Week 29 – Highlighters and Locks

Whenever I travel overseas I am always gripped by a yearning for marmite and Bluebird, green onion flavoured, chip sandwiches. Oddly, I very rarely eat this when home, particularly this year as we can’t buy the chips due to the packaging. Or, when tramping for a few days, thoughts often turn to any number of items I intend to consume once back in civilisation but that I rarely follow up on. This age old emotion of desiring that which you can’t have has kicked in on a few items as we attempt to live rubbish free. This year, for me, it is not having Nachos for dinner, (cheese, sour cream and chips are all problematic), but for Waveney, who is much less focused on her stomach, it is her yellow highlighter.

Waveney recently resumed her studies part time and is needing to read copious amounts of text, of which it is handy to highlight the important bits, making exam study much easier. The highlighter, however, was included in a box of items we don’t want to use this year for fear of them running out and creating rubbish throughout the year. The box was sealed at the start of the challenge and is being stored up in the roof. Underlining seems to make the page busier rather than simplifying an already difficult text, however, I guess this must have been what people did prior to highlighters. If anyone has any other suggestions we’d love to hear them.

Last Saturday we were out for the day and came home to discover that somebody had unsuccessfully tried to break into the house. They would have been sorely disappointed had they managed to get in, as a friend recently commented our house is very similar to his Nana’s, and he wasn’t referring to the structure or layout! Nonetheless, it was decided that we should add an additional lock to the back door in the form of a deadbolt. After nearly seven months you’d think we’d instantly think about the rubbish free options, however it wasn’t till we were heading out the door that it occurred to us. It seems that everything in hardware stores is covered in that thick plastic packaging that requires sissors, or an angle grinder, to get through. The solution was to wait an extra day and then wander down to the second hand building supplies yard. There I was able to choose the lock I needed and the chap only wanted $1, which he waived instead of having to give me change for a $20! All in all, the rubbish free alternative resulted in a cheaper and much more pleasant experience, as well as some community building as I got to know our local second hand dealer.

10 thoughts on “Week 29 – Highlighters and Locks

  1. Rather than highlighting, I find it more useful to use the following formula:
    – Skim over the text to get a general idea
    – Read it again and write out the main points (the ones you would normally highlight) and section titles; this has the added advantage of actually being revision
    – Forget about the book or the article or whatever and just condense the notes.

    This way, instead of studying from an inch-thick book, you have a bunch of ready-made study notes to study from 🙂

    If you can find a copy of ‘How to Study in College’ by Walter Pauk, it gives good advice on doing this sort of thing. ‘How to Read A Book’ by Mortimer Adler has some good ideas, but he is quite preachy.

    Good luck!


  2. Would a yellow pencil (the soft lead art pencils not the childs harder colouring pencils type) be any good for highlighting the pages? You can buy them unpackaged at art stores and as the pencil wears down you just sharpen it and the shavings could be composted. Good qulaity pencils that i am thinking of aren’t cheap, but they would be no more expensive than a highlighter either…..just a thought.


  3. Hi,
    Coloured pencils work really well for highlighting, it takes a bit longer but it means that you have longer to read the text as well – and it’s less distracting than highlighters.

    Good luck!


  4. Crayons and pencils saved me during my studying years. Most of my textbooks had pages that were super thin to save money and the highlighter bled through onto the next page, but colored pencil and crayon work wonders. For the pencil though, dont sharpen it to a point, just sharpen a little at a time so you have a wide tip. it works better.


  5. You can make nachos using tortillas. The recipe is on simple savings but I could find it and post it if you can’t find a recipe by googling. I suppose the tricky thing is that you would have to make the tortillas


  6. Not sure but diluted water paint should do the same as highlighter – the “nib” of the highlighter would probably do fine for the application of the watercolour. The latter will probably fade over time but that is true of highlighter as well and once the study is done it usually doesn’t matter.
    Hope that helps JM


  7. Instead the highlighter to mark text, use a child’s yellow wax crayon. I find it works just as well. I think they come in a recyclable paper box.


  8. They are made in Germany unfortunately but I have bought wooden pencils with lovely soft almost crayon like coloured pencils from my local Organics stor. They are a brand called Lyra and they have some fluro clours. Not as easy as a swipe of a felt marker but it makes you more conscious of only marking the REALLy important bits when you have to colour over the words in several strokes.


  9. Regarding the Nachos, a favourite of ours. Nachos can be made by deep-frying tortillas. Could your cheese not be bought from a cheese-maker?, or, at the supermarket, they often (here anyway)wrap cheese they have brought in, in their own shrinkwrap. Ask if you can have a few blocks for yourself, then you can put them into a glass jar in the fridge. Alternatively, if you can find a good supply of cheddar cheese, there are a few ways you can store it from 6 months to a year. Let me know if you want to know the recipes.
    Sour cream. Add lemon juice and salt to plain yoghurt. We make our own yoghurt, so there are no yoghurt containers to throw away.


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