Friday, October 31, 2008

Your Comments

It's the last Friday of the month and that means it's time to take a look at your comments.

This month's comments include excellent links on how to make laundry detergent, how to minimize the sting from bees, how to eliminate (or greatly reduce) junk mail ... as well as links to other wonderful blogs. There are suggestions on creative projects for the fall which include Decoupage and Paper Mache'. Some readers shared stories ... what happened when one reader saw phone books left at an empty house and another reader's experience with a pressure cooker. After a posting about 13 ways to cook efficiently in the winter, one reader commented on the dangers of using a microwave and provided a link with good information. Readers told us about their "green living" efforts ... one person who tosses the smallest bit of foil in the trash even though others look on as though he is crazy ... one person who wrote to a grocery store to express her dismay at their choice of children's products ... and one reader who used a pumpkin shell as a flower vase. Another reader talked about never throwing away books.

Thanks to everyone who posted a comment! OK ... here they are:

Cesia said...

I got really excited about these comments on making your own detergent. But it gave me a lot of questions ... and I found this post that talks about the same thing, with TONS of comments regarding questions that might come up.

- Cesia

September 26, 2008 3:37 PM

Brian said...

I'll comment on comments. :) I kinda do the same as you. I find an article or something that appeals to me, comment on my thoughts, but rarely read the other comments. I read all the comments left on my own blog and definitely encourage them, but rarely read those on other peoples blogs. I may be missing some good stuff, as you mentioned.


Bee Sting Cure said...

Many stings and bites take place during the fall
months as the temperature of the days decrease. Reason being, bees, wasps and
insects in general are cold blooded and they linger around people and pets in order
to absorb body heat, therefore increasing the chances of getting stung or bitten.
Last week, I witnessed a 4 year old girl with her hand and forearm swollen
to her elbow, from a wasp sting that she received to her fingertip the day
before. The sight of her hand and arm brought tears to my eyes because I knew
that if she had had Baker's Venom Cleanser available when she was stung, none of her discomfort
would have elevated to that extreme point of swelling and discomfort. Our web site has under gone some new additions worth taking a look at. Old news commentary video footage from 1988 has been added to and the link is available at our site. Our formula also works to stop the itch of the dreaded Itch Mite!

Glee Girl said...

I tend to skim comments - I find it quite overwhelming keeping up with the posts, let alone reading all the comments, posting my own comments and then checking for a response to my comment. But I agree, it can be very worthwhile.

And if I wasn't already overwhelmed enough, I've just joined Stumble, and it's all so new to me, my brain is sore. I see you're on there - I'd add you if I knew how (when I say just joined, I mean 20 minutes ago).

Glee Girl said...

Glad I'm not the only one who won't kill spiders. Once I even slept on the couch because I couldn't get a spider out of my bedroom!

My heart broke a little too when I read about the bee trap in your blog. We should stop meddling with the natural order and remember that everything is connected but fragile.

I have a bee hive outside my apartment and sometimes the bees fly in my window in summer. Friends tell me to ring the landlord to get it removed, but I actually quite like it (except for the time one flew into my ear and bit me. Ouch!).

Beverlyrealtor said...

Hi: I like your site. I hope to add more environmental content to my blog, but right now, politics is the main topic. I don't know if you've mentioned If not, you might want to check it out.

September 28, 2008 9:04 PM

PlantBuddy said...

I know about the plastic problem. Saw a documentary on TV about the sea of plastic floating around in the Pacific Ocean--horrible! Let's all start right here with our plastic toothbrush and follow up by reducing plastic shopping bags. Let's discover new ways to start reducing our dependency on plastics.
Thanks for dropping by my blog and your kind comments.

Nana Net said...

Very interesting. Will definetly forward this to my dentist! As for me I use the Sonic toothbrush thingy. Plus can we not recycle our old toothbrushes? I mean if they are made of plastic anyway why can they not be recycled? Just my thoughts!

Small Footprints response to Nana net:

Nana net ... Thanks for asking about recycling toothbrushes. I did a little research on recycling the standard type toothbrush. There's a problem with recycling them because the bristles are made of a different material ... usually nylon. So, in order to recycle them, the bristles would somehow have to be separated from the handles. Since this isn't cost effective, they usually just end up in landfills.

Here's a site that lists companies who offer recycled and recyclable toothbrushes ... they also offer ideas for things to do with brushes once they are at the end of their life.

There are several problems with any kind of plastic: 1) It's expensive to recycle plastic and not all plastic can be recycled. 2) Manufacturers of plastic products are among the biggest polluters of the ocean. If we use less of it, manufacturers won't need to make as much ... hence, the oceans will be cleaner. 3) Many plastic products are combined to other materials, rendering them non-recyclable. 4) Plastic does not bio-degrade.

Thanks, again, for asking ... digging into it further taught me a lot.

September 29, 2008 9:02 PM

Nana Net said...

Thanks for the update to my question. Will check out the link. Have a good afternoon and keep on blogging away with more great stuff!

Nana Net

Pasifik said...

Plastic is commonly use any where around the world. Problem is, people don't really care that plastic can't be biodegradable! All we need to do is massive campaigns about it.



Jessie; said...

Wow, I never thought of toothbrushes like that. It's something that everybody (hopefully) uses, but I never realized how much damage is being done because of disposed-of toothbrushes.

I'm going to start recycling them somehow.
Thanks :)

Glee Girl said...

Gee, I knew plastic was a huge problem, but I didn't realise just how bad it's got, nor have I given much thought to my toothbrush before, even though I actively try to reduce my plastic use. Thanks for the Recycline link.

Switching from disposable razors to one with changeable blades is also another simple way to reduce the amount of plastic we send to landfill.

Brian said...

Wow, I didn't really think about this before. The plastic tool we use to brush the disgusting food particles from our germ-infested mouth, we do just freely pitch it in the trash without thinking twice. The results of the bigger picture is very scary. Thanks for posting and spreading the awareness.


Brian said...

Wow, I never really thought about the big picture with us throwing away our plastic toothbrushes. Very damaging and scary. Thanks for posting and spreading the awareness.


SearchingSoul said...

I wish that the day will come when we can smile without feeling guilty for dumping the earth with tons of toothbrushes. Actually, it's not only toothbrushes nor plastic products that damage our environment. Whenever we use papers and wood products, we denude the forest. It's a choice between reducing non-biodegradable materials and saving the trees. Either which way, we leave indelible footprints in the face of mother earth.

Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving a heart warming comment.

Nana Net said...

Thank You, Thank You, and Thank You!!!!! That I recieve 5 different phone books every year! Which to me is ridiculous...

I am definetly going to call first thing in the morning and "Opt-Out" on recieving these! Cause like you said the Internet is oh so much quicker to find a number.

Nana Net

Brian said...

Good stuff as always. Thanks for the info. I don't think many know this. The net is definitely the way to go.


Angie Ledbetter said...

Learn something new every day. Thanks for the information and for keeping things green. ;)

Joanne said...

Great idea. We receive so many phone books, white pages, yellow pages, combinations, statewide, local. It gets silly, the quantity that comes into the house! Thanks for the tip.

PlantBuddy said...

Wow! That's a wonderful idea. I hate those clunky heavy books.

Angie Ledbetter said...

That really looks delish!

SearchingSoul said...

This is such a guilt-free meal. You are making me hungry. Thanks for the recipe!

Barbara J. Kirby Davis said...

This sounds wonderful. I'll try it!

Argentum Vulgaris said...

The humble toothbrush - enemy of the planet. Wow, an eye opener.


Argentum Vulgaris said...

I looked at the recipe, can envisage variations on a theme not being a vegetarian.

I have Stumbled your article on toothbrushes, let's see what happens.


Brian said...

I'm a picky eater, but I'd try it with chicken broth and butter.


LITeacher said...

That looks "YUMMO"

Glee Girl said...

That's a great idea. I was talking with friends earlier this year about how stupid it is that the phone company persists in delivering them to everyone. It's a massive waste of resources. I can't remember the last time I actually opened one. I will give the phone company a call.

shellyfish said...

This sounds & looks delicious - perfect autumn food indeed!
I posted those links for the veggie dog recipes on my blog for you -and others of course!
Cheers :)

SeattleCraig said...

Thanks for coming by my blog earlier. I'm glad you did or I may never have gotten to read your post. You writing is absolutely genius. Not only is it entertaining and enjoyable read, its informative and important content. I will certainly be visiting you often.

Lance said...

This really is a great idea - I'm going to check out the site! We NEVER open ours up, and they just take up space until we get around to recycling them. Thanks for pointing me in this direction.

Nana Net said...

Aww, creative endeavors like quilting, knitting, sewing and such are ones to name just a few that bring back wonderful memories for me. My Mom, Aunts, and Grandmothers all did this. I just wished I had learned how from them before they passed on!
Try as I might it is not as easy to learn as I thought it might be. ;0( Yet I am still trying to learn!

I might add (if you don't mind) one or two that came to mind. That is Decoupage. This is one of my favorites. Plus it really is not that expensive to do Especially if you have magazines, or newspapers). And is great for decorating or even to give as gifts! Another would be Jigsaw Puzzles. You can put them together. Then glue them with "Elmers Glue" (which dries clear). After they dry, frame them. They truly make some beautiful pictures in your home and cost cheaper than the ones in the stores!

Great post. Take care and blessings as always.

Nana Net

Small Footprints response to Nana net:

I don't mind at all, Nana Net ... I love suggestions.

Your decoupage and puzzle ideas are great ... and what I really like about them is that they can also be done by reusing things around the house ... that makes it "green" art indeed.

Thanks for sharing!

Small Footprints

Designerly said...

we'll have to see some examples of all the green art when you get to it :D

might sound preschoolish.. but you can actually make alot out of papier mache too.. which is a great way to reuse paper!

Small Footprints response to Designerly:

That's another great idea Designerly ... papier mache ... what fun. And while it may have started out in pre-school ... I'll bet there are some talented people who could create something that brings papier mache into the realm of sophistication.

You had another great idea ... what if everyone gets busy on some "green" artwork and then ... sends in a picture. We'll have the first ever "green" art display. OK everyone ... it's a challenge ... get busy and then send in pics of those masterpieces.

whimseycreations said...

Have to tell you my experience with this - we still get one and thanks for letting me know about how to opt out. We have an empty house at the corner of our street and I'd noticed that there was junk all over the yard and specifically in one section - looked very bad. So afte a few weeks I decided to stop by with my truck and pick it up to dispose of it. Well, the telephone book deliverers (who are hired by the phone company - whoever is willing to work that year during delivery) dumped all their extras into that yard. And there they sat deteriorating in the rain, blowing all over the yard. They even dumped boxes of the plastic delivery bags. Boy I didn't know what I was getting myself into when I stopped to pick up that mess...the whole back of my truck was filled. My poor husband - who didn't know I was doing it - ended up having to find a dumpster to put it in because it was too much for our garbage can. I was so broiling mad - calling every number I could think of at the phone company only to find out that these are temporary 'hires' and they don't even keep a record of them. CAN YOU IMAGINE!!!

Cesia said...

Great recipe ... and the photo is AWESOME!!!!


- Cesia.

donakae said...

Very interesting site!

I remember a news story a while back about not letting your kids drink from water hoses! What??!! That's the only water I got back in the day!


Penny E. said...

ah! i love your blog!
and this post is really interesting.
it's awesome.
Go green!


sanjit said...

Hi! I like your blog..very informative.

Argentum Vulgaris said...

