The Friday Feedback Forum

February 5th, 2010 - filed under: Furthermore » Feedback

First things first, thank you guys so much for all of the wonderful Bonzai Birthday wishes – and especially to Salekdarling for the ‘birthday present’ in the tip jar! Your support is what keeps me going and it means so much to me. Thank you!!!

So, it’s finally the weekend (Happy Weekend!), and thank goodness for that. The next few days I’m all about massive productivity! Isn’t it incredible how the ‘little things’ of life (emails, phone calls, bills) become much bigger directly proportional to how long they *don’t get done*. Ha!

So what’s on your agenda for the weekend? What’s on your mind right now? And what do you want to see more of in the next year of Bonzai Aphrodite?!

Oh and FYI, for those of you who participated in the recent vegan bake sales for Haiti, I’m so happy to announce that nationwide earnings topped $25,000. That’s a ton of money guys! So thank you everyone who participated, whether through baking or buying. It really made a significant impact!

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 peaceful (or productive!) weekend!


  • Court

    this weekend= hiking through the tons of snow we have, YES!

  • Salekdarling

    @Court-Pretty much doing the same thing! Got lots of shoveling to do. My dog Kramer went into the snow and all I could see was the tip of his tail! He’s a black lab. lol.

    @Sayward-You’re welcome hun! <3 I'm not so much about massive productivity right now. The snow finally stopped here and all I want to do is sleep. ^_^ Got some cleaning done and transferred credits to the University I'm going to in the fall but other than that, it's a lazy weekend! I'm dreading shoveling.

    This may sound like a silly question but how do you clean your toilet? Do you use a plastic toilet brush? I'm trying to figure out how to "NOT" use the toilet brushes. I cringed when I had to throw ours away today (because it was gross and I didn't want to put it in a landfill). Our area doesn't provide recycling for items like that unfortunately.

    I do use baking soda and vinegar to clean the toilet but need an alternative to plastic brushes!

    Thanks! :-)

  • Stacey

    I recently lost the use of my car and was forced to take the public transit system everywhere I went. It’s had a profound effect on how I view personal vehicles and my mobility in general. I think it would be awesome if you did an article or monthly mission on public transit. It’s easier than you think!

  • T

    I love reading about homemade cleaning or personal hygiene products! I want to make as much chemical-free stuff as I can at home.

  • Alis

    I’m looking for a homemade dishwasher detergent that actually works. Maybe you could try out different recipes & report your findings.

    Oh, & I love hearing about your chickens.

  • Allison

    I just found this website about a teacher eating school lunch for all of 2010. What can we do to help make school lunches better?

  • Becca

    this weekend = family pics on th beach and selling old stuff (the rest donating to Goodwill and homeless folks in the neighborhood)

  • MathTutor

    So I just did 8 (yes 8 i’m a college student haha) loads of laundry with your laundry detergent recipe! I feel so green :) and i’m drinking tea from a SECONDHAND mason jar mug that says lemonade on it, oi!

  • christy

    starting in on the garden this weekend! we finished building our DIY greenhouse and planted greens. i really feel for you east coasters, but it feels like spring in the pnw!! i also just ordered more tempeh starter. Vegans, we should all be making our own fresh tempeh! I’m with you, Sayward, this weekend was about getting it done.

  • Jackie

    my latest obsession = flickr fashion streams…posting and browsing and getting creative with what’s in my closet and getting ideas of what to look for while thrifting! here’s one that i post on: do you ever post to flickr with your playing dress up pics?

  • Julianne

    I would like to eventually hear your thoughts on local diets and adventures in eating (like the 100 mile diet). I am a vegan and the thought of a very local diet is really intriguing, but I don’t think I could fully do it as a vegan.

  • Leah

    I’ve been “sugaring” instead of shaving for a few years now, and I bet that some readers would love to try it out. There are lots of recipes on the internet, which is where I got mine. No razor blade waste, no petroleum-based wax…it’s all good!

    Also, perhaps your readers would enjoy a post on feminine hygiene (i.e. reusable cloth, the Keeper/Diva cup, etc). I’ve explored this avenue a bit myself, but it’s so nice to have other peoples’ perspectives.

  • Kerry

    Hello! I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time now and have instigated some of your ideas/creations including no-poo, the drain unclogger recipe (Soo fun, sometimes I can’t see the reaction but can hear it in the pipes!), and have aspirations for homemade tea bags. I’m currently discovering ideas about permaculture design, have an indoor composting project (vermiculture), have joined a CSA in my area for the coming growing season (so excited!), AND have plans for a small backyard garden. Since you have a wonderful, exploratory, and intelligent community online here, maybe you could touch upon how to cultivate the readers own communities or physical sense of place such as exploration of local/regional resources, education/history of place, and learning skills that have become obsolete (tapping into an older generation of resources like your grandmas cooking recipes or how to can?). Good luck! I’m so jealous of you pnw’ers, it’s so cold and windy in dirtyjerz.

