Portal:Health and safety

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The Health and safety Portal

The Vitruvian Man is a world-renowned drawing created by Leonardo da Vinci circa 1487.
Those who have health have hope, and those who have hope have everything.
Arabian Proverb

With a sound understanding of principles it is often possible to have lasting impacts on the health and safety of people where the latest medicines and equipment may not be available. This portal suggests solutions in these situations in humane, economical, and ecological ways. Simple, cheap, effective means are possible for the restoration and maintenance of health in many chronic, non-traumatic situations.


The use of appropriate technologies is less common in healthcare than other fields such as construction or agriculture. In healthcare it is linked closely to public health field and the water and sanitation, where it has been in use for much longer. Appropriate technology is often used to develop mobility and rehabilitation equipment as well as tests used to diagnose diseases.

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After being hung up overnight in a breezy location, shirts worn once (even in the tropics!) smell quite fresh enough to wear again.
Washing and drying clothes. Washing and drying clothing are common activities that can use a lot of energy - if we aren't careful. But there are a lot of things, most importantly washing in cold water and line drying, which are not only greener, but will make your clothes last longer (as long as you don't leave them outside too long, to fade).

Why does it matter? - Energy usage: We need to use less energy with efficient washers and cold water (unless there is abundant solar hot water), and use renewable energy where possible.

Water usage: The more water we use, the harder it is to process the waste water, and the more strain we place on the water supply.

Water pollution: Minimize the use of detergent. Consider these words about the chemicals you use. Once people appreciate that they make other things dirty when they make their clothes clean, they think differently about what they're doing.

Labor: You have better things to do than wash clothes, and you'd rather your hands didn't become dry and cracked, so you would probably choose a washing machine over hand-washing your clothes. Reducing the need for washing: Environmental impact and labor can both be saved by measures that reduce the need for washing: suitable choice of clothes (color and fabric) and habits such as hanging and airing clothes. See the Clothing page for more detailed suggestions.

Saving energy: About 90% of the energy used for washing clothes is for heating the water. There are two ways to reduce the amount of energy used for washing clothes—use less water and use cooler water. Unless you're dealing with oily stains, the warm or cold water setting on your machine will generally do a good job of cleaning your clothes. Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut a load's energy use in half.

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Parabolic basket and tin can solar cooker

Creating a solar cooker out of local invasive species and waste materials in order to pasteurize water and be an alternative to the use of fossil fuels for cooking food.

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