Friday, September 26, 2008

Your Comments

Do you read comments on blogs? I have to admit that when I visit a blog, I scan through and read the articles that interest me ... and usually don't take the time to read the comments that have been posted. However, that may be a big mistake because if those blogs are anything like this one, the comments are well worth reading.

Comments received this month include all kinds of good things ... ideas, links to other blogs and websites, and thoughts/questions which encourage further investigation and learning. Thanks to all of you who wrote. And by the way, there are a couple of avenues to send in comments ... click on the word "comments" at the bottom of each post ... or send a direct email to: My hope is that this blog will be used to share information ... but if ever you don't want your comments published, please be sure to tell us.
OK ... on to this month's comments:

Argentum Vulgaris said...

Hi SF, I got here, thanks for the visit and comments, greatly appreciated. Have not read "all" yours, although I can see return visits as being necessary. Your articles are well thought out and written. They offer food for thought about seemingly mundane issues, that if we all took heed of, the world would be a better place. As far as shaving goes, I use the first option, I don't. I am going to link your blog on mine, I hope you don't mind, as an example of the everyday environmental issues.

September 9, 2008 2:25 PM

Argentum Vulgaris

btw, I have (am) adding the link to my newer blog Tomus Arcanum
I think it is more in flavour there.

September 9, 2008 2:32 PM

LITeacher said...

Dear SmallFootPrints,
Thank you for the comment on my blog. I'm glad you liked it. Your blog is great too. It is very informational. We try to do some things at home to help save and conserve, we recycle almost everything, we replaced all of our lightbulbs with energy efficient ones, I am constantly turning things off etc... I will be back to read more. I am going to place your blog link on my blog- I would love it if you would do the same. I hope to hear from you again.
Maureen :)

September 10, 2008 4:35 PM

SAS_Consultant said...

Hi SmallFootPrints,

I agree that we should live and let live, when my husband and I see a spider or other insect in our house we also set it free outside.

But, we have a lot of wasps that have taken up residence on the outside of our house. We can't open our windows without them flying in. For those that have we tried to set them free outside, but as you can imagine this can be a difficult task.

Do you think it would be okay if I sprayed the growing wasp nest outside our house?

September 11, 2008 12:48 PM

Small Footprint's Response to SAS_Consultant:

Thank you, SAS_Consultant, for your comments and question about wasps. I did a little research and learned a lot about them. It turns out that they are considered a beneficial insect because they eat other destructive insects like aphids ... and, because they go for sweet things, they are also good pollinators. However, they are aggressive ... and I will tell you from personal experience that their sting really, REALLY hurts.

Most methods for getting rid of them involve killing them. However, I found one method that dissuades them without killing them and from the reviews I've read, it works. It's called The Original Waspinator. Here's a review on it:

Waspinators are available online at They might be available at garden centers like Orchard Supply, Home Depot or Lowe's.

Here's an interesting fact (and one to keep in mind if one decides to kill these little creatures) ... when wasps die, they send out a signal. Other wasps in the area immediately run to their dying friend's aid. At this point they are ready to fight. Not good!

Thanks, again ... I learned a lot!

Argentum Vulgaris said...

Hi liteacher,

Just ato add, New Zealand suffered many changes with the colonisation in 1840's, introduced sheep, rabbit, goats, deer and cattle. Some of these species have caused terrible problems and now we try to eradicate rabbits with myxamatosis. Also deer control has always been the domain of hunters. But the destruction of natural reserves and pasture for the sheep and cattle has been terrible.

September 11, 2008 3:51 PM

Anonymous said...

I purchased a metal razor many years back for the same reason. The razors themselves, (merkers) are disposable, but not plastic.

I can trim my beard down to shaveable length with scissors.

Then, the most important part for me is not using nasty petroleum products in the shaving cream. So, usually, i just lather up with some good soap (i use dr. bronners, but NOT peppermint!)

Then, shave away, without using any plastic or toxic chemicals.

Of course, i've only used it maybe three times in the last three years since i bought it.

see page below for examples

L. Massey said...

I love this! I think "going green" is such a wonderful topic! zi will visit often and I hope that I might be able to contribute something...thanks!

Argentum Vulgaris said...

Reducing Footprints, I have always composted, but have been lucky enough to have had a garden and plenty of space. I learned the art from my father who had a very green thumb. Always paid off, good rich moist soil.


September 19, 2008 6:21 PM

Mrs. (not) the Jet Set said...

Great tips for the fall! Great for the environment and the wallet.

It's amazing how much money you can save through preventative maintenance.

September 22, 2008 1:07 PM

Valash said...

Thanks for the tips, I never put much thought to preparing the house for the winter.

Cesia said...

Thanks for the composting info. Like you, I've always loved the idea and been afraid to actually do it. Mostly the smell/bugs thing. I also have lots of empty flower pots around ... hmmmm. Maybe I'll have to try it! :)

- Cesia.

Strawberry Hedgehog wrote:
Thanks! Your site looks great, best of luck with it!

I appreciate your feedback and am glad my site is not heavy handed. It is frustrating to meet people who try to force their views on you, whatever they may be.

I wish you well,

September 22, 2008 7:02 PM

Pasifik said...

Great tips you share with us!

Keep posting,


LITeacher said...

These are all great tips- some we already do- I'm going to have to go over the list again and complete the suggestions we haven't done yet! Keep us informed!

Crafty Ladies said...

Excellent tips! Thank you! I will definitely be applying as many of these as I can.

