Portal:Sustainability

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The Sustainability Portal

Sustainable tools to meet fundamental human needs.W

Sustainability is expressed as meeting present environmental, social, and economic needs without compromising these factors for future generations A practice cannot be said to be 'sustainable for X years/generations.' The use of any span of time disqualifies the activity. Sustainability is for perpetuity.

Sustainability also means greater efficiency in resource use, ultimately giving benefits to economic growth and overcoming poverty, as well as health and quality of life.

Sustainable design and sustainable development are critical factors to sustainable living. Sustainable design encompasses the development of appropriate technology, which is a staple of sustainable living practices. Sustainable development in turn is the use of these technologies in infrastructure. Sustainable architecture (see Green building) and agriculture are the most common examples of this practice.

 

Micro hydro scheme showing the power house, the penstock and the transmission lines
Microhydro power. Water power can be harnessed in many ways; tidal flows can be utilized to produce power by building a barrage across an estuary and releasing water in a controlled manner through a turbine; large dams hold water which can be used to provide large quantities of electricity; wave power is also harnessed in various ways. It is a technology that has been utilized throughout the world, by a diverse range of societies and cultures, for many centuries. Water can be harnessed on a large or a small scale. Micro-hydro power is the small-scale harnessing of energy from falling water; for example, harnessing enough water from a local river to power a small factory or village. This fact sheet will concentrate mainly at micro-hydro power.

In the UK, water mills are known to have been in use 900 years ago. Their numbers grew steadily and by the 19th century, there were over 20,000 in operation in England alone. In Europe, Asia and parts of Africa, water wheels were used to drive a variety of industrial machinery, such as mills and pumps. The first effective water turbines appeared in the mid 19th century and it was not long before they were replacing water wheels in many applications. In contrast to water wheels and the early turbines, modern turbines are compact, highly efficient and capable of turning at very high speed. Hydropower is a well-proven technology, relying on a non-polluting, renewable and indigenous resource, which can integrate easily with irrigation and water supply projects.

Rainwater catchment at Isla Urbana

A rainwater catchment system set up by Isla Urbana with the Huicholes in Mexico.

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Selected topics

Project articles: AEF greywater · Aleiha's parabolic solar cooker · Argentina photovoltaic · Asthma inhaler spacers · Biomass gasification · Blue ox earthen oven · Briceland PV · CCAT natural paint project · CCAT pedal powered innovations · CCAT Wash n Flush · CCAT's Vermicomposting Bin · Chicken Tractor · Corn Cob Charcoal Crusher · Decreasing turbidity to optimize solar water disinfection · Ecological dry toilets at Pedregal · Ersson rainwater harvest and purification · Ethanol from organic sugar beets versus refined cane sugar · FBP Nutsy · Fixable Infant Incubator · Greywater Ecuador La lagrima purificadora · Hexayurt project · Home biogas system · Hydroponic Vertical Garden at Sembradores Urbanos · Kiva's straw bale greenhouse · Micro filter dams at Pedregal · New Dawn composting toilet · Occidental greywater · Open source 3-D printing of OSAT · Parabolic basket and tin can solar cooker · Photovoltaic vaccine refrigeration at Centro De Salud · Rainwater catchment at Isla Urbana · Solar Charged Lawnmower · Sun Frost energy efficient shower · Terraces and ditches at Petegral · UABJO Demonstration Wetland Wastewater Treatment, Reclamation, and Outreach · WaterPod Rocket Stove · Wild Chick Farm


Other articles: Alternative energy · Anaerobic digestion · Applied Sustainability · Appropriate technology · Aquaculture · Ashden Awards · Bioenergy · Biofuel · Biogas · Carbon footprint · Climate change · Compost · Composting · Desertification · Ecotourism · Ecovillages · Energy conservation · Environmental law · Environmentalism · Famine · Food security · Gasification · Global warming · Green building · Green cities · Green cleaning · Green computing · Hybrid vehicle · Industrial ecology · Industrial symbiosis · Life cycle assessment · List of environmental issues · Local food · Net metering · Overpopulation · Peak oil · Permaculture · Population control · Population density · Population growth · Recycling · Self-sufficiency · Simple living · Soil erosion · Solar cell · Solar power · Straight vegetable oil · SustainabilityW · Sustainable agriculture · Sustainable building · Sustainable business · Sustainable city · Sustainable community · Sustainable design · Sustainable development · Sustainable energy · Sustainable living · Sustainable technology · Sustainable transport · Tragedy of the commons · Transition Towns · Urban sprawl · Waste vegetable oil · Water conservation · Water purification · Wind power · Wind turbine

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Appropriate technology · Built environment · Business · Construction and materials · Culture and community · Design · Energy · Energy storage · Engineering for Sustainable Development · Food and agriculture · Government supported development programs · Governments and sustainability · Green living · Greywater · Health and safety · Heat exchangers · Hybrid power systems · ICT and Education · Information technology · Learning · Medical Devices · Net Impact · Permaculture · Photovoltaics · Projects · Rainwater harvesting · Renewable energy · Service learning · Solar · Solar thermal · Sustainability · Sustainable business · Sustainable city living · Sustainable energy storage · Sustainable farm energy alternatives · Transport · Water