I'm all about the reducing, and constantly trying to figure out how to reuse stuff before the recycling. Of course, unfortunately I'm always trying to figure out uses for all the crap that I *can't* recycle.
If you read my regular LJ you'll see these there, too.
The front and back are basically card stock - in the picture, one is from a box from a sample maxipad I got in the mail (I have no idea where these things come from), one is from a Little Debbie snack cake box, one is from a tea box (fair trade and organic ;) and the other one is from a box of filing cards, with the little tab thingies on them. The backs have card stock, too, from whatever. There's nowhere around here to recycle cereal box type material, so now I have a use for it and it makes me happy :)
And I'm SO in love with my maxipad-pad. :D
The inside pages are from one sided printed paper. Some of it's junk mail or bank mail or whatever - the backs are usually blank on those things. Our area is great on paper recycling, but it's just such a waste to recycle the stuff when it's perfectly usable. Sometimes I keep paper if it's printed on both sides if one side is light enough.
Of course, keeping all the scrap paper around is a pain in the ass. So I was trying to figure out how to make some note pads. It turned out that's it's seriously easy. I got some Elmer's All Purpose Glue (not school glue which is too watery) but then later I found my tacky glue and I think that would work just as well. I'm thinking hot glue would be a pain in the ass, and rubber cement would probably be a pain, too, and it's so full of chemicals I wouldn't want to try it anyway.
I just cut all the papers to about the size I want (the tiny scraps go in the recycling bin) and try to make sure the blank sides are all facing the same way. Then I get one edge as even as possible so that all the edges are, ya know, on the edge. I whack them pretty hard for a bit, because if the papers aren't all at the edge, they don't all get glued. Then I clip it together with something temporarily while I clamp it. I have two 8" pieces of a yard stick and two c-clamps (not pretty, but it's what I had lying around) and I clamp the sticks on as close to the flat edge as I can. Then I just paint the glue onto the edge with a paint brush. I've learned to make sure it's really on all the pages or they tend to fall out - but not to push the glue IN or the pages are too hard to rip out because they'll be glued together on the flat side instead of just the edges. So I get the glue on really even, then I add a nice thick layer over it and let it dry. It takes less than an hour to dry, really. Then I put a piece of duct tape on the edge to hold the front and back sides on.
I know the store bought notepads I have have some kind of clothy or paperish tape on the bound edge, but we have LOTS of duct tape in LOTS of colors and it's easy to cut down and re-attach.
And THEN - when paper gets used around here, it goes right in the recycle bin. The bonus is that when the paper is all gone, I can take off the duct tape and use the covers again until they're pretty much destroyed!
AND I made one completely out of envelopes. I just cut them all in half and bound them. It's not pretty, but it's great scrap paper and it's not scattered all over the place.
It sounds like work, but it takes me like 15 minutes while I'm watching a movie or something - and that includes cutting up the paper. I have NO idea where my paper cutter is, but I got a tiny one a couple weeks ago (I feel guilty because I didn't NEED it, but I need something to DO and it *is* useful.) and I can cut up like 6 pieces of paper at a time with it. Which makes me really wish I knew what happened to my paper cutter.
My little sister made one and I only did the cutting and the clamping. She put stickers on hers - it was for Mom. She's got a Christmas card that's all silver that she's using to make one for herself, we just keep forgetting to do it.
Damn, I feel like I'm doing my old job being the Internet Craft Lady. *shudder* See, I realize this is a kind of lame "project". But I'm getting a kick out of finding things to make pads out of and I don't have paper lying all over the place anymore. Ok, yes, I do. But that's just shit I haven't filed in forever and mail that needs dealt with. I've been bad about that lately. And yeah, I guess now I have notebooks lying around all over now, but they're funny!