This may seem like a strange connection to you, but I'll tell you how junk mail helps us garden. Maybe you'll want to try it too!
See these lovely shreddings? They will be put to good use in our garden. In the Winter months, the junk mail shreds are used as a topping for the compost pile. (Because face it, NO ONE wants to go out and try to pull weeds to cover up the fruit and vegetable scraps from the compost pail!) Every few days the compost pail gets full, every few days someone shreds some of the junk mail in the bucket, then...a trip out to the compost pile is in order!
Taking out the compost pail is one of Emily's jobs. Usually shredding the junk mail is too. We try to work together around here, so oftentimes Arlene or Daddy will help Emily cut the windows out of the envelopes (for the trash) while they're watching sports together on tv.
During the Spring those shreddings will also be used to help keep down weeds. If there is an area I didn't get weeded the fall before, I'll toss some shreddings down to slow the spring weed growth until I can get to that area. They'll help slow the weeds, and start to decompose. When I get the area weeded, they'll end up (mostly) getting tossed in the compost pile with the weeds. I also have used them underneath the pretty mulch in the pathways to help keep down the weeds. They can clump back together when it rains, so if you're using them for weed control/ mulch, you need to be careful how thick of a layer you use around the plants that you WANT to get the water to.
We try to garden as inexpensively as possible. After all, part of our reason for gardening is to save money. Maybe you're a little hesitant to use shreddings for mulch, that is OK. I would like you to consider using them to top your compost pile. After all, no one wants a bunch of critters pulling vegetable scraps all over threir yard do they?
Next time, we'll share pictures of our first round of Winter-Sowing seeds. Looking forward to seeing you again then!