As always SF, your comments are so pertinent and touch all our lives. I have followed your blog now, as well as having it linked. Glad you liked the post on Tomus, I hope you Stumbled it for me???? (Yes, I know I am a cheeky bugger)


Pat's Place said...

That WAS refreshing! Thanks! And it also reminds me to be more compassionate to those less fortunate than me.

Marjolein said...

Thanks for your comment on my new weblog. It's nice to see that other people from other country's also whatching my blog.
I'm sorry btw for my really bad English. I can read it, but I'm not so good in wrinting it ;)

I understand that you really don't know where my blog is about. But you saw it really good that the picture is made in Curacao. I've never been theire. But (I hope) in November this year I will go to Curacao for 9 Months. That's one of the reasons that I start this blog. And actually that's all what I said in my first blog.

I hope you visit my blog much even! And maybe, my blog will be in Dutch and English, so you can read it also!

Greetz and God bless


shellyfish said...

That was so really moved me. Thanks so much for sharing it.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Great tips! I like to parboil meat when I can to reduce oven time, and am a BIG fan of outdoor cooking.

MyJunkTree said...

I happen to be one of the owners of MyJunkTree and as a new company I search the web to see if we are getting any visibility out there and I post n relevant Blogs.

We launched the company because we were tired of all the junk mail we were receiving and we personally did not want to bounce all over the web to contact all the different companies to stop it all. First and foremost we wanted to let people choose what they wanted to let come to their home knowing that some people really do like some of the coupons and catalogs. So our clients choose what they want stopped.

We also had to provide a service that is different than the other services out there, so here is what we offer:

1. We have a database of over 1300 catalogs that you can choose to stop.
2. We have over a 5700 charities/Non-Profits that you can stop solicitations from.
3. Stop the delivery of the national phone directories.
4. Stop the delivery of the weekly coupons.
5. Stop the general credit card offers as well as the ones from your own major bank.
6. Stop the miscellaneous junk mail from the data brokers.
7. You can register on the National Do Not Call Registry from the website.
8. You can order your no strings attached free annual credit report right from the website.
9. We plant trees with every new membership.

And, yes we are a paid service and yes you can do everything that we do for free, if you want to do all the research and spend the time contacting the companies yourself it can easily be done. We have just done all of the legwork for our clients and feel there is value in the service we provide. So check out MyJunkTree and make difference in your mailbox.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tips! I agree with everything except using a microwave. It may be more efficient from an electricity point of view, but it also destroys nutrients:

Laura K. Lawless

Nana Net said...

Am so glad to see you included the "Pressure Cookers" on here. Seems a lot of folks today do not even know what one is! ;0(

I remember one time my Mom using hers and how the pressure built up so much that it exploded! Yep...right then and there I dove under the bar counter and hid while the Green Beans flew all over the place! LOL

Thanks for all of your wonderful tips. Have a beautiful day!

Nana Net

That one girl. said...

What an interesting blog! I like the concept. Very interesting and neat. :)

And to answer your question, humanities is alright. haha. It's a fair amount of work, since it's an Honors class but it's alright. :) And thank you for the compliment! Glad you like my blog!

Inge' said...

What a compassionate clip. thank you for sharing this. i have just recently visited your site and really enjoy reading and learning from your posts.

Argentum Vulgaris said...

Wow, excellent post, poignant. I am nor espectful, I am brutishlu loud mouth about soe environmental issues, but then I think I am trying to wake up the world as opposed to individual consciences. I am not ashamed at my brashness. I live in Brazil, I smoke, I open a new pack on the street and throw two little bits of foil in the rubbish tin on the street, even if it is 12' away. Brazilians look at me as if I am crazy. I always reply, If you do the same the street would have not litter. They still think I am crazy, I just confirmed it.


Angie Ledbetter said...

A single letter can make a big difference. Kudos on a nice follow-up thank you note. Nice touch.

Barbara said...

I'm a "long time" activist in my community and I respect other strong women who are, as well. Keep up the good work!!

Monika said...

This is a great blog. I write several, one being Green Planet News. I try to make differences in my own life. Every small effort adds up.\

Glee Girl said...

This is so important - if nobody says anything - or they leave it to someone else to say something - then nothing will change.

Organizations and companies have every reason to listen to their customers' concerns and suggestions. If consumers demand it, they will offer it (unless they totally suck, which means you should go elsewhere).

I recently sent an email to the organic supermarket near my house expressing my dismay at their new children's range (on nutritional, rather than environmental grounds) and the CEO of the company rang me personally, and gave me his mobile number to provide ongoing feedback! I was surprised and impressed.

You can be heard if you raise your voice!

Bunc said...

Great stuff. I am also a strong supporter of the need to take action to reduce the damage we are doing to the world.

Adam James Nall said...

Very useful tips. Especially the oven ones!

Thank you for following 'De Factoids'



SUBHADIP said...

An Excellent post and also thoughtful..nicely written..want more..
If you can visit my blog and see my piesces and share your comments..would love that..

Angie Ledbetter said...

Another plus for bathing, eh? ;)

" JUST US " said...

wow.. Who Knew.. I will be more careful when I go shower curtain shopping next time. Thanks for the post..

Cesia said...


Thanks for that info!

- Cesia.

SearchingSoul said...

Often times, we jump into bargains without realizing that we are paying a higher price in some other ways.

I cannot help but smile at your account of opting to a cheaper curtain because we all are like that at some time in our lives. We take the bait of a hook, line and sinker bargain.

I'm glad you now opted for one made of cloth. It is washable and non-toxic. No hidden price to pay and you get rewards of a more lasting curtain.

Alyssa said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog!

Good to know about those shower curtains.

I'm an environmentalist too.. go green :)

Glee Girl said...

Wow. I didn't realise PVC was quite THAT evil, although the smell has given me headaches for quite a while (along with other products containing VOCs, most recently the new carpet at my work). Will keep this in mind when I go to buy a new one.

