A Reader’s Recycle Idea
Who> Christine Dinus
Where> Elmira Heights, N.Y.
What> Turns Chinese takeout utensils into household helpers.
1. Skewer food
Don’t have enough bamboo skewers at your barbecue? Soak chopsticks in water for 15 minutes, then use them to spear meat and veggies, and place on the grill.
2. Prop up plants
Poke a chopstick into the soil near a spindly seedling to give it some needed support.
3. Fill a stripped screw hole
Dip a chopstick into a little glue and insert into the screw hole. Let dry, then break off the rest of the stick to create a new spot for driving in the screw.
Hold chopsticks as you would when eating to “whisk up” paint or stain before applying it.
5. Toast marsh-mallows
Make the fixings for s’mores by popping a marshmallow onto the end of a chopstick and carefully holding it over
a low flame.
6. Eliminate dirt in hard-to-reach spots
Use a chopstick to push a cleaning cloth into the top groove of a paint can, between air-conditioner vents, behind sink faucets, and in other narrow areas.
7. Unclog bottles
Free up tubes of caulk or bottles of glue by poking the narrower end of a chopstick into the gunked-up tip.
8. Clean muddy shoes
Keep chopsticks by your door, and use them to loosen dried dirt or mud from the crevices of shoe soles before stepping inside.
9. Prevent oozing mastic
When tiling, use the tip of a chopstick to help clean up excess mastic that escapes into grout voids.
10. Label your plants
Create markers by stapling a plant’s seed packet to a chopstick and placing it inside the pot or bed.