An estimated 350 million magazines are printed in the United State every year. Most are discarded within a year and some estimates indicate as little as 20 percent of magazines are recycled. A bit shocking, right?
Absolutely you should recycle your old, unwanted magazines in order to preserve trees and limit landfill waste. But did you know there are ways you can reuse magazines before recycling them? Here are some of our favorite ways to reuse magazines, catalogs, viewbooks or other printed publications.
1. Pass It On
Many local libraries offer magazine exchanges, which allow you to drop off unwanted magazines for others to take. This is a great second life for magazines. You could also pass along old magazines to a friend who share the same hobbies or interests. By sharing the magazine love, you’re preventing someone else from buying a copy and the publisher from printing additional copies.
2. Send a note
Even in our techy age, it’s still nice to receive a written note, right? Next time you find yourself wanting to send a thoughtful note, reach for an old magazine. These DIY instructions show you how to make a cool notecard envelope from a magazine.
3. Make a bow
Ever wrapped a present and thought, “This still needs something.” A bow might be the perfect solution, and a bow made from a recycled magazine might be perfect (plus it means one less trip to the store to buy bows!). This DIY guide shows you how to make a bow from a magazine page in just minutes. For the perfect finishing touch on a gift for a Wolfpack fan, use a page from an old NC State magazine, viewbook or athletic event program. You could also wrap the gift with magazine paper instead of buying wrapping paper.
4. Grab a Bag
We carry lots of stuff and bags make it easier. Did you know you could make a bag out of recycled magazines? This DIY guide shows you how to weave together magazine pages into a unique carry-all. Bet you could show your NC State pride by making a cool red and white pattern.
5. Create a Coaster
Many magazines feature beautiful photos that catch you eye. Use some of your favorite pages to decorate a room. You could frame and hang a photo, cut letters out of pages to create a word or phrase on your wall, or make a collage.
These ideas are just a start. There are many, many other ways to reuse old magazines and newspapers, so browse other ideas to find your favorite way to create a second life for old magazines.