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DEAR HELOISE: There is a tremendous amount of garbage that is thrown into our oceans every day. In fact, there is so much plastic in the world's oceans that sea creatures eat it thinking it's food. It kills whales, sea turtles and other sea life. There are currently a few companies that are trying to clean up our beautiful oceans, but they are having a hard time keeping up with the careless disposal of trash that litters our oceans' floors. Please, tell people to properly dispose of their trash. The ocean is not a garbage pail.

-- Howard in California

DEAR READERS: Here are some new uses for an old cellphone:

• Donate it to Cell Phones for Soldiers, which allows military personnel to call home free.

• Donate it to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV.org), which helps victims of domestic violence call for help.

• Use it as an alarm clock.

• Deactivate it and give it to a small child to play with.

DEAR HELOISE: Recently, my husband and I took pictures of all our valuables -- TV, jewelry, antiques, etc. -- and put them in an album. We put the album in our safety deposit box. This will make it much easier if we have to file an insurance claim in the event of a fire or if our home is broken into and items are stolen. We also keep the receipts for these items in the back of the album, for proof of their value.

-- Rita in Montana

DEAR READERS: You can also take photos or videos of your valuables and store them on your computer or a CD. And as Rita said, saving receipts, especially for expensive purchases, is an excellent idea.

DEAR HELOISE: Will any of us ever get back to our normal lives? My husband believes that in the future we will not shake hands with people, not hug our friends and we'll all be selfish and stockpile goods in the event of another pandemic. If this is true, it's not a world I'd like to see.

-- Karen in New Mexico

DEAR READER: People are a bit shaken by the pandemic, but in time things will settle down. There will, no doubt, be some changes. But, hopefully, we will all see how we can improve our environment by polluting less and caring more about our planet. It's up to all of us.

DEAR HELOISE: My memory isn't what it used to be, and I'm always forgetting what I need at the store. So now I create a file on my computer where I can add items that I need as I think of them, and when it's shopping day, I print out the list. This has saved me from having to run out for a forgotten item, which in turn saves time and money.

-- Flo in Arkansas

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

Heloise@Heloise.com

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