The environmentally correct crowd probably did not have this particular tip in mind when urging people to recycle: using discarded shoulder pads to bolster a flat chest.
"We laughed when we got that one," says Heloise of "Hints from Heloise" fame. "But then I thought since somebody wrote us a letter about it, probably a lot of people are doing this."
Heloise, whose full byline would read Ponce Kiah Marchelle Heloise Cruse Evans, writes a syndicated newspaper column (it appears daily in The Evening Sun) and contributes to Good Housekeeping magazine. She will be in town this weekend for the Good Housekeeping Great Living Festival.
The festival runs today and tomorrow at the Convention Center. Baltimore is the first city to play host to it.
Researchers and scientists from the Good Housekeeping Institute in New York City will be on hand to offer advice on everything from beauty products to nutrition and fitness.
"The institute is approaching 100 years old," says Amy Barr, the institute's director. "We write for the magazine and we also look at every product coming into the magazine."
Engineers, chemists and others from the institute will hold cooking classes, health seminars and beauty make-overs of people selected from the audience.
"We will do some environmental demonstrations, look at barbecue grills, paints and inside of microwave ovens," Ms. Barr says. Entertainment will include appearances by soap opera stars and an Easter egg-coloring session.
But back to Heloise and that unique recycling tip.
"The woman who wrote in said shoulder pads are going out of style now, which they are," Heloise said in a telephone conversation from her office in San Antonio, Texas.
"She said that shoulder pads with self-gripping tapes make excellent breast pads. The tapes hold them firmly in place," Heloise says.
She allows that this was kind of an unusual tip, but far be it from Heloise to pooh-pooh something that might work for some people. At least one woman on her staff will probably test the tip, she says, laughing.
Not all of her hints will be as topical, but they will focus on a healthy environment and a healthy wallet.
"I feel that from what my mail tells me, these are the two things people are most concerned about," the mistress of household hints says.
"People are saying things like, 'How can I clean my driveway without using something caustic? Or how can I clean my oven without using something caustic?' And they are saying, 'Help me save money, too.' As far as I'm concerned, recycling and saving money go hand in hand," she says.
What: Cooking demonstrations, crafts, health and home care, games.
When: Today and tomorrow
Where: Baltimore Convention Center, 1 West Pratt St.
Tickets: $3.50 at Giant Food stores or $5.50 at the door. Children under 8 admitted free.
% Call: (410) 234-1524.