Tuesday, March 30, 2010

10 Ways To Reuse It : Paper Bags

When I go to the grocery store sometimes I forget my reusable grocery bags. I know that's a heinous crime in the world of green living but yeah, it happens. So without my reusable bags, it's easy to accumulate a stack of paper bags that get shoved under my sink. And the stack can get out of control fast. So here are a few productive ways to reuse your paper grocery sacks.

  1. Use it to ripen fruit. Place unripened fruit in a paper bag in a dark place and the ethylene in the fruit gets trapped in the bag and quickens the ripening process.
  2. Make texture in your painted walls. Paint a base coat of color on your walls. Get another pain color a few shades lighter or darker and dip a wadded up paper bag in the paint. Gently dab on walls for an effect similar to ragging. I did this in my bathroom and it came out looking like Italian stucco.
  3. Clean out your car. I leave a few paper bags tucked in my suburban. Every few weeks, when kids stuff starts to accumulate on the floor of my vehicle, I open up a few bags and shove it all in there so I can get it back in the house to be sorted and put away.
  4. Grow your garden. When I get ready to put my homemade compost into my garden I put a layer of brown grocery sacks down first. They are a great organic additive, suffocate any weeds underneath them and then decompose fast to add nutrients to my garden along with the compost.
  5. Make book covers. I remember doing this as a kid in School. Cut open the paperback and fasten it around the outside of your textbook. Then let your kids make custom decorated book covers.
  6. Make Homemade Wrapping Paper. We do this alot and it's the same concept as the textbook covers. The kids wrap the present in the unprinted side of the bag and then decorate it with special drawings, sweet sayings or even glued on photos.
  7. Ship things in the mail. I mail books or packages covered in brown paper bag. It saves on shipping supplies and it's easy to write the address on the package.
  8. Catch Grease. When I cook bacon or other greasy foods, I use a paper bag to soak up the extra grease before serving. It's free and easy to clean up.
  9. Clean silk flowers. Clean your silk flowers or greenery by shaking them, with salt, in a paper bag. The salt removes any dust or grime stuck to them.
  10. Simple Snow Removal. Place flattened paper bags on the windshield and secure with the wipers. In the morning when you are ready to drive off, simply pull off the paper bag and all the snow comes off in one quick movement. No more frozen fingers or wet gloves.
Check back next week for more of "10 Ways To Reuse It" and for more great ideas go visit Works For Me Wednesday.


April said...

Great tips! I especially like #8. I've been trying to go green, but always found an excuse to keep paper towels around, Cooking bacon being one of them. Now I have one less excuse. Thanks!

Ashley said...

I use ours to help sort our recycling - especially to keep newspapers organized and easily contained.

I also use them for "placemats" for my kids to "do art" on (to keep the table mess free).

They can also be turned into giftwrap!

Syndy The Queen of Thrift said...

Love these ideas. I use mine to make Caramel Popcorn in the microwave, but today I'm cleaning my silk plants. Thanks for the tips!

Candi said...

Great idea!!! I've never heard of the one about the windshield, I'm going to do that when we get frost! Thanks for all your creative ideas!

noelle said...

We use our paper bags to accumulate our recycling in the kitchen and then a kid can easily carry that outside to the big recycling bin.

MamaFeelgood said...

I had never thought about putting them on the windshield.

Melissa said...

I second using them to make Carmel Corn - it's works wonderfully.

Sharyl said...

I use paperbags to make small scrapbooking brag books for friends and family. They are very easy to make out of paperbags and there are many examples online that you could refer too for examples.