Making your own paper is an easy way to be creative and entertain the kids as well as do something environmentally friendly. Instead of throwing away all your old newspapers and magazines why not transform all that ‘junk’ into something original?
For centuries now paper has been an important part of our lives. The ancient Egyptians first discovered how papyrus could be used as paper, but it was a Chinese man by the name of Ts’ai Lun, who created the first recipe for the paper we know today. Lun combined hemp, mulberry bark and rags with water, mashed them together and after pressed out all the excess liquid and hung it out to dry in the sun.
The paper we use at home and at the office today is made in a paper mill. Trees are cut down and turned into wood pulp by adding chemicals and dyes. The cumulative effect of culling nature’s air purifiers and the use of chemicals and dyes has dire consequences for the environment.
Making your own paper is as easy as when Lun did it more than 2000 years ago. It is a great way of bonding with your children while teaching them about being environmentally aware. The rewards of making your own paper are plain to see. You have an opportunity to channel your creative or artistic flow while making a unique and affordable gift. Most of the materials and tools used are household items. You can also make your own wedding or birthday invitations for an added personal touch.
If you don’t have the energy or inclination to get your hands messy you can still do your bit. For instance, you can buy handmade cards which are made with materials such as cotton waste, or cotton cloth rags as well as organic materials like grass and flower petals. Some handmade paper even meets office requirements and can be used in Laser and Inkjet Printers. By buying homemade paper or making your own you take one step closer to preserving the environment and its forests.