As an aside...the bit about you putting your wet laundry into the dryer jumped out at me because, well...aren't clothes dryers pretty nasty in terms of energy consumption? Is there not a more eco-friendly option for drying your laundry? I know line drying is not as popular in some countries as it is in Australia - or isn't possible due to climate or local regulations. We can only do what we can do, I suppose!

Argentum Vulgaris said...

Wow SF, that is heavy!

As usual you manage to pull a rabbit out of the hat when it comes to these issues. But this rabbit is a real eye-opener. I had no idea, well, I never even thought about it, even though I do recognise the smell associated with opening new PVC products, it is nauseous.

In this respect I am fully green, I have never had a shower curtain, PVC or otherwise, it's cheaper to run a squeegee over the floor, our bathrooms here are a little different to yours, we have a tile floor and a drain. No mildew, and the bathroom floor gets a mop with every shower.

Also, here we are not so uptight about bathrooms and nudity as your average American household, so the necessity to hide behind curtain seems really weird.


Inge' said...

i recently read an article similar to this one. i think it was at the mother earth site.

it really made me stop and think. i like you will be buying a cloth shower curtain when i have to replace mine.

thanks for the post to blog!

Small Footprints said...

Thanks to all of you for your comments on shower curtains.

Regarding dryers ... you're absolutely right, Glee ... dryers aren't the most environmentally friendly way to dry clothes. Two of my earlier posts deal with the subject ... here are the links:

Thanks, again!

Monika said...

I'll be shower curtain shopping soon!

The cup is half full...... said...

Oh so typical of me to do the same thing. The way the economy is we're all heading to the nearest dollar store.....with a baby though I'll be detouring and will be more careful! Thanks for the info!

IB said...

Great post and an excellent blog. I too am interested in environmental issues, although thus far have not written a post about any of it. I do have a link on my blog to a site called: that is part of a larger circle of eco-friendly sites. Check them out some time!


IB said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and checking it out. No, Seattle failed miserably last night :(

Take care!


Inge' said...

I try to use rechargeable batteries whenever I can. I also gave my grandson a battery charger so he can put rechargeable batteries in all his toys.
I was not aware of the recycling centers available for disposing of these batteries. Thanks for the links.
Excellent post!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Always such interesting information here. Thank you.

Argentum Vulgaris said...

Wow, 3 Billion batteries, that's an eye opener. I have long used rechargable for cameras and stuff, but must confess not for green reasons, it was economics that drove me there. So I guess I'm doing the right thing for the wrong reason. LOL


IB said...

Another great post. You are providing a valuable service. I had no idea about batteries!


Inge' said ...
Hi Smallfootprints,
Just wanted to let you know that your latest post on the banning of ivory is not available on blogger. Since I follow your blog, I know you made a post but you cannot read it. Maybe Blogger has a problem with the source you quoted?

October 21, 2008 2:36 PM

Angie Ledbetter said...

I got the "blog doesn't exist" message when I tried to click on your site from my blog roll too. Don't ya hate Operator Error? ;)

Glee Girl said...

Hehe. Glad it's not just me who does stuff like that!

Argentum Vulgaris said...

AFter you post the page should give you an option to edit post (blogspot does) and you can immediately retun and edit or add what you like and repost. I have had to do it several times after the same problem.


Angie Ledbetter said...

That's a great blog post to hang on to. Saving our precious books, what a mission! Thanks for this.

MaryC said...

Hi! Awesome blog. Thanks for visiting mine. I am putting you on my Google Reader.
Have a great day!

Terri Tiffany said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog--I'm glad you decided to say hello! I will be sure to post my Christmas story when I find out it didn't win:))

Are you going to submit something? You should! I wrote two Christmas stories for Chicken Soup for the Empty Nesters that just came out if you want to read a sample there--take a peek when you're in a bookstore!

Hope you visit back again. I will be back here:)

Terri Tiffany said...

I just learned to do number 6 and 9! Great tips!! I use a crock pot weekly!

Joanne said...

I sometimes pick up used books at our library annual book sale. This is a great reference article to keep on file for some of those books! Thanks for sharing.

SUBHADIP said...

A Fantastic blog and really it deserves all the praise..I posted some new blogs..if you can please visit and share your comments..

Willie said...

holy crap. i guess i have alot to work on. :p

great job with this blog!



SeattleCraig said...

You would think a warning label would be mandatory in cases like these. Damage to the body is no joke and sounds like a serious lawsuit waiting to happen. I'm not into to suing so someone else can have at it lol.

I love my dollar store clear shower curtain and the hideous broom I picked up with it :(..

Also Argentum, its not the need to hide behind the curtain. Like mine is see through anyways heh. Its for containing the water so you don't soak the entire bathroom. Without a curtain my entire bathroom floor would be soaked every morning :)...

Great post as always. Love your blog.

SeattleCraig said...

I could never throw out a book. Even books I hate I would never trash. I have fixed many books. Some of them look so awful I couldn't pay someone to take them. I'd never get rid of them anyways.. Normally beat up books are good indication that the content within is worth reading. Broken books to me are simply books that have pleased many before me. Worn and torn from countless use. Or one poor owner lol.

Wrestling match last night shattered my coffee table again. The 7th time Ive had to rebuild it. Its good wood and I'd never get rid of anything without first trying to save it. Well off to hardware store.

Sorry Ive been away but back and working. Look forward to your next post.

MaryC said...

okay, yummo!
I am totally trying this. Thanks!

MaryC said...

I am going to tell all of those jokes tonight when I have my grandsons over.
Great suggestions! I just toasted some pumpkin seeds a few days ago. Been snacking on them frequently since then. Really delicious!

Inge' said...

I can't wait to tell my grandson your jokes!

