Tuesday, May 4, 2010

10 Ways To Reuse It: Junk Mail

Every day I get a mail box full of junk mail. Sometimes I don't even open it and just shove it in the trash, offended that I didn't have something good in my box like a paycheck or card from a friend. Other times I open it up, shove it all back into the postage paid envelope and mail it back to them. Ha! Take that! But have you every stopped to realize how much FREE paper you're getting. Maybe there is some way to use all those resources just showing up with no effort at your door. Here are some ideas.

  1. Compost It! Seriously, I know this is always included in here but homegrown food is important and frugal and healthy soil is a bonus. Remove any plastic pieces and run it through your paper shredder. Then add it to the compost pile so it can break down and fertilize your juicy veggies.
  2. Make a book mark. We read lots at our house. It's almost an addiction. And I have a really bad habit of dog earing the pages to hold my place. So lately I've been using junk mail as book marks.
  3. Free Envelopes. Many times they want a reply and enclose an envelope in there. I just stash them away and slap my homemade address stickers over their pre-printed words and use it when I need to mail something.
  4. Make a Funnel. Cut a corner off one end of the envelope and snip off the tip. Open up and use as a funnel for spices or dry ingredients. HERE's a link to an example.
  5. Rabbit Cuddles. Shred it and use in the bottom of a rabbit or rodent cage as bedding.
  6. Note Paper. I'm a list maker. I constantly have lists going to organize my day and remember stuff. Save the one sided advertisements and cut into your favorite list shape. Keep a stack by the phone for messages or in your desk drawer.
  7. Fire Starter. I save junk mail and other paper to get my fire going. Whether it's the fireplace in the winter or a campfire in the summer.
  8. Printer Paper. If the paper ad comes with only one side printed on it I save it to print off recipes or coloring pages for the kids. FREE....love it.
  9. Make a Necklace. My friend went to Africa and brought back the coolest necklace made form paper beads. It was beautiful. Here's a tutorial on how to make your own paper beads.
  10. Wall Art. Here's a tutorial on how to put it to artistic use. She made some creative art for her wall and I loved the idea.
For more WFMW ideas go visit HERE.


Anonymous said...

I write my grocery list on the envelopes, and then store my coupons in them while I shop.

Also, sending the postage paid envelopes back to the company helps keep postage rates down! :)

Melissa said...

My daughter's preschool class was always looking for junk mail envelopes. They used them in their "post office" play area. They also would take address labels ( the kinds organizations send you) and cut off the address and use the remainder as a sticker.

I love the paper beads idea. I'm bookmarking that for a bored summer day!

Jodi said...

I also reuse envelopes from mail to make my grocery lists. I put all of my coupons inside.

melanie:::adorkable said...

I love how you think! These are great ideas!!I'm a big "scrap paper" fan, but the junk mail idea never occurred to me! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I singed up for a service that limits my junk mail also don't forget to recycle.

Phyllis Sommer said...

i also reuse the things that AREN't junk. For example, I really love the nice heavy envelopes that invitations (wedding, bar mitzvah) come in and I use them for notes, etc. I also use the back of those nice heavy invitation cards to make lists or notes/signs for the kitchen. Great list, thanks!

'Becca said...

Great tips! I also use the stickers that come in junk mail. Big ones are good for removing lint from clothes or for holding a cardboard box closed. Little ones can be made into loops and used instead of tape to hold something on the wall.

Tenorlove said...

Good ideas, but I wouldn't compost or burn junk mail paper. The colored paper has chemical dye in it, and the white paper is bleached with dioxin.

I do like Anonymous, use them for grocery lists and send the pre-paid ones back, WITH ALL MATERIAL THEY SENT ENCLOSED, including the envelope they mailed it in. It has cut down the junk mail. AARP is an exception -- instead of not sending it, they stopped enclosing pre-paid envelopes.

Jessica said...

I agree with Tenorlove - most junk mail is chock-full of chemicals and I wouldn't use it to compost in our small bin. If I had a large composter (ie directly in the ground), I would consider doing more of it that way - and spread out where it is put. But our small composter is all we have for our small garden - no chemicals here!

I've just got to find a way to cut down on the amount of junk that comes in.