I like lists. They make me happy. Today begins Series Saturdays, which will be an ongoing collection of cool ways to (re)use a single item. I’ve been using a lot of newspaper lately, so let’s begin with wayt to reuse newspaper around the farm, garden and homestead.

Newspaper is awesome because it’s

  1. free
  2. clean (with some exceptions)
  3. easy to replace
  4. soft
  5. compostable

1) Bedding

Shredded newspaper actually makes an awesome bedding material. Pine shavings can run $4 or more per bag, and while a single bag may not be a big deal with a single pet rabbit or a few chickens, with a large herd or flock, it gets pricey fast. Newspaper works well for litter pans under cages and bedding material on a coop floor.

2) Nesting/laying boxes

Much like newspaper is great for droppings and bedding, it also works wells in nesting or laying boxes. I recently switched from using hay in my rabbit nesting boxes to (cross cut) shredded newspaper*. I had a kit get horribly tangled in a piece of hay, whereas they seem to have more mobility and comfort in the newspaper. I’ve heard reports that newspaper will stick to fresh eggs and leave stains, which seems fairly trivial where backyard flocks are concerned.

I’m going to resume using hay or wood shavings if my does kindle during the winter. Newspaper, as far as I’m concerned, won’t offer the same temperature protection as a good, thick hay or straw. For the summer months, it’s working very well.

3) Lasagna gardening

4) Seed Starters

5) Ripen tomatoes

Sandwich tomatoes between newspaper. They’ll ripen in a few days. How does it work? I don’t know! But it’s a time-honored kitchen use for newspaper.

6) Vermicomposting

Shredded newspaper is the all-around best thing to use to regulate moisture in a worm bin. It’s cheap, absorbent, non-toxic and easy to handle/store. I add a thin layer of shredded newspaper every time I feed the worms.

7) Compress it into a firestarter

Also, you can do it by hand.

8) Clean your windows

Again, don’t know how it works, but it does! Vinegar + water, and a gently rubbing with crumpled newspaper will leave your windows spotless and streak free.

9) Save dirty/smelly/wet shoes

Stuff shoes with balls of newspaper to remove odors and moisture.

10) Defend yourself!