Here is an idea that you might be able to use. My daughter's b'day is in October. Some of the flowers she received were in a small pumpkin instead of a vase. The pumpkin has a waterproof liner in it and the flowers were in green floral foam. While these 2 things were not recyclable, the pumpkin and flowers were. The arrangement made a pretty centerpiece for my table for a while.

Cesia said...

Lol! I was wondering! I saw the teaser in my "blogs I'm following" box on my Dashboard, but it was a LIE!!! :)

- Cesia.

Kathryn Magendie said...

I'm over here from Angie's (Gumbo Writer) site --- you live in Asheville? I'm in Maggie Valley!

On my msn blog: I have recycle/green tips I place there - I'll link this site :-)

Adam James Nall said...

Hello hello,

Great post again - I made some pumkin soup a little while ago so I'll certainly make some more with the lantern left-overs.

Thanks again for reading,


Monika said...

Great those jokes!

SearchingSoul said...

Nice jokes! You are not only profound, you are funny as well.

Happy Halloween!

Terri Tiffany said...

Loved your jokes!!LOL Fun post!

Ang said...

I have just stumpled across your site. I love it! The jokes were so cute and great advice.

I hope you don't mind but I am going to follow your blogsite.

Great posts!


Ang said...

I've just stumbled onto your site. Love it!

I plan to re-tell your jokes to my kids and grandchild. And love the helpful advice.

Great posts!

Joanne said...

This is a welcome move on ebay's part. Every effort helps. What an astounding statistic - 20,000 elephants illegally killed annually. It's almost unfathomable, and very sad.

Angie Ledbetter said...

How festive. Love me some pumpkin seeds! Tried pumkin soup once, but I think I need a new recipe.

writtenexpressions said...

I'm ashamed to say it, but I'm giggling at the jokes . . .

For the past few years, I've used craft pumpkins instead of the real thing. Aside from not having to worry about what to do with the pumpkin guts and scraps, you can reuse them every year.

If you don't like the idea of not carving a pumpkin every year, you can always mix craft and real, or add to your craft pumpkin collection on an annual basis.

ARFTULSA said...

Thank you. This is a very informative and wonderful blog.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Hello! yes, the snow, what a surprise...thanks for stopping by my blog by the way.

I subscribed to your newsletter, by the way.

I like putting green tips - I can link to you from time to time, if you don't mind?

Most of the snow is gone, but there is still a bit left :)

Angie Ledbetter said...

I learn something new here every time I visit.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Just saw your other comment *smiling*

You are so right -I like seeing the tourists come, for our economy needs the revenue. I feel proud when we are on lists of "best of's" -- but I cringe when the developers come, or the tourists don't respect the beauty and the quiet.

I was born a West Virginia girl, and when I had to go live in So Louisiana for so many years, I yearned for the mountains all the way in my marrow - this is home - the ancient mountains! ah!

Jessie said...

What I do with my pumpkins so they'll last longer (so it's not such a waste to only display them one night) is I coat them with vegetable oil inside and out to retain their moisture, then I drop glowsticks into them instead of candles. They actually look cool all glowing purple and green!

Inge' said...

What is so sad about this article is that ebay waited until a negative article was coming out about them to make this decision.

Why couldn't they do the right thing in the first place? Oh, wait I know it would have hurt their profits.

Cesia said...

Ahh, finally, the much-anticipated ivory post! :) Good for you, ebay.

- Cesia.

Joanne said...

Thanks for sharing these. I always like to hear of more natural cleaners b/c even breathing the scent of most cleaners bothers me. I can only imagine what they do to the environment.

Laree D said...

Hi embee. Thanks for your help. I went back and did what you suggested. Thanks for checking into my blog. What did you think? Why don't you join my new group? bookwriters_and_readers@google

See yo there.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Who knew? Thanks!

luthien said...

hello small footprints :)
thanks for visiting me at pimp & paint, and thanks for the lovely comments. pls do come back often :)

you've got a really informative and interesting site going on here... i'm gonna be following it! :)


Glee Girl said...

I hate the way marketers and advertisers have sucked people into believing they need these hazardous substances to have a clean, safe house. Everyone is so germ-phobic these days and everything has anti-baceterial agents added to it. It's ridiculuous.

I have recently converted to vinegar and baking soda to clean and it does a good job - and it makes me think of salt and vinegar chips while I'm cleaning!

Lemon juice and eucalyptus oil are also good to have in your natural cleaning product armoury, though I haven't tried them.

I have attempted to make my own laundry detergent, but it wasn't colour-safe, so I'm using it in my dishwasher instead! It's just soap flakes, vinegar, lectric soda and water. Works fine.

Argentum Vulgaris said...

Any cleaner that contains chlorine is hazardous to life and the environment. Here in Brazil it is used with abandon. It's easier to bleach whites than wash them properly, really weird mentality.

Off topic, look for a post called Fake Plastic Fish:

This is serious stuff to some people and if we all took such measures, the world would be a different place.


Flo said...

Hi, this is a great post!
I'll keep it in mind when shopping for cleaning products, considering I have three small children and am always scared as to what they might be up to when in the kitchen while I do other stuff.
Your blog is very interesting. Thsnks for visiting mine and leaving a lovely comment.
Cheers from Chile.

PlantBuddy said...

I'm a vinegar lover too. It's one of the best for clean ups and people-friendly to boot. Drop by for Halloween for some great photos.

Argentum Vulgaris said...

Wheeeeeeee! Thanks for the plug SF.


Did you get the link I sent you on a comment about homemade pet food?


Small Footprints reply to Argentum Vulgaris ...

You are most welcome, AV ... and yes, I did get the link you sent over. Thank you! There's a lot of good stuff over there ... I've got to take some time and read it all.

Take Care!


Anonymous said...

I haven't tried them all but washing windows does work. When I was a kid we just used white vinegar in water and wiped them down with newspaper. Got them sparkling clean.

