Six Ways to Recycle Used Envelopes

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I wanted to share with you one of my favourite ways to recycle. Of all the things that come into our homes I have a few handy uses for used envelopes. We all still get bills in the mail, along with a few other random letters, here and there. From when I was a little girl, I watched my parents carefully open a letter, pull the letter out then either reseal or close up the envelope and add it to a pile. They would often become a notebook on my dad’s desk or a scrap piece of paper to doodle on while you were on the phone.

After packing up the farm and all the bits and pieces of paper that was my office around the house. I realised that I had loads of envelopes with so many little notes, reminders and recipes written down on them. I had some how picked up the habit of recycling this paper source. Wait till you read what I use to do as a kid with envelopes.

WRITE SHOPPING LISTS  This is the best thing to use envelopes for. You won’t feel guilty for wasting a good piece of paper to take to the shops to just discard it as you leave.  Section it up into cold items, veggies and pantry staples. Often when we headed off to buy things for the farm we would write a list and break it down into shops we also had to visit – that’s if you want to be super organised.

TO-DO LIST  I love a good to-do list for the day. Start at the top and list all the things you need to work on for that day, week or project. Then hang it on the fridge, or fold it in half and stick it in your pocket to track your progress.

LEAVE NOTES There are always envelopes laying around our home and a few on our fridge as notes. Often I will take a message, write down a phone number, then hang it to remind me later or to let Roy know someone has called or stopped by. If I have stopped by someone’s place I will use an envelope to stick under their door to leave a note – yes I always have envelopes, usually with writing on them but there is two sides. Envelope notes can get rather sweet too, yes, you can write cool things on them and stick them into little peoples lunchboxes.

DOODLING Obviously I have grown up since the time I use to spend my afternoons on the phones with friends talking. However while I was on the phone, I always had a pen and a used envelope to draw on. Other great ways to doodle are while you are suppose to be listening/watching something. Honestly great for procrastination breaks – try it.

FILING & ORGANISING This one is a little secret from me as an eight year old neat freak. The only mail an eight year old gets is quarterly bank statements and the odd birthday card. However I use to file my bank statements into used envelopes and mark them accordingly to year. Now the filing has turned into keeping receipts with the months written on the envelope and they stand up easily in a shoe box. Best mini filing cabinet ever. You could organise so many things, the options are endless.

KEEP THINGS SAFE This is great if you are trusting someone with some money or even a prized (small flattish) possession. You can easily pass it over in a used envelope. Or better yet collect you goodies and keep them safe in the envelope and hide them so no one will find them. My mum use to give us pocket money to spend in envelopes for town. She would fold it up so the coins wouldn’t fall out but it worked. We held on to that envelope for dear life.

TIP:  If you want to get your DIY on, then bundle a bunch of envelopes up together and staple them at the top to create a notebook!

BONUS: For all those cooks out there. I will often write down a recipe that I have found on the internet to cook for a meal. A small piece of paper wins over a large computer on my bench. I also use them to create my recipes as I cook in my kitchen.

How about you, do you recycle used envelopes?

Lizzie Moult

Lizzie Moult

Planning, cooking, chasing kids & running an online business; it might seem like there is a lot going on. Yet Lizzie is all about living simply and creating a flexible lifestyle that enables plenty of travel, adventure and quality time. A lifestyle writer and photographer for over 10 years for numerous publications, working online for over 14 years Lizzie also works as Cognitive Behavioural Therapist to help people live a life with passion & purpose without people-pleasing, imposter syndrome and seeking approval at

3 Responses

  1. I am guilty of throwing envelopes in the bin, however it is the recycle bin so it’s not so bad. I think I remember my Grandma using envelopes to write notes on and it totally makes sense when you think about it. PS…Lomandra day use area and it’s 1 km from Ironbark Gully both good. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

  2. Ha, ha, I grew up using envelopes all the same ways, and still do! Mum even used them for her budgeting, keeping all her allocations of cash in separate envelopes in her bag. I also remember clutching the very important folded envelope of pocket money coins to go to the shops! Great to hear it’s not just me. haha.

    1. I recently got asked at a checkout why I was holding an envelope with writing on it. I asked the lady what else do you write a shopping list on? She thought it was a genius idea, that is when I realized more people should be using like me.

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Roy & Lizzie


We are Roy & Lizzie an Aussie couple,  who started food & travel blogging back in 2008, documenting our adventures, food discoveries, different cultures, and the natural world. We are here to inspire more people to leave their table and explore the world.

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