If you are anything like me you get quite a bit of paper delivered to you through the mail. All that junk mail, magazine subscriptions and useless ads for things you should never by. If you are lucky you would be able to recycle all that paper so it can be turned into something else down the line. However you may live in an area that doesn’t do paper recycling so that really leaves you with the option of throwing it in the trash. But if you are actually reading this article on this website then you are probably like me and you hate throwing things away that could have other potential uses. One of the best uses I have found for that waste paper is turning it into long lasting fire starters. Now I am sure you already know that paper burns really easily but it also burns really quick which can sometimes hinder how well it performs as a fire starter. Keeping lose paper around can also take up a lot of space that could be better used for other things. So any easy way to get around these dual problems is to turn all that extra waste paper in paper mache fire starters. This is really easy to do but it does take some time and just a few things to make the process easier.
Take waste paper and shred it by hand or with a paper shredder and place into one of the 5 gallon buckets. Fill that bucket with water and let it soak for a couple of hours.
While paper is soaking use the drill and drill bits to drill is least 2 dozens holes into the other 5 gallon pails bottom and lower sides.
After the paper has soaked for a couple hours mix it until you get the consistency of paper mache in the bucket. I do this using a paint mixture attachment for a drill but you can figure out what works best for you. After paper is thoroughly soaked and mixed take both buckets outside and pour the mixture into the bucket with the holes drilled into it.
Water should being to drain from the hole but it will slow down as they plug with shredded paper. When that happens take the empty bucket and place it in the bucket with paper mixture. Then add a couple of rocks into the bucket to add weight which will help push water out of the holes. I like to leave that overnight letting water slowly drain from the hole. You can speed the process up by stirring the paper and by pushing down on the mixture with the other bucket.
After you have squeezed as much water as possible out with buckets it is time to shape and squeeze the final products with your hands. I have found that grabbing enough material to form a softball sized lump and shaping it into a ball is the easiest way to do it.
Place them in a sheltered location to dry and in a few weeks you will have long burning and spacing saving fire starting logs that can used to light grills, wood stoves or outdoor fire pits.
Hello my name is Josh Larson and I am the creator of the Green Living Library. Here on the blog you will find updates to content found in the Green Living Library as well as stories from those living the sustainable life already.