newspaper to work. Wrapping your tires helps bolster traction while driving, so it could make all the difference between a safe ride and a slip and slide.

Paired with sand, kitty litter, or traction mats, you've got a more sustainable, more secure way to ride in the snow.



Scroll Down

for the Next Article