My Footprint Project Fails

Apr 23, 2021 | Our Project

Have you had any family footprint project fails? I hope I don’t paint a picture on this blog that our own family footprint project has been free of mishaps and mistakes. Do you love those Pinterest Fail memes as much as I do? Well, I thought I’d share some of our own footprint project fails in this post.

Pinterest Fail
Image from BuzzFeed

The Dog Food Lucy’s Gut Rejected

One fail that I deeply regret is one that made our poor little Lucy-dog sick. We’d been buying the vet recommenced, US-made premium brand dog food since we adopted her. I couldn’t believe that the imported brand was the only option to feed our pup the best and I wanted to find an Australian-made alternative to reduce the impact of our pet ownership. Naively, I asked the pet store for the best Australian made premium brand of dry dog food and transitioned Lucy-girl over gradually, as recommended.

All seemed fine. She was happy to eat the new food but a little time later, she began vomitting regularly. We took her to the vet, of course, and the first question she asked was if we had changed her food. We said yes and, before we told her what brand she said, “Not <brand name>?” Well, um, yes actually. We were instructed to take her off it immediately (no gentle transition), put her back on not just the US brand but, basically, the ‘pharmacist only’ version! Little did we know that allergy prone pups, like our Lucy, had problems with the particular premium Australian-made brand we had bought and she had developed gastro-intestinal irritation from it. I’m so sorry Lucy!

The vet did sympathise with our intention to find a dog food with lower food miles, however. She said that another vet in the practice had had success with Ivory Coat brand foods and she supported our plan to try Lucy on that, once her gastro-intestinal tract had recovered. I’m very pleased to say that she’s had zero problems with Ivory Coat so we have been able to feed her an Australian-made brand after all.

Boys, Destroyers of Shampoo Bars

So the dog food experiment was an expensive one. Another costly one, albeit not involving medical bills, was trying to get the kids to move to shampoo and conditioner bars rather than plastic bottle brands.

I’ve written about shampoo and conditioner bars, and my favourite brand Ethique, on the blog before. I’ve tried a couple of other brands since, because I felt I should broaden my experience a bit for advising other people. I have to say, I didn’t like them AT ALL. If you’ve tried shampoo bars before and not been a fan, don’t give up until you’ve tried Ethique (this is not a paid endorsement – it is my personal experience).

Anyway, I digress. I had been reluctant to try the kids, on the Ethique shampoo and conditioner bars. While I believe they are pretty cost effective, they are only cost effective if used carefully. I didn’t believe my boys would give enough of a damn, to take that care. (My daughter, I’m sure, would have but she shares a bathroom with her brothers).

I was right. They didn’t give enough of a damn. When I got brave enough to try them on the bars, within days there were damp lumps of shampoo and conditioner bar all over the shower stall. They, in a word, were decimated. I tried the reeducation approach but in the end, I gave up. For now at least. *sad face*

bamboo toothbrush wrapped in plastic
Image by Family Footprint Project

The Bamboo Toothbrush Incident

We’ve been happily using bamboo toothbrushes for some time. I decided to buy a bulk lot to save a few dollars. All worked out fine. When it came to buying our next bulk lot, I searched around for the best deal I could find and happily bought another couple of dozen toothbrushes. When they arrived, they looked from the outside just like the ones I had bought previously. Then I opened up the first little cardboard box. Family Footprint Project Fail Number 3: each brush was individually wrapped in plastic in its own little cardboard box. *sigh* Needless to say, I’ll be going back to brand #1 for our next order.

Yoghurt & Cheese Making

The final footprint project fail I’ll share (I’m sure there are other’s I can’t remember right now), is my efforts with making my own dairy products. I finally mastered yoghurt making but only after many, many watery fails. Everything I had read in books or on the Internet made it look so simple. Warm up some milk, throw in some yoghurt with live cultures and by morning – yoghurt. Hmmm. Anyway, I did finally strike on a method that works every time but have been told by the two yoghurt eaters that, actually, they don’t really like mine. Waaaaaa! I’ve thrown in that particular towel for now. *dummy spit*

My efforts at making cheese have also been quite hit and miss. After taking a one-day cheesemaking course with a friend (which was great fun), I collected up and investing in a range of bits and bobs to make my own at home. Feta has been a success. Mascarpone has been a fail. Ricotta has been a bit here and there. All in all, the wasted time, effort – and milk – haven’t really been worth it. I would love to do more of it but I think my urban homesteading dream will have to wait until my life isn’t quite so busy. I wonder when that will be… Lol!

So, there you have a few of my family footprint project fails. I hope they were enlightening, if not entertaining! I’d love to hear about yours. Share them over on Facebook or Instagram so we can all commiserate – or have a laugh!

Footprint Project Fails Pinterest Image