Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The year in review ..

I love the news programs on TV that review the year and remind us of all the events that took place in the last 12 months. So, what better time than the last day of the year to update you on some of the green living changes we made and how they worked out. Here are a few of the things that had the biggest impact on our house.

Composting and Recycling

This year we began composting ... something that we thought would be difficult in an Apartment. It has worked surprisingly well. We turned planters, not in use, into compost bins and started tossing raw fruit and vegetable matter into them. We now have three bins "working". There is no smell, no bugs and no "icky" factor. The food scraps are decaying rapidly and hopefully we'll have fertile soil in the spring.

Recycling was another activity that we thought would be difficult in a small space. But ... where there is a will, there is a way. We converted trash cans in our office to "paper only" cans. We also put some boxes in our laundry room, which is right off the kitchen, and now toss all recyclables into them. Every week or so ... we make a run to the local recycling area.

The result of these two actions is that the garbage bin has become our smallest can. And, before tossing anything into any bin, we consider whether or not it can be re-purposed.

Energy Consumption

This year we kicked up our energy saving practices. Out of 12 light bulbs in two bathrooms, we twisted off 8 (no one needs that much light). All electrical devices, with the exception of the VCR, the refrigerator and the stove, were put on power bars and when not in use, the power was completely off ... no phantom power gluttons. Things like cell phone chargers or battery chargers were unplugged until needed and then, they were only plugged in long enough to charge up the device. In the summer, rather than use air conditioning, ceiling fans were employed and we ... well ... opened the windows. Adjusting the curtains throughout the day also helped keep temperatures comfortable. In the winter, we dressed warmer and used blankets while watching TV. If the temperatures dipped too low, we turned on the heat ... but only long enough to warm things up and take the chill out of the air.

By far our biggest energy change was the use of the hot water heater. Rather than leave it on, all the time, we opted for turning it on for 30 minutes a day. Our water heater doesn't have an on/off switch but ... the circuit box is easy to get to so ... we just flipped it on and off as required.

These efforts were rewarded by lowering our electric bill considerably ... from $90.00 at it's highest to $34.00 last month. More importantly, there was an energy savings ... from a high 1054 kWh to the current 320 kWh.

Starting this blog

One of the most important green living changes in my life has been writing this blog. Through it, I have learned so many things. In addition, I've met wonderful people ... people who care about each other ... and the planet. In the beginning, my goal was to create a place where we could share ideas and perhaps, between us, compile a large enough list that everyone could do something. Thanks to all of you, that goal has been met.

Now it's your turn

What green efforts have you made this year? What are the efforts that you are most proud of ... and why? Of the green efforts you began this year, which has had the most impact? And has there been anything that was a bust?

I look forward to 2009 and sharing even more green ideas.

To all of you ...


Monday, December 29, 2008

Toxic Ingredients in Soap - Part 2

In a previous post (which you can read HERE), we talked about toxic ingredients in soap. One of our bloggy friends, John from I have dreams, wanted to do a little more research on the subject and agreed to send us his findings. He has done a lot of work and offers us additional information so that we can be informed consumers. A big THANK YOU to John ... and now ... his article:

DISCLAIMER: I am not in support of or in protest of products containing or not containing these ingredients. These are compilation of scientific evidence based on the latest research findings.


Hi Friends! This post is in response to a post by a blog friend of mine, Small Footprints. It was a post about 6 ingredients in products believed to be toxic. Coming from a
consumer product website, I was a bit skeptical on the facts presented. As a rule of thumb, I always look for references, or clinical studies that support the claims, and there were none on that website. This makes things even more doubtful, and inspired me to do some research on my own to ascertain and dispel the fears people might develop after reading those things. Get ready for a super long post!

The 6 sources I used for research are reliable sources, such as:

I. The
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),

II. The
Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB), which is a database of summaries of peer-reviewed literature,

III. The
Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS), which is a database of toxic effects that are not peer-reviewed,

IV. The US FDA's
CFSAN, specifically the Office of Cosmetics and Colors,

V. The
Household Products Database of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and

VI. The
ESIS (European chemical Substances Information System) of the Consumer Products Safety & Quality (CPS&Q) Unit, formerly known as the European Chemicals Bureau (ECB), which is part of the Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (IHCP), one of the 7 scientific institutes in the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC).

1. Diethanolamine (DEA)

DEA is found in shampoos, cosmetics and drugs. DEA & DEA-related ingredients function as emulsifiers or foaming agents in cosmetics, or to adjust a product's pH (acidity). Limited information is available on the health effects of DEA. Here are the 7 truths or facts about DEA:

(i) Acute or short-term inhalation exposure to diethanolamine in humans may result in irritation of the nose and throat.

(ii) Dermal exposure might irritate the skin.

(iii) No info is available on the chronic (long-term), reproductive, developmental, or carcinogenic effects of DEA in humans.

(iv) Animal studies have reported effects on the liver, kidney, blood, and central nervous system (CNS) from chronic oral exposure to DEA.

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) completed a study in 1998 that found an association between the topical application of DEA & certain DEA-related ingredients and cancer in laboratory animals (mice). For the DEA-related ingredients, the NTP study suggests that the carcinogenic response is linked to possible residual levels of DEA. The NTP study did not establish a link between DEA and the risk of cancer in humans.

(vi) EPA has not classified DEA for carcinogenicity.

(vii) FDA believes that at the present time there is no reason for consumers to be alarmed based on the use of these substances in cosmetics. If FDA determines that a health hazard exists, the agency will advise the industry and the public and will consider its legal options under the authority of the
Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act in protecting the health and welfare of consumers.

Based on the facts available, I don't think anyone should be in fear of using products containing DEA. Besides, if you must know, more than 90% of shampoos and cosmetics available in the market currently contain DEA and/or DEA-related ingredients.

2. Polypropylene (PP)

Is PP really present in lipsticks, mascaras, baby soaps, eye shadows? I tried searching hard for information relating to the use of PP in these products but could not find any. The only thing I could find was the use of PP for the lipstick holder/tube's cover, e.g. the Aveda brand. It's not used in the lipstick itself. And the same for the mascara, PP is used as the interior bottle, not in the mascara itself. And the bag used to hold the baby soap. And the handle of the eye shadow.

PP is a thermoplastic polymer, made by the chemical industry and used in a wide variety of applications, including packaging, textiles (e.g. ropes, Under Armour, thermal underwear and carpets), stationery, plastic parts and reusable containers of various types, laboratory equipment, loudspeakers, automotive components, and polymer banknotes. PP is rugged and unusually resistant to many chemical solvents, bases and acids. Melting point of PP is ~ 160 °C. Polypropene is commonly recycled, and has the number "5" as its recycling symbol.

