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Looking to cut costs by making things last? In that case, www.greenerchoices.org, a sister to the Consumer Reports site, might just be your go-to Web site. It provides an extensive tip sheet on this very topic.

Here are some of the highlights:

• Clothing -- Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. Line-dry if you can. Consider a front loader for your next washing machine. They are not only less punishing on clothes but also more energy-efficient.

• Laptop computers -- Use them on a hard surface; a soft surface decreases air flow and can cause overheating.

• Hardwood floors -- Wipe up spills immediately and dust, mop or vacuum at least weekly to keep dirt and grit from scratching the finish.

For more ideas, visit www.greenerchoices.org/products.cfm?product=cutcost&pcat=homegarden

- Gabriella Boston

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