We school our kinder from the cradle to detach from paper in order to raise responsible citizens. Americans are directed to go online, for any and all information. “Be responsible. Go paperless,” is the chant. “End your paper-addiction,” the Internet warns. Paper …“addiction”? Let’s begin by turning the page on this, shall we?
Ulster Publishing’s paper copies are 100 percent recycled back into themselves. Newspaper hard copies are important to journalists as they are an essential and irretractable snapshot of history — a record of the day that you can use even when the power goes out or you can’t get a good signal for your iPad. It’s important to the community for merchants to see their ads fixed in a static place, and not as some fleeting pop-up on an annoying website. Hard copy newspapers are just as important for working people, professionals and non-, for employment. We see newspapers as a renewable resource which holds far more value — and usefulness — than a quick read.
Shine it up. Do you remember mom cleaning the windows with newspaper? That’s right. Even high-end cleaning services have returned to print with water and simple white vinegar as it reliably by-passes chemicals to deliver a flawless, streak-free finish on glass — both windows and mirrors. Or use wet, wadded newspaper to polish stainless steel sinks.
Clean it up. Rather than go hoarse yelling at your kids about the mess, lay or tape down newspaper sheets over the table and kitchen counter work spaces. Newspapers are rather handy for lifting the bulk of big messes (eggs, oil, mud, etc.), and far more expedient than a sponge.
Change your baby’s messy diaper on a newspaper! Lay it out on the garage floor to catch the car oil or fluid leaks. Use a handful of newspapers to clean your oven. Line the puppy crate, your large bird cages, or shred it into cat litter. We’re not offended, honest! You can dust high places with newspaper by making it into a roll, and cutting one end into strips.
Wrap it up. The colorful, whimsical images of the alm@nac pages make great gift wrap in lieu of pre-fabbed, glossy gift bags, which add to the gift’s cost. Use your own materials to save cash and reduce consumption. Try a trimmed cereal box “wrapped” in newsprint for your bag. Poke holes and thread with ribbon (strung with pieces of plastic straws!) for handles. To kick it up a notch, customize the gift according to the recipient or contents: for a sports fan, use the sports section; for a general gift, use the comics; for a cooking-related gift, use the food section. Of course, if the gift is too big to fit in a bag, just wrap it in newspaper.
Don’t buy bubble-wrap! Shred your newspapers for packing material. Or fold it around delicate objects you’re packing into the attic or shipping.
Lay it down. Newspaper is an ideal fiber to use as a weed barrier. If you’re building a raised bed, lay the newspaper out and dump the soil on top of it, and don’t worry about battling the weeds.
Newspaper makes great compost bedding for a worm bin. Tear it into strips and the worms will happily thrive. Add it to the mulch pile.
Burn it up. Let it help stave off the dreaded, costly oil delivery. Make newspaper logs: Soak the newspaper in a sink for about an hour to help separate it into smaller sections. Drain and lay out the papers, staggering them into sections like fallen dominos. Take a dowel and roll it up in the newspapers tightly to wring out the wet pages and ensure that it sticks together until you’re at the desired thickness. Slide off the paper log and let it dry for a few days (a lot quicker if you place it on a woodstove, outside in the sun or in front of the heating vents or anywhere the moisture will come off quicker). Since these are now actually logs, and no longer simple kindling, actual kindling is required to light them. Enjoy the slow burn.
Cook it up. Ever hear of “shad-wrapper”? Bring it fishing to wrap your fish. Wrap it around your produce to ripen them more quickly. Keep the bottom of the veggie drawer from getting nasty by lining it with newspaper. It will absorb liquid and odors.
Tuck it in. Put it in shoes to remove odors and dry them out. Put it in unused luggage to absorb odors. Roll it up and place it under doors or windows where you have leaks.
Hang it up! Papier-mâché a piñata for your kids’ party — papier-mâché is a fun, snow-day activity to do with the kids, and you can papier-mâché just about anything. Fold origami stars to make ornaments, and either hang or gift them to a teacher. Newspapers make sweet Valentine’s Day hearts or fun little snowflakes to display in your windows. Cut out bubble letters of your kids’ names for their bedroom walls.
Fold it up. Paper sailboats, paper hats, paper weapons … the sky’s the limit!++