Some ideas for reusing & recycling paper

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

“What can I do with a ton of paper that’s printed/written on one side?” is a question that some people frequently ask.

They may be young people who have just finished college and have ended up with many of those printed pages or people working in offices. They wonder as to reuse possibilities for such sheets of paper, often A4 or letter size.

What yo do with such pages depends very much on what is on the other side. If it is not something that is detrimental, fall under the Data Protection Act, or in other ways should not be read by others, then there are a number of things that one can do with those pages.

If you are a writer, like me, or someone who works a lot with ideas, then having a notepad handy or a notebook is always very important.

I do make my notebooks from such pages and my notelets. The latter are just A4 pages folded in such a matter that they can be put into a small (leather) pouch and carried in the back pocket of my pants. When folded out the paper has eight small pages that will for a continuous “storybook”.

Notebooks in A6 are my other notebooks and they are made by cutting an A4 sheet in half, by means of a guillotine (paper trimmer) and are then folded in half and a number of those pages are then stapled together to form a proper notebook.

People tend to tell me that notebooks can be bought for a Pound or less but that is not the point and a Pound not spent is a Pound saved, as far as I am concerned and the pages are also kept out of the waste stream. That especially so as I tend to keep my notebooks for posterity; well, sort of.

But, simpler still is just using the back of the page as notepaper at your desk or you could print on the other side for non-important documents that you print from your computer. I do that most of the time and while we are at printing. For non-important documents (or copies of letters for your files) do not use fine print: use draft instead. It saves ink.

I also use such paper – and as a journalist I get still many press releases in hard copy and predominately printed one side only – to print lined notepaper and other kind of pages to take along to conferences and such like. Cornell notes too can very well be created this way and that is great for college students, no doubt. Templates for this all can be has for free on the Internet.

And, if you can't find the exact template you can always design and produce your own. That too is easily done with a computer and a little bit of computer knowledge and patience.

In fact, basically any kind of template for any kind of use can be created using the word processor program or a desktop publishing one. And it is also great fun to do so and a great way to use up all those pages that are printed on one side only for reuse.

I am sure you can come up with many uses yourself, so get your thinking cap on.

© 2011