Here's an example of the usage of PP in a very commonly used product - the PP lid of a Tic Tacs box, with a living hinge and the resin identification code under its flap. I think if you look closely, you could make out the recycling symbol and the number "5" in the centre of that symbol.

Is it because PP could "leak" into the product itself, and hence the issue of toxicity? I don't think so. PP is liable to chain degradation (breaking down into single propylenes) from exposure to UV radiation such as that present in sunlight. For external applications, UV-absorbing additives are commonly used, such as carbon black. Anti-oxidants are also normally added to prevent PP degradation.

EPA and FDA has nothing on PP with regards to the use of PP in cosmetics, but many publications on the use of PP in packaging, textiles, stationery, plastic parts, containers, etc.

From the HSDB:
(i) Evidence for carcinogenicity: No data are available in humans.

(ii) Inadequate evidence of carcinogenicity in animals. The agent is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans.

So is there any concern about PP? Nopey.

3. Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate

Although this chemical is widely used in many consumer products, there had been little or no health studies or reliable info on the effect of this chemical on the human health. There are also no info available on the HSDB. Furthermore, there are no publication on this from EPA and FDA. The ESIS had several conclusions:

(i) There is no information in ESIS for this substance with respect to the BPD [Biocidal Products Directive (Directive 98/8/EC)]. A biocide is a chemical substance capable of killing living organisms, usually in a selective way, e.g. pesticides, antimicrobials, etc.

(ii) This substance is not listed in the Annex I of Export and Import of Dangerous Chemicals [Regulation (EC) No 689/2008].

(iii) This substance is not listed in a priority list [as foreseen under Council Regulation (EEC) No 793/93 on the evaluation and control of the risks of existing substances].

Does this speak about the seriousness of the toxicity of this chemical?

4. Sodium Lauryl Sulphate or Sulfate (SLS)

The "bad" name for SLS had been circulating on the internet since I finished high school, which wasn't THAT many years ago (10 years, to be exact) :) Is it really BAD, specifically in causing cancer? The answer is NO. My friends over in, a great website for checking various myths or rumors under the sun, had done an excellent "exposure" on the truth about SLS:

Sodium lauryl sulfate (also known as sodium laurel sulfate, or SLS) and its chemical relative, sodium laureth sulfate (i.e., sodium lauryl ether sulfate, or SLES), are substances used in products such as shampoo, toothpaste, and mouth rinses as foaming and cleansing agents, producing the lather and clean hair we all know and love. (SLS, because it is cheaper to produce, is more commonly used than SLES) SLS is an irritant, and a shampoo containing 15% SLS is mainly tolerable only because it comes in contact with the scalp for just a few minutes and is diluted with water while in use. Should you get some in your eyes you'd certainly want to flush it out as soon as possible, and you really don't want to swallow the stuff. Those are the greatest dangers SLS poses to the average consumer, however. FDA does require that fluoride toothpastes shipped as of 7 April 1998 carry a warning label about the dangers of swallowing too much toothpaste, and SLS is one of the three ingredients (along with sorbitol and fluoride) identified as posing a health risk. Because it causes cancer? No, because it can cause diarrhea.

SLS is even found in food products such as candy. For example, it's an ingredient in Candy Bubbles, described as "Bubbles you can eat!" Although the label warns that the product should not be eaten outright, Candy Bubbles are touted as a fat-free, calorie-free edible product. Hardly something the FDA would allow to remain on the market if one of its ingredients were known to cause cancer.

Additionally, all manufacturers of hazardous chemicals in the U.S. are required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a part of the U.S. Department of Labor, to file Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for those products. An MSDS "contains written or printed material concerning a hazardous chemical as prescribed by law," including information "needed to insure the safety and health of the user at all stages of (the chemical's) manufacture, storage, use, and disposal." Examining the MSDS for sodium lauryl sulfate, we find that the "Health Hazard Data" section that SLS can produce some rather nasty side effects if you inhale or ingest it, get it in your eyes, or leave it in contact with your skin for too long. But we already knew all that, and the general results of this misuse are symptoms such as skin irritation or nausea, not cancer.

In fact, three different agencies - OSHA, the National Toxicology Program (NTP), and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have all rated SLS as being non-carcinogenic.

How about the rest of this message? Should we be concerned because "the fact is that SLS is used to scrub garage floors, and it is very strong"? Not really. Detergent is detergent; the same properties that make a substance useful for cleaning your hair make it useful for cleaning your clothes or a garage floor. Obviously you wouldn't want to use the same strength of a substance such as SLS on your hair as you would on a garage floor, and that's why shampoos typically contain no more than a 15% SLS solution. Cinnamon oil is "very strong" too, and you'd burn your mouth if you swallowed it undiluted. That doesn't mean that lesser concentrations of cinnamon oil are harmful, though.

We're also warned that "research has shown that in the 1980's, the chance of getting cancer is one out of 8000 and now in the 1990's, the chances of getting cancer is one in three," as if the chances of contracting cancer had skyrocketed in the last few decades (with the implication that substances such as SLS are to blame for this rise). According to the American Cancer Society, the "probability that an individual, over the course of their lifetime, will develop cancer or die from it" was one in three for both men and women in the 1980s, and one in two for men and one in three in women in 1998. Hardly the alarming jump claimed. You might still think that one in three sounds awfully high, and that something must be causing all this cancer, something that didn't exist or wasn't in common use several decades ago, when far fewer people died or cancer. It's true that something causes cancer, but it's a fallacy to assume that this something wasn't around back in the days when fewer people died of cancer. A large part of the reason that so many people die of cancer these days is that they live much longer and don't die of something else first. Everybody dies of something, and since relatively few people these days die of smallpox or the plague or the measles or tuberculosis or polio or any of a number of other maladies we've cured or eliminated, they're around long enough to contract cancer. It's hardly alarming that people die of cancer in their seventies instead of dropping dead of heart attacks in their fifties.

So where does the idea that SLS is carcinogenic come from? Back in the 1970s some shampoos were found to be contaminated with small amounts of nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic. Ethanolamine lauryl sulfates used in these shampoos were determined to be the source of the nitrosamine contamination, and manufacturers took corrective action. Perhaps someone is now confusing ethanolamine lauryl sulfate with sodium lauryl sulfate. Or, since the "SLS is dangerous" message has been widely disseminated by sellers of "alternative" or "all natural" products who tout that their wares don't contain SLS, perhaps someone in the "natural products" business deliberately created the message as a way of drumming up sales. There's nothing like an unfounded medical scare to get those cash registers ringing, and you can altruistically claim you have your customers' best interests at heart while you fleece them.

Wherever this notion came from, there simply is no medical evidence that SLS poses a significant risk of cancer to consumers of household products such as shampoo and toothpaste.

