Forget being trapped in your office shredding paper for hours on end. Give up trying to figure out how to empty the shredder every three days. Skip trying to empty it without getting miniscule bits of paper all over your carpets. Repurpose your papers and you'll be saving time, energy and frustration by shredding rarely instead of daily.

Alternatives can help you kick the shredding habit.


Turn on the fireplace and burn the papers you might otherwise shred. Burning paper creates a hot fire, so be prepared for the heat. Stay safe and keep a fire extinguisher on hand. Burn small amounts of paper at a time so you can control how high the flames reach and how hot the fire burns.


Toss those papers into the recycling bin instead of the shredder. Use a permanent black marker to hide important information like account numbers, account balances and Social Security numbers. If you're not comfortable with blacking them out, cut those small bits of information from the papers and recycle them separately so they can't be used for identity theft.

Make Paper

Turn old paper into new paper. Tear it into small squares and add paper squares and water to your blender. Toss in a few drops of food coloring and blend away until you have a thick pulp. Form the paper by pouring the pulp over a screen frame and allow it to dry. Decorate the paper by pressing in fresh flower petals or fancy leaves. Let the paper dry and you've got custom handmade paper instead of your old bills.

Kitty Litter

Tear the paper into strips and use it as your kitty litter. It's an all-natural alternative to manufactured kitty litter and it's also less expensive and better for the environment. Make the switch slowly so you don't put a trained cat off of the litter box. Put a layer of paper at the bottom of the litter box and fill with traditional litter. Each time you clean the box, use less litter and more paper until you're eventually using only paper.