Dear Readers: In a recent column, a reader asked for suggestions about what to do with all of the INSULATED FOAM BOXES she has. Here is what some of you said:

Dennis in Washington says, “I take them to the local mailing center for recycling.”

Sondra in Nebraska says: “Those foam boxes are prized by fishermen! They are perfect for transporting worms used for bait.”

Eileen in New York says: “I break them up into small pieces and use them in the bottom of pots for plants. It fills the pot, and I don’t have to use so much soil.”

Victoria in Montana uses the foam boxes to cover new plants to keep them from freezing.

Jane, via e-mail, says: “I use foam boxes to store seasonal decorations. They hold up better than cardboard boxes and are more protective.”

Cathy, via e-mail, says: “I love having those foam boxes on hand for gatherings! It’s nice to have insulated containers to send leftovers home with guests.”

These are all great reuse and recycle hints! So many suggestions came in that I will do a follow-up column. Keep an eye out, and keep sending in your hints! -- Heloise



P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE



Dear Heloise: Here are some handy uses for plastic frosting tubs:

* Hold loose straight pins.

* Keep excess change in one.

* Use to organize a desk drawer.

* Use to scoop pet or bird food from a larger container.

* Place small amounts of paint in one for small jobs.

-- Phyllis in Arkansas


Dear Heloise: I use a hand-crank can opener. Almost every time I used it, I could never completely detach the lid from the can. I had to bend the lid up by the small piece of metal still connected. Now, when opening a can with the opener, I clamp the opener to the can and turn the crank about one-quarter turn counterclockwise, then proceed to turn the crank clockwise to open the can. The lid comes off neatly just about every time. -- Ray, via e-mail

Ray, thanks for sharing your hint. Please read the hint below about a can complaint. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I can button the front of my shirt, but I couldn’t button the sleeve. Now I can! I took a long hairpin and spread it a little. I pulled it through the button hole, hooked the button and pulled it through. With a little practice, anyone can do it. Also, a paper clip straightened out will work just as well. I enjoy your column! -- B.J. in Mississippi


Dear Heloise: I am writing to complain about those flip-top cans that you have to tear off to get to the product. They are too hard to pull, and trying to do so puts one in danger of being cut. Before you know it, we will be buying kitchen pliers to accomplish this task. -- M.J. in Arizona

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