DEAR HELOISE: In the past, you provided names of organizations that accepted canceled stamps and old greeting cards. Do you know of any in the California area that take old National Geographic magazines? I have always hated to throw out these magazines because of the beautiful pictures.
Pat O. in California
DEAR PAT: You and millions of my readers feel the same way. Here is a place to start: Call retirement homes, hospitals, schools (especially elementary, where they do a lot of arts and crafts) or prisons in your area. They might have a good use for them. Of course, they can be recycled, too, so don’t feel bad if you put them in the recycle bin.
There also is information on the website www.nationalgeographic.com, where you can post notices about your collection and see others that are available. Any other hints, readers?
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DEAR HELOISE: My refrigerator has a water filter. It has to be replaced approximately every six months. After it is installed, I have to run 2 1/2 gallons of water through the line. Is this water safe to water plants with? I hate just pouring it down the drain.
Shirley B., via email
DEAR SHIRLEY: Thanks for asking a question a lot of people wonder about. Yes, you can use this water for plants, to rinse dishes or to wipe off countertops. There may be some little bits of gray stuff floating about, but don’t worry – these are just particles of the carbon from the filter that the water runs through.
DEAR HELOISE: Winter’s here, and with drier air comes static electricity. To control it, before getting dressed, just rub a little lotion into your skin. It doesn’t take much.
If you have dressed and the static cling attacks because you forgot lotion, head for the restroom. Get your hands barely damp, then rub over whatever is clinging.
Juanita in Ohio
DEAR HELOISE: I was going to toss out an old 18-bottle wine rack. My husband took it to the garage and filled the rack with old golf shoes and tennis shoes. It’s nice to have all those shoes in a neat place and easy to locate.
Mary Anderson in Las Vegas
DEAR HELOISE: I use a large darning needle to weave in the ends of yarn when crocheting. It was tricky to get the yarn through the needle eye. I was looking at needle threaders for that purpose. I now open up a paper clip, and it works.
Rose J., via email
DEAR HELOISE: I use teabag covers as little note papers and never run out. Also, the string tags are great for price tags at yard sales and such.
Fay R., Mayfield, Ky.
Send a great hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 79500, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com.