The Washington Post

Hints From Heloise: Recycling crayons

Dear Readers: Millions of CRAYONS are produced in the United States daily, and millions of children use them. But did you know that crayons are made out of a petroleum-based wax, and wind up in landfills when they don’t need to be? Here’s a Heloise helpful hint to prevent that.

Next time you clean out the arts-and-crafts drawers or playroom, collect the broken, unused crayons to send to the National Crayon Recycle Program, which recycles old crayons and makes new ones. How cool is that?

The recycling program so far has collected more than 81,000 pounds of crayons. There is nothing special that you need to do, but if possible, leave the label on, because it makes it easier to sort black, blue and purple. The only crayons not accepted are those made outside the United States, due to questions about the ingredients.

So, box up all your unwanted crayons and ship them off. You can use a small, flat-rate box from the U.S. Postal Service, which can be shipped for only $5.35 to: Crayon Recycle Program, 2464 Unit No. 3, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477.

For additional information, it’s best to go to the Web site: You can call 970-879-1966, but please be patient -- the organization is moving to a new space and hopefully is swamped with donated crayons.

P.S.: This would be a fun, fantastic and worthwhile project for schools, day cares, etc.


Dear Heloise: I have been using the plastic “fake” cards that come in credit-card offers; I cut them up and make collar stays for my dress shirts. Now I have a free, endless supply of collar stays. -- Keith G., Alexandria, Va.


Dear Heloise: I need help! I’m getting ready to downsize my wardrobe. When I started to sort through things, I realized that they had yellow across the shoulders and collar. Can you please tell me what I can do to get this out? The yellow is on both white and colored clothes. -- Nancy M. in Indiana

Once your clothing has turned yellow, it can be very hard to remove the stain, or just downright impossible.

According to the Drycleaning and Laundry Institute, the likely cause of yellowing is a breakdown of fabric finish, which can yellow when exposed to light and atmospheric gases over time. This damage can be caused from long-term storage or from the top of the items being the only part of the clothing that is exposed to lights and other elements.

You could always try bringing the items to a dry cleaner, who might be able to fix it. Good luck! -- Heloise

P.S.: Last resort? Dye clothing a new color!


Dear Heloise: For my job, I carry around many keys. I was having a hard time identifying which key was which. I took several bottles of nail polish and painted the top of each key a different color. Now I can look and quickly pick out the key I need. -- Kelsie, via e-mail


Dear Heloise: If I have a large amount of onions to chop or slice, I place a small, personal-size fan to the side of my work area, turn it on as I work, and it blows the onion fumes away from my face, thus preventing tears. -- Dorothy in Missouri

Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Please include your city and state.

2012, King Features Syndicate

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