Have Confidential Documents To Get Rid Of But No Shredder? Try This Genius Trick

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

Whether the papers are financial, medical, or educational, it's important not to leave confidential documents lying around. After all, identity theft is a serious concern. You shouldn't neglect documents you don't need anymore, but what if you don't have a shredder? There's actually a unique and effective way to ensure nobody gets their hands on these confidential papers, without needing a shredder. Believe it or not, you can effectively dispose of those documents through mulching.

It's been heavily debated whether paper is good for plants, with some using newspaper pots for seeding, while others question if the material is fully compostable. While some sources say paper-based products are biodegradable and therefore enhance our compost, others claim that there is little to no nutrition in processed paper. However, the decision is ultimately up to gardeners. If you don't have a shredder but a bunch of old papers lying around, mulching them may be the right choice for you.

How to mulch your confidential documents

Alongside using coffee filters and food scraps, some believe that composting documents with mulch is an eco-friendly alternative to shredding old papers. It is believed that, after several weeks, the paper will naturally break down, getting rid of the confidential information on it. To start, set aside your confidential documents and then cut them up with scissors. You should cut them into small pieces (small enough to not easily reveal identifying information) but you can also rip them into shreds. If you have a wood chipper, however, this can quickly do the job. Afterward, either mix the pieces into your regular mulch or to your compost bin.

Multi-cut scissors can make cutting documents an easier and quicker task. This pair of MagiDeal shredders scissors at Amazon are specifically designed for the job of cutting multiple sheets of papers at once, and saving your hands in the process. 

Alternative ways to dispose of documents

While regular paper is expected to break down within several weeks, make sure not to include any artificial materials, such as glossy or laminated paper (which you'll have to dispose of in other ways). Before converting paper to mulch, you may choose to first soak your documents to ensure all writing has been wiped clean.

While mulching confidential documents is an eco-friendly option, there are other alternatives that may work for you. For example, depending on the season, burning these confidential documents and disposing of any ash is a great way to get rid of these papers. To ensure your safety and make sure fire stays contained, use an outdoor fire pit. In the summer, you may use bonfires as an opportunity to connect and celebrate with friends — why not add your documents to the mix and get rid of them at the same time?