Picks and Pans Review: Re/uses

updated 02/14/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/14/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Carolyn Jabs

Is this country on the threshold of a new era? Are America's 12 million jobless beginning to try to live the way their grandparents did in the '30s? Old folks who remember those days have been deploring our wasteful life-style for decades. This book suggests "2,133 ways to recycle and reuse the things you ordinarily throw away." Many of the ideas are ingenious, such as making silver polish from banana peels and model airplanes of the foamed-plastic egg cartons and fast-food containers instead of buying the more expensive balsa wood from hobby shops. And did you know that old chewing gum will clean the typeface of your typewriter? Other suggestions are wildly impractical (and ugly), such as making houses from tin cans or bottles or pieces of plastic-covered cardboard. Would you wear a vest made of soda can pull tabs? The dozens of suggestions for reusing plastic milk jugs may appeal to some who appreciate the cleverness, but the resulting baskets, piggy banks, bed warmers, pitchers and bathroom shower caddies look exactly like old milk containers trying desperately to be useful. Just the same, a few minutes spent in studying this book could certainly alter the way you look at the stuff in your trash the next time you haul it out. (Crown, $9.95)

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