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Sharing knowledge to build rich, sustainable lives.

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

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Windmillprint-crop.jpg As part of a 3-D printing class, graduate students will be designing printable open-source appropriate technology for sustainable development. If you want a technology designed to be 3-D printed, post your ideas here. Chosen designs will be made and open-sourced for the global community. Deadline Nov. 13, 2014


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.

Corn Cob Charcoal Crusher

Turning corn cob agricultural waste into a cooking fuel that combats deforestation and indoor air pollution.

Cathy Leslie, Executive Director of Engineers Without Borders-USA
In order to stay competitive, tomorrow's engineer will need to become more culturally savvy, as well as adept at implementing appropriate technologies. Capacity building is not about constructing a showcase engineering project. It's about coming up with practical, sustainable solutions that fit the environment, its people and the culture as well. (ASME)

Planted cattails at Millcreek greywater
Greywater, sometimes also spelled as graywater, grey water or gray water, is all of the effluent water from a household, such as water discharged from lavatories (bathroom sinks), bathtubs, showers, clothes washers, and laundry trays. Greywater is not wastewater from a sink used for food preparation, or water closet (toilet) wastewater.

The water leaving our homes carries nutrients and value. It may also contain pathogens, and/or harsh chemicals and care should be taken with it. However, it is not a great risk compared to blackwater (sewage).

Redirecting the water we use for tasks such as showering allows us to reclaim some of that value to grow plants and recharge the water table. It may be necessary to choose our soaps and detergents more carefully, if we use the greywater for watering and fertilizing plants.

Main portal: Water
edit  watch  Selected service learning Projects gallery (refresh)

Engr305 Appropriate Technology Projects: Below are selected service learning projects from Engr305 Appropriate Technology, which is a course on appropriate technology at Humboldt State University taught by instructor Lonny Grafman.

CCAT Clay-straw slip wall

Clay-straw slip wall of CCAT's Greenshed  
CCAT clothes drying

Efficient clothes drying system for CCAT  
CCAT Cold Box

An energy efficient solution to a refrigerator  
CCAT Compost System

CCAT's comprehensive composting system  
CCAT greenhouse natural wall

An aesthetically pleasing natural earthen wall built by clay and straw slip methods  
CCAT greenshed cob wall

Cob wall of CCAT's Greenshed  
CCAT greenshed north wall

Cordwood and mortar wall of CCAT's Greenshed  
CCAT greenshed west wall

Clay-straw slