Tag Archive: technology

Who Reads Ripples?

Ripples Has Moved!

We are now at a solar-powered website:


You will find this post, and many new ones, at the above link.

There will no longer be new posts and content on this site.

All new material is at our new site. See ya there!

Here are some Ripples blog statistics:

  • 120 Facebook Likes
  • 10,203 Views on Posts
  • 89 Countries with Readers (since February 2012)

Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Ripples will begin experimenting not only with allergen-free recipes, but solar cookies too!

Since we don’t have an oven right now and are using a toaster oven / microwave unit, which bakes 6-10 cookies at a time, I decided today that I’m going to try and use a solar oven to bake the cookies.  Heck, if I have to use substitutes for the flour, eggs, butter, chocolate and sugar, I might as well substitute the gas oven for the solar oven.  First, I gotta decide which one to buy! It’s not an easy decision.  Ya’ll know the pizza box method utterly failed me in a previous post, so at least we’ve narrowed it down :)

Solar Cookies

Here’s a fun, 3 minute video about baking cookies in two types of solar ovens:

I’m super excited to begin teaching and learning from my students!

The reason(s) why I have not posted to Ripples this past Monday/Tuesday is partly because, hey, it was Valentine’s Day and Ryan & I were both trying to enjoy a nice day off work despite both of us being sick.  But the biggest reason I haven’t taken much time for Ripples is because tomorrow is the first day of my course, Capacity Building, with Youth Action for Change!

If you’ve never heard of YAC, please do check them out because they offer online courses on a wide variety of youth empowerment topics.  I’ve already taken an online course through the Earth Charter called eGLO #3 “Global Learning Opportunity,” but this will be my first time teaching an online course.  I’m a bit nervous and distracted, even thinking about it in my sleep to make sure the best possible curriculum is created for students’ benefit.

Here is the advertisement for the course created by YAC:


“This course is designed for young people aged 18-30 who are actively involved in making a difference in their communities, particularly those already running smallnon-profit organizations or community projects or intending to start one. The course will help students understand and analyze the capabilities andcapacities of their non-profit organizations or projects and identify gapsrelative to the capabilities needed to achieve their targeted goals. Studentswill then be guided to develop an action plan to improve theirorganization/project’s capabilities.

The course will be led by Amanda Bancroft an experienced youth volunteer who has served as a former Americorps*VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America)volunteer, and built organizational capacity through grant writing, youth program development, website design, volunteer management, fundraising, and green job creation.

The course will be restricted to 40 participants chosen by application – preference isgiven to participants who are active in their communities and who intend to usethe course material to help them make a difference in their communities.Participants must be able to attend all sessions of the course and complete homework tasks inorder to obtain a certificate of completion. Participants must also haveregular internet access (at least 5 hours per week) to join course sessions. Students who may be disadvantaged are also encouraged to apply.”


Ripples Worldwide: NEW Earth Charter Blog!

Check out the new Earth Charter Blog!

It’s being launched by the Youth Task Force of the Earth Charter Initiative – United Nations.  This is a work in progress, because it’s so new and not quite finished yet.  All are welcome to write a post for this blog.  Check out the submission guidelines to learn more about how you can submit!  We need guest bloggers.

Description: cid:image001.png@01CC827C.CC884520 Continue reading

Ripples’ New Green Home

For many reasons, just like us, Ripples needs a new home.  Wordpress.com, while a wonderful starter platform in many ways, does not give us the versatility we need.  We can’t promote wonderful local businesses, tweak subtle elements of the site’s appearance, or do a host of other things that would really push the peaks of our Ripples to the sky and beyond. Continue reading

Make Some Ripples with Your Feedback

Help us to make Ripples a better journey by telling us what you like!

How and Why We Manage Our Money

If you missed the post that introduces “the money side” of our off-grid transition, check it out!

Getting Organized

As Amanda and I discussed dozens of different life-transition options, looked at their costs, and wondered about how we would afford everything, we began to realize that a fully developed money management strategy was essential to our off-grid transition. Continue reading

The Strength of Weak Ties

It isn’t the quesadilla, it’s the connection. Continue reading

Saving on Cell Phones – Part Two

<< Part One of Our Current Cell Phone Strategy

Welcome to Part Two of our cell phone strategy!  Without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Google Voice (GV)

Google Voice Logo

Google Voice does our phone-based heavy lifting.

GV is wonderful for a variety of reasons:

  1. You can text any cell phone in the US for free, and use a standard keyboard to do it.  It groups texts into conversations, which makes keeping track of who is saying what much easier.
  2. You can view all of your voicemails at once in an email-like interface.  Also, GV tries to transcribe your voicemails into text.  You can usually get the gist of a message from these, though they’re almost worth it more for the sometimes hilarious results (I swear I’ve seen a slightly slurred “talk to you later” turn into “taco to alligator”).
  3. Calls, texts, and voicemails can be forwarded to your email.  If you work on a computer frequently, this is super convenient.  You can also email voicemails and texts to people!
  4. GV can integrate with the Chrome browser, greatly extending its ease of use.  With this extension, you can see your call history and messages, text, or call people from any window while exploring the Internet.

Here’s how a call works Continue reading


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