Dear Heloise: I recently destroyed some old, unwanted credit cards, medical cards and a driver's license. I cut the cards in half and made sure to divide the name and numbers on each card.
The new twist is that I put the divided cards into two piles. I put half in today's garbage and the other half in next week's garbage, thus eliminating any chance of potential thieves robbing me of my personal information.
Tim C., Point Pleasant, N.J.
Tim, this is certainly one way to keep that info safe!
Dear Heloise: To reduce the use of cardboard, plastic foam containers and other plastic waste, I regularly bring several food containers of various sizes to restaurants in a lunch tote and package my leftovers. The wait staff is usually impressed, because they've never seen anyone do this.
Many communities are banning plastic one-use bags. In addition to using cloth or reusable plastic tote bags, I reuse paper grocery bags for months until they wear out. I reuse clean plastic produce bags when I shop. Every bit helps.
Alisa in Sacramento, Calif.
Good hints indeed. Call ahead to a new restaurant and check to be sure if you can use your own containers. I don't recall any objection, but you never know.
Readers, write and let me know if you take containers to restaurants, and any other hints or information you'd like to add on this topic!
Dear Heloise: I have about 15 favorite charities I modestly donate to every year. Unfortunately (and irritatingly), I used to get numerous additional appeals from each at different times of the year. It was hard to remember the correct "anniversary dates," so I often ended up giving several times a year, beyond my intent and my budget.
I now give to all of them in January and know the continuing appeals weren't really due dates. I still get the flood for further requests, but save the envelopes for January. Simplify!
Chuck S. in Alabama
Chuck, it can get confusing with so many "reminders," and can get annoying sometimes. Just give what you can, when you can — don't let appeals pressure you to give beyond your means.
Dear Heloise: After being caught in a recent rainstorm, I was reminded to dry my sneakers by stuffing newspaper into them overnight. The next morning, I had dry sneakers!
For ski season, an alternative to expensive electric boot dryers: Just stuff your ski boots with newspaper. Ski in dry boots the next morning!
Bill B., via email
Bill, thanks for the reminder. Crumpled-up newspapers are perfect to stuff into wet or damp boots and shoes. Definitely a two-for hint.
Dear Heloise: When clothes are returned from the cleaners, I take the plastic bags and twist the ends where the hanger is and tie it in a tight knot. I use these bags to line trash cans.
Sharon W., Temple, Texas
Contact the writer: email@example.com