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— DEAR HELOISE: What does an individual do with light bulbs once they’re changed? I’m talking about the fluorescent ones of the tubular variety. Although they are energy-efficient and provide plenty of light, they are filled with noxious gas. So, what do we do with them?

  • A Reader in Ohio

DEAR READER: You should never put fluorescent bulbs in the trash. They contain mercury and need to be disposed of properly, or betteryet, recycled. Recycling not only helps the environment by reusing the glass, metal and other materials, it helps reduce the amount ofmercury released into it.

Check with hardware stores to see if they have a fluorescent-bulb recycling program. Many do, and will gladly take the old bulbs free of charge. The Environmental Protection Agency also recommends checking for collection stations or schedules in your area.

DEAR HELOISE: Recently, the fan on my computer was making a louder than normal sound. I checked the back of it and found that the fan area was blocked with dust and pet hair. I used the attachment on my household vacuum to clean it. Now my computer runs much quieter.

  • Amy G., Danville, Ky.

DEAR READER: While you have the vacuum out, run the attachment over the keyboard as well to get dust and crumbs out from between the keys.

DEAR HELOISE: I collect beads and charms. I mix, match and change out the beads on bracelets and necklaces. The quantity of beads was getting unmanageable. I bought pipe cleaners and bent them in half. I strung beads of similar colors together on a stem, making it easy to store and sort. When I go on trips, I pack three or four stems of each color to coordinate with my clothes.

  • Susan K., College Park, Md.

DEAR HELOISE: Please remind readers that when it comes to scheduling their next appointment with a provider, they should not keep others waiting at the receptionist desk while their schedule downloads. Be courteous by accepting an appointment card and then entering it later into the electronic device.

  • A Reader, Hamilton, Ohio Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or e-mail

Weekend, Pages 37 on 10/25/2012

Print Headline: HELPFUL HINTS

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