Posts tagged "stationery"

How can I reuse or recycle magazines?

magazinesI discovered something amazing the other day: in four and a half years of running this site, after asking “how can I recycle this?” about over 850 different things, we somehow have managed to miss mentioning magazines. We’ve covered the plastic baggies they’re delivered in and various similar paper items like catalogues – but not magazines. Shocking!

The discovery happened because a friend of ours has 300+ old New Scientist magazines that he no longer wants and would like a green option for disposing of them.

A few years ago, many paper recycling bins couldn’t accept glossy paper – they were either office paper or newspaper only – but that’s changed now and magazines can be recycled in most paper bins so as a minimum, our friend could do that. He could also try giving them away on his local Freecycle/Freegle group – the magazines will be out of date from a news point of view but someone still might want to read the not so time critical articles.

For smaller quantities of magazines, there are a lot of examples of people re-using magazines for crafts – often using rolled up pages to make photo frames or ornamental bowls.

Any other suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle old rubber stamps?

We’ve had an email from Lise, asking:

How can rubber stamps be recycled? I found a box full in the stationery cupboard from two department name changes ago!

Given the department name comment, I imagine these are custom ones, not generic “approved” or date stamps – I’d put the latter on eBay or Freecycle/Freegle because they’re still very useful in their own right. The former ones will be less reusable but I’d have loved to play with them when I was a kid (my childhood roleplaying was surprisingly bureaucratic; when I used to play ‘school’, I spent the whole time working out class lists & timetables for said classes) (really).

Depending on the construction of the stamps, you (or someone else) might be able to take them apart and reuse them to make new stamps – replacing the stamp itself but reusing the handles or the mechanism if it’s a self-inking one. Again, eBay/Freecycle/Freegle if you don’t want to give it a go yourself. If they’re very nice old ones, a local stampmaker also might want them to reuse as antique stamps.

If you actually wanted to recycle them, you’d have to break them up into their component parts too – all the ones I’ve seen have been mixed materials so they’d have to be split apart and recycled individually.

Any other suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle an old wall year planner?

We’ve had an email from Alex asking:

Can big paper wall planners be recycled? We’ve got at least a dozen at my school to get rid of now but I didn’t know about recycling them in the paper bins because they’re laminated.

No, it’s very unlikely that they’ll be accepted for paper recycling. Most wipe-clean plastic-coated paper – whether it’s actually laminated or just a thin coating on one side – is also more hassle than its worth when it comes to recycling.

There might be ways to reuse them though – we covered reuses for laminated posters last year and there is probably a big overlap for reuses (especially as a lot of those ideas are school-friendly).

It’s probably also worth investigating if you can get reusable wall planners for the future – dry erase ones without a specific year on them so you won’t have to throw them out each summer.

Any other ideas/suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle rubbish pencil erasers?

We’ve had an email from Sophie:

I bought a big bag of rubbers at the start of school but they were hard and rubbish so I turned them into stamps instead! I drew a design on them then cut it out with an art knife and they work great.

I remember doing something similar with them when I was at school – although it was less artistic/planned and more just me being bored with an compass in French. Another at-school reuse was, of course, flinging them across the classroom and watching them bounce off the walls/desks. I, of course, never did that, ahem.

If you buy a pack of mixed ones, there always seems to be a couple of really hard ones that don’t work very well in there. Aside from the stamps and airbourne weaponry, are there any other reuses for erasers that won’t erase?

Awesome reducing, reusing & recycling links

Here’s this week’s awesome reducing, reusing & recycling links round-up: