Extend battery at the cellular level

Dear Readers: Here are a few very good ways to extend the BATTERY LIFE of your cellphone. According to a New York Times article, consider any of the following hints:

* Dim the brightness of the screen.

* Turn off the wireless network when not needed or the signal is weak.

* Play music that you have downloaded instead of streaming it from a website, even if it’s free.

* Install an advertisement blocker on your phone to block “pop-up” ads.

Keep in mind that these hints may or may not be features you can carry out on your cellphone, but even one or two could help extend the battery life, somewhat.

— Heloise

Count the aisle seats

Dear Heloise: After entering a plane when traveling, I’ll place my hand on the aisle seat of each row and count how many rows back I am from the front of the plane.

If there’s ever an emergency and I can’t see my way around inside the plane, I will use this “stored” information to count back the number of rows needed to get back to the front of the plane.

It’s just a safety thing I do, and this information gives me peace of mind.

— Laura in San Antonio

Battery-disposal update

Dear Readers: Here’s the update on battery disposal. Certain internet sites stated that it is OK to dispose of most household batteries in the normal trash. According to EHSO (Environment, Health and Safety Online): “Alkaline batteries can be safely disposed of with normal household waste, since the Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Battery Management Act passed in 1996 that phased out the use of mercury in alkaline batteries. That means they aren’t nearly so toxic when disposed in landfills.”

Now, in looking back, “aren’t nearly so toxic” concerns me, so I’m revising my original hint to include this consideration: For any and all safety measures, whenever possible, recycle your over-the-counter batteries.

Many states have different regulations in place concerning household batteries, but as of 2015, California seems to be the only state that mandates recycling.

So, check or call your city government or 311 to find out what’s in place in your area concerning proper battery disposal. As a side note, some stores have “take-back” programs established for consumers to bring in dead batteries. If you think it should be recycled, then recycle it!

— Heloise

Reusing gallon containers

Dear Heloise: It seems like I need a trash container everywhere I work in my sewing/craft room. Because they don’t need to be large, I grabbed some plastic gallon water bottles that were headed for the recycle bin.

I cut the tops off them and strategically placed them in different areas around my workspace. Now I don’t have to constantly get up to throw away the trash.

Before I stop, I will dump each one into the main trash container so that it’s ready to use again. Saves time and allows me to continually work without stopping.

— Jeri K., via email

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SEND A GREAT HINT TO:

Heloise

P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE

Email: Heloise(at)Heloise.com