The Friday Feedback Forum

January 9th, 2010 - filed under: Furthermore » Feedback

Starting it off right again, I want to give a giant thanks to Valerie, who was so sweet to visit Amazon on my behalf this week. Thank you so much for thinking of me!

And thank you all for the outpouring of support I’ve received lately. The amazing emails, the thoughtful offers, and the donations – you all give me so much. And each of your comments bring me so much happiness, poke at my brain-button, and reignite my fire. I hope you know that for all the inspiration I may provide to you, I’m getting just as much hope and joy out of the equation. So THANK YOU for making this community so rich.

And now, Happy Weekend! So let me hear what you have to say! How was your first week of this new year? What’s on your mind for the coming decade? And what do you want to see more of, right here on Bonzai Aphrodite?!

As usual, the Feedback Forum will remain here at the top of the page all weekend, so if you’ve got an idea or a question or you just want to introduce yourself and say ‘Oi!’, you can stop back by any time. This is your community, so get involved and have your say!

Have a great one guys!


  • Court

    Hi! My name is Court-

    I am on day 6 of the master cleanse and am trying to be a vegan when i am all through. I am so grateful for this site, it has been so very helpful. Thank you!

  • Alana

    Oi! :D

    My name’s Alana. Thanks for maintaining such an interesting – and useful! – blog. I originally started following after a particularly interesting recipe post; you write so well that I’ve been reading since.

    Oh, and you make a lovely pregnant woman. :)

  • Valerie

    Hey Sayward I wanted to ask you: What are some good print and online resources for learning to be greener? I’m interested in thing mainly from a health & keep the environment/air clean perspective. Specific things include: vegan facts & figures (eg: how bad are eggs, cheese, butter, etc. for your health). How eco-friendly is organic cotton? I’d also like to know about materials used everyday like plastics, metals, glass, & recycling. It would be great if you could include with your posts where you learned your info and suggest further reading. I know many times you do, but more would be great. Thanks!

  • Courtney

    I’m on my 3rd bottle of Kombucha in a week. Last week I stopped by Whole Foods and decided to pick up a bottle. I love the stuff!! I am so glad you posted that whole thing about making the stuff. I plan to start making it once we have our own place. Cause I know I won’t be able to afford to buy much at a time. I’m sticking with the weekends for it.
    Other than that, I still love and am inspired by your posts and can’t wait to see baby posts and how you and your hubby raise your son. It’s going to be awesome and I hope will not make me baby crazy which would drive my hubby crazy.

  • Minna

    Yay! I’m so glad that this is such a positive and inspiring community here, literally every post and every comment is worth reading. I don’t think I’ve ever seen another website like that. Also, happy to hear that YOU get so much out of doing this.

    My first week of 2010 has been quite the same, really :D Still travelling and producing a whole lot of rubbish and plastic. It is just *so* difficult (seems impossible even!) to travel, unable to buy bulk or even cook hot meals, without buying all that plastic. We’ve been eating muesli for breakfast and taco wraps every day :D Now we found a caravan park with an oven, so we got to cook some rice. Haha. The weather is hothothot, still wearing the same flipflops, tops and shorts all the time. That’s a good thing though, I’ve barely bought anything new from the clothes shops and I’m not going to. I’m definitely accepting that 2nd hand mission of yours. Seems like the only right way to live. Plus, there are some incredible 2ndhands here, a *lot* of stuff to choose from. I was thinking about taking the clothes I’m tired of to a second hand and renewing my “wardrobe” a.k.a. backpack a little bit (o:

  • stephanie


    i’m stephanie, how do you do?

    i found your lovely site via when their sister-site, re-nest, posted your recipe for home-made laundry detergent. it’s the best one i’ve seen (stoked!), and i am moments away from mixin’ it up. here’s my q : is there any reason why i couldn’t double or triple your recipe to keep in the sealed container? we use a lot of laundry detergent and i don’t have a lot of time.

