Old Newspapers Never Die

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines - One of the most abundant, and free, raw materials in any city are old newspapers, which most households, like ours, save up and sell to the neighborhood "bote-garapa" man with the week's collection of beer and soda cans, "bilog" (gin) and "long neck" (rum) bottles. But my family always retains a knee-high stack of newspapers for all-around use.KITCHEN AID - A thick layer of newspapers under a plastic chopping board keeps it from dangerously sliding and bouncing. Liquids oozing from the food being sliced or chopped get absorbed by the newspapers. Once slicing/chopping is done, all peels, seeds, bones and waste are neatly wrapped in the same newspapers before discarding in the waste bin. GREASE BLOTTER - Greasy pots and pans are easier to clean after wiping dry with newspapers while warm. This reduces the amount of detergent needed for thorough cleaning later. Newspapers on the floor in front of the oven/stove gobble up whatever spills and spatters when baking and frying. No more slipping on an oily kitchen floor.PEST CONTROL - Newspapers, lining the kitchen trash can, will keep the inside dry and odor-free; insects are also controlled because there is no moisture to increase heat and humidity which induce insects to multiply.PICNIC APRON - During picnics and barbecues, I prefer an apron of newspapers instead of cloth; I have given up on trying to wash off stubborn stains from soot, BBQ sauce and grease. BBQ FIRE STARTER - Crumpled newspapers under loosely piled charcoal are a sure way to fire up the grill. This way, we avoid using smelly and dangerous chemical fire starters and other petroleum products.WRINGING IN THE RAIN - Whenever it rains, we use layers of newspapers in lieu of welcome mats at the front and kitchen doors to catch mud from footwear and water from dripping clothes as people come in from the downpour. A trail of newspapers from the front/back door to the stairs and living room adds protection to the flooring as well. To prevent water marks, replace the newspapers when they get too wet.CAR ACCESSORY - The noisy tool kit in the trunk can be silenced by strategically placing crumpled newspapers between tools. …