DIY Recycling for America Recycles Day

ACE Students

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November 15, 2012

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This is a post from Sriya Potham, ACE Chicago Media Team Member and a student at Adlai Stevenson High School.

Happy America Recycles Day everyone! When I was debating on what to do for this (should-be) national holiday, I decided that I would go into the hard-hitting world of recycling and make my own paper from some junk mail.

It’s super easy to do and only took me around 30 minutes. The paper that ends up is really thick sort of a mixture between cardstock and construction paper and it’s really pretty. (My pictures don’t do it justice.)

Let’s get started!

Materials

Materials (not all of them are shown):

  • picture frame
  • scissors
  • blender
  • a mesh (I used an old dryer sheet) just something that will let water though but not paper pulp)
  • duct tape
  • junk paper
  • pan
  • couple of towels
  • rolling pin
  • iron
  • sponge

Step 1: Take out the backing on the picture frame, and duct tape the mesh to the underside of the frame. (This will be important later)

Frame

Step 2: Shred the paper and let it sit in warm water for a couple of minutes. I had a handful of paper shreds and made a paper about 4 by 5 inches. In the mean time look at this infographic about recycling.

Step 3: Put the paper into the blender to make your pulp. The longer you blend the paper the thicker the paper will be and the more paper you will need.

 

Step 4: Pour the pulp into another container that your frame will fit into comfortably. Let the frame sift through the water and gather the pulp onto the frame.

Step 5: Push all of the water out that you can with the sponge

Step 6: When you are sure that no more water can come out, take the duct tape off the frame so that you just have the mesh and the paper. Take the paper off of the screen, I used a rolling pin to just push it out onto a towel. Then you can either let the paper air dry, or if you are impatient and/or hate bumpy paper like me you can iron it dry.

Step 7: Now that you have your recycled paper what do you do with it? You can send it as an artsy birthday card or you can send it as a letter to your new state representatives  asking them in honor of America recycles day to ask all schools to implement recycling programs in all communities and schools and help do their part to save the environment.

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