  • Sara

    Hey! I was so excited for the FFF this week, because I had a really good idea in regards to ideas for vegan cooking. Have you guys looked into depression-era recipies? They have plenty of baking that doesn’t use milk, butter or eggs because they were too expensive. I saw a cake recipe and a light went off in my head so I just HAD to share!

    I’m sure a bunch of recipes aren’t vegan, but it’s probably a great place to start, especially if you’re on a budget. And come on, delicious vegan chocolate cake anyone?

  • Diana

    Salut Sayward! Just wanted to introduce myself since I’m a fairly new reader. A friend recently sent me your way since I’m a vegetarian and newly pregnant myself. She thought I’d like your info about veganism and pregnancy, but actually I love the whole site, esp. the DIY/Monthly mission part. I plan on cutting way back on work after the baby is born (in mid-July) in order to be as present as possible, which means getting by with less money (though thankfully I live in France where the government is pretty generous towards parents). I’ve always been a bit of an earthy-crunchy anti-consumer, but with a baby to provide for, the pressure is on! So thanks for all the hints and tips, I look forward to putting many of these ideas into practice and participating in the missions myself. Grosses bises as we say in France (big smooches) and all my best wishes for the pregnancy and birth!

  • Kaye

    Hey, Sayward! I’ve been following your blog for a while and tried a few of your ideas for living greener (IE, no-poo and your DIY deoderant), but the one thing I want to know the most are DIY make-up ideas. I’ve read a lot into the harmful ingredients that can be found in make-up (such as lead, which is found in many red lipsticks). Would you have any ideas? Or at least what make up brands are safe to use?

  • Callie

    Hey Sayward! You’re looking very lovely lately with your belly! I’ve been lurking for a while, interested in a lot of your missions but not quite in a place to do them (we’ve had house construction and moving). This week we’ve started to transition to some of the DIY recipes for household cleaners. I’m also just waiting until I run out of my old hair cleaners to start the no-poo project. Anyway, just thought it was about time I hopped on here, said hey, and told you how much Nathan (my boyfriend) and I love your blog. Thanks so much for constantly challenging us, and always making it fun!

  • Sunnie

    I personally would love to hear more about the Chicky Ladies. I’m currently living in a tiny (but eco-oriented) town as an impoverished college student. I’d love to hear more about taking care of chickens in urban or semi urban areas, because when I have any land I’d love to try out more expansive homesteading.

  • Brittany

    New reader here too! Saw your link on a “Mothering” thread (veg*n page)– Love your blog! Just wanted to say nice to “meet” you. :) Hang in there… Sounds like you’re gonna make a great ‘lil momma!! Good luck!

  • Gwen

    Hey Sayward,
    I’m new to your blog but subscribe to mostly the same vision you do for living a simple eco-friendly lifestyle. I was wondering if you could suggest any good reading and also wanted to ask you if you’ve ever read anything by Derrick Jensen. If so, what are your thoughts on his work?

    Hope you and your little baby boy are having a great day! At least we know he’s warm, right? Brrrrr!!

  • Jenny B.

    I heart your blog! It is the first thing I read it everyday and it always makes me happy! the best star to my mornin:) Also fun to see what another blogger is up to…blogging is fun! I used your random number generator for a give-away we had, so thank you for that idea:) I was trying and trying to figure that out:) xoxoxox

  • Jenny B.

    and I need typing help, too fast=too many typos:) Sorry :)

  • Sarah

    @Kaye re make-up:

    I was just poking around the site and thought I’d respond to this. My neighbor and a friend of hers actually make their own make-up and sell on etsy:

    They’re on holiday right now (and my neighbor actually just had a baby), but their make-up is awesome! Most of their products are even vegan. They sell everything from minderal powder to eyeshadow to mascara-the old-style cake kind!

    Anyway, that’s all :) I don’t even wear make-up, but they’ve gotten lots of good reviews :P I have used their lip stain, though, and I like it!

  • Sayward

    @ Court – Welcome! I’m sorry I’m responding to this so late, but I hope your cleanse went well. Let me know how the vegan transition goes. Luck!

