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Substitute and Solve - Reena relishes fielding a pair of quirky questions

Hi Reena,

I recently read one of your tips indicating that newspaper can be used as compost. I understood that only black and white newspaper should be used as compost, not coloured print. Please clarify. Thanks, Maureen

Great question, Maureen

Like so many other topics in this world, there is a percentage of controversy that goes along with it. Composting is no exception. However according to www.epa.gov/compost the American government does not specify whether newspaper ink must be exclusively black. Many gardening experts agree that modern print ink is no longer toxic and therefore safe to use in gardens.

For maximum compost activity to occur, combinations of green (nitrogen) and brown (carbon) are recommended, but even the ratio of brown to green cannot be agreed upon. Therefore, experiment to make sure that the compost heats up properly. Newspaper falls under the category of brown compost matter; as does corn stalks, dry leaves and straw. Examples of green compost: grass clippings, coffee grounds and food scraps.

Dear Reena,

Now, here’s a situation you might not have heard of before. I wear rubber gloves for doing dishes. Over the years I have accumulated dozens of gloves for the right hand and thrown away dozens of gloves for the left hand. I’m left-handed and find it’s that hand that gets the pokes and holes from knives and other sharp items during dishwashing. I’ve tried to think of how I can repair the small hole in the rubber glove, to no avail. Joy

Dear Joy,

Although there is no effective way to fix torn rubber gloves, if you always wear out one rubber glove, start saving all the good gloves and by turning half of them inside out you will gain a few extra pairs. Or cut good fingertips off one pair of torn rubber gloves and put them into torn glove fingertips to reinforce them.

Also, consider alternative uses for rubber gloves.

• Cut them into circles — they make great non-slip grips for everything such as a stuck jar lid.

• Cut the fingers off a torn rubber glove and slip them over mop and broom handles — that way when you lean them against the wall, they don’t slide or create marks on the wall.

• Cover chair feet with the finger of rubber gloves to protect floors.

• Cut strips on the round, both the hand part and fingers and use as rubber bands.

• Cut off the index finger piece from the torn rubber glove to create an ideal sheath for your finger the next time you have to sort through a stack of papers.

Love the question!

Reena Nerbas is a rural Manitoba home economist is a lab coat - and she’s not afraid to use it. Keep your questions coming:

» householdsolutions@mts.net

(204) 320-2757

reena.ca

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 21, 2014

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Hi Reena,

I recently read one of your tips indicating that newspaper can be used as compost. I understood that only black and white newspaper should be used as compost, not coloured print. Please clarify. Thanks, Maureen

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Hi Reena,

I recently read one of your tips indicating that newspaper can be used as compost. I understood that only black and white newspaper should be used as compost, not coloured print. Please clarify. Thanks, Maureen

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