Look what I bought.
Granted, Mesa's Blue Barrel Program is actually very excellent as they accept most things that can be recycled. I'm just upset that I pay SO MUCH MONEY for things that are discarded.
So I've decided to start living towards a more waste-free life. I know that it IS possible (remember that famous zero-waste person in NYC?) and is a new kind of lifestyle that can be grown into. It's not something I'm going to do tomorrow, but I am innovative and decided to make this change into an adventure!
Quest 1: Recycling Paper
Take any old paper and toss it in some water. Soak it until it's really mushy.
Alternatively, you can use dryer lint! That actually makes a really great paper too! You can even mix lint and unwanted paper in any ratio; it doesn't matter, just soak it all.
The idea is to make a pulp. A blender is a handy way to achieve this, so blend it up!
If it isn't grossing you out by now, then you aren't doing it right. Next, combine it with water in a large vat.
Turns out that making paper is actually an art in straining. The pulp is pretty consistent in thickness throughout this liquid so you have to be careful in how you strain it. The original article I read on this technique suggests you use window screening to strain the pulp with. However, I didn't have any screen laying around. What to use, what to use.....
Whatever you use (screening, dryer sheets, cheese cloth), dip it in your pulpy soup and collect a nice layer of pulp. You want it to be as even as possible. It's going to be really wet still, so with the pulp on the screen (or dryer sheet), lay it pulp-side down on a towel or cloth. Then, press the water out.
Set to dry. That's literally it. That's paper! The bigger your screen, the bigger your sheet of paper! Unfortunately, I didn't have any large screen to use, so I only made the one sheet. But I did try making a paper bowl and a paper cup!
A really fun and REALLY MESSY activity! 10/10 would do again! But next time, I need much bigger screens, and many of them!
Good, so now I know what to do with all this extra paper and dryer lint. One step closer to a zero-waste (or at least less wasteful!) life.