Kill weeds with newspapersApril 22 is Earth Day, a day to raise awareness about, and to celebrate, the Earth’s natural environment. It’s also a day for people of Mentor to do something good for the planet.

There are lots of ways to help the environment, including by reducing your net electricity usage, by conserving fresh water supplies, and by planting trees. You can also reduce the use of chemicals and pesticides in your home’s garden or yard.

One such trick is replace chemical-heavy pesticides used for weed killing with your local newspaper instead. Newspapers can be effective in killing weeds, and preventing new ones from growing, while also protecting the Earth from contaminants.

The method is basic — use a wet newspaper “carpet” blocks both sunlight and oxygen from reaching the soil, starving weeds that have already grown, and those that have yet to break soil.

Here’s how to do it :

  1. Confirm that your newspaper uses soy-based ink — most local dailies do.
  2. Stack a dozen pieces of newsprint and thoroughly wet it
  3. Place the wet pages on the area affected by weeds
  4. Cover the wet pages with a thin layer of mulch

That’s it. Over several weeks, the covered weeds will decompose into the soil, providing nourishment to other plants and vegetation. If you find that the initial newsprint stack “failed”, repeat the above steps, doubling up on the number of news pages and mulch.

Make sure that your newsprint is the “standard” newsprint, too. Avoid glossy circulars and coupon pages which use different paper and often use less Earth-friendly ink.

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