Academy Curricular Exchange
Columbia Education Center 


AUTHOR:   Christy Hornung, Dodge City Public Schools,
          Dodge City, Kansas

OVERVIEW:  Fifty percent of the solid waste produced in
North America is paper.  Producing enough paper uses
vast numbers of trees and immense amounts of energy.
Waste products from the production of energy and from
the manufacturing often produce pollution, and live
trees help preserve the global ecology.  It makes sense
to cut down on our high use of packaging in products.
In addition, it makes sense to recycle.

     old newspaper            electric blender
     large pan                wire screening
     water                    cornstarch
     stirrer                  wax paper
     rolling pin


1.   Tear a page of used paper into small pieces.
     Place it in a large pan.  Add enough water to
     cover the paper and soak for 10 minutes.
2.   While the paper is soaking, mix one-fourth of a
     cup of water with about one-eighth of a cup of
     cornstarch.  Stir until the cornstarch dissolves.
3.   Pour off the water in the pan that was not
     absorbed by the paper.  Put the paper in a
     blender.  Add the cornstarch and water mixture.
     Cover the blender.  Run the blender on high for
     two minutes.
4.   Put the screen over the pan.  Pour the material
     onto the screen.  With your hands, spread it out
     so that it is flat and thin.  Cover the material
     with wax paper.  Use a rolling pin to squeeze out
     the excess water.  CAREFULLY remove the wax paper.
5.   Allow the new paper to dry completely.  This may
     take a day or two.  GENTLY peel it from the
     screen.  Try writing on it.  Write down what

1.   What was the texture, color, odor, and so on of
     the paper?
2.   Was the paper easy to write on?  If so, in what
     ways, if any, does it need to be improved?

1.   Do you feel that the effort to recycle paper is
     worth the trouble?  Why or why not?
2.   How many times can paper be recycled?

Click here to return to OFCN's Academy Curricular Exchange

Click here to return to OFCN's Academy
Click here to return to OFCN's Main Menu



This activity has been copied, with permission, from the Organization for Community Networks server to ours, to allow faster access from our Web site. We encourage you to explore the original site.

Return to Reach Out! Home Page
To Reach Out! volunteer organization at the University of Michigan