Based on the HSDB, here are the evidence-based human health effects of SLS:

(i) Can produce allergic sensitivity reactions.

(ii) May produce drying effect on skin.

(iii) Commonest cause of eye irritation by commercial shampoos.

(iv) Among 242 patients suffering from eczematous dermatitis, the percentage of allergic reactions reached 54.6%. Great number of allergic reactions to SLS (6.4%) was observed.
(Blondeel et al., 1978) **PEER REVIEWED**

(v) Widely used anionic detergents of low acute & chronic toxicity.

(vi) Poison by intravernous and intraperitoneal routes. Moderately toxic by ingestion and a human skin irritant.

(vii) Minimum Fatal Dose Level:


Based on the facts available, I don't think anyone should be afraid of using products containing SLS.

5. Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)

The answer for this chemical is similar to the one above, since the chemical actions are the same as SLS.

The Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association (CTFA) and the American Cancer Society have stated that the common belief that SLES is a carcinogen is an urban legend or a myth, a view confirmed by toxicology research by the OSHA, NTP, and IARC. SLES and SLS, and subsequently the products containing them, have been found to contain parts-per-thousand to parts-per-million levels of 1,4-dioxane, with the recommendation that these levels be monitored. EPA considers 1,4-dioxane to be a probable human carcinogen, meaning that a daily consumption of one gram of 1,4-dioxane over a lifetime would increase the cancer risk by about one part in 3000. Such an intake would correspond to eating liters of "contaminated" SLES on a daily basis, which would be rather unhealthy because of the SLES itself, which is not used in products that are intended for oral ingestion. FDA encourages manufacturers to remove 1,4-dioxane, although it is not required by federal law.

So is there any concern about SLES, or SLS? Nopey nope nope.

6. Triclosan

BINGO!!! Why bingo? Because, of all 6 ingredients proposed to be "toxic", this is the one I could confirm to be BAD. Ladies and gentlemen, friends, PLEASE avoid using products containing triclosan.

Reports have suggested that triclosan can combine with chlorine in tap water to form chloroform gas, which EPA classifies as a probable human carcinogen. As a result, triclosan was the target of a UK cancer alert, even though the study showed that the amount of chloroform generated was less than amounts often present in chlorinated drinking waters.

Triclosan reacts with the free chlorine in tap water to also produce lesser amounts of other compounds, like 2,4-dichlorophenol. Most of these intermediates convert into dioxins upon exposure to UV radiation (from the sun or other sources). Although small amounts of dioxins are produced, there is a great deal of concern over this effect because some dioxins are extremely toxic and are very potent endocrine disruptors. They are also chemically very stable, so that they are eliminated from the body very slowly (they can bioaccumulate to dangerous levels), and they persist in the environment for a very long time.

A 2006 study concluded that low doses of triclosan act as an endocrine disruptor in the North American bullfrog. The hypothesis proposed is that triclosan blocks the metabolism of thyroid hormone, because it chemically mimics thyroid hormone, and binds to the hormone receptor sites, blocking them, so that normal hormones cannot be utilized. The negative effects of Triclosan on the environment and its questionable benefits in toothpastes has led to the Swedish Naturskyddsföreningen to recommend not using triclosan in toothpaste.

Triclosan is used in many common household products including Clearasil Daily Face Wash, Dentyl mouthwash, Dawn, the Colgate Total range, Crest Cavity Protection, Softsoap, Dial, Right Guard deodorant, Sensodyne Total Care, Old Spice and Mentadent.

At this time, in the United States, manufacturers of products containing triclosan must say so somewhere on the label.


In one study, recently accepted for publication in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives and made available online, Isaac Pessah, PhD, director of the U.C. Davis Children's Center for Environmental Health, looked at how triclosan may affect the brain. Pessah's test-tube study found that the chemical attached itself to special "receptor" molecules on the surface of cells. This raises calcium levels inside the cell. Cells overloaded with calcium get overexcited. In the brain, these overexcited cells may burn out neural circuits, which could lead to an imbalance that affects mental development. Some people may carry a mutated gene that makes it easier for triclosan to attach to their cells. That could make them more vulnerable to any effects triclosan may cause.


In another recent study this year, UC Davis researchers calls into question the widespread use of two active ingredients - triclocarban and triclosan - in personal hygiene products, including anti-bacterial bar and liquid soaps. Using human and animal cell lines, researchers found that triclocarban disrupts reproductive hormone activity and triclosan interferes a type of cell signaling that occurs in brain, heart and other cells.

"Americans spend nearly one billion dollars a year on these products even though recent studies show that they are no better than regular soap and water at reducing the spread of illness. Now we have added evidence that, in some cases, the benefits may not be worth the risks," said Dan Chang, professor emeritus of civil and environmental engineering.

"Manufacturers of products containing triclosan and triclocarban should consider providing cautionary labels. There are new health-related data on these chemicals that consumers should know about, even if the research is in its early stages," Chang said.

The current study was published online in Environmental Health Perspectives, a publication of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, in May.

The authors of the study are part of the UC Davis Superfund Basic Research Program. The group, part of a national network, is charged with assessing and understanding the effects that exposure to environmental substances have on human health.

"We decided to take a look at triclocarban and triclosan because these compounds appeared to be building up in the environment," said Bruce Hammock, an Superfund Basic Research Program investigator and professor of entomology. The compounds are also increasingly being detected in human breast milk and urine, he said.

Triclosan and triclocarban were first introduced for use by surgeons and other operating room personnel to prevent bacterial infections. Today they are inexpensive and readily available, in part because the patents on them have expired. "We are not concerned about limited use in settings with clearly edvident high-value such as in surgical settings. It's the widespread use that is of concern," Hammock said.

Superfund researchers use bioassays to measure the kind of effects a substance might have on living organisms, using animal or human cell lines as proxies for human exposure. The four assays in this study looked at the effects of triclocarban and triclosan. One assay tests a second messenger system broadly used by cells in the peripheral and central nervous systems, a second examines another pathway important in protein synthesis and two assays evaluate the activity of male and female sex hormones (androgens and estrogens).

The first assay involved observing the impact of the chemicals on ryanodine receptors, proteins that serve to keep calcium levels in balance. Calcium is needed for proper cell signaling, especially in brain, heart and muscle cells where these receptors are found. Disrupting these levels could lead to alterations in cell function. Triclosan significantly increased resting calcium levels in the mouse cells used in the assay.

The second assay looked at the impact on aryl hydrocarbon receptors (AhR). Normally, this cell-surface receptor binds a protein that leads to changes in gene expression, the process by which information encoded in the DNA is translated into proteins. Binding of this receptor by the environmental toxin dioxin has been shown to cause everything from birth defects to tumor production. Triclosan exhibited weak activity in the AhR bioassay. Triclocarban exhibited no activity.

