Hints From Heloise
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Hints From Heloise

Jun 17, 2023

DECREASING PLASTIC USEDear Heloise: I just read your column about ocean pollution and what our plastic trash is doing to sea birds. Besides writing to our elected officials, as you suggest, people should know that they can make a difference with their shopping preferences.

Buy food and drinks that come in glass bottles instead of plastic ones. Write to companies and tell them that you won’t buy their product if it’s packaged in plastic.

Avoid plastic soap bottles by using bar soap instead; there are good shampoo bars available now, as well as bar soap made for handwashing dishes. (Look into a health food store if you can’t find them where you shop.)

Buy laundry soap sheets instead of liquid detergent and cat litter that comes in a box instead of a plastic container.

Carry a thermos bottle with you instead of buying bottles of water. If enough of us refuse to pollute, manufacturers will notice! Thanks, Heloise! — Claire Prontnicki, Waterville, Maine

MAGNIFYINGDear Heloise: Sometimes the easiest answer to a problem is right in front of us. If you can’t read the fine print on something, take a picture with your phone, then enlarge it as needed to read the text. — Sharon Kline, via email

REUSING CEREAL BAGSDear Heloise: You can reuse the inner bags in cereal boxes for so many things.

They are stronger than zip-top plastic bags for dredging meat or vegetables that get coated in spices or flour.

Just roll down the top and shake the contents. I’ve never had one break, whereas other plastic bags sometimes do.

I also use them to hold baked goods for freezing. They are the perfect size for loaves of bread or pound cake. Just force out excess air and seal well with packing tape. You can label the contents on the bag with a permanent marker.

Finally, I put one on top of my cutting board when I cut up raw meat. Just throw it away when finished.

Unfortunately, they aren’t biodegradable, but at least they are being reused. — Joann Thompson, San Antonio

PATIO UMBRELLASDear Heloise: Never throw away a patio umbrella, even when the spines are broken. Save the cloth and wash it in the washing machine.

Use it for patio tablecloths or covers for griddles and grills, or use as a cover for a giant industrial-sized patio fan. The center hole is great for the replacement umbrella on the patio table.

Being easy to wash, these umbrella cloths have many uses. If faded a bit, these cloths create a “shabby chic” look. — Charlotte S. Dean, Florence, Alabama

HEADLIGHTSDear Heloise: Another reason to use headlights when it’s raining or during the early evening is so other drivers can see you better.

Lots of drivers have diminished vision associated with aging, cataracts and other eye conditions.

You may be perfectly able to see everything, but they may not see your car because of their impaired vision.

Thanks. — D.L., Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Dear Heloise: The reader in Concord, New Hampshire, who has difficulty opening cans with pull tabs, can buy a small device to pop open the tab.

I’ve seen flight attendants use them, and they work very well, while also protecting your hands from injury.

I enjoy your column in the Daily Freeman in Kingston, New York. — Barry Juran, Saugerties, New York

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to [email protected].

I can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.

©2023 by King Features Syndicate Inc.

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