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Sharing knowledge to build rich, sustainable lives.

Appropedia is for collaborative solutions
in sustainability, appropriate technology, poverty reduction, and permaculture.

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Solar heater
Solar hot water describes active and passive solar technologies that utilize the sun’s freely abundant solar thermal energy in order to heat water for a desired application. It is one of the most efficient ways to heat water (in terms of energy/waste), as it requires no energy conversion, unlike electric-resistance heating or fuel burning. It is a simple transfer and concentration of heat energy from one place to another. Another interpretation of the efficiency of the practice is that the solar energy is free, and only dependent on the extent of the technology used, and its cost and efficiency. In other words, the energy is free, only the collection, conversion, and storage devices cost.

If you have ever felt hot water trickle out of a garden hose that’s been sitting in the sun, you’ve experienced solar hot water in action. Essentially, a solar hot water system is made up of a solar thermal collector, a well-insulated storage container, and a system for transferring the heat from the collector to the container vis-à-vis a fluid medium, which in some circumstances is the water to be used itself.

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Decreasing turbidity to optimize solar water disinfection

Salt and sunlight can actually be used to clean water with the SODIS method.

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Community action news

Brasil.RioDeJaneiro.LeblonUndIpanema.jpg
Oct 15 Environment quality: David Attenborough urges action on plastics after filming Blue Planet II [1]

Oct 14 Cambridgeshire: The city where children go to school in a plywood box [2]

Oct 14 The European cities leading the way in car-free living [3]

Oct 12 Climate action UK: UK climate change masterplan – the grownups have finally won [4]

Oct 12 Ethical consumerism UK: Supermarkets must stop using plastic packaging, says former Asda boss [5]

Read More...


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Jane Goodall, September 2011
There would be very little point in my exhausting myself and other conservationist themselves in trying to protect animals and habitats if we weren't at the same time raising young people to be better stewards.

Jane GoodallW
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Hot topics / In the news

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Blog

Bicycle wheel
Transport. According to the Appropriate transport manual, sustainable transportation is a strategy for the flow of people and goods across the Earth that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Transportation accounted for 32.6% of US green house gas emissions in 2005. In addition to the widely publicized environmental consequences of driving automobiles, it is also socially and economically costly:
  • Land use: Parking and roads use valuable land resources.
  • Transportation equity: Driving, with all of its expenses, costs the average U.S. household $7,000 per year per vehicle.
  • Economics: Most of the money spent on driving leaves a local economy, weakening it.
  • Community: Travelers outside of their cars interact more with their physical environment and each other.
  • Safety: The presence of pedestrians and cyclists make our neighborhoods safer from crime. Conversely, 42,000 Americans are killed in car accidents every year.
  • Health: Increasingly, Americans are suffering from weight-related illnesses. This is partly attributable to the decline in active transportation use and availability.

Building and encouraging alternatives to the single-occupant vehicle, or, for short "alternative transportation," is imperative. Some alternative transportation advocates have taken to using the term, sustainable transportation, instead of the previous, widely-used "alternative transportation" term to avoid sidelining their interest from the mainstream.

Many efficient, practical, and inexpensive sustainable transportation technologies already exist, meaning activism, policy work, and planning research is most often more crucial to developing sustainable transportation than technology development.

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Engineering 308 (Engr 308), Technology and the Environment, is a course taught at Humboldt State University, currently by instructor Lonny Grafman.

HSU mason jar analysis

2016: Partnered with HSU Office of Sustainability and Dining Services to analyze the effects of the HSU policy regarding mason jars and disposables in terms of dollars, CO2, and energy. Compelling comparisons were created in order to educate and influence consumers.  
CCAT NZE study

2014: Partnered with CCAT to analyze the various energy uses of CCAT for their impacts (in dollars, energy, and carbon), as well as devising an implementable plan to ameliorate the impacts and to reach Net Zero Energy.  
Fuente Nueva waste project

2013: Partnered with Fuente Nueva spanish immersion charter school to analyze their waste, its impacts, and possible mitigation plans.  
Arcata bags

2012: Partnered with Humboldt Scrap to analyze the embedded energy and carbon in various reusable and single use bags in Arcata  
Dominican Republic alternative building analysis

2011: Partnered with the Dominican community of La Yuca to compare the cost, embedded energy and carbon between three building methods  
Arcata plastic bags

2010: Partnered with the City of Arcata to analyze the embedded energy and carbon in single use plastic bags in Arcata  
CCAT PV system energy analysis

2009: Teams partnered with: CCAT on their photovoltaic system, Papercrete vs. StrawBale and Environmental impact of clay vs lime; with RCEA on Street lighting Analysis); and a local business on Multi-Pure vs. Brita Analysis.  
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Energy

Solar
Water
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