Cesia said...

Thanks for the tips!

Especially the direction to stand under your fan ... I can never remember which way its supposed to go in winter. :)

- Cesia

Nana Net said...

Excellent tips! Thanks so much for sharing these. Plus I went back trhough and read your other posts. You really have a great Blog! I definetly will be back and will show you as one that I read daily!
Can't wait to read more!

Designerly said...

thanks the comment you left me :) i'm so glad you liked it!

i thinks it's awesome that you're blogging about green living, it's something i'm hoping i can start to blog about too in relation to art and design, especially about the new green movement in industrial design with packaging etc.. so yeah, all for green, and keep up the great info. :)

Denise said...

I'm always looking for ways to cut plastic out of my life. I never thought of replacing my liquid detergent with powder. Thanks for the idea!!

whimseycreations said...

I have a recipe for homemade laundry detergent that is wonderful. I've been using it for 3 months and it makes your clothing smell fresh and gets it just as clean as the detergents you buy at the grocery. It costs about $1.50 to make enough to wash 30 loads of laundry. And it takes about 15-20 minutes to make a batch. Just email me at if you'd like the recipe.

Small Footprint's Response to whimseycreations:

I wrote to Whimsey Creations and not only asked for the recipe but asked if we could publish it here. Here is their gracious response:

Absolutely! The original recipe is on the website but I've tweaked it until it works better for me. It just smells so fresh and clean and lemony and your clothes come out of the dryer static free even without a dryer sheet (and there is an idea below about that too).

1 bar Fels Naptha laundry soap (if your grocer doesn't carry it, you can order it per bar or per case from grated into cheese shreds
24 cups water
1/2 cup borax (20 Mule Team Borax)
1/2 cup washing soda (this isn't baking soda - it's in a yellow box in the laundry aisle)

Heat water to simmering in a large pot and add grated soap. Turn heat to low and stir every couple of minutes until soap is dissolved (it takes about 15 minutes). Turn off heat and stir in borax and washing soda. Mix really well to dissolve. Pour into a large plastic bucket to cool (you can find almost 2 gallon ones - 15 quart I think? - at WalMart for about $1.50). It will gel as it cools - will end up very thick - kind of like if pudding was the consistency of jello. You can give it a stir every now and then if you want. Then I store mine in one gallon clear plastic containers with a wide-mouth screw on lid - it makes about one and 3/4 gallons. You can also find those containers (squarish shaped) at WalMart. However, don't pour the hot liquid into them directly because they will melt (been there, done that - they are a different plastic than the bucket LOL). You use 1/2 cup per load of laundry (just keep a 1/4 or 1/2 plastic measuring cup with your soap). Now this doesn't make suds but it really gets your clothes clean. And you can use the Fels Naptha soap bar as a stain pre-treater too - just rub it on before you put your clothing into the washer. You can use this in front loading machines since it doesn't suds. This makes enough to do 25-30 loads of laundry.

For my towels and sheets and things like that I also pour in about 3/4 cup of white distilled vinegar - right in with the soap. It gives them a little extra boost. A gallon of white vinegar is pretty inexpensive and you can add about 2 teaspoons of any essential oil (lemon verbena is wonderful) to it. Just give the container a shake before you pour it out. Your laundry room will smell wonderful but the scent won't stay in your clothing after you dry it.

If you don't want to add dryer sheets to the landfill (and who knows what is in them!) you can take a small muslin drawstring bag and add lemon verbena leaves, lavender, or any combination you want - throw it in the dryer with your clothes, and it should last about 20 or so loads before the scent is gone.

The cost is about $1.50 per batch of soap even if you have to order the Fels Naptha soap and pay shipping! I've seen the soap in some Krogers and friends have said some hardware stores also have it.

Sometimes you just have to take the leap, and build your wings on the way down!

Whimsey Creations

September 24, 2008 5:21 PM

La Pixie said...

I think stressing to people that baby steps are okay is HUGE. people feel like if they dont "go vegan" and recycle everything, then it doesnt count or they arent making a difference. just like with anything, this is a lifestyle change that can be achieved through baby steps.

thanks for visting my blog!!

Glenda said...

I have hear that the simple process of "starting one's vehicle" uses as much gas as letting it idle for thirty mintues! Ever ran across this? Is it a matter of petro vs. pollution?

Small Footprint's Response to Glenda:

Excellent question, Glenda.

I did a little further research on the subject and found that it is better to turn off the engine rather than idle ... unless one has a really, really old car. Here's why ... carburetors today are extremely fuel efficient, only injecting a small amount of fuel into the engine to get it started. In fact, the only time it's more fuel efficient to let a car idle is if one will be idling for less than 10 seconds. Yep ... anything over 10 seconds .. turn it off. One note ... it's not a good idea to turn off one's engine at a street light. In fact, in some US states it's illegal. Here are some sites to visit if you'd like more information:

Thanks for your comment!

Small Footprints

Brian said...

Very good tips. Thank you very much. I find your site to be very informative. Keep up the great work.


Glee Girl said...

Hi there. Thank you so much for your lovely comments on my blog. And what a wonderful coincidence to visit yours and find that it completely meshes with where I'm at right now! I'm thinking about everything I buy - where it's from, if the packaging can be recycled, if it's ethically produced etc - and taking a much more holistic approach to living - trying to be good to me, good to others and good to the planet.

I have subscribed - looking forward to more.

That does it for this month! Thanks, again, to everyone who contributed!