Tag Archive: Conservation


Like turtles, we’re sure to win with steady progress!

It was FREEZING out there! I’m drinking “pudding cocoa” which is chocolate pudding melted into almond milk.

Our friend Jacob looks over a map of Washington County with Ryan before we all head out to search for land.

Despite a never-ending upper respiratory infection and recovering from surgery, I’ve been putting time into searching for land for Ripples.  Check out what it’s like to look for land for sustainability purposes in the latest Making Ripples in The Free Weekly!  This column was a rare rant for me; I don’t like to be so negative about describing a process, but it certainly has been a challenge to even find an acre for sale.  Hopefully, as with most things in our life, when we’re ready and it’s the right time, land will become available. :)

Check out this week’s issue of The Free Weekly for a concept design of one acre for Making Ripples!

Ryan & I have been thinking hard since August 2011 about how to make the most ripples on a small piece of land.  There are so many wonders to be created on just one acre for Ripples, if it’s healthy, protected and sustainable: native pollinators, trees, and wildlife; rainwater harvesting systems; technology that makes a difference globally; alternative power sources like solar panels; fresh organic vegetables and herbs; healing pathways through the forest, and much more!  These are just ideas, but some of them are already alive and well: technology help for non-profits, our blog and column, a rain barrel, bicycles, and more.  But we can’t make a more tangible difference in Northwest Arkansas without the land.  Have you seen this acre?  If so, let us know by emailing MakeSomeRipples@Gmail.com

Thanks! :)

I love these cork oak trees!

The latest issue of The Free Weekly is out today, so grab a copy and check out what we’ve learned about sustainable flooring options.  We decided on cork for our earthbag home, but as always, research and exposure to new information could change our minds over time.

In Portugal, cork oak trees are harvested every nine years, helping to protect the man-made forests with profits from the sale of corks and cork flooring, employing about 60,000 workers, and sustaining habitat for native species.  How cool a floor is that, which can do all those things?  Here’s a video about harvesting cork from trees without harming them!

“…the environmental issues, the social issues, and the economic issues are in good balance, and it all starts with harvesting the cork itself.” – Carlos de Jesus, Director of Marketing, APCOR

This holiday season, spend time with family and friends as you carpool rather than drive separately.

From CarInsurance.org, another infographic!

PLEASE PROVIDE ATTRIBUTION TO CARINSURANCE.ORG WITH THIS CONTENT Carpooling Infographic

On Wednesday night, I made my first rain barrel for our future homestead and garden!

I got four decent photos before my camera battery died.  But I’ll be painting our barrel in the coming year and taking photos of it’s progress into it’s new home once we’ve built the earthbag house and started a new garden.  How exciting to be building towards this dream, no matter what!  Every week brings something new to Ripples, whether it’s a full-length mirror for our handmade bathroom, an old stool to be decoupaged with animal photos (more on that later!) or from this week, a rain barrel!  Next week might even contain a bathroom sink, we’ll see :) View full article »

Our baggy bunnies are still overpopulating our house, but their hold on the kitchen is loosening.

The latest issue of The Free Weekly is out today, and my column Making Ripples talks about reducing plastic use in the kitchen from bulk aisle food purchases.  (I’ve noticed the formatting and punctuation is off on the online version of the column, so I’m sorry if that makes it harder to read – I don’t post them myself so I can’t fix it.) Some of you may remember this is a challenge area for us, because we don’t own a car and those mason jars add up in weight!  But carpooling makes things much easier, and less wasteful. We also tend to re-use the same baggy, let’s say for example almonds, and then pour the almonds into the glass jar so the baggy can go back & forth to the store.  This isn’t the greatest method because if you have 100 food items then you may end up with 100+ plastic baggies, especially if you occasionally forget the baggy labeled “curry powder” and need to get a new one. View full article »

The latest Ripples’ column in The Free Weekly is about my favorite subject…wildlife! View full article »

Saturday, October 6th, I ate my very first chestnut.

It was a transformative experience which food often brings about, changing the world from ordinary, familiar and full of obligation into a place of adventure and celebration of the mundane moments dearest to our hearts.  Eating a little piece of chocolate while doing the laundry, for instance, might not be a holiday event but it’s sure to make those fluffy, fragrant towels more enjoyable.  So when it’s a dreary Saturday morning in the 50′s and quite chilly for an October farmer’s market in the Ozarks, the scent of roasting nuts overpowered me.  As I was striding quickly towards the alpaca farmer to buy a warm woven headband to protect my ears from the wind, I noticed a vendor that I’d overlooked on all my previous trips to the market.  He was the type of old which I find very appealing, the sort of elder full of wisdom to learn from.  And the lesson he had for me was in a little chestnutView full article »

We have a groundhog!

Today I’m celebrating our very large ground-dwelling critter who munches our compost.  Thanks to Disney’s Bambi II, when little rabbits jump up and down singing “groundhog, groundhog!” I’m very fond of groundhogs. View full article »

As part of our conservation work, Ripples is sending postcards!

What? Postcards? How could that possibly help save wildlife??

Because being a tiger ranger in the field is a thankless job.  Sometimes all it takes is acknowledgement and appreciation to renew the spirit of someone risking their life for wildlife.  For the cost of one postcard stamp, or the totally FREE action of sending an online e-card, you can say thank-you to the people who help save my favorite animal, the tiger.  Ripples will be sending one postcard to each country to say thanks, and we invite you to join us by sending a card yourself. Meanwhile, Ripples is working here in Arkansas trying to protect our own native species.  Once we buy the land and build the homestead (including free community workshops on building with earth bags) we will also have free wildlife habitat tours and workshops where the community can learn more about creating vital habitat for native species.

In the meantime, it’s all about learning as much as we can! With the dry, excessive heat, I recycled an old skillet and put it at ground level, filled it with water, and placed several branches around the outside to encourage songbirds and other animals to perch and take a drink.  This was a makeshift birdbath idea suggested by our friend Louise, who noticed that wildlife seemed to want a ground-level bath and using an upturned trash can lid and branches was effective. Good tip!

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