As just about everyone knows, paper shredders are a great way to protect one’s self from the horrors of identity theft. But there’s just one problem: what do you do with all that shredded paper? You could go the environmentally friendly route and recycle the material. (Or you could just toss it in the garbage if that’s more convenient.) Or you can get creative and re-use the shreds in a number of different ways, from making Christmas ornaments to taking care of your pets. Here are a few ideas….
- Make some Christmas ornaments. If your shreds are particularly colorful, why not use them for Christmas ornaments? You can purchase clear acrylic balls that can be opened up. Just place the shreds in the ball and close it up. You could also tie a beautiful ribbon to the ornament for hanging purposes.
- Make homemade kitty litter. Changing a litter box is never fun but you can have a good time creating kitty litter from your shredded paper. The shreds will be easier on your kitty’s paws than the most of the clay-based, store-bought litter (i.e. Jonny Cat) and it will be a lot easier on your wallet. Just be sure to introduce your cat slowly to the new stuff since cats don’t particularly appreciate abrupt changes in certain areas of their lives. (As any pet owner will tell you.)
- Give your hamster or gerbil a new bed. If you have a rodent for a pet, your shreds can make a nice bed for your little critter. Just be sure the ink on the paper is non-toxic since rodents love to chew on their bedding. The point is to make the little ones more comfortable, not hurt them.
- Use it in a gift bag. Let’s face it: most commercial wrapping paper and the like is expensive. Even gift bag filler – which is essentially shredded paper – can cost a small fortune. However, if you run some colorful paper through your shredder, you’ll get the filler you need at little or no cost. You could even use the shreds in Easter baskets.
- Use it as packing material. Like gift wrap, packing materials can cost an arm and a leg. If you’ve got a big move coming up and you have some fragile items that need to be protected, start saving your shreds. You’ll get your packing material for free that way and your items will make it to your destination intact.
- Start a fire (carefully). Another great use for shreds is to use it as kindling. You need to get rid of the shreds anyway, so why not build a nice cozy fire while doing so? (Just be careful!)
The things you can do with shredded paper is limited only by your imagination. Why not use your shredder today and see what creative uses you can find for your shreds? You’ll be protecting yourself against identity theft and getting creative at the same time. Good luck and happy shredding!