Creative Uses for Old Newspapers

Instead of throwing away old newspapers, reuse, upcycle, and recycle them instead. From old newspaper crafts to seed starting pots, here are some creative uses for old newspapers you might want to try if you want to reduce your trash output.

pile of old newspaper with text overlay 'Newspaper Upcycling creative uses instead of recycling'

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Print Newspaper vs Digital News

Many years ago, my husband and I chose to give up our daily delivery of the local newspaper. We decided to try getting our news from online news sites and from television instead to cut costs and reduce how much stuff went into our recycling bin.

We soon discovered, however, that we really missed our Sunday morning paper! There is just something to be said for relaxing at home in your pajamas while you drink coffee and read the funnies! If you have trouble ditching the newspaper like we did, you might be wondering what to do with it once you are finished reading!

piles of old newspaper tied with string

Ways to use newspaper instead of recycling it

Here are a few things you can do with it instead of just recycling it.

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Use them in old newspaper crafts. 

You can help your kids create all sorts of masterpieces with Papier-mâché or let them cut out pictures to create a scrapbook. Check out Green Your Way for a great selection of recycled newspaper crafts!

fire in fire pit with feet on edge and coffee mugs

Make homemade newspaper fire starters.

Whether you have a fireplace at home or just like to enjoy a campfire now and then, making a fire is easier when you have a fire starter to help out! Tightly roll a sheet of newspaper, bend it in half, twist the ends together, and fasten with twine.

As a reminder, keep children away from flames. Check out my post on how to make your own fire starters to learn how. 

Donate them to a good cause. 

Check with your local pet adoption agency to see if they accept donations. Many of these groups use newspapers to line kennels and cages and are always looking for donations.  This makes a great environmental project for kids to get involved in. 

newspaper origami with text overlay 'Old Newspapers ways to use them instead of recycling'

Use them in your garden or landscaping. 

Newspapers are great at helping you control weeds in the garden. Lay a thick layer of newspaper down and wet it thoroughly before covering with soil or wood chips. The paper is biodegradable and the soy based inks will not pose a risk to food plants. Check out my post on frugal landscaping ideas for more ways to save money around the yard. 

Use them as packing material. 

Whether you are packing away delicate holiday decorations or shipping a breakable gift to a friend, newspapers make great packing materials. If you have a paper shredder you can shred the paper first or just crumple it into balls to keep things from breaking. 

newspaper seed pots on a stump with text overlay Newspaper Seed Pots and other ways to reuse old newspaper

More Creative Uses for Old Newspapers

So, you have WAY more newspaper than you though?  What else can you do with them once you finish the crossword puzzle?  Here are a few more ideas:

  • Dry out waterlogged shoes. This will come in handy if you have small puddle jumpers like I did.
  • Start seedlings.You can turn your old newspapers into seed starting pots with this handy newspaper seed pot maker.
  • Ripen tomatoes.  Just wrap up slightly green tomatoes inside and wait a few days.
  • Pack delicate items. They are great for protecting your homemade Christmas ornaments
  • Clean windows. Use an old newspaper to clean windows and mirrors without leaving streaks. 
  • Garage shelf liners.  Protect your shelves and cabinets in the garage from paint spills and rusty spray cans.
  • Cat litter box liners. Protects the box a bit from urine. 

newspaper and bottles in recycling can

Can you recycle newspapers?  YES!

Obviously, you will probably have a lot more newspapers than you could ever use around the house. Make sure that you recycle them whenever possible instead of tossing into the trash. 

Like these creative uses for old newspapers? Try these upcycling ideas, too:

  • 15 Creative Ways to Reuse Plastic Milk Jugs  From easy DIY bird feeders to homemade weights for your next workout, here are a few ways to use repurposed milk jugs to reduce your carbon footprint. 
  • How to Repurpose old Magazines Upcycling magazines is a great way to declutter your home this month. 
  • Uses for Brown Paper Bags From paper bag crafts to homemade book covers, learn to reuse paper bags instead of throwing them away.

According to the EPA, newspapers can be recycled five to seven times before the fibers become too short to reuse. You can save a lot of trees just by tossing your newspaper into the recycling bin and not the trashcan! What do you do with all of your old newspapers?

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