I seem to be obsessed with reusing paper before it gets sent off for recycling. It has to be better to give it one more run before pulping it. So here are a few things that have come about as a result of hoarding paper....
Our diaries for 2006 were made from barely used paper that we have collected from other people's offices. There was the odd line of text or dots here and there but overall the paper was pristine so I gathered it all together and bound it. My one, above, was bound using Japanese binding. It's a really easy and very secure way of binding things.
The other one was bound in the normal fashion of binding books. This one is a bit easy to open and use! In both cases I made the holes for threading the binding through with a big nail and a hammer. It didn't take long and I covered my one with pieces from old birthday and Christmas cards. I've finally found a use for those! And I was able to look at them for the whole year and remember who gave them to me. Chris's one was covered with our very own hand made paper, a bit more low key....more on that in another post.
Another, more straightforward, way of giving paper another life is to keep all the A4 stuff that has only been printed on one side and bind it roughly. Then you can write on the other side. I did this for all my university notes, of which there were LOTS, and I also do this for my journals. I write a lot of stuff down so I get through a lot of paper. Here are my journals for the last year.
All you need to do is use a punch hole thing to make holes in clumps of the paper. Then gather a reasonable amount and tie it all with a ribbon. Does the job really well.
And all the paper I use for printing comes from an unbelievable stash of paper that I got from a printing shop. I went in to ask if they had any scraps of coloured paper and I came away with 7 boxes of white and coloured paper that had never been used, yet was just about to be sent to the recyclers!! The building they used was quite damp and therefore they had to replace any paper that had been sitting in the photocopiers etc after three days. Otherwise it would jam apparently.
I gave plenty away and am still left with nearly a life time's supply of the stuff as we don't do a lot of printing.
So it may be worth asking in your local printer place if they throw away unused paper. You never know. In general I've found it incredible what kind of stuff gets jettisoned from businesses. While they may want to do their best for the environment it tends to clash with the idea of making profits. In general however, businesses are very keen to facilitate people who wish to remove the unwanted items and give them a new home. I keep wishing I had a massive warehouse where I could store all the things that I know are being brought to the dump or recyclers every day. I know that I could fill it with stuff that would be useful to some one else, then I could fill it again the next day and the next and the next.......