Someone on the wireless the other day said that it was European paper conservation week. I didn't hear what they had in mind - perhaps it was just a question of printing half a million leaflets telling people not to waste paper - but here are two ways to conserve the more important bits of The Independent.

1. To keep this column until 2197:

Dissolve a Milk of Magnesia tablet in a quart of Club Soda. Leave overnight, then put the newspaper cutting in a pan and pour the solution over it. Soak for one hour, then remove and pat dry. The paper (or so I am assured) should now last for 200 years.

2. To emblazon the message across your pectorals:

First procure a white T-shirt. Make a photocopy of the bit you want to emblazon. Make a solution of equal quantities of white spirit and dish- washing detergent and soak the photocopy in it. Remove it, wiping off the excess liquid, then, while still damp, place it design side down onto the cloth and iron. The design will come off on to your the cloth.

Important points to note:

1) The cleanest results are obtained with lightly coloured washing-up liquid. For that elegant pre-stained look, use a pinkish detergent.

2) Unless you need your message to be read by drivers in their mirrors, you should copy on to acetate first, then reverse it.

3) The design will survive for a couple of washes. If permanence is required, draw over the ironed design with a permanent marker.

Bawn O'Beirne-Ranelagh

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