    @ Alana – Oi! And welcome, and thank you! =D

    @ Valerie – Man, this is a tough one. I wish I could just point to a single source to address each of those questions. But I just don’t have one. The problem is that so much of this stuff is still being studied (or hasn’t really been studied yet), and the information is scattered all around and usually tied up in personal opinion. My only suggestion is to google each topic/question one at a time. You’ll get a ton of information and you’ll have to wade through the bullocks in order to reach the genuine conclusions. Of course peer-reviewed published literature is the best, well-designed websites generally indicate ‘good’ information (and the converse is true), well-written websites follow the same rule, and of course never trust someone who’s trying to sell something!

    When I research an article for Bonzai, this is usually what I do. It takes a long time! I’m also just constantly reading about this stuff because it interests me, so i have about a billion bookmarks on my computer, each pointing to a website here or an article there on some particular detail of green living. The good news is, the more you learn, the more intuitive it gets. My bullsh*t detector is razor sharp these days, haha.

    I understand about referencing my sources on Bonzai. I’ll try to be more diligent about that, and share the primary literature when I find it. Thanks for the reminder!

    @ Courtney – Aw, thanks dear! And good luck with the kombucha-making. I quit brewing it when I got pregnant and I miss it sooo much! Looking forward to beginning again in just a few months.

    @ Minna – Yes, it is such an amazing community! I consider myself lucky to have met all of you. =)

    You should totally swap out your clothes! I love thrift shopping while I travel. it’s great because then you come home with little mementos from all over, and each time you wear a piece you remember where you were and what you were doing when you got it, and it brings back that amazing feeling of vacation! Good luck on your continued adventure!

    @ Stephanie – Oi there! This is probably reaching you too late (sorry!), but to answer your question: yes, you can make more than one batch at a time. The first time I made it I quadrupled it, and it lasted me months and months. I just recently made my second round, a triple batch. So go for it!

    @ Sara – Thanks for reminding me! I had made that connection a few months back but hten it slipped my mind. I love the idea of using depression-era recipes (I just love the romanticism of it) and it’s true, they’re often vegan and certainly cost effective. I know Colleen Patrick-Goudreau has a drop biscuit recipe based on an old depression version, and I’m sure there’s tons of others.

    *off to investigate*

    @ Diana – CONGRATULATIONS! Yay, that’s so exciting. I love to hear from another quasi-crunchy mama-to-be, and from across the ocean too! I’d love to share tips and thoughts if you ever want to email. Big Smooches back at you! =D

    @ Kaye – Man, I get a lot of questions about this and right now i just don’t have any answers. It’s an area that I have yet to research (I wear so little that I’m still using up my old. pre-green stuff). I’m realizing, though, that it’s something I really need to investigate, and STAT. It’s going to the top of the list. Hopefully I’ll have some answers someday soon here!

    @ Callie – Well hello! Thanks for saying hi, I love to know who’s out there and reading (lurkers of course are welcome as well!) A lot of my ‘green’ transitions have been slower as well, because like you I use up my old stuff before moving into the new eco version. But it sounds like you’ve got a lot of changes coming up with the beauty products and the cleaners. Let me know how it all goes for you! Luck!

    @ Sunnie – I know! I always mean to write more about the hens, but something else always comes up. But yes, it’s been taken under advisement. Chicken articles to come shortly!

    @ Brittany – Thanks! And welcome to the site. Another Mothering reader is an awesome addition, I say. =)

    @ Gwen – Hello! I have not read anything by Jenson, but I’m sure I’ve heard of Endgame. The truth is I’m a hopeless computer junkie and the vast majority of my reading is online. The precious little time I have for book reading these days is devoted to baby books!

    @ Jenny B. – Aw, thanks lady! That is the greatest thing to hear. And yes, blogging is the awesome!

    @ Sarah – Thanks for the info, I’ll be checking this out as well. =)

  • Sayward

    OH YEAH! – For those interested in makeup, there’s always Skin Deep’s Cosmetics Safety Database, which is an *awesome* resource. You can search by ingredient or by product, and they rank the toxicity of EVERYTHING. Totally comprehensive, this is an excellent first-stop resource on your makeup investigation. Good luck guys!