How Do You Reuse Magazines and Newspapers? (Video)

What Can You Do With Magazines & Newspapers?

What do you do with your old magazines when you’re done reading them? Do they sit around your house for years? Do you just throw them in the trash? Even though you can recycle them, 25 PERCENT of our landfills are filled with old magazines and newspapers that are just tossed out.

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not."
— Dr. Seuss, from The Lorax

Did You Know…?

Magazines are made out of paper that has been coated and buffed by a process called "supercalendering," in order to give a glossy appearance. The paper is covered with a white clay called "kaolin" and put under high pressure rollers. This makes the resulting shiny pages suitable for color photographs. That's a lot of processing, don't you agree?

How Long Does It Sit In Our Landfills?

A newspaper will decompose in a landfill in 25 weeks

But a magazine takes more than a YEAR to decompose! (Additional processes equal longer landfill time.)

Getting the Word Out

Many consumers are afraid to put magazines into paper bins, but the glossy paper does not contaminate paper recycling. Magazines are now accepted by all curbside recycling programs that collect paper. Find out more about your local recycling program using Earth911.

Every day, Americans buy about 62 million newspapers and throw out around 44 million of them. If we recycled just half our newsprint every year, we would need 3,200 fewer garage trucks to collect our trash.

Reusing Magazines:

The Vocal Trash crew recommends donating your old magazines to the following places:

  • Airplanes
  • Churches
  • Colleges
  • Craft Stores
  • Dentists’ Offices
  • Doctors’ Offices
  • Fitness Centers
  • Hobby Shops
  • Libraries
  • Preschools
  • Senior Centers
  • Work Break Room

Reusing Newspapers:

You can donate your newspapers to many of the same places you would donate your magazines, but Vocal Trash recommends also using your newspapers as compost.

  1. Shred the newspaper into narrow strips by hand or in a paper shredder.
  2. Spread a 10-inch layer of shredded newspaper at the bottom of your compost bin.
  3. Layer several inches of green compost material.
  4. Add half an inch of dirt.
  5. Water the layers.
  6. Repeat with additional layers if desired.

Art Projects Are A Great Way To Reuse Magazine & Newspapers!

You can also cut pictures and words out of newspapers and magazines to create art projects like greeting cards, posters and collages. When you’re done, be sure to recycle the rest of your materials in the appropriate bin! Use Earth911 to find a good place to recycle magazines and newspapers in your area.

Remember Vocal Trash says…

"THINK before you THROW IT AWAY!"


Vocal Trash Members Vocal Trash is a troupe of environmental entertainers who have been engaging audiences with their unique and exciting brand of entertainment for a decade from New York to Seattle. Whether in Madison Square Garden or the Venetian Hotel and Casino,  Vocal Trash is environmentally conscious using upcycled materials on stage. The group asks that you "THINK… before you throw it away!"

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One Response to “How Do You Reuse Magazines and Newspapers? (Video)”

  1. Jim Hautz February 16, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

    Magazines, newspapers and old books are welcome at any VA hospital.  Great job!  

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