Tag Archive: green economy


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!

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.

The Fayetteville Farmers Market offers unique wooden cutting boards.

Bamboo tea strainer next to chai tea mix and great northern white beans.

To get the gluten completely gone from our kitchen, we had to address common sources of cross-contamination, such as the pasta strainer and cutting board.  We gave  our old (still rather new) cutting boards to friends, and at Saturday’s market I bought a new one for $40.  Purchasing a cutting board like this not only keeps my gut healthier by eliminating any potential gluten, it also takes us one step closer to the off-grid homestead by supporting a local family, and envisioning the type of kitchen we want to build (natural materials). I also bought a bamboo tea strainer a little while back from Ozark Natural Foods, and am really happy that I don’t need to worry about rust which ruined my last tea strainer (admittedly due to not cleaning it properly). Here’s a picture of the bamboo strainer, fun to use and easy to dry! View full article »

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

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

Stuff and Raw Ingenuity

As much as we want to assassinate every mote of clutter lurking around our house, we recognize that a healthy, carefully selected array of real-world items will charge our dreams with meaning and purpose.  I’m particularly excited to exercise my creativity in actually fashioning many of these items.  Did you see Amanda’s previous post featuring the 100+ ways to use wooden pallets to craft anything from small tables to whole houses?  What untapped, unrecognized potential nestles in the bottles, cans, cardboard boxes, and hundreds of other “trash” goods we throw away every day?  Heck, TerraCycle has crafted an $8 million+ global business off of random junk. View full article »

Three weeks have passed since I started my Farm Team journey, and now Chapter 2 is finally available!  Before I discuss chapter 2, here are a few facts they shared with me during part 3 of chapter 1:

  1. Local, small-scale pig farms not only affect the environment, but also local economies.  ”Studies show that small pig farms spend almost 50% more at local businesses than large farms, who typically buy supplies outside of the local community.”
  2. “On average, lettuce will travel over 1,500 miles to reach a US dinner table.”
  3. It’s confirmed:  I suck at answering questions.  I’m currently 2 out of 4.  :) View full article »

Despite this post having the ability to make people not want to buy my cookies, I personally think it’s more important to share with you a REAL story of growing the green economy and becoming a social entrepreneur – rather than provide a hero image of a person changing the world through seemingly effortless successes; the truth is, failure is a part of saving the world. View full article »