Doing good is good. Doing good effectively is amazing.
Ever wonder why “Small Droplets. Big Waves.” is our slogan? Here’s why:
Small Droplets, Big Waves is our way of summarizing the idea of maximizing our positive impact on the world. We want to make bigger ripples and make small droplets go further. In short, we want to do the most good. This is the basic underlying concept of Effective Altruism, according to Holly Morgan with the Centre for Effective Altruism. “Effective altruism is all about combining empathy, reason and evidence. By carefully considering what we value, and by working together to find the best ways of achieving that, we can each do an amazing amount of good.” Source
Our friend Jay Quigley recently gave an excellent presentation on Effective Altruism:
There are at least 8 accepted definitions of “grid” and “off-grid.”
If you’re not sure which definitions Ripples operates under, it can get confusing! One reader asks, “Why are you planning to use internet and social media if you’re going off-grid? Isn’t that hypocritical?” Here is our answer. View full article »
Meet Puddle, the pika determined to make you smile!
We believe living sustainably doesn’t have to be discouraging or difficult – it can even be fun. We’ve been working to brainstorm various ways Ripples can provide critical information to individuals wanting to make a difference, and organizations wanting to maximize their difference. One point that’s emerged is the need for humor and a supportive community. People need to laugh a little when they’re learning, and remember that others are learning, too – it’s ok not to know something, and it’s ok to fail when trying something new.
Visit the National Wildlife Federation’s Pika Page
American Pika are cute and adorable mascots of a sustainable planet. As “canaries in the coal mine,” rising global temperatures cause their mountaintop habitats to shrink and predators to increase their abundance at higher elevations. “The American pika, a diurnal species of pika, is found in the mountains of western North America, usually in boulder fields at or above the tree line. They are herbivorous, smaller relatives of rabbits and hares.” They are “considered to be one of the best early warning systems for detecting global warming in the western United States.” -Wikipedia View full article »
Who wants to avoid sales? WE DO!
To be clear: sales have their benefits and drawbacks. For example, you can save money while destroying the less privileged world that produced the product. But a hidden downside of sales is that they tend to make it far easier to purchase something we don’t want. We just bought a huge case of veggie burgers, three per box. When easily reheated food like that is laying around, we find ourselves eating LOTS of frozen pre-packaged veggie burgers (and wraps, and burritos, and french fries…). This is where the power of books and reading recommendations can help a family successfully live a healthier lifestyle.
The truth is that the “sale” was actually hiding the money we lost on the purchase. It would be far cheaper to produce a superior, healthier veggie burger at home in large batches, freezing them for later. For those like us who are transitioning to a sustainable lifestyle and trying to eat outside the box, here’s a book that should help: View full article »
Rings of Love, Not Pain
Would he gather the courage to officially, “traditionally” propose to me? I wasn’t sure. It seemed that a natural spring reflecting our wedding color, teal, would be a perfect spot for a proposal – even one about seven years late. But we had walked passed the spring, shivering slightly in the autumn evening, and were now driving away from Blue Springs Heritage Center. View full article »
Our Holiday Wiki is ready!
Calendar of Important Dates
We invite you to share in our journey to create healthy traditions around holidays, seasonal activities, and date nights with our wiki, Craft My Holidays. This is important to Ripples because the majority of holidays focus on consumer goods and unsustainable activities that create injustice worldwide. We don’t only need a sustainable house, but a way to celebrate holidays in it! Have an idea to improve the wiki? Please do tell! Wikis are designed to be a collaborative process. We have a few more holidays left to fill in for November, but most of these dates contain content. The following are various ways to celebrate being alive and in love – click the words to go to that page in our wiki. We hope you’ll delight in these ideas and that they bring more joy to your life!
Be an Angel Day
Birthdays, Amanda & Ryan
Book Lover’s Day
Cook Something Bold Day
Dream Come True Day
Earth Day (USA)
Equinox and Solstice
Hike for World Peace Day
Love Your Pet Day
Migratory Bird Day
New Year’s Eve
No Housework Day
Positive Thinking Day
St. Patrick’s Day
Teddy Bear Picnic Day
Thank a Mail Carrier Day
Struggling to find land, build a homestead, recycle, or get off-grid?
Yeah, we are, too.
Many of you have told me that, apart from genuinely caring about adopting a sustainable lifestyle, you’ve been evicted, lost all or part of your home to a fire, can’t seem to get support for recycling at your workplace, have neighbors that are loathesome in their blockade of your garden, are truly challenged by self-employment, and the big one of the week – are stressed about finding raw land to build your family’s homestead. Getting inspired, uplifted, and supported by a community of ripple-makers is part of what we’re here to do! Today I wanted to share with you an inspirational slideshow I created on MindBloom. Every day I start work by watching this video, and modify it to better cope with current stressors. It’s a reminder to play, to be disciplined, to become healthier. And if you feel you could be happier in life, check out Happify. It’s an extremely quick game-based way to rewire your brain to “think happy thoughts” and become more resilient to stress. We all know that ripple-makers have stress! Even positive changes in society are often brought about through chaos and conflict. So click to watch my 3 minute video on what inspires me, and tell us in the comments below:
What inspires you to continue making ripples in the world?
Bags You Can Fill with Dreams
The first deliveries of salvaged bags have arrived in our living room!
I was an enthusiastic, if not inwardly resistant, recipient of these bags, which we found on our doorstep thanks to the efforts of Cindi with Green Acres Eco Village and Saddlebock Brewery near Goshen on Hywy 45. Having cold feet (and I do have very cold feet even in summer) about the actual building process, I felt akin to a bride pondering how she could possibly know what life would be like after 30 years of marriage, shuffling her fancy shoes sideways towards the alter instead of straight down the aisle like a woman who knows what she wants. I wasn’t built to build buildings, and I’m not really sure I’m capable of it. But the building phase aside – Ripples itself, behind-the-scenes, is what I’m made of.
The more practical reason for my hesitation was: Where are we gonna put all these bags?! View full article »
You asked, we answered!
From EarthbagBuilding.com, click photo to visit their tutorial on building the foundation!
Here are the past three weeks of Making Ripples columns from The Free Weekly, focused around getting an earthbag building started. We have had several families locally, and one family in California, approach us about earthbag and sustainable construction with the hopes of building their own family home next year.
Welcome to Ripples! We’re glad you’re here and invite you to share inspiration from what you’re doing today and what you plan on doing in the future to make a difference. If you have questions about sustainability or what we’re doing, feel free to ask and I will try my best to answer
- Earthbag Building Worldwide
- Earthbag Building: Foundations
- Earthbag Building in Humid Climates
Coming up next: having fun with the first several deliveries of empty bags!