Thursday, January 25, 2007

Readers' Tips

Dear readers,

Thanks so much to those of you who sent feedback on what works, what you liked, etc. Turns out your fave thing is pictures of Dot. And there I was thinking you were logging on for my scintillating eco advice and dazzling wit. Ah well, whatever it takes, but you'll have to wait till the end for the pic. What? I have to get you to read on somehow...

Some readers sent me their best tips (the formatting here has gone bonkers and am too tired to spend any more time figuring out why - soz):
  • from Penny: "try washing soda crystals to clean waste pipes from basins and sinks and to clean wash hand basins and baths. It is very effective and does not contain bleach, phosphates or enzymes" [I haven't found any yet, but will keep trying]
  • from Looby: "I must recommend
reusable cotton wool pads that you pop in their own little bag in the washing machine" [these are brilliant - cotton wool is one of those things where you probably don't think about how wasteful you're being, but these are the perfect solution. Also, the course of googling to find these, I stumbled on washable baby wipes. Has anyone tried them? Is really icky but then again...]
  • from Nick (Dot's uncle, the dentist, he's in the UK) in response to our wine question: "most Australian wines are organically grown, but cannot market themselves as such, in case of an outbreak in which case they may need to use pesticides. Our French neighbours are not so enviro friendly (no suprises there then), so it's a tough call to make" [we'll find out about Californian wines - see if the same is true]
  • from Damo in response to my 'Wal Mart hoodwinking us' piece: Wal Mart is going to change what organic means. [I found the NY Times article he suggested. You have to read it (here) - is v. interesting analysis of the pros and cons of 'big' organic. Here's the 1-line summary: "These foods may contain no pesticides, but they are drenched in petroleum even so". Oh dear. I guess the scales have fallen from our eyes. Better than nothing but apparently not much - maybe. The jury's still out...]
  • the hubby has even got in on the act, emailing me daily news stories about green stuff (the best one from today: this from The Independent)
  • Some readers responded to say I'm making them feel guilty by doing so much. Well, I'm not so perfect, believe me. In fact, just for you lot I'll come clean about one of the really big chinks in my armour: showers.

    What can I say? I love showers. I know I should be keeping showers short, switching the water off while I soap up and shampoo, and buying an eco-friendly shower head (this I will do when I have some cash) but the fact is our bathroom is fer-eezing at this time of year (no heating in there of any kind. In a wooden house in the mountains! And it's 9 degrees F out there right now!!) and the shower is the rare bit of me-time luxury I get these days (forget pedicures and massages, I now remember even uninterrupted brazilian waxes fondly). And so, every morning I take my dressing gown off, shivering, promising myself this will be the day I start short showers, and then I get under that lovely hot water and I just cave in and stand there, immobilized, for just one more minute, just one more minute....Fortunately it's about then that I hear (or think I hear) a little someone squeaking and I turn the shower off and hastily dry myself and get myself dressed.

    To be fair, for the last year or so in our overheated New York apartment, and especially in the summer, I really was turning the water off while I washed my hair; it's just at the moment I can't face it. And at least I rarely succumb to the temptation of a bath. But every time I get out of the shower, I know I've been bad. I wait for the hubby to pick me up on it (this is one place where he, having very little hair to wash and therefore being a very efficient showerer, could claim the mroal high ground) but he never does.

    But now you know. And now I've told you I guess I have to do something about it. Apparently 3 minutes is the optimum. I'll start timing myself tomorrow, the coldest day of the winter so far.

    God, my timing is off.

    Now, in reward for your patience, here's the promised pic: in her littlegreendot suit and matching socks, knitted by her grandma:

    Ooh, those eyes.

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    At 12:26 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


    I have to say I agree with so much of what you say. HOWEVER, you are very extreme and I think that you need to come down to reality QUITE A BIT.
    Please don't disregard what I am saying, everyhting here is helpfull but if you are going to be green you need to be balanced which It seems you are not.
    CALM DOWN and BREATH....

    A-lot of your suggestions don't seem to work out. you need to be a bit more realistic and live life not being consumed by your eco-paranoia. Why don't you spend some time donating money to helping children in Africa rather than consuming your time writing trivial crap about scrubbing your oven and sratching your face with apple vinegar. You need to get back to the city and blow your wad in Barneys.


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