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Reuse & Recycle TNT
Photo contribution by Michael Bina

Reuse & Recycle TNT 

Photo contribution by Michael Bina

Topanga New Times magazine is available for free throughout the Santa Monica Mountains and delivered to each home in Topanga. Making the content available for free is important to us here at TNT, but we also strive to minimize waste. We are a magazine, but we use high quality newsprint to avoid coated, glossy pages. 

1. Gift wrap The holidays are coming! Wrapping paper is expensive and much of it cannot be recycled. Reuse this copy of TNT to wrap the next gift you give. Add some cotton twine and it has a great look. 

2. Ripen fruit Much like putting fruit in a paper bag, wrapping it in newspaper helps them ripen faster. This works because the paper helps to concentrate the ethylene gas that fruit naturally emits. This method works best for bananas, avocados, tomatoes, pears, peaches, and mangoes.

3. Keep things fresh Old newspapers can be used in shoes, bags and refrigerators to absorb smells. Unlike boxes of baking soda, you can put newspapers anywhere. 

4. Brown compost material Adding shredded paper to the compost bin allows oxygen to enter the soil. Newspaper is considered a “brown” composting material, adding a lot of carbon to the mix that needs to be offset with nitrogen and protein-rich materials like food scraps, coffee grounds, and grass clippings. Good composts have equal parts “brown” and “green” material. TNT is printed with a soy-based ink that is safe to use for compost.

5. Paper pots for seedlings Paper pots are comparable to biodegradable peat seed pots, but they last a little longer. Newspaper pots contain lignin which makes them slightly more resistant to decomposition. Lignin is an organic polymer found in the woody exterior of plants. 

6. Keep your garden thriving Newspapers can be very useful in the garden. Shield your plants from cold snaps in the spring by covering them with a small tent made of folded newspaper. A layer of TNT paper around the base of plants, then covered again with soil, will keep weeds from sprouting up.

7. Protect your packages When mailing delicate items, TNT pages can be balled up to create protective packing material. Styrofoam peanuts and plastic bubble wrap both have negative environmental impacts because they are rarely recycled, don’t easily break down, and are very harmful to wildlife.

8. Campfire starter The paper can be twisted or balled up to help start your next campfire. When cut up and mixed with lint from the dryer, it can be stuffed into a cardboard toilet paper roll to make a mini “log.”

9. Paper from paper Paper is pretty easy to make out of recycled materials. TNT paper can be used as raw material to make a pulp; other papers and natural items can be added for color. It will make a thicker, artsy paper that can be used in other crafts.

10. Papier-mâché You can make beautiful hanging lanterns, decorative bowls and so much more from copies of this very newspaper. Cut or tear the paper into strips, dip them in mod-podge or watered-down white glue. Lay strips in layers around an inflated balloon. The balloon can be popped and removed when the layers dry, leaving you with a sturdy form to cut or paint.

11. Cleaning Newsprint paper is the best for cleaning windows! It leaves less residue than a paper towel. Try equal parts vinegar and water for sparkling mirrors and windows. If you happen to break a glass, damp newspaper is great for blotting up small fragments of glass that are hard to catch with a broom. Newspapers are great to line the bottoms of trash cans, litter boxes and cabinets for hassle-free cleanup and easy replacement.

12. Recycling This should go without saying, but always recycle your old copies of Topanga New Times if you do not plan to reuse them. After you read it, we hope this paper will find a new purpose; if not, please find a recycling bin.

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