According to the American Society of Industrial Security the answer is, “Yes”; shred the paper. It’s estimated that an annual savings of $60 billion dollars can be realized across Industrial America by just shredding the document to prevent thieves from stealing their secrets. The American family household represents only 1/3 of the $300 million dollar U.S. market.
Like many households we also own a shredder and between 8 people you can imagine the amount of shredded, cross-cut paper our household accumulates. Unfortunately most recyclers don’t accept shredded paper, why? Because it’s bad for the paper making mills and in the end just ends up as trash. So what is one to do with all this shredded paper? Bag it up and put it in the dumpsters? I think not; here are 10 eco-friendly, green ideas for recycling your shredded paper.
- Got rabbits? Use the shredded paper for bedding for your rabbits it’ll definitely save on the budget and you’re guaranteed an extra level of security because no thief is going to reassemble your rabbit used shredded paper. If you have other small mammals, reptiles, etc. that use bedding you can substitute it with the shredded paper you have on hand.
- If you have adult chickens you can use the shredded paper for the floor and nesting boxes of their coop. Some worry about the paper being too slippery or smooth and causing what’s known as Spraddle Leg. It is mainly a concern with young chicks who are just learning to get their feet under them and aren’t heavy enough to stay on top of the paper. With shredded paper there is usually enough surface deviation for them to get a good grip and you are going to clean the cage or box frequent enough that it won’t become a matted surface; right?
- Shipping, storing and packaging materials creates a huge landfill issue around the world. Most of the material used commercially or sold to the average household contains polystyrene or Styrofoam and of course we can’t forget the bubble wrap. The concern with all these materials is they are petroleum based and are ending up in our landfills. Why not use your shredded paper to insulate the next package you’re shipping or when packing away the winter clothes, Christmas decorations and even moving; just place shredded paper in between the items to protect them.
- How about the cat litter box? You can use the shredded paper in your cat litter box and control the odor. Add the shredded paper to the litter box and then pour in some sodium bicarbonate, more commonly known as baking, soda or you can purchase odor control powder from your local pet supply. Now you’ve cut the budget, recycled the paper and kept the kitty happy.
- Composting in the garden but, don’t overdo it or the decomposing paper will quickly deplete the nitrogen during the decomposition process. If you have a lot of shredded paper you want to add in a small area just add a high nitrogen material such as grass clippings to offset adding the shredded paper.
- Mulching with shredded paper is great. Besides constructing a barrier between frigid temperatures mulching with shredded paper will help preserve the amount of watering that is needed and act as a weed impediment for your plants. You can use the shredded paper to mulch around trees, in flower beds and shrubs. Using a layering method of shredded paper about 4″ – 6″ and other organic materials will greatly increase the slow release of nutrients back into the soil as the material breaks down.
- Mix a little shredded paper with your potting soil when you’re repotting. It will help retain the water, make the potting soil go a little further and recycling at the same time.
- If you happen to have a worm bed they’ll love you for several reasons if you throw them some shredded paper. It will absorb any extra moisture in the colder months and hey, it’s like giving your worms dessert.
- Donate it! Yeah, your local animal shelter or pet store would love to have more bedding. You’ll be helping the community, saving on their budget and giving the animals a couple of warmer nights. It’s like crawling into your bed with clean sheets for the first time.
- It’s for the birds. That’s right; add some shredded paper to the birdhouses hanging around your yard.