You already know that you need to shred any documents that contain sensitive or confidential information in order to help protect your identity, but what do you do with all of those ribbons and cross-cut pieces that come out of the paper shredder? Here are some ideas of what to do with those shredded documents, so they just don't go into the trash.
Recycle: Simple and earth-friendly, recycling your shredded paper is one of the best options out there. However, you will want to check with your local recycling center to make sure that your shredded documents can be properly recycled. Although most centers accept shredded paper, some do not.
Compost: If you compost, shredded paper can be a welcome addition. Just look out for colored or glossy paper, which may contain toxins. If you do not compost, you can still use the paper in your yard; shredded documents also make great mulch for plants and shrubs.
Replace tissue paper in gifts: Reusing your shredded paper is a great way to save time and money. Whether you are wrapping a present in a box or a gift bag, the shreds create a great alternative to tissue paper. It's eco-friendly as well. Most tissue paper goes straight into the garbage after the gift has been unwrapped, creating unneeded waste. Using your shredded paper is a great way to avoid the wasted tissue paper all together.
Shipping material: In the same vein as wrapping gifts, paper shreds make great packing material. You won't have to buy the Styrofoam peanuts or the packing paper, and reusing the documents is a great way to save more items from being needlessly wasted.
Line pet cages: Now you can recycle your newspapers rather than using them to clean up after your pets. Paper shreds are a great way to line small pet cages, such as those for hamsters or birds. And since you will always have bank statements to shred, you won't have to run out to find other lining materials anytime soon.
Art projects: Here, the options are truly endless. Paper-mache, collages, bean bags: Paper shreds can be painted, glued, or stuffed into any piece of art you, or your child, can think up.