Join the Paper Chain

Author: Belinda Kelly

Board Games: How A Paper-Based Pastime Is Enjoying A Revival

Board games have enjoyed something of a resurgence in recent years. In fact, in 2019, over 4,500 new games – we’re talking analogue, not digital – were released compared to just 595 in the heady, pre-digital days of 1980.[1] Before we delve into the whys and wherefores of this quite remarkable renaissance, let’s look at...Read More

Book Clubs, The Height Of Fashion

For some of us, reading never went out of fashion but for others picking up and reading a book has been perceived as boring or old fashioned. Why spend time turning over page after page when digital offers immediate access to information, videos, entertainment and more? However, as we become overloaded and exhausted from its...Read More

Sustainable Retail Displays

From paper bags to paper furniture: how retailers are making the most of paper’s versatility and sustainability. As retailers continue to look for ways to reduce their environmental impact, they are discovering that there are sustainable, paper-based alternatives for a surprising number of elements. Creating attractive, ever-changing retail displays is one of the primary ways...Read More

Are We Losing Our Ability To Read Deeply?

According to new research, the answer is yes. Concern about our loss of this essential skill is greatest for children who are transitioning from ‘learning to read’ to ‘reading to learn’, usually around the age of nine or ten.[1] In a recent article in The Guardian newspaper[2], American journalist John R MacArthur references the latest...Read More

Supermarkets Switching To Paper-Based Packaging

Have you noticed that more of your weekly grocery items are now in paper-based packaging? In September 2023, Sainsbury’s announced that all of its own-brand toilet and kitchen roll would switch from plastic to paper packaging, cutting 55 million pieces (485 tonnes) of plastic each year. In January 2024, it announced that it would save...Read More

Sustainable Paper-Based Christmas Gifts For All Ages

According to sources, each Christmas, a staggering 33 million Brits receive a gift they don’t want. Of those, an even more staggering 6.1% – over 2 million gifts – are just thrown away to end up in landfill.[1] If you’re reading this article, you’re unlikely to be one of those who throws something away that...Read More

Don’t Throw Away Your Old Christmas Wrapping Paper!

Christmas is a time full of excess, including excess waste – typically an increase of about 30% compared with the rest of the year.[1] Even though many of us will be spending a little more carefully this year, there are things we can do to also reduce waste – and have fun in the process....Read More

8 Clever Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas

How To Create Maximum Effect With Minimum Environmental Impact Nothing heightens the sense of anticipation on Christmas morning more than beautifully wrapped presents under the tree. But, as we all become more conscious of our environmental responsibilities, you might be wondering if that means you need to compromise on your wrapping paper and start wrapping...Read More

9 Last Minute Christmas Gifts Made From Paper

We’ve all been there. Christmas is suddenly right around the corner; you’re feeling like summer only ended three weeks ago and now you’re stuck for inspiration, time and/or pennies when it comes to what to get for your friends and family. We all know at least one person in our circle who is seemingly just...Read More

Make Your Own Paper Christmas Decorations

Decorating the house for Christmas is always lots of fun, but it can be extra special when you have made the decorations yourself. Making decorations from paper, especially if you use old wrapping paper saved from the year before, is environmentally friendly, too. Here are 10 DIY Christmas decorations that kids of all ages will...Read More

5 Reasons To Love Libraries

When Did You Last Visit Your Local Library? Since the advent of the internet and search engines, which have given us the ability to explore endless content from all around the world from the comfort of our own home, library visitor numbers have fallen dramatically. You might ask: Does it matter? Are we missing out?...Read More

Halloween 2023: Spirited Celebrations

Spirited celebrations: as Halloween approaches, we explore how different cultures honour spooks, saints and spirits. What does Halloween mean to you? If you’re in the UK or the US, chances are it will mean dressing up on 31st October and calling from house to house, trick or treating. While it is a celebration that has...Read More

4 Paper Crafts For A Spooktacular Halloween

“Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble” [1] As the nights draw in and the days grow colder, our attention once again turns to witches, ghouls and things that go bump in the night. Halloween is a time when shadows play tricks and imaginations run wild… and what better way to put...Read More

Paper Pen Pals

Summer may be over for another year but writing to new friends made at home or abroad during the long summer holiday has been a rite of passage for children and young people for generations. These days, however, correspondence is more likely to be an exchange of messages on social media than time spent chewing...Read More

The Importance Of Drawing In Children’s Development

Often, only when it’s raining outside, and the usual favourite toys are no longer cutting it, do the paper and crayons come out. According to experts in child development and psychology, however, far from being just a fun activity, drawing plays an important role in children’s development, helping them to communicate, learn and remember. Plus,...Read More

The Importance Of Paper-Based Materials In Education

Over the last 20 years or so, technology has infiltrated almost every facet of our lives. The expansion of broadband, smartphones and portable technology has changed how we communicate, how we access information and how we work and learn. While many of these changes are no doubt positive, there is growing evidence that this isn’t...Read More

How Do Historical Documents Stand The Test Of Time?

