10 Ways of Reusing Paper Grocery Bags

Remember the days when Mom used brown paper grocery bags to pack your snacks at school? Reusing is one simple way of how we can cut down our use of paper. This is not only considered as being “Green” but is also a great way of saving money.

Many grocery stores have shunned away from using brown paper bags and have turned to plastic bags. The logic is simple, plastic bags are far cheaper and easier to produce. Plastic bags may be cheap but the use of plastic can prove to be costly for the environment.

1. Removing wax stains from clothes

One great way of reusing a paper bag is by using it to remove wax stains from your clothes. Scratching away at wax stains could damage delicate cloth fibers. Removing stains is quite simple, the paper bag is placed over the stained portion and the area is pressed with an iron. Always replace the area used for absorbing the wax with an unused portion of the paper bag.

2. Gift Wrappers

Using brown paper bags as gift wrappers don’t only show your creativity but also displays to a person that it took a little bit more time in preparing their gifts. In a time when everything seems to be mass produced and everyone seems to have the same things, using paper bags as gift wrappers could certainly make you stand out from the crowd.

3. Party Hats/ Masks

Bring out your creative side and use your imagination, paper is one of the best ways of expressing art. The unique shape and texture of grocery paper bags provide you with a great canvass for showcasing your creativity.

4. Book Covers
Plastics bags are quite sturdy; these bags can hold great loads for their small stature. Paper grocery bags give better protection and looks. It gives a rustic or old feeling and helps encourage people to read a book. This could also be a great way of reducing the need for using plastic as book covers.

5. Keeping Bread Fresh
Paper bags could keep your bread fresh and improve its storage life. Paper grocery bags are great for keeping moisture away and keeping bread in a well protected environment.

6. Kites
Paper bags are robust and can make your kites sturdier. Paper grocery bags are a better alternative to using ordinary paper extending your kites life longer. It is also a good substitute for plastics because you could use the paper as a canvass and leave some art to highlight your kites design.

7. Fruit Containers

Paper grocery bags are good for ripening fruits. They provide the fruits with a fairly warm environment where it can ripen faster. Placing some fruit peels together with the fruit could even make the process faster.

8. Compost
If you’re into gardening and recycling, using paper bags as an addition to your natural compost is great. They are a better alternative to old newspapers as they contain fewer or no inks at all. Be sure to shred the paper bags first for faster decomposition and better mixture.

9. Cat Litter

Before considering throwing away your paper grocery bags why don’t you consider them as cat litters? Paper bags are more convenient as you can throw them away together with the litter after use.

10. Lunch/ Snack pack

Some old traditions such as using these paper bags for snack or lunch packs are being shunned for plastic containers. What people don’t understand is that every time people use plastic it takes a huge toll on the environment. It takes hundreds of years just to breakdown plastics and these also contaminate food and water supplies with chemicals.

It doesn’t take much to contribute to a greener world. Everyone in their simple way could help preserve and maximize natural resources for future generations. So lets do it! What ways do you have to help us go green?

Recycling: Bringing Old Things to Life

Published March 26, 2010 – 10:44pm
Posted by: Patrick

Old Papers

Newspapers, magazines, old notebooks and cardboards make up a huge percentage of all recycled materials. Although it still takes considerable amounts to produce a single ton of new paper with recycled materials, using recycled paper saves three tons of virgin wood pulp for every ton of recycled paper product.  Newspapers and magazines and all other types of paper are first shredded. These are then bathed to remove all the ink and impurities. These results to a fine pulp which is then mixed with wood chips to strengthen the fibers. The fibers go thru the normal process of creating paper where the pulp is emptied into a screen and drained. The drained material is then passed thru heated rollers where they are flattened. The pressed paper is then rolled and sold as materials for creating newspapers and magazines which starts the cycle again.

 Aluminum

More than 90 percent of all beverage cans in the United States are made from aluminum. This metal has been used for beer or carbonated beverages because they are both tough and light. Billions of aluminum cans are produced in the US alone to meet the huge need for this type of container. Aluminum is ideal for use in beverages because they are able to withstand the pressure of carbonated drinks without sacrificing weight in the process. The shiny finish is also ideal for providing a nice background for printing labels.  Aluminum cans are first shredded and melted into sheets were they are used then sent to production lines where are they shaped into cans or various products. Aluminum is not only great for making cans for beverages but they have also become an important component in car bodies. Because they are both lightweight and strong, using aluminum in car bodies decrease gas consumption.   Aluminum is the third most common element. Aluminum accounts for about a 3rd of the earth’s crust. But aluminum could not be found in a pure form, it is often mixed with other materials and separating it takes a lot of energy. Although aluminum is readily available for mining, the main benefit of recycling aluminum is the huge saving in energy cost in producing new aluminum from scratch.

Tin Cans

Tin cans are just steel containers which have been coated with tin. The tin is separated from the steel by dipping them in a tin removing solution and finally removed thru the process of electrolysis. The steel is then collected and shipped to different production sites where they are forged for a variety of purposes. The tin content is also sold to pharmaceuticals and chemical companies or recycled for the production of new tin cans.

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Glass

Glass products are first crushed into small and finer pieces. The broken glass is run thru machines which separate impurities such as paper and metals. The broken glass is then mixed with sand, limestone and soda ash all basic components of glass making. The mixture is then melted and blown into new glass products.

Mobile Phones

Ever wondered what happens to old mobile phones? With more and more people using mobile phones, these devices are fast becoming one of the top electronic wastes products. Many of us have been unable to let go of these electronic devices because upgrading is usually done not because the old mobile phone is busted but more about personal preference. Many would conclude that these devices generally end up as trash as buried in landfills. This however is not true as almost 60 to 70 percent of the mobile phone could be recycled. But the fact is, most of the old cellphones are stored away in a closet especially if they remain operational.

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