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Posted by on Jan 26, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Three unexpected uses for waste from your paper shredder

We all want to be more environmentally responsible. Looking at the amount of waste we produce, and what we do with it, is one of the ways that we can make a real difference to our environmental impact. Recycling paper-based waste is a good start, but re-using it is even better. Paper used on one side can be passed to the kids for drawing, envelopes can be used to write shopping lists, or even sent back through the post with a stick-on label for the address. But what to do with the waste from your paper shredder?

Shredding any correspondence with personal data on it is a key security measure in these days of identity theft and internet fraud. But although the strips and shreds of paper that come out of the bin at the end don’t exactly seem like a prime material for re-use, with a little lateral thinking, there are more ideas than you might think. Take a look at the three below as a starting point.

Pet bedding

Paper shreds make an excellent nest material for small animals. Mice, hamsters, gerbils and so on will all happily sleep and play in bundles of it, saving you money on commercial bedding as well as helping the environment. And when they’re done with it, you can even compost it to get yet more usefulness from what you once thought was just a load of trash.

Compost

If you don’t have a small rodent to cater for, you can skip that step and go straight for compost. Just avoid shiny or foil-backed paper shreds and make sure you don’t overwhelm your compost bin. Mix the paper with “wet” garden waste like grass clippings, swept leaves and vegetable peelings. If you have a lot of shredding, add it to the heap in stages when you have green waste to go in as well. With an open heap (instead of a bin) you will need to push it into the middle so it doesn’t get thrown around the garden. Leave the compost heap to do its magic, and ta-da! A few month later, your paper and other trash will have turned into nutritious food for your garden.

Packaging

Have something delicate to send through the post, but don’t want to shell out for a load of polystyrene chips or bubble wrap? Bulk out your box with paper shreds, nestle the item in the middle and it’ll be as safe as houses. Just be aware who you’re sending it to; if your shredding includes things like your bank details, it might be best to leave them out unless you know you can trust the person at the other end.

If you’ve had coloured paper to shred you can use it as a cheap and environmentally-friendly alternative to straw or crepe paper in gift hampers, as well. You could even shred up pages from old magazines full of colourful photos just for this purpose.

Don’t forget, once you start thinking differently about waste like the paper that comes out of your shredder, there’s almost no limit to the uses you can find for it. If you’ve been inspired by these ideas, why not try out your own?

For more information, check out companies such as Adelaide Binding & Business Equipment.

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