5 Inventive Ways to Repurpose Shredded Paper

Posted by

Most offices have piles of the stuff just lying around or simply send it off to the recycling plant without a second thought.  Not many people see too much value in shredded paper but Sony is changing that with a rechargeable battery fueled by shredded paper. The bio-battery they displayed at the Eco-Products 2011 environmental products fair in Tokyo could change heaps of shredded paper into hours of energy.


It’s kind of like “Mr. Fusion” the futuristic energy source Doc Brown uses to power his time machine in the Back to the Future series. The celluloid of the paper is broken down by a set of enzymes to produce sugar. Another set of enzymes changes sugar to produce hydrogen ions and electrons. The hydrogen combines with oxygen and runs off as water while the ions are stored as an electric charge.


The concept is one way Sony wants to put the power in people’s hands, literally. However, the bio-battery isn’t ready for mass production on the commercial market yet. Right now it can power a portable music player at best and they are still working out the viability of making it functional for the public.


While they’re getting it together, there are plenty of great “green” things you can do with the mounds of shredded paper your office produces every day. Try these fun tips to save money and save the environment by repurposing it:

  1. Compost – Get your garden going and growing with shredded paper. You can add it to moist compostable materials like grass or turn it into your soil as you dig up the flowerbeds. On a smaller scale you can use it in the bottom of your flower pots to add another filtration layer for drainage.
  2. Small Animal Bedding – Most people think cedar when it comes to small animal bedding but the wood chips are actually bad for critters like bunnies, guinea pigs, hamsters and chinchillas. Recycled paper is the best but the fluff stuff can get expensive so line your pets’ cages with plain old shredded paper instead. Lightly sprinkle in some baby powder for added absorbency and smell control. If you don’t have any small pets yourself, most animal shelters will accept donations if you drop it by.
  3. Packing – Skip the tissue paper and Styrofoam peanuts. Whether you’re packing a present or shipping a parcel, shredded paper can be a cost effective solution to other materials. Give your gift some style by spritzing color onto your shredded paper using watercolors and a spray bottle. Stand back and lightly mist the paper so it doesn’t become oversaturated or rip. Wait until the color dries and fill your gift back with homemade confetti.
  4. Trash Liner – An awesome trick at home or the office is to sprinkle shredded paper in the bottom of the garbage bins. This lays an absorbency layer that soaks up any liquids carelessly tossed into the trash.
  5. Kindling – The obvious way to use shredded paper for kindling is to just shake it on and watch it flare up.

Need more ideas for what to do with a surpluss of shredded paper? Check out my article Turning Shredded Paper into Productive Projects for some neat things you can make with the stuff.


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

  • Melissa Kennedy
    Melissa Kennedy
  • cecelia c
    cecelia c
    this s@#! needs more information

Jobs to Watch