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A journey of reform, introspection and growth

A journey of reform, introspection and growth
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During lockdowns, some people have started Duo Lingo. Some have gotten abs. Some have crocheted. Some have rollerbladed. Some have taken masterclasses. Some have made sourdough. If we have to draw something positive from lockdown (which we’d rather not), it would be the way everyone has committed to betterment. You should never stop emerging! Lockdowns have distilled this energy. Here are some of the many, minuscule ways that we learnt to improve out quality of life – ways that are micro-yield and macro-return.

Save $700 annually on printer ink

Save $700 annually on printer ink
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Printer ink can become a major business expense in your home office, and your business might not actually expense it all. Fortunately, a few clever TikTok-ers figured out how to do it themselves. Instead of shelling out for a new cartridge each time it runs out, purchase a black ink bottle and syringe kit. Peel the sticker off the cartridge to find five holes behind it; the top three lead to the ink reservoir. Draw the amount of ink your cartridge holds into the syringe, inject and reload. If you have an 18ml cartridge, a 500ml bottle of ink can save you over $700 a year.

Keep your special herbs and spices from going bad

Keep your special herbs and spices from going bad
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If you’re like me, it is very difficult – nay, impossible even – to predict when you will and will not be up to the task of gourmet cooking. However, that often leaves handfuls of rosemary and oregano and thyme and dill that might go bad before I’m ready to cook again. Simply freeze the herbs in olive oil and make little herb-olive oil ice cubes. They’ll stay fresh until you need them again, and since many recipes require both herbs and olive oil, you can toss them right in the pan together to melt.

Here are more brilliant uses for ice cubes.

Expedite dryer time

Expedite dryer time
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Need to dry your favourite outfit ASAP? Speed up the drying process by tossing a clean, dry bath towel in with your next full load. Remove it after 15 minutes – it’ll have soaked up the majority of the water from your clothes.

Here are some things you didn’t know your dryer could do.

BAYOU: Bring All Your Own Utensils

BAYOU: Bring All Your Own Utensils
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Stock a small pencil case (or any holder of your choosing) with a fork, knife, spoon, chopsticks, metal straw and any other utensil you regularly use for eating. Keep it in your car, bag, at work, wherever. Not only can you forgo single-use plastics, but you’ll never find yourself forkless if plastic cutlery isn’t available. Keep a collapsible container in your car or bag too, so you can pack restaurant or dinner party leftovers yourself. If you’re not going to be sustainable at least be prepared!

Here are 9 brilliant ways other countries are replacing plastic.

A strong, independent woman who doesn’t need a stud-finder

A strong, independent woman who doesn’t need a stud-finder
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On a measuring tape, the small black diamonds that run along the tape indicate stud centres. Start at the wall corner, and anywhere a black diamond lands, there should be a stud right underneath. Who knew?!

Check out the 40+ things most homeowners aren’t doing but need to.

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Water the fern, water the soul

Water the fern, water the soul
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Plants are our best friends during lockdown. From writer Joél Leon: “Name one of your plants after you. When you talk to it, feed it love, water, light and affirmations, you’ll be telling and feeding yourself all the things you need.”

Here are 10 indoor plants you (probably) can’t kill.

Banish plastic container sauce stains

Banish plastic container sauce stains
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You eat one serving of spaghetti and Bolognese out of a plastic container and the container never lets you forget it. That orange tint is there for LIFE – unless you add ice water and dish soap, then close the lid and shake it within an inch of its life. You’re welcome.

Learn 10 microwave tricks every cook needs to know.

Be your own helping hand

Be your own helping hand
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Hook a paperclip into the last link on your bracelet, using your bracelet hand to hold the paperclip and bracelet in place. This frees up your other hand to wrap the bracelet around your wrist and easily attach it. This comes from TikTok-er @jonathanblogs.

Draw more life out of a dry-erase marker

Draw more life out of a dry-erase marker
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Before you toss that “empty” dry-erase marker, tightly tie a 60cm-long string around it. Whip it in circles like a helicopter propellor for a minute or two. If there’s any ink in there at all, you’ll copter it out.

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