Recycle soda and pizza boxes

DEAR HELOISE:I have some reuse/recycle ideas for common paper products. These hints are environmentally friendly and money-saving, too.

• Soda-can boxes: My community requires that yard and plant waste be recycled separately from regular household trash and be placed in a paper or cardboard container — not plastic. Soda boxes, especially the long refrigerator boxes, are very handy and easy to carry around the yard as I am collecting plant debris, pulling weeds, etc. Better than purchasing special paper trash bags, and the boxes are stronger, too.

• Pizza boxes: If the box is clean enough, place a piece of foil or wax paper in the bottom and take it with you when ordering takeout pizza again. The pizzeria will appreciate it. When the pizza box gets too dirty to reuse for pizza, it can be useful in the yard. You can pile large amounts of debris on one side, fold the lid over and easily carry large amounts of trash to the compost pile or garbage.

Many thanks for all the wonderful hints you've given us. — Amy B. in Virginia

DEAR HELOISE:My son (7 years old) recently told me that his feet were hurting him a few days earlier, so before he went to school, he put on "those things" to cushion his feet. He pointed to the product under the bathroom cabinet. Yes, my boy wore panty liners in his shoes! -- Susan in Maryland


DEAR HELOISE:I have discovered the most wonderful way to open those stubborn twist-off lids on jars and bottles. I simply purchase a roll of rubber, perforated liner for kitchen cabinets and drawers (inexpensive at a couple of dollars for a large roll). I then cut it into 6-by-6-inch squares. I keep it handy in a drawer by the refrigerator, and simply place on the lid, twist and it's open. — Annette in Virginia

DEAR HELOISE:I recently broke my wrist, and I live alone. I found plastic bags to be great tools to help in showering and dressing. Just slip a long one (newspaper sleeve, French bread wrapper, etc.) over the cast to keep it dry (fasten with a rubber band above the cast) or before trying to put a sleeve on over the cast.

To assist with zippers, I use pliers to hold one side to start the zipper pull. Zipper or button-front tops are easier to put on than pullovers, no matter how roomy. — M.L. in Nebraska

DEAR HELOISE:Most muffin recipes call for 1/4 cup of oil. After adding the oil to the mix, the measuring cup is great for filling the muffin tins. About the right amount for each cup, and the batter slides right out. — P.H. in California

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