Because of feedback loops in the body, amplification of these hormones could have the effect of depressing natural estrogen and androgen production, potentially impacting fertility and other hormone-dependent processes. In the current study, besides carrying out the AhR assays, co-author Michael Denison repeated Lasley's experiments using a different human cell line. Denison, a professor of environmental toxicology, observed a similar amplification effect.

Chang said he feels strongly that consumers be provided information about potential hazards, though he is quick to point out that those who are not in high-risk groups may decide to continue their use of triclosan- and triclocarban-containing products. "I have not stopped using my gingivitis-fighting toothpaste. However, if I were a pregnant woman or the parent of a small child, I might check the labels of the products that I use and stop using any that contain those chemicals until we can work this out," Chang said.


In a Dec 2007 study (please email me at if you want the full paper), Aiello et al. concluded that the lack of an additional health benefit associated with the use of triclosan-containing consumer soaps over regular soap, coupled with laboratory data demonstrating a potential risk of selecting for drug resistance, warrants further evaluation by governmental regulators regarding antibacterial product claims and advertising. Further studies of this issue are encouraged.

So the overall conclusion for this post is:

DEA, PP, Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, SLS and SLES are SAFE to be used.

Triclosan MUST BE AVOIDED at all costs!

Again, I'd like to say thank you to John for this information. And as always ... I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Your Comments ...

It's the last Friday of the month ... and that means comments. Thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts and ideas this month. And now ... sit back ... relax ... and enjoy:

Brian said...

Wow! That's a ton comments. You do a great job encouraging readers to participate. Keep up the excellent information and messages you provide. This is definitely one special blog.

Ms. B1tch is tired tired tired...(and very hungry said...

Ms. B listened and watched little mini movie below and it made her feel so much better. Ms B was quite the grump for several days! Now, she feels better - but she should have watched video before posting her tirades, yes? Tee.hee.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Hi! Are you ready for the weather coming?

We sure need the rain - but we may get snow, too!

Robot Nine said...

Cool, neat idea, fun to read, comments make the blog more fun. Thanks for the Shrekulation on Robot Nine. This week I have some more posts that might be a bit. shocking, lol!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Your blog is not only earth friendly, it's people friendly. :)

sober white women said...

You are so right. I have never really drove much, but once gas went high I really stopped. Gas comes from oil, and that is something we can never replace.
We should all conserve gas.

Angie Ledbetter said...

The roller coaster prices of gas (with no seeming reason) makes it even scarier to buy something big! Have a great December.

IB said...

The price of oil sky-rocketed and July and plummeted back down in September/October. Regardless of the reasons and/or the identity of those pulling the strings, our reaction to the ever-changing oil market tells me we are very vulnerable, indeed, to a commodity that is managed in a seemingly whimsical fashion. Whatever is happening cannot be healthy for us, as a society, and is another good reason to break ourselves of this poisonous addiction. The multiple costs are simply too many and too great in scale to continue our bad habit. Of course, kicking any habit can be hell, but most of the time proves worth the effort.

Thanks for the thought provoking post.


Joe's Foster Dogs said...


Thanks for saying what I am thinking!!!

Argentum Vulgaris said...

The secret is, now that you have learned to economise using gas, don't go and forget it. Keep economising for the sake of the planet.


E. Michelle said...

I've heard that the current prediction is we will run out of gas in about 50 years. Personally, I'm looking forward to it. At first I feel the media will really scare everyone into a frenzy. Later on I feel it will be the best thing that ever happened to not only the environment, but also families.

Nice post!

Barry said...

No doubt about it you are absolutely correct.

The price of gas has dropped largely because of decreased demand.

Not only are we reducing our green house gas emissions, but we're saving money too.

SearchingSoul said...

I missed reading your blogs for quite a while. I have a lot of cathing up to do. :-)

I agree with you that although the price of gasoline has gone down, it is still a non-renewable energy and would be gone one day.

Aside from conserving, we need to consider using renewable energy as much as we could.

Thanks for missing my blog. I just posted one yesterday.

John said...

The price of petrol fluctuates like nobody's business, but one thing remains constant... the declining amount.

It's a matter of how fast it finishes, and how much it cost to finish.

Terri Tiffany said...

I'm still conserving despite the lower costs. Still hoping an alternative is soon to be available. Thanks for some good information as always!

Ms. B1tch is tired tired tired...(and very hungry said...

Ms. B is listening and heeding, yes!

(Ms B put your story about coffee in the lap on her blogpost today - tee.hee. she laughed at the stories and wants more!)

Kathryn Magendie said...

I am still conserving! Just as I do other things - like not letting the water run while washing dishes, my hands, face, etc. And by turning off lights, etc!

mlh said...

Oil did skyrocket, which did not help those living in rural areas who need heating oil for the winter and don't have the luxury of gas. It is reminders like these that need to be told. Thanks for sharing!

Joanne said...

It does seem almost a ploy, to placate us into believing gas will stay cheap and it's safe to go out and buy the huge SUVs sitting idle on the lots. The sad thing is, the gas prices might just be the motivation some people need.

foodbankbarbie said...

You left me my very first comment EVER.. so I was excited enough about that.. and then I come to read YOUR blog.. and find this incredible site that is right up my alley! This blog ROCKS! I absolutely love it.. I am so thrilled. YAY FOR YOU!!!! :) And thank you for that wonderful comment.

foodbankbarbie said...

Thank you for adding me to your blog roll! I feel famous. This food blog is GREAT. I'm thinking you should start a commune with all these great ideas.. I mean if you win the lottery and can buy 1,000 acres somewhere green.. okay so maybe it's a stretch. But you would be FABULOUS as the leader of a a little city intent on being green.. which people would flock to and then it would grow and then it could take over the entire world. YOU COULD SAVE THE EARTH. Just a thought. Too much coffee. :)

sober white women said...

Thank you for the info. One of the things I do is I throw all of my organic waste out by my rose bush. I do not know how to grow roses or what they need to grow, but so far what I am feed them is working! They are huge. Coffee grinds are great for plants.

Marcy said...

Great ideas here. I like to shop with a list and feel "out of sorts" when I don't. I hate to waste food and throw things out. Part of it comes from working in the restaurant business and trying to keep food cost down.

I need to compost more but it's hard when you live in an apartment.

Joanne said...

I was glad to see that I do many of these already! We always plant a vegetable garden in the spring, and right through autumn eat all our produce fresh from the garden or from one of several local farmstands. Another benefit is that the flavor just cannot be beat!

Angie Ledbetter said...

I'm the best food recycler I know. NEVER throw food out, but turn it into something else. Big soups, gumbos and pot pies are awesome for cleaning out the fridge of leftovers.

Marcy said...

Thanks for this post. My husband and I were talking about this the other day. He mentioned that prices will go up again in April.

