Although newspaper circulations are in decline around the U.S., the uses for newspapers that are out of date or have been read continue to grow. By reusing old newspapers large amounts of the Earth’s natural resources can be saved from destruction in the manufacture of products, such as fire starters and painters tape.
With large numbers of people concerned about the amount of fossil fuels releasing dangerous toxins into the atmosphere, old newspapers can be used as fire starters for wood burning stoves. By tearing up the old newspapers they can be reused by placing in a stove to start a fire. Newspaper ashes from a wood burning fire can also be used to add traction to road surfaces around a house when covered in snow or ice.
Paper is often used to clean glass windows and surfaces; instead of using paper towels for cleaning glass newspapers can be substituted to wipe away vinegar sprayed onto the surface to be cleaned. Old newspapers can also be used for cleaning around the house when a glass object has been broken. A few sheets of newspaper should be dampened and blotted onto the area of broken glass; the smaller pieces of glass that are not always visible will stick to the newspaper and can be disposed of without harm to any member of a household.
Newspapers can also be used to dry out shoes when they have been saturated; many manufacturers of soccer and football cleats recommend the use of newspapers to dry leather shoes by removing the dampness from the inside. Several sheets of newspaper should be balled up and placed inside the wet shoes at room temperature to drag the moisture from the shoes. If the shoes have been waterlogged the newspaper stuffing should be replaced when it becomes damp until the shoes have completely dried out.
Around the house old newspapers can be reused by placing them inside or underneath plant pots to capture moisture when the plants are watered. In Fall months not yet ripe tomatoes can be ripened quickly with the use of old newspapers. The green tomatoes should be wrapped in several sheets of newspaper and sealed in an airtight container; place the container in a darkened area at room temperature for a couple of days to ripen. When painting in a house, old newspapers can be used as a good way to stop drips and splashes. Newspapers can be spread around the floor or taped to walls and windows that are not to be painted.