Age of Awareness
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Age of Awareness

I made recycled paper at home and this is what happened

Recycling paper at home is gathering your used paper, turning them into pulp, and drying them to make a new piece of useable paper. It has recently become popular, many people on the internet giving it a go themselves. It is a great activity to try especially during the quarantine.

I gave it a try myself, and to be honest, the first few tries didn’t go very well. They seemed to be too thick and weren’t writable. However, I learned valuable lessons on mistakes you shouldn’t make, and some helpful tips, so that you can have a great shot at it.

The 2 methods I tried

The first method had better results and produced paper that you could write on. However, you need a mesh frame. You could use a photo frame and attach a layer of mesh to it. Or you could also buy a paper making kit on Amazon that can cost from about $5 to $90 (some even come with petals that you can add in)

You want to make pulp with your used paper. One way is to add some water in with the paper and blend them through the blender. Fair warning, the ink on your used paper may stain your blender, so you may want to avoid it if you use it for food as well. Or, you could simply soak your paper in water and mash them up and rip them apart with your own hands.

With the pulp, you want to add them into a fairly large container of water and mix it around. Using the frame, scoop the mixture and make sure the pulp is spread across the frame evenly (make sure the layer isn’t too thick). Place a cotton cloth or towel on the wet pulp mixture and transfer it onto it. Peel the mesh frame so that you can use it again.

Remember not to dry the pulp on the cloth under direct sunlight. Leave it overnight and make sure your paper is completely dry before you store it so it doesn't go moldy.

This method required a fair amount of water, so it’s good to do it in big batches.

The second method requires less water and doesn't require you to have a mesh frame. However, all the pieces of paper I made with the second method turned out too thick and it was hard to write on the paper.

For this method, add less water when you are making your pulp (just enough to make all pieces wet), and instead of dumping all the paper pulp into a big container of water, spread the pulp out by itself on a flat surface (go ahead and improvise, you can use a piece of glad wrap, a lid from a takeaway container). Use a sponge to absorb the water and press the pulp flat.

Leave to dry after that, and congratulations, you’ve made a piece of recycled paper.

If the instructions here are a little confusing, I’ve linked some videos along that might make it a little clearer.

Some varieties

Your recycled paper doesn’t have to be plain, go ahead and try experimenting by adding things in your paper to spice things up. I’ve seen people on TikTok adding glitter to their pulp, coffee to give it a fancy brown tint, flower petals, and food coloring to have several different colored paper.

Here are some great TikToks that might just inspire you.

Paper with petals:

Paper with coffee:

What can you do with the paper you made?

I personally keep the paper I made on my desk so that I have a homemade notepad if I ever have to jot anything down. However, I’ve seen other turn the many sheets they have made into a notebook by folding and tying them together. The possibilities are endless, so use the paper however you like.

This activity killed a fraction of my quarantine time and made it more exciting. It’s great if you have unwanted paper lying around taking up space. Go ahead and give it a try, and tell me down below how it went.

If you want to learn more about how you can help the environment by composting, read this:



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Cal Pla

Hey, I’m a plant lover, and a constantly growing environmentalist.