Laura said...

I am so glad Obama won because that is the only way something will hopefully be done about changing the cars we drive, and how we get around. Someone really needs to start the CHANGE. But, thankfully, the Hummer dealership in my town went out of business.

luthien said...

my goodness sf! another brilliant post! how do you get so many wonderful ideas, you are precious! the world needs lots more people like you :)))) love the post! thanks!

Wellness KIDS said...

Great information - I've been trying to waste less food but I had no idea just how bad food waste was! Thanks for enlightening me.


Vivienne said...

great ideas, I hate wasting food so I'm going to print this off and stick it on my fridge at home - so my housemates have a look as well!
Also, should you have bought too much food - freeze it. That way it won't go off in teh fridge just lying around.

shellyfish said...

Food and our relationship with it plays such a huge part in our interaction with the environment. While I didn't go vegan initially because of the obvious huge benefits for the environment, I'l so happy with all the accidental pluses it brings!
And I love A Christmas Carol - especially the George C. Scott rendition. I show it every year to my EFL classes here in France!

PlantBuddy said...

"Planning ahead twice", now that's an original idea! I like it and all it means is pausing to consider before plopping items into your shopping cart. Local tomatoes grown hydroponically are available all winter and they taste almost as good as garden-grown ones.

Douglas said...

My mother used to keep leftovers for three days and then create what she called "slumgullian", it was always interesting.

On the landfill methane; we should be tapping more of it for energy use. There was a story some years ago about a chicken farmer who dug a pits into which he dumped the chicken droppings. Within a short time, he was able to pipe the methane into tanks, converted his farm machines to run on it, and ran his farm with it.

mlh said...

Wonderful information! Hardly any food is thrown out without being converted into different dishes or used for mulch. And don't forget to mention that some fruits, like orange peels, can be dried and placed into bags for the aroma to air out musty smells in rooms.

E. Michelle said...

This is great information! Food waste is a big problem for sure...I feel such guilt when I throw out leftovers.

I like your tip about cutting down the recipe when you're just cooking for 1 or 2 people. That does save a lot of food!

Thanks for this post!

Brian said...

Love the tips, as always. We always overcook and need to cut down on the waste. I hope you don't mind, but I listed your site as one of 18 Great Resources in my latest entry.

Take Care,

Barry said...

Some excellent advice. We reuse all the left overs we can (having a dog helps), compost much of the rest or put it out for the City's composting green bin program.

sober white women said...

This bread sounds good. I often make my own bread. I even grind the organic wheat. There is nothing like baking love.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Paisan, love love love that Italian light cakey bread! It's great when it starts to get a little tough to slice, butter and broil for breakfast. Yum!

foodbankbarbie said...

I was wondering.
I've decided to make fun flyers to pass out at work... to customers, so they can donate/recycle food and plastic grocery bags, etc., and to stick in the food boxes of my families.
If this makes you feel funky, I WILL NOT BE OFFENDED.
I was wondering if you care if I put some things from your blog in them.. some of your tips, etc. I can send you what I want to use first so you can okay it, and of course I'll say I got it from you.
I just thought of this like 30 minutes ago, the flyer, so it's still in the planning stages.. I just wanted to check.
Let me know! :)

shellyfish said...

I was just thinking that I haven't made a Panettonne! This recipe sounds great - thanks for sharing.
Feel free to link for your gift list - I think that book is a wonderful idea for little ones and it's so wonderful because you can use your fabric scraps to make it!

Small Footprints said...

To foodbankbarbie and ... everyone:

I love passing on the "green" word so ... if you want to use the ideas you see here ... please do! Together ... we can change the world!! :)

To shellyfish ... thanks for giving us the OK to link to your site ... Monday's post promises to be terrific.

Small Footprints

Joanne said...

I think what I love best about this recipe is that you knead tons of love into the bread!! We have a theory in my house, when making food, Christmas food in particular. The right music must be playing on the stereo as we prepare the food (Frank Sinatra Christmas Carols with the lasagna!) to give it an extra special flavor. Music is one of our ingredients :)

Mike Avenue said...

hmmmm... can't wait to try it!

Hope you can add to these posts the ingredients that is available on asian stores.


LittleJ said...

I have never had any luck with baking bread, you wouldn't have any suggestions for a very VERY easy loaf to start with, would you?

Ms. B1tch is tired tired tired...(and very hungry said...

Ms. B is hungry! Ms B wants some of that RIGHT NOW! ohhhhhhh....

luthien said...

hey sf :)
i just wanna pass you a link... probably interest you :)

btw... the bread looks gooood!

kat boop magendie said...

I do want some of that - I bet it makes fabulous french I want french toast.

I linked you to the msn blog!

Small Footprints said...

To Mike Avenue: Good idea ... I'll post some recipes which use ingredients you can get (I love Asian food).

To LittleJ: I have a good Whole Wheat Bread recipe that's pretty easy. If you send your email address to me, I'll send it to you (it's a little long to type in the comments). Write to me at:

To Luthien: Thanks for the link ... I'm off to check it out now!

Take care, everyone!

Small Footprints

kat magendie said...

Hey, thanks for posting this (and the small press info on my site) - I'll be sure to post these links soon to my msn site *smiling*

sober white women said...

I am going to have to stop by there. Thank you so much for sharing all of these ideas. I have two teen age daughters and this year they are getting stainless steel water bottles in thier stockings.

Roxy said...

WOW these are really great ideas!!
I am going to add your blog to mine. Very nice blog - but you knew that.

Stop by mine when you have a minute.


Wellness KIDS said...

Thanks for the great shout out! I had fun working on this with you.


Joanne said...

I like the garden kit, to cultivate a lifelong love of gardening, starting when they're young. That's a wonderful idea.

LittleJ said...

I second your nomination of Macbooks as one heckuva gift, my school is Apple-crazy and everyone has one :D

John said...

Looks and sounds sooooooo yummy :)

John said...

Hmmm, my family and friends don't call me garbage bin for nothing... hahaha... I normally end up finishing all the leftovers, which is why I normally don't order much food for myself!

Thanks for sharing about this food wastage and decomposing problem. Never knew that.

NicoMc "the Illustrator" said...

That's a great Christmas Gift Guide. I love Apple computers.

Mike Avenue said...

Great ideas indeed!
Thank you for posting these tips.

Mike Avenue said...

These are all wonderful ideas indeed!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Little indoor herb kits are great for young chefs and farmers too. :) I always liked giving coupon books (handmade) with extra goodies in them like "Stay up 30 minutes past bedtime," "Ride bikes with Mom," etc. made from recycled paper, of course.

yolanda said...

small footprints,

this is on an unrelated topic, but i thought you would be interested in it. there has recently been a recall of ALL irish pork products because extremely high levels of dioxin were found in the meat. if you are interested in knowing more, one of my friends has written about it at length on

peace and love,

shellyfish said...