  • Salekdarling

    Hmm…I tried posting before and the site wouldn’t let me. But anyway, you’re welcome Sayward! <3

    I recently had to pitch my toilet brush. It made me cringe because it was gross and I also didn't like the idea of having to put it in the landfill. Unfortunately my area doesn't provide recycling for items like that. Do you know of any alternatives to scrub the toilet? I use baking soda and vinegar to clean it. Would it be possible to use only an abrasive washcloth? I have made crochet cotton washcloths that are quite abrasive.

    Thanks hun!

  • Sayward

    @ Court – Love it! That sounds beautiful, I love the special silence of the wilderness under snow. =)

    @ Salekdarling – Well don’t forget, sometimes sleeping can be massively productive!

    Good thought on the toilet brush – I haven’t had to replace ours yet so I hadn’t thought about it. I like the abrasive crochet idea! Maybe make a nice abrasive biodegradable head, and stick it onto a stainless steel pole? Or something else that is durable and sterilize-able and won’t need to be replaced. If you do that, please let me know! And I’m going to think about this more . . .

    @ Stacey – LOVE this idea! A public transit, or at least a ‘car reduction’ MMM would be great. I’m adding to the list – thanks!

    @ T – Thanks for the feedback! Luckily I have a bunch of home cleaning recipes lined up. Stay tuned!

    @ Alis – Well, I do have my own powdered detergent recipe, but I’m thinking maybe that one doesn’t work for you? I know people with hard water and/or older machines have had trouble with it (although our machine is quite old and it works great for us). I am currently working on a liquid detergent recipe that will also work in hard water – hopefully I’ll have it perfected soon!

    @ Allison – That is a huge beast to tackle, but such an important one. And luckily, it’s the kind of issue that *should* be addressed on the local level – which means anyone can do it! No Washington insider necessary!

    I think the most effective approach would be direct-to-the-source. That means going to the school board with your concerns. Perhaps try to get a parents group together (bring it before the PTA? Is the PTA still around?) Start a movement in your area, gather support, put together a website for info and organize events.

    The beauty with things like this is that they may start small on a local scale, but the actions of one district may inspire a change that spreads nationwide. From there you can impact federal guidelines for school lunches, which would be the ideal goal.

    Sound impossible? Stuff like this happens all. the. time. Just start small and stay focused – that’s my best advice. And please let me know if there’s any way I can help!

    @ Becca – Sounds like a really lovely weekend. I miss the beach!

    @ MathTutor – Yay! And Oi! I’m so glad the laundry recipe is working for you. And nice and cheap for that college budget, too! =)

    @ christy – Congrats on the productive weekend, and I’m so very jealous about your greenhouse and outside time! The weather here has been so pretty I just want to be out in the sun all the time.

    Now, PLEASE tell me about this tempeh starter! How do you do it? Where do you get it? I’m intrigued!!

    @ Jackie – I do have a flickr but I never go on there anymore. But that looks really awesome and I could use the inspiration! Not that I need another internet obsession, oh dear . . .

    @ Julianne – This is an issue that I really intend to explore, but it seems very complicated to me and so I want to do it justice and do it right. I did do a related MMM a few months back, and you may find my experience (here and here) interesting to read (as a vegan eating local, which does in fact present a greater challenge).

    I plan to read Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly and review it for the site – I’m actually really looking forward to this!

    From my limited understanding, I believe that there’s a lot of truth to the local-vore movement, but that it’s not so simple as it’s made out to be. There are times when importation is important and it is actually ‘greener’ to grow elsewhere and ship in. Like I said it’s a very complicated topic but it IS on my list – I promise!

    @ Leah – Sugaring is a great idea for an MMM, I’m adding it! Thanks!

    As for the re-usable feminine hygiene, I have written a bit on this and did a MMM a few months ago. My wrap-up is here.

    @ Kerry – Thanks! I love to hear from long-time readers! But I’m not sure I totally understand what you’re asking. Are you looking for advice on building real-life communities? Like finding like-minded individuals in your town? That’s actually a good idea for an article, and one that hadn’t occurred to me before. Is that what you were wondering, or did I misunderstand?

  • christy

    you have to order the starter online… and I made my own tempeh incubator based on the plans found on a friend’s blog. (
    and she makes tempeh out of garbanzos etc. it works too! you are welcome to check out my incubator… but it really is pretty darn simple. and i just started using the incubator for proofing bread and other temperature sensitive cooking processes. it’s rad.

  • Leah

    Oops, sorry I didn’t dig far back enough to find the old post on Diva cups/Keepers.

  • Kerry

    Yes, that is what I was wondering. It’s a multi-dimensional subject but would be motivational, optimistic, creative, and a good thought experiment. I feel kind of isolated living in a community where it’s hard to find fun, art, and fresh produce but I have started trying to create those things, it would be nice to hear from others that might be in similar situations too. I’ve been reading the book Food Not Lawns which has helped and been a great resource. Take care Sayward, you inspire and challenge me.