Here is a bathtub and sink cleaner that works great (and this will make enough for two tubs and two sinks - it doesn't keep - gets hard after awhile so only make enough to clean what you need to clean at the time): 2 heaping tablespoons baking soda, a squeeze of dish washing liquid - maybe a scant teaspoon, and enough water to make it creamy. You then have "Soft Scrub" without any of the chemicals except the tiny amount in the dish washing liquid.

Jill (from Delphi Forums)

Anonymous said...

That is similar to what I do in my tub. I spray with a safe cleaner and then dust the tub with baking soda. It works really well with very little scrubbing. Much better than soft scrub if you ask me--cheaper too!

contemplating Christ (from Delphi Forums)

Anonymous said...

Speaking of baking soda, I have found that when I have a Tupperware container stained from a tomato sauce, if I pour in some baking soda and soak it, it will take away the tomato stain. Even some of my baked-in old tomato stains are now gone. Baking soda and vinegar both can do so many things.

Judi (from Delphi Forums)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Check this out ...

If you have a moment, click over to Tomus Arcanum and check out these two posts:

English Course Goes Green

It's all rubbish really

Both of these posts deal with the author's "green" efforts and show that living green doesn't have to be time consuming or costly. Thanks to Argentum Vulgaris for showing us how easy it can be.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cleaning the environmentally safe way

Have you ever looked at the label on common household cleansers?

I recently looked at the label on a popular brand and the active ingredient is sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione dihydrate ... a fancy name for chlorine bleach. That accounted for 1.2% of the ingredients. The other ingredients, 98.8% of them ... were left nameless (hm ... curious).

The label also included lovely words like "scratch free", "disinfects and cleans tough stains" and "club size" (don't we just love anything that's larger than life). There were words on how to use the product ... everything from brightening the kitchen sink to disinfecting the toilet bowl. There were even a few words on how "green" this company is ... "package contains at least 7% recycled material" and "contains no phosphate".

And then ... there was a block of warnings ... "do not use on painted surfaces" ... "do not mix with other products". At the bottom of the label ... "HAZARDS TO HUMANS AND DOMESTIC ANIMALS". This section included cautions and first aid instructions if one were to come in contact with the product ... and even included a hot line for emergency medical information.

Wow ... who knew that cleaning a house could be so dangerous? And if this product has the ability to hurt us ... is it hurting the environment when it's washed down the drain and into the water system? I'm guessing that it is.

While I'd love to use this information to forgo cleaning forever ... it turns out that there is a product ... an inexpensive, environmentally friendly, easy to find product that does the job perfectly. Vinegar! Yep ... white distilled vinegar. Because of it's level of acidity, it does a great job killing most molds, bacteria and germs. It's scratch-free and can be purchased in larger than life quantities. And guess what ... it brightens the kitchen sink and disinfects the toilet bowl.

Here are few ways to use it:

  • To Clean Windows: Combine 1/2 cup non-sudsy ammonia, 1 cup white distilled vinegar, and 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a gallon of water.
  • To Remove Pet Stains on Carpets: Blot up the area and then add a solution of white distilled vinegar and water. Blot until almost dry ... then sprinkle baking soda over the area and let it dry. Once completely dry, vacuum the residue.
  • To Mop No-Wax Vinyl or Linoleum Floors: Use a solution of one cup white distilled vinegar for every gallon of water.
  • To Clean the Toilet Bowl: Pour at least one cup of white distilled vinegar into the bowl and let it sit several hours or overnight. Scrub with a toilet brush and flush.
  • To Remove Bathtub Film: Wipe it with white distilled vinegar and then scrub with baking soda.
  • To Remove Grime, Mildew, and Scum from the Tub, Tile, Shower Curtain or Door: Wipe with undiluted white distilled vinegar. Rinse with water.
  • To Kill Germs on Kitchen and/or Bathroom Surfaces: Spray full-strength white distilled vinegar on surface and wipe with a damp cloth.
  • To Kill Germs and Eliminate Odors in Sponges and Dish Clothes: Cover with water then add 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar. Soak overnight.
  • To Clean the Refrigerator: Use a 50/50 percent solution of water and white distilled vinegar. Wipe down all areas and dry.
These are just a few of the many cleaning uses for vinegar. For more, click HERE.

What could be better ... an industrial strength cleaner which is inexpensive and earth friendly ... not to mention friendly to our bodies.

As always, I would love to hear from you.

The Breast Cancer Site

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Purchase Power

EBay to ban sales of ivory goods

EBay has announced a worldwide ban on the sale of ivory products on its auction websites from next year.

An eBay spokesman said the move was the best way to help African and Asian elephants. The endangered animals are often hunted for their ivory tusks.

The ban comes as a conservation group prepares to release a report critical of the auction site.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare will say more than 4,000 ivory products have been listed on eBay.

It will also most sales of ivory products through eBay are done on the company's American website.

"In one instance, a user purchased a pair of elephant tusks off eBay for more than $21,000," the International Fund for Animal Welfare said.

Welcome decision

EBay said it would still allow the sale of some antique items which contain a small amount of ivory, such as pianos.

Campaigning groups the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International welcomed the decision.

Teresa Telecky, policy director for Humane Society International, said eBay's decision was "commendable and should set an example for others".

Each year, an estimated 20,000 elephants are illegally killed in Africa and Asia for their ivory, fueling a booming black-market industry.

Elephants are protected under the International Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites).

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2008/10/21 12:49:03 GMT


As always, I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The perfect read ...

