Tag Archive: fair trade


Valentine’s Day is a great time to share your care; here are ways to do so without hurting anyone or anything.

I love Valentine’s Day and spreading little notes and treats around.  Although I’m not perfect at it, trying to spread the love without spreading injustice and destruction is a top priority for me.  This week’s issue of The Free Weekly is out today, and contains great articles on Comprehensive Sex Education, loving meat-producing animals, and the latest Making Ripples column about creating a Valentine’s Day gift box from a toilet paper roll!  Here are some reminders for how to love your sweetie without harming the planet and other people:

  1. Buy local.  Shipping things from far away adds to our climate change problem.
  2. Be fair. Chocolate isn’t harmless if children were enslaved to produce the sugar and the farmers don’t get paid fairly, so purchase fair trade chocolate.
  3. Know your ingredients. Even if a product doesn’t have a certified stamp on it, chances are, it could be harmless – research the ingredients if possible.
  4. Reuse before recycling. Turn something old into something new, and help reduce the waste stream.
  5. Roses have more than thorns. Make sure yours are produced sustainably.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Ripples!

How to make vegan chocolates with Christmas foil colors.

Wrap your own chocolates in recycled candy foil instead of throwing it away!

This was the most fun I’ve ever had in a kitchen, and really quick too.  You could choose to melt your own block or bar of vegan chocolate, or use shaped vegan or close to vegan dark chocolates that already come in shapes.  I’ve done both, but I don’t yet own any holiday-themed candy molds.  So I used Divine dark chocolate Christmas trees, and had my husband Ryan eat some Hershey kisses wrapped in colorful holiday foil.  We saved the wrappers from the kisses, brushed off any chocolate crumbs inside the wrappers, flattened them a bit, and then I used them to wrap these little Christmas trees!

Hint: after you wrap your shaped chocolates, use your fingernail to press into any grooves or designs on the chocolates, so they look less like blobs and more like the shape they’re supposed to be.

Check out these recipes for planet-friendly treats!

The latest issue of The Free Weekly is out today, and Making Ripplesis all about baking and goodies that aren’t secretly baddies. Here are some recipes from Ripples to help you get started eating green and baking with organic, fair trade ingredients:

Try baking Solar Cookies with the recipe of your choice!  Here’s a how-to video from YouTube.

Want soup? Go vegan and try out this Vegan Cheddar Baked Potato Soup. Warm and comforting!

I love pancakes, and this recipe from Ripples is great for putting autumn flavor into your breakfast: Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Spice Pancakes with Apple Butter

Just for fun, our friend Chris and his students from Colombia want to teach you how to make gluten-free Peanut Butter Cookies with your host, Piggy. :)

Fall into the day with the perfect pancake breakfast!

Ryan & I just discovered the solution to a vegan’s longing for holiday milk flavors: it’s called So Delicious Dairy-Free Pumpkin Spice Coconut Milk (no, it doesn’t taste like coconuts – they mean “coconut milk” like “almond milk” or “cow’s milk” which doesn’t taste like cows, of course!) When combined with our pancake recipe, adapted for the vegan and gluten-free diet, and topped with Bekemeier’s Caramel Apple Butter, this breakfast is perfect for autumn. I ate the last of the pancakes this morning while basking below a sunlit sky sprinkled with falling golden leaves. This made my morning tai chi session very tasty :) Ripples shares recipes with ya’ll whenever they represent a sustainable, fair trade, or unique experience we’ve had on our journey off-grid. Whether it’s growing cilantro or devouring these pancakes, we want to share what we’ve created and learned. Enjoy! View full article »

On Ripples’ developing homestead, we’re trying to consume less sugar.

Even though we’re not giving up sugar for good yet (after all, I do have a home baking business!) we’re open to sugar substitutes and only want to buy fair trade or organic products.  Several of my friends from various states in the US have already given up sugar either completely or severely restricting it in their diets.  Such positive peer pressure is making me eat even less sugar than before, which was already low compared to the average American. View full article »

The dress in my dreams finally manifested into my reality.

For two years, I’ve been having this dream about walking barefoot through the yard of our homestead towards the mailbox to check the mail, along a row of bamboo blowing in the breeze.  100% of the time, I’m wearing a dress.  You know, the kind of Hippie, artsy and slightly exotic sundress that half the women at the Farmer’s Markets usually wear? View full article »

Now you can order allergen-free cookies to support Ripples!

Coming soon, Ripples Cookies is offering 100% allergen-free cookies.  This means everything we bake will be 100% gluten-free and vegan, with options for you to order sugar-free, nut-free, and chocolate-free cookies too!  The chocolate chips we’re now using are Kosher and free of the top 8 allergens: milk, soy, wheat, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. We are also 100% soy-free, all organic, and fair trade.  That means that if we use vanilla extract in a recipe, it’s from a Fair Trade source. View full article »

New organic cookie flavors available at Ripples!

With the spring comes new life, and with new life comes new ways to eat cookies! :) View full article »

This teen cookie exchange was such an awesome, fun event!

Many thanks to the library, and to Shay Brooks for her hard work and excellent decorating skills! Check out these photos of the event. It was my first cookie exchange, well unless you count kindergarten in Pennsylvania, and despite being sick I did have a great time.

Ripples' Cookies with event sign

Table of cookies

Ripples' Cookies presentation

Lots of people!

A delicious way to make a difference on Valentine’s Day!

Ripples now sells fair trade organic chocolates as well as cookies!  The chocolates come from high-quality dark chocolate bars bought at ONF, certified organic and fair trade.  They’re placed into handmade origami boxes, 4 chocolates per box, and come in a variety of shapes including hearts, bunnies, roosters and more!  You pick the shapes and can choose between a standard box or heart-shaped box (see pictures below).

There’s still time to place your order to be ready by Valentine’s Day!

Just call and leave a message at (931) 532-0639 or Email: AmandaBancroft@Gmail.com

Swirled design in cream cheese frosting!

Organic Heart-Shaped Sugar Cookies!

Chocolate dipped cookies!

Melting chocolate

Origami Heart Box for your chocolates!