Recycling & Reusing Paper Products

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Recycling return envelopes

Feb 2009

Does anyone have recommendations for what to do with return envelopes that come with bills. I pay most of my bills through an online bill payment system and so I have a lot of extra envelopes. I use some of them but can't use them all. I can just recycle them, but that seems wasteful if someone has a good use for them. Thanks Sharie

Sign up to get your statements online, too -- that way you won't get the return envelopes in the first place. I get almost all my bills online through my BofA account, which makes payment super-easy to schedule -- and now they (almost) never end up getting swallowed up by a pile on my desk and being paid late. Almost every company I do business with now offers online statements, either through the bank or from the company directly. Less Filing, Too
I use all those envelopes as scratch: to make To-Do lists/reminders, to write down internet recipes or directions, to leave my housekeeper a note, to make grocery lists, etc. They don't have to be used just as an envelope. My recipe pile is mostly made up of envelopes!
I don't know if you have children or not, but young kids adore envelopes. I drop old ones off at my daughters pre-school, and the kids love to put their pictures and other stuff in the envelopes. They don't care what's written on them. I usually get quite a few ''letters'' when I pick her up in the evening. give to the schools
Why don't you opt for electronic bills and eliminate the paper altogether? paperless
Check with your local preschool. My daughter's preschool has always loved these: the kids get to write letters and put them in envelopes to give to their family and friends. They still get recycled after that. The pile I give often disappears in a couple of days' time

Recycling paper without paper grocery bags

Jan 2009

Now that we're using our fabric shopping bags 99% of the time, we no longer have a big pile of paper grocery bags to use for paper recycling...How do we recycle paper products without paper grocery bags? Any advice? Do we just throw them into the blue bin with the plastic and cans, or is there another way to do it? Thanks! heidilee

We had the same issue, so we bought 2 plastic garbage cans & use those. Easy to wash out too. recycler
I've thought about this too. Can the paper pile be tied up with string? If yes, I would buy a box like the blue box and use it for paper only, put the string in the bottom of the box (one string running east-west, one string running north-south), with the ends hanging over the sides long enough to pull over the top of the pile when you're ready to recycle, and start piling the paper on top of the string (make sure the first paper is big, like newspaper, to give a good base). When the box gets full enough, pull the strings tight and tie at the top. Voila! Handy Mandy
I have a two recycling bins (small garbage cans) in my house: one in the kitchen for all the paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, etc.; and one in my office for papers. We just dump them in our recycling bin outside. You don't need to make it all tidy for pick up.