Tag Archive: Economics


Living sustainably could be a way to generate income!

Sol Chariots

For Ripples to be successful, Ryan & I know we need to earn income from home as much as possible, to minimize our commute and the need to own a car, and maximize our free time to devote to Ripples’ work, such as workshops, non-profit support, tours, etc.  Part of being a green entrepreneur, for us, was reducing our expenses in every possible way.  Living in our earthbag home should reduce our expenses even more, allowing us to live on $10 – $20,000 a year very comfortably.

There may be something you are already doing which could generate income for you, too.  I am a writer, and Ryan is a technology consultant for non-profits, thus allowing both of us to work from home as part of our income.  We also do other jobs to make up the majority of our income, but the income we earn from home is not at all trivial.  We can also grow this income over the next few years as our skills improve.  What aspect of living sustainably could turn into a job for you?  Bicycling? Crafting? Lawn care and gardening?

My friend Ashley, who visited Fayetteville with the Summer of Solutions program in 2010, has begun her own pedicab business!  Read all about it in this week’s Free Weekly, and help support Ashley by watching her video and visiting the website for Sol Chariots.  You can show support with a click, too, and like them on Facebook!

UPDATE February 5th 2013: Sol Chariots reached their fundraising goal and even raised more than they expected!  They will be a successful pedicab business, I’m sure!

As Ryan & I decide on our best choice for transportation to & from our Ripples homestead in the future, we have many factors to consider.  The midwest isn’t necessarily the best place to own an electric vehicle, for one thing.  This infographic from CarInsurance.org fascinated me, and pushed me further in the direction of starting a car or truck co-operative among friends to share costs and avoid owning a personal vehicle that wouldn’t be used as often. What do you think? View full article »

Revisiting How I Spend My Homestead Hopeful Days

Last year, I wrote about Why I’m Not Seeking Traditional Employment.  One of the main reasons left out of this post is the obvious one – my health issues make it difficult to hold down a steady job at this point.  But while I’ve been working to figure out what was going on inside my body, I’ve also been working to generate income without the need to commute to an office.  Living off-grid will make commuting very difficult, and both Ryan & I are developing ways to work from home. View full article »

I’ve decided to start drying clothes outside.

Life is full of choices, and clotheslines are no different.  Now there are as many varieties of clotheslines as there are flavors of ice cream.  Although we have yet to pick a clothesline model, I do have experience just stringing up a line between two trees and using clothespins to hang wet clothes.  This time, I think we may choose a post model, although they can be as expensive as $235! So we won’t go that route if it costs that much; a simple line is fine for us. Check out the variety of clotheslines from the Clothesline Shop!

Not only are clotheslines a great way to enjoy more time outside, but they save a lot of money on the electric bill, too! Here’s a great post on the benefits of clotheslines from An Organic Wife.

As for us, I have inklings of an idea to make use of the space above the dilapidated unused swimming pool…if I could just string a loop line between the two banister railings on both sides of the surrounding deck, and then move the clothes out further as I attach more, it should be easy.  Or not, if the clothes fall into the debris in the middle of the pool! :)

Make Santa’s magic bag sustainable and fair this year!

Check out these great holiday gift guides from organizations we support: View full article »

See a Penny, Pick it Up…Find 43 Cents and You’ve got a Meal!

Finding money on the ground isn’t the path to eating well, but it is interesting that in the past several years, Ryan & I have found $45.00 on the ground in parking lots and sidewalks.  No, we don’t rely on the sidewalk for all our meals, haha.  Yet we only need to find about 43 cents to cover the cost of a breakfast biscuit for one of us, and 92 cents for a lunch or dinner.  And we shop at the local co-op.  How the heck is that possible? Some have asked, since organic, fair trade, or local foods are often labeled too expensive to afford (not altogether untrue). View full article »

Living “sustainably” isn’t only helping the environment.

The closer it gets to Halloween, the more I think about Fair Trade.  Why?  Well, you’ll have to wait for Halloween to find out! There may even be a sweet treat for one lucky reader (randomly drawn) who comments about Fair Trade on this post between now and October 31st! View full article »

Loosening the Dollar’s Grip

Amanda and I want to craft our life in such a way that money becomes less and less necessary for requisite expenses (like bills), while also making the most earth-friendly decisions possible.  We believe money should enable, not shackle.  Here on Ripples, we hope to demonstrate exactly how we’re accomplishing this.  This post aims to introduce you to our many (evolving) strategies for reducing our reliance on money.  View full article »