This is such a rich post! So full of great links & ideas - I have always been a MAC girl, I love that they score higher environmentally.
Thanks for the shout out, too. :)

PlantBuddy said...

Thank you Wellness Kids and Small Footprints for all these wonderful green gift suggestions and ideas and all the helpful links. People (parents and grandparents, etc.) just have to get in the green minded groove. Check where that toy was made and what's it made of before you plunk down your cash at the register. Buyer Beware! The kids are depending on YOU. Have a safe and happy holiday.

Angie Ledbetter said...

This frugal gal (it's in my Italian blood) uses a lot of these already. Thanks for more great suggestions.

Joanne said...

Some of these ideas are so pretty, too. Using scarves & dishtowels to wrap, or finding sprigs of berries outside for bows. Love it. Our family has used the Christmas card/gift tag idea for years now. They make festive tags!

Jane! said...

Finally my box collection is validated!
Be careful with the popcorn - the oil can make spots on things. I learned that the hard way.
Good ideas!

yolanda said...

another good wrapping paper is pages from a magazine! they can also make funky envelopes :-D


Barry said...

We use bags, instead of wrapping paper. They are much easier to reuse.

Although my wife does have a pet peeve and that is people who insist on sticking name tags to the bags that can't be reused without ripping the paper.

It is just as easy to tie the tag to the bag handle freeing up the bag for unlimited future use.

Great blog as always.

sober white women said...

I love your idea for packing. I wrote about this a while back, but now I have more idea's. This year you will see a ton of brown under our tree. I did not wrap hardly anything.
I say hardly, because I have a handi cap son who still loves to tear open the paper, but I did buy the paper at a yard sale.
I love your blog.

Wellness KIDS said...

Great ideas as always. I saw a great gift wrap idea on the Today Show the other day. They used a Baggu reusable shopping tote to wrap gifts. The colors are so cute. They just put the gift in the bag and tied the handles at the top and it looked like a festive bow.

Argentum Vulgaris said...

I had paper at home that had seen up to 5 Christmases... My ex couldn't understand it (but then she is Brazilian) they don't think of these things.


Annabelle said...

I like the new eco-friendly furniture at for the "Greener" office. They have an entire gallery that tells you all the info about the stuff. All the fashion and quality with none of the damage to the ozone :)

John said...

Great greener packaging ideas! I'll start to apply that not just for Christmas, but for my work as well, since I do need to send out things from time to time.

Have a nice Thursday, Small Footprints!

molly said...

I'm an ardent reader of The Guardian, and every holiday season they spend a couple of weeks adding in artist or celeb designed wrapping paper, which you can collect over a few weeks. I've got loads of wrapping paper now. Another cool thing about The Guardian, if it's not the holiday giving season, is every day they dedicate their entire centre spread to one or several photos, and while some photos contain subjects you wouldn't want to put presents in (like the week of the Mumbai incedent... that's not good wrapping paper material), sometimes it's just neat or beautiful photos and that works well as wrapping paper too!

shellyfish said...

Old maps and the comics pages from old newspapers are our stand-bys, but this year, we're also using sheets of scrap paper that have been decorated by our 3-year-old. It's such a wasteful time of year, every little bit helps!

Crafty Ladies said...

Thank you so much for the wrapping suggestions! There are some great ideas on your list that I had not thought of before. Have a wonderful Green Holiday!

IB said...

Hello Small Footprints,

This is scary information! I appreciate the effort you went to in researching this post. I'm letting my friends around the office know about it and your righteous blog.



sober white women said...

O.K. my 16 year old just got frossed out!
I think it is great that you are putting all this info out there.
I agree if you can't understand what you are reading then don't buy it.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Good grief! Who knew? Thanks for the information.

MaryC said...

My Goodness! Are we all going to have to stop bathing? How can these companies get by with this stuff? It just amazes me how dangerous our world is now.
One thing about the chlorine in your water, get a whole house water filter or at least an attachment for your shower or bath faucet. Chlorine fumes are very dangerous. We tested our tap water and it had more chlorine in it than our swimming pool.

Joanne said...

I just checked our antibacterial soap - there it is, triclosan! Time to go shopping.

Leon Basin said...

I liked this article.

Everyday Housewife said...

Uh..oh.. looks like I have to go shopping for new products. Going to throw out that bar of antibacterial soap. Thanks for the info!

luthien said...

good grief... what will become of us? toxins even in baby products??? this is not good at all...

SearchingSoul said...

Oh My God! I am having my bath after blogging...and I'm scared to use my toiletries. For sure those harmful chemicals are in my soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, lotion and facial cremes. But on the other hand, I will also die a thousand deaths if I am deprived with my daily rituals in the bathroom. LOL!

Thank you for going out of your way in researching for all these information. You have made a lot of difference in this harmful world.

John said...

Hi Small Footprints,

If you don't mind, I would like to research on these "toxic" ingredients, because the accuracy of these information could be biased, coming from the website of a consumer product (PureZing).

I'll put the results in my next blog post. Have a great weekend!


Argentum Vulgaris said...

No wonder all my hair fell out and I've only got half my teeth. Never going to shower again!

Great post SF, informative and surprising as always.


foodbankbarbie said...

I have this ugly big bar of olive oil soap that I use in the shower.. it turns yellow..let's just say it doesn't look too appealing. But it's all natural. My family complains that they even have to look at it. Won't they get a nice surprise when they get home today and find I have thrown out all of that other crap and they have to use it! They'll get used to it. I'm going to try THAT attitude..'Well it's what you're going to use.. or else you won't be using soap.' :) Man made pruducts have screwed our world up. But.. I guess MAN has screwed our world up.

Small Footprints said...

To John ... and everyone:

Yes, yes ... I encourage you to "check the facts". And if you find information which is contrary to what is posted here, please let me know. I view this blog as a place where we can share information and learn ... with the goal being that we lead healthier, greener lives.

Small Footprints

Brian said...

Wow, you're so smart on the topics you cover and this blog has leaped forward into captivating everyone who reads your work. It's evident by watching your followers continually increase. As I mentioned before, this is the "Go-To Site for Going Green"

Keep up all your great work!

Inge' said...

I recently found this website. I haven't delved into it very deeply but it looks worthwhile if you want to take a look: They have a listing for all sorts of green products. After reading this post, i found a listing of companies that sell natural soaps. Just passing it along.

Stormy said...

Just love your blog! Glad you are following mine as well. I'm pretty new to this, but so far it's fun and I can see that it could be addicting. I love what you write about and look forward to when I have time to read all your older posts!