Did you know that there exists a fragment of paper from a map that was made over 2,000 years ago? [1] It’s an incredible fact when you consider how paper can be so easily cut, torn, screwed up, shredded, pulped or burned! When we think of ancient documents, we perhaps tend to think of paper’s...Read More

Penguin’s Book Vending Machine

When Did You Last Read A Book On The Train? Imagine sitting in a hushed train carriage where all that can be heard is the sound of the train on the tracks and the occasional rustle of paper as pages are turned. If you have been on a train lately, you will be aware of...Read More

Japan, The High-Tech Country Where Paper Is Revered

It’s curious to think that the country that has long been associated with technology has never lost touch with one of the world’s oldest manmade materials. Paper. While much of the world is embracing all things digital, in Japan, paper continues to be used in abundance. From its use in age-old rituals to its still-current...Read More

Where Would We Be Without Paper?

We might live in the digital age, but there can be little doubt that paper is still one of the most important materials in the world. For most of us, it will be something we touch, see or use multiple times a day, probably without giving it a second thought. Paper is understated and versatile,...Read More

Living History: Frogmore Paper Mill

Frogmore Paper Mill, near Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire, is the world’s oldest mechanised paper mill. The mill, which still produces paper, is now operated by the Apsley Paper Trail, a charitable trust “founded to conserve the unique industrial heritage of this site in Hemel Hempstead”.[1] Sadly, in January 2022, a fire on site caused extensive...Read More

Paper Traditions From Around The World

How Paper Plays A Role In Different Traditions From Around The World Writing on it, folding it, floating it or burning it... paper is central to some of the world’s oldest traditions that continue to be practiced today. Here, we explore 12 of the most fascinating traditions from around the globe, each of which has...Read More

10 Simple Steps To Make Your Own Paper

If you’re looking for a sustainable and fun craft idea suitable for adults and children alike, making your own paper could be just the thing. The very first paper was made by a Chinese court official during the Eastern Han period (25-220 AD) [1]. It’s thought that he made his paper by mixing mulberry bark,...Read More

National Novel Writing Month

This November, why not join hundreds of thousands of would-be, and actual, novelists around the world participating in National Novel Writing Month? If like many of us, you have always felt you’ve got a best-seller lurking somewhere inside, then this November could be the time to finally put pen to paper. The concept of National...Read More

FSC Forest Week: 24 – 30 September 2022

“Choose Forests. Choose FSC™” is the theme of the new, week-long global awareness campaign from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Formerly known as FSC™ Friday, the switch from a single day to a full week is designed to advance consumer awareness of sustainable forestry and responsible consumption. From Friday 24th September until Friday 30th September,...Read More

Wondering What Book To Read Next?

Whether you’re an avid reader or someone who would like to read more, deciding what book to read next can be a challenge, particularly when you consider the overwhelming choice of titles available. Back in 2010, Google Books did a count of the number of books that had been published since the invention of the...Read More

Papier Mâché: A Fun And Inexpensive Craft For All The Family

If you’re looking for ideas to keep children occupied during the long summer holidays, look no further than papier mâché. It’s a fun craft in its own right, but it can also be used to create any number of objects that will provide hours of entertainment until back-to-school time and beyond. A Brief History Of...Read More

Celebrating A First Wedding Anniversary? It’s All About Paper!

June is the beginning of the peak wedding period, so there will be a lot of wedding anniversaries being celebrated this month. Celebrations for gold and silver wedding anniversaries date back as early as the 1500s. However, it seems it’s only since the Victorian era, when the giving of gifts became more common, that other...Read More

Philately Anyone?

The idea of studying or collecting postage stamps – or philately, to use the official term – might be dismissed by the majority of us as being a bit stuffy, boring or old fashioned, but the truth is, stamp collecting is perhaps more interesting than many of us realise. Plus, postage stamps are another example...Read More

When Was The Last Time You Read A Printed Magazine?

It may come as a surprise in this digital age, but about 52% of British adults still read printed magazines. And it’s not a generational thing either as a reported 7 out of 10 millennials read printed magazines for leisure and entertainment. So, in an age when digital screens dominate, and we seemingly have all...Read More

Paper Furniture: The New, Environmentally-Friendly, Design Trend

Over the last couple of years, while we’ve all been spending more time at home, many of us have taken the opportunity to give our living spaces a makeover in an effort to make them more comfortable as well as more practical for homeworking. But what about the furniture we buy – and throw out?...Read More

WORLD BOOK DAY – 3rd March 2022

Created by UNESCO on 23 April 1995, World Book Day is a celebration of books, authors and illustrators. Its ultimate aim is to encourage children and young people to discover the pleasure of reading. Over 100 countries around the world mark World Book Day each year. Why Reading For Pleasure Is Important Numerous studies have...Read More

FSC Friday

Friday 24 September is FSC Friday. It’s an annual event organised by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to raise awareness of their work and what we can all do, at work or at home, to support it. This year’s theme ‘Save our forests. Save our climate.’ aims to highlight the FSC’s support for international climate...Read More

How To Become A Recycling Pro At Home

Rising consumerism, an increasing population – it is well-documented that humanity is generating more waste than the planet can handle. Fortunately, as we become more conscious of the need to protect our environment and live sustainably, many of us are also realising that responsibility begins at home. One really easy contribution we can all make...Read More