tomato in newspaper
Photo: Keate
We’re all watching more news than we read, but there’s still plenty of newspaper to recycle—about 9 million tons every year. Here are other ways to consume the news.

1. Patch a hole. To fix small holes in drywall, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva stuffs wadded newspaper in the breach as a backer for joint compound.

2. Eat odors. Work boots smelly? Stuff ’em with newsprint. The odor disappears.

3. Make animal bedding. It’s warm and healthier than sawdust or straw, since it inherently resists bacteria and is nontoxic if eaten.

4. Get rolling. If the car’s stuck in mud, sand, or snow, a hefty section of the thick Sunday edition, slipped under the drive wheel, lends enough traction to move you on.

5. Wrap presents. The sports section makes a great gift wrap for that new cordless drill Dad’s getting on Father’s Day.

6. Make a dry workshop funnel. After sorting through fasteners spilled out on a section, roll it up and let the hardware slide back into your coffee can storage.

7. Sprout something. TOH landscape contractor Roger Cook germinates seeds between two sections of damp newspaper, kept in a warm place.

8. Kindle a fire. Crumpled newspaper works, but rolling sheets diagonally and tying them in a lazy knot works better, suggests John Gulland, of The knot concentrates flames in a single area.

9. Enhance compost. Add it to an indoor worm bin to feed them—and the decomposition process.

10. Soften a tomato. Ross Siragusa, of the California Tomato Growers Association, wraps slightly underdeveloped tomatoes.
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