Reusing and recycling are two "basics" of living a green life. Did you miss my posts on these subjects? If you'd like to read them, click on the following: Reuse Recycle

The following article on repairing books is brilliant. Maybe you have a dear book that is getting tattered and you're thinking of tossing it in the recycle bin. Perhaps that beloved classic needs a face lift so that your children will have many pleasant hours reading it. Imagine giving books a new life and then giving them to libraries, thrift stores or the next door neighbor. And who wouldn't adore a collection of a loved one's favorite books ... all fixed up and given as a gift? With a little work, books can be repaired and ... in nothing flat ... be back on the shelf. So check those closets, basements, and attics for boxes of old books and ... fix them up. This is reusing and recycling at it's finest!

How to Repair a Paperback Book

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Do you have a trade paperback that has fallen on hard times? Loose pages? Cover come loose from the pages? Here's how to resurrect that book for a few more years of good reading.


Missing One or Two Pages
  1. Open the book to the place where the pages belong.
  2. Place a thin bead of glue along the crack of the spine.
  3. Carefully place the page(s) back into place, taking care to align the edges of the page with the edges of adjacent pages. To prevent glue "ooze" from making the book hard to open, place a strip of waxed paper on each side of the glued section, at the glued edge.
  4. Close the book.
  5. Wipe away any excess glue.
  6. Place the book under several heavier books to press it while it dries.
  7. Wait 3 or more hours for the glue to dry before opening the book.
Entire Cover Separated From the Pages
  1. Open the cover and lay it on a flat surface.
  2. Use plastic glue[1] to wet the spine area.
  3. Carefully place the page spine edge into the glue.
  4. Close the covers.
  5. Wipe away any excess glue that squeezes out the end of the spine.
  6. Rubber band the cover to the book and press it under several heavier books to hold it while the glue dries.
  7. Leave the book for at least 3 hours to allow it to dry. Overnight is best.
One Cover Torn Off
  1. Use tape[1] to re-attach the cover.
  2. Place the tape parallel to the spine so that half of the tape sticks to the first page of the book.
  3. Bend and fold the tape back on itself.
  4. Carefully align the cover to the spine edge.
  5. Press it onto the sticky half of the tape.
  6. Follow the instructions in Cover a Paperback Book With Clear Plastic Film to reinforce the spine.
    • Alternatively, you could cover the spine edge with heavy duty clear tape. Librarian book repair tape works best, but packing tape would suffice for a year or two (after a year or so, packing tape will yellow, dry out and cause more problems).

Cover Creased or Tattered
  1. Tack down all loose flaps or tears with plastic glue.
  2. Cover the book with plastic film once the glue has dried. Follow the instructions in Cover a Paperback Book With Clear Plastic Film or Make a Hard Cover for a Paperback Book to reinforce and/or protect the cover from further damage.


  • Patience is a virtue... Don't hurry this! Take your time and do a careful job. Hurrying only increases the likelihood that you will end up with an unsatisfactory result.

  • Plastic glue is not necessary to fix your fallen literary friends. Plain old Elmer's School Glue (yes, the kind you used in 1st grade) works just as well for fixing tatters and separating covers. You can purchase it for less than $1, it dries clear, and really does hold. It won't survive the apocalypse but your book will be secure enough to read (and will look better too!).

Things You Will Need

  • Helpful supplies to have on hand.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  1. 1.0 1.1 Plastic Glue and Book Repair tape are available from Library Supply companies such as Brodart and DEMCO.

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Repair a Paperback Book. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

There now ... wasn't that just the perfect read?

As always ... I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Hm ... I wonder how it happens ... happily typing a post about Ivory ... importing an article that I found interesting ... intent on saying just what I want to convey ... and then ... the screen goes blank ... until ... fatal words appear:


Oh No!!!! That wasn't supposed to happen!!! Quick ... delete that post. Whew ... it's gone!!

Or so I thought!

First, I received an email saying that my post doesn't open. Then, while visiting other sites which have Reduce Footprints listed in their blog roll, I see ... oh no ... IVORY! A phantom post has been deposited on blogs everywhere.

If you noticed ... or if you received an email notification of a post about ivory ... I apologize. It was operator error. But stay tuned ... the subject will definitely resurface!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Batteries and the Environment

Do you give much thought to batteries? No? Neither do I. My storage closet has the usual assortment of sizes and types ... none of which seem to be what I'm looking for when the TV remote goes dead or the flashlight doesn't work (I knew I should have checked it before going camping).

The other day, the battery in the toothbrush died (may it rest in peace). The storage closet didn't have the one we needed (of course) and a quick look through drawers in the bathroom and kitchen got us nowhere (although I found a 9 volt that I didn't know we had). So ... with teeth that needed brushing ... we headed out to a nearby store. We chose one of the rechargeable varieties that came with its own recharger. Feeling proud of our choice (rechargeable is better than a single use, right), we headed home.

Purchasing a battery ... such a simple task ... sent my brain into overtime, wondering whether rechargeable was indeed better than single use, wondering what old batteries of any type do to landfills and wondering if batteries can be recycled. It turns out that the subject of batteries is a complex one.

Here are some interesting facts:
  • Americans purchase nearly 3 billion dry-cell batteries per year (these are either single-use or rechargeable and are typically used for toys, phones, tools and laptops)
  • Americans purchase nearly 100 million wet-cell batteries per year (used for cars, boats, etc.)
  • All batteries need some sort of heavy metal to function properly
The best environmental choice would be no batteries at all. But let's face it, we are a society in love with our laptops, hand held tools, digital cameras and cell phones. We're on the go and want our gadgets to go with us ... without a cord. So ... if we're going to use batteries, which is the best: disposable or rechargeable?

In 1996 a law was passed in the U.S. regulating mercury levels in batteries. Since then, most companies have either eliminated or almost eliminated its use in single use batteries. This is a step in the right direction. However, since these batteries no longer contain expensive heavy metals, there is no incentive for companies to recycle them. Additionally, the public now has the perception that it's OK to toss them into the garbage. While they are less toxic than they used to be ... they still contain toxic substances which leach out into our landfills. And a lot of them are ending up in landfills.