E. Michelle said...

This is scary stuff, but good to know... I've even seen calcium supplements with SLS in them! Yuck!

Anonymous said...

Those are all such awesome ideas! And there were so many too. There really has to be something there for everyone!

One thing I'd add to the thought that you might not need boxes is that for babies you're probably better off without them anyway. Whenever I've given young babies gifts, they have a little bit easier time opening them when the wrapping isn't absolutely perfect.

Just a thought. (And thanks again!)

-courtney (from Green Living Forum)

PlantBuddy said...

Yes, I've heard about this before. I guess we should buy our soaps, etc. from the health food stores.
Antibacterial soaps are not recommended even for dishwashing liquids because germs can develop a resistance to it.

Thanks for dropping by on weekend and comments. About your question on Poinsettia. I just buy a new one each year. You need special conditions to get the leaves to turn red for you.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Love the clothes-sharing and also the donating. Lots of opportunities where I live for donations. Our church also sponsors a "Giving Tree" each Advent for the needy, which is really nice. Our schools do a lot of used uniform sales too. For cutting food waste, you can always swap leftovers with friends & neighbors. :)

foodbankbarbie said...

Awesome ideas as usual!! I WILL *pass it on*! :)

Everyday Housewife said...

I remember reading an article on car sharing. How I wish it would work here. I regret that car pooling hardly works here despite the encouragement of the government. The car sharing in Stehekin would only work if you have honest people. Here, i think the car would be driven away if the keys were left in the lock!

sober white women said...

I buy 99% of my stuff used. I just like it better. I think it is a great way to recycle.
I reuse old toothbrushes to scrub the toilet with and then I pitch them.
OH! I have a ton of old baby bib's..the kind with no plastic... anyway I use them to wash dishes. They work great.

Julieanne Paige said...


Great tips! I especially like the shower tip ;) I'll call my friends today and see if they're interested.

Joking aside though there are so many little things we can do and thankfully people like yourself help more people to become aware of what they can do.

Great blog!


Vivienne said...

Great ideas, sorry I haven't commented for a while. Got another one, not sure how easy it is on your side of hte world though. Over here the shops like Strabucks, Pret-a-manger, etc. (supposedly fresh food) throw out their food at the end of the day as it goes by it's "use by" date and they will not be held responsible if anything happens. So it all goes in the BIN!! So what I've been doing (I do have friends that work at tehse shops though) is ask them to bring me the leftover food and we give it to homeless people or they do it themselves. Not bad eh?

Anyway, I have tagged you...nto sure how you feel about hetse type of games but I will bear it in mind for next time :)

Game - pros and cons about yourself?
I keep seeing meme's (don't know what that is so I've just called it game on my blog) on other people's blogs. You tag each other and it's so much fun. So I'm going to try one out myself! Hopefully it'll work! So here goes.

Tell me three good things about yourself and three bad things about yourself. Post it on your own blog and tag people. So this way I will get to know your good and bad traits! :)

1 - I'm a great listener.
2 - I'm quite funny.
3 - I don't judge people.

1 - Bad temper (at times).
2 - I don't like people touching my things....
3 - I am easy to tease.

I am tagging the following people:

Hektiklyfe -

Moments Define Life -

Danny (with a Y can I just add :) -

Notes of the Everyday Housewife -

Reduce Footprints -

Now, any others I haven't tagged is because I'm not quite sure whether you'd like this game in general (as I've never seen meme's on your blogs) or where I'm sure you'd hate it - like AV :)

Argentum Vulgaris said...

SF, When I was a kid, clothes always got handed down. First me, then my brother, but my sister hated the idea... then off to cousins and the like.

Electric toothbrushes, really, what a waste of time, energy and resources. I gotta say that anybody who uses an electric toothbrush has got more money than sense.

Showering with a friend, now that I agree with, practice it often. ;-)

Not only did I donate to goodwill stores, I used to shop there too. Some good stuff there, and cheap.

At the office we share scissors and staplers and stuff, the boss is too stingy...


Terri Tiffany said...

You really wrote a good article here along with some pictures! Nice! I like the donating part--we do that with everything! Some good ideas again!

Inge' said...

I reuse my old towels. When they are too thin to dry with, I use them to dry off my dogs. Once they are past this use, I cut them up and use as rags.

Old cotton socks are good for dusting with. They slip on your hands and last a long time.

I am constantly donating clothes. I donate baby items that I come across to my local Crisis Pregnancy Center and everything else to the Vietnam Vets.

Ms. B1tch is tired tired tired...(and very hungry said...

Ms. B is calling out then: who will shower with Ms B! ha.ha. Tee.hee. -- maybe Ms B's roommate...huhmmm.

kat magendie said...

Love these!

Oh, how about all this rain we so needed! My creek is singing and singing!

Wonder if we'll have a white christmas, though?

Brian said...

Wow, this is an awesome article! Gotta give it a stumble & digg.

Inge' said...

Thanks for this article. My mom and I are currently discussing which soaps to use in regards to my grandmother. The previous posts you have made concerning soaps have been very informative and helpful to us making a sound decision.

Keep up the good work!

Matt Clapp said...

Great site. I'm from Fort Collins in Colorado which is a very green community and I'll have to show this blog to my friends! Just an example of what the town's like, the brewery New Belgium(which I love to death) and they are all about being green. They've gotten a lot of national attention for it, it's awesome there and they're really making a difference. Here's a link to what they're doing to be green:

Keep up the great work and I'll definitely be checking back!

Thomas said...

Even though I was at a healthy weight, earlier this year, I found out I had high cholesterol. The doctor said I needed to avoid transfats as much as possible and carefully read all food labels. Over several months, following his advice, I was able to get my numbers down. Thanks for reminding us that hydrogenated oils are bad news.

Jane! said...

I'm very afraid to go home and look at my most very favorite anti-bac handsoap. The toothpaste thing - yikes!

Brian said...

Trans Fat is a killer period. If you have heart disease of even cholesterol problems you really need to avoid this. If you are healthy and want to stay that way you need to avoid this fat.

Nice post.

yolanda said...

thanks for this :-) have you ever considered teaching? you have a great way of explaining things.


sober white women said...

go stop by blog. I left you something today!
Thanks for the info. My husband had a heart attack a few years ago. Some from the food he ate and some from gulf war syndrom, but now I read everything.


Joanne said...

Great information here, and advice that bears repeating, to always read labels. Our health is definitely worth the few minutes it takes to do this.

Marcy said...

Great list. We try to donate used items as much as possible, especially clothing. The school my husband attends has a place where you can donate used furniture for future students who come over here from overseas.

Marcy said...

Reading labels is very important, I agree. We should get back to eating "real" food. I'll be teaching my kids how to cook and grow their food. I think this is something that every child should know.

