While it is important to recycle paper in both the office and at home, it is better to reduce your paper usage, as less waste is always better. Sometimes you need to get creative, though, so try one of these five ways to reduce by reusing. Some of the ideas are better suited to the home while others will work at both the home and the office. Packaging: Set aside used paper for gift wrapping. Instead of buying packing peanuts, crumple up your paper and use it to protect a birthday, holiday or anniversary gift for mailing. Don’t forget to leave a note asking the recipient to reuse or recycle the paper when they get your package. Note: if you’re shipping fragile items, skip this reuse idea. Holiday Trash Gift wrap: If you are the parent of a school-aged child, you’re likely inundated with papers every school night. Take those works of art and use them as gift wrap for family members. What grandmother doesn’t want to see her holiday gift wrapped in her grandson’s assignment from art class? Confetti: I admit, I love confetti. I include it in gift bags, add it to the kids’ lunch boxes for birthdays and holidays and have used it to decorate desks for office birthday parties. Obviously, confetti isn’t one of life’s necessities, but if you’re confetti-minded like I am, reuse existing paper to make your own confetti. You can use markers or crayons to color the paper before you cut it up into little pieces. When you clean up the confetti, don’t forget to recycle it. Notepads: Turn paper with printing on only one side into notepads. You can do this with paper you use in your office or home as well as papers that come into your house or business. Think of all the mail you get that has printing on only one side. Simply save these papers and turn them into notepads for later use by your kids or your office mates. Greeting cards: Start a new tradition this year: Reuse last year’s cards. If Grandma sent you a holiday card last year, write your own note in it this year and mail it back to her. Encourage her to do the same the following year and once the card can no longer be reused, you’ll have a great keepsake with a little history in it. What are your favorite ways to reduce paper use by reusing?