Rechargeable batteries continue to make use of potentially toxic heavy metals such as cadmium, nickel and lead. Their long life, however, and the abundance of recycling centers means these metals can easily be diverted from the waste stream. A typical rechargeable battery, used long term for things like computers or digital cameras, can usually be recharged 500-800 times before it loses its ability to hold a charge. It would take hundreds of the disposable variety to equal that kind of lifespan. There are over 50,000 recycling centers nationwide for rechargeable batteries, many at large retail chains like Home Depot, Circuit City and Sears.

Rechargeable batteries, if recycled, are the environmental favorite. Disposable batteries are difficult to recycle and usually end up in landfills. Disposable batteries are considered hazardous household waste so ... be sure to check with your local waste management to find out how to best dispose of them.

Recycling rechargeable batteries is the key. To recycle them, check with the retail companies listed above or the following:

In the US & Canada:

In the US:

By the way ... companies that recycle rechargeable batteries usually handle cell phone recycling as well (another item that I didn't realize could be recycled).

So ... I'll bet that you're looking at batteries in a whole new light now, aren't you?

As always ... I'd love to hear from you!

The Breast Cancer Site

Friday, October 17, 2008

A bargain ...

Recently I decided to wash the shower curtain. There were little spots of mildew forming and I'm pretty sure that mildew is evil stuff ... kind of like a science fiction creature that will eventually take over the planet if we don't stop it. So I carefully took down the curtain and tossed it into the washer. Later, when I went to transfer the wet laundry to the dryer, my shower curtain had disappeared. In it's place were these strange shreds of plastic. Who knew that the washer could destroy ... or rather ... eat a plastic shower curtain?

So ... a quick trip to my favorite dollar store and I had a new, lovely, inexpensive shower curtain ... a real bargain. Opening the package released that less than lovely plastic smell ... but still ... it looked beautiful, matching the decor perfectly.

Some time later, while browsing the Internet, an article on the toxic affects of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) shower curtains jumped out at me. Yep ... you read that right ... PVC shower curtains are toxic ... in a big way.

According to the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, PVC showers curtains are hazardous (you can read their report here: )

Here's a little of what they say about it:

• PVC shower curtains can release as many as 108 volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
into the air. VOCs are chemicals that easily turn into gases and contaminate our air.

• Some of these chemicals cause developmental damage as well as damage to the liver
and central nervous, respiratory, and reproductive systems. Some can cause cancer in
animals; some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans.

• The Environmental Protection Agency’s classifies 7 of the chemicals released as
hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act.

• Some chemicals were found in the air 28 days after a PVC shower curtain was
unwrapped and hung.

• The level of Total VOCs measured was over 16 times greater than the recommended
guidelines for indoor air quality established by the U.S. Green Building Council and
Washington State Indoor Air Quality Program, violating these guidelines for no less than
seven days.

• PVC shower curtains contain high levels of phthalates. Some phthalates have been
linked to reproductive problems including shorter pregnancy duration and premature
breast development in girls, sperm damage and impaired reproductive development in

• PVC shower curtains contain organotins, which can affect the central nervous system,
skin, liver, immune system and reproductive system.

• PVC shower curtains can contain one or more of these metals: lead, cadmium, mercury
and/or chromium.

While hanging that shower curtain, the smell gave me a headache. I dismissed it, thinking that perhaps it was allergies or my tendency to get migraines. Now I wonder ... perhaps it was toxic compounds attacking my system.

A shower curtain seems like such an innocent thing. So do plastic bags, utensils and containers. It is, however, another example of how small things can hurt us ... and the environment. It is important to pay attention, read labels and learn about the products that we deal with on a daily basis. Not doing so can have severe consequences.

I'll be heading to the store to buy a new shower curtain ... something made of cloth. It'll probably be a little more expensive than the plastic version ... but then again ... in terms of our health and that of the earth ... it'll be the true bargain.

As always ... I would love to hear from you!

The Breast Cancer Site

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Become an activist

In September we went to the fair. It's a lovely little fair ... full of community, family and "old timey" values. It's also full of Styrofoam food containers, garbage bins but no recycle bins (that we saw) and very few vegetarian/vegan food options. Call me crazy but ... it seems to me that a festival which celebrates agriculture, farming and "back to basics" lifestyles ... should be green.

My first impulse was to accept things as they are ... going green isn't always financially agreeable to organizations and as for the veggie food ... well, one doesn't go to a fair expecting to eat anything healthy. But then again ... maybe no one has asked the fair organizers to go green, letting them know that it's important and that people are watching ... and maybe people don't expect veggie food because it isn't offered.

The more I thought about it ... the more I needed to take action. So ... I searched the Internet for the names and email addresses of the organizers. Then I wrote very polite letters to them, thanking them for all they do and telling them what I enjoyed about the fair. Next, I suggested some easy changes ... putting out recycle bins .. encouraging their food vendors to discontinue the use of Styrofoam ... encouraging more vegetarian/vegan food options.

And guess what ... they wrote back. They told me of the green efforts they make behind the scenes. They said that they had a few recycle bins out but would put out more of them in prominent places. They said they would be happy to include more veggie food vendors and asked me for suggestions of restaurants which may be willing to attend (which I gave to them). They didn't address the Styrofoam issue but ... the seed has been planted.

Here's the point ... if we respectfully voice our concerns, maybe things will change. At the very least, it will let businesses and organizations know that it's important to the population ... to their customers. It will plant the seeds of change.

I'm hoping that next year, when we attend the fair, we'll see a lot of "green" going on. And if we do, I'll write more letters ... thanking them for their efforts.

So I challenge you ... write a letter ... make a call ... let your voice be heard. Congratulate those who are making efforts and make suggestions to those who can do better. Become an activist and make the world a better place.

As always ... I would love to hear from you!

The Breast Cancer Site