Melissa said...

just wanted to stop by to say thanks for commenting on my blog!:)

Wellness KIDS said...

Great article! We check labels on everything we buy and avoid trans-fats. As you pointed out, you can't just trust the nutrition facts that state "zero grams of trans fats" We have to be diligent about checking the ingredients for hydrogenated oils. There are actually several cities including New York, Boston and Philadelphia that have banned trans-fats in restaurants. California is the first State to ban trans-fats in restaurants. Their ban takes effect in 2010. I hope Hawaii follows suit soon. Thanks for putting this out there!

IB said...

Once again an interesting and informative post. I feel smarter after every visit I make to your blog. Thanks!


sober white women said...

I have heard about this before but never really heard this much. Thanks for the information.
Last year for my daughters prom, I went outside and cut a rose bud, found some ribbon and boom. It saved me a ton of money and it left no footprint.

MaryC said...

Add to this information that the workers on these flower farms are paid pennies a day...outrageous!

Thanks for all your great information.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Another reason to love the lovely little Christmas cacti!

Thomas said...

I hate buying roses even for my beloved because you get them and then they die a few days later. I say let the roses stay where they can get sustenance and live out their days in peace away from those who would mean to make money off of them.

Barry said...

We grow flowers in our own backyard, free from chemicals and when we want flowers to dress up our home, my wife will simply cut a few and put them in a vase with room temperature water.

I agree with Thomas about roses, but an occasional pruning can encourage more bulbs and cut bulbs can add a very attractive accent to a room or a dinner table.

Stormy said...

Oh my... This really makes me worry about my mother. Se was a florist for many years. She is retired now and enjoying a life of a social butterfly. But to think of all those chemicals she came in contact with. And I spent much time in the shop as a child. It's a family owned place (my great grandpa, my grandma, now my uncle) and I wonder if my uncle has ever though of this. He's in a small rather poor town, so there is very very little interest there for organic, especially when it comes to optional items. Lucky for me, I have not been one to buy many flowers. I love them but rarely purchase. When my mom wants to make an arrangement for the holidays, she usually cuts some pine branches and uses them in an arrangement and anything else she can find that suits the holiday spirit [bushes with berries, pinecones, just stay away from vines with berries(poison ivy! Yikes!)] and then she uses recycled silk flowers if something else is needed.

Thanks for this info, keep up the great blogging!

ANDY & MEL LOWE said...

excellent post ,i would much rather see flowers growing wild and stopped buying flowers many years ago


Kathryn Magendie said...

I love using wild flowers around the mountain - I do have to be careful as there are some ancient species that are going 'extinct" or whatever flowers do that I forgot the name.

(and isn't it the COOLEST thing - I have a publisher ..yeehaw! - I read your response and just laughed - grinned - then laughed - then danced, then .....YEEHAW!)

Chevon said...

I appreciate you linking to First Global Xpress. We also have a blog so feel free to join the conversation about how to reduce your carbon footprint by leaving a comment over at

X's and O's to all this holiday,


John said...

While the attention is on trans fats and partially hydrogenated oils, which ARE bad, let's not forget saturated fats, which many forget to reduce or eliminate from their diets. So beware of those TRANS FAT FREE or PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED OIL FREE products that may be loaded with saturated fats.

Thanks for posting this to create the awareness on cardiovascular health.

John said...

Are organic flowers more expensive than non-organic ones?

John said...

The Chinese celebrate this day, known as the Dōngzhì Festival, by eating tāng yuán" small rounded balls of glutinous rice flour, normally dipped with coarse sugar for consumption :)

It is one of the most important festivals celebrated by the Chinese and other East Asians. It is a time for the family to get together.

Jen D. said...

Great ideas! I am using Whole Foods reusable shopping bags as gift bags this year--they have a smaller size that is perfect for most of the gifts I am giving, and are just 79 cents each (compared to regular holiday gift bags, which can cost 2-3 times as much!) Plus, my family will each get a little extra gift that they can use again and again.

sober white women said...

I sure hope my days are getting longer! I hate winter. LOL
It has been cold here for southern California, and we have used our more this year then in the past year's, but it is not set that high. We just add extra blankets to our beds.
Also, everyone need's to remember that even while it is cold outside, we need to let some fresh air in the house. Germ's breed in stagnent ( did I spell that right) air.
Thanks for all the good tips!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Great time for fireplaces too.

Brian said...

Letting the sun shine in is simple, but great advice along with all the other tips. Great stuff as always.


SweetPeaSurry said...

Excellent ... a kindred spirit. I loved your winter heating tips, and employ most of them myself. :)

Barry said...

I just brought a new blanket for the livingroom. We now have blankets for every chair and sofa in the room.

Thomas said...

I get cold easily, so like to take a bath or two in the evening. They keep me nice and warm for a couple hours afterward.

Darrel said...

This doesn't even look like a looks like a regular website. I read in another blog that if you had enough knowledge/information you could do this. Well, I guess they were right!
I'm new to this and would appreciate any advice you would want to give

Joanne said...

Making your home delightful ... Tis the season! Stopping by to wish you a very Merry Christmas. Enjoy!

foodbankbarbie said...

Funny.. right now the temp. on my 1 of 2 space heaters says 55 degrees.(Which sounds really cold untill you walk outside and realize just how warm it is) Wearing extra clothes, leaving the shades open, etc. is a way of life around here!! I've lived like this for 10 years, and yet you STILL gave me more ideas. We might just be warm for Christmas yet!! Yee-haw!! Thanks again!! Merry Christmas!!

astrogalaxy said...

Here's wishing you Merry Christmas and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

luthien said...

hey sf :)))
thank you for the wishes :)))

i would also like to wish you a blessed christmas and a smashing new year :) may 2009 bring you and your loved ones lots of joy, abundance and fulfillment :)))

sober white women said...

I love it! My mom is visiting and she is not an eco person and it is driving me up a wall.
However to my husbands credit all of my gifts have just been put in a recycled box taped shut and he just wrote my name on the box.
I love him for that because my husband is not a eco as I am! LOL

ANDY & MEL LOWE said...

and a merry highland xmas to you and yours

andy & mel

Everyday Housewife said...

Merry Christmas and a Happy 2009.
Looking out for more 'green' blogs from you in the coming year.

Angie Ledbetter said...

...and a very green New Year!

John said...

Merry Christmas Small Footprints :)

Keep up the great posts and enjoy the holidays!

luthien said...

hey sf :)
i have passed on the christmas spirit award to you :) you can see it in my blog :))

astrogalaxy said...

Oh wow, I enjoy this video and some images are flashing over and over in my mind. Thanks!
Merry Green Christmas!

Argentum Vulgaris said...

sf, it's Boxing day, means squat here in Brazil... Back to work.

It means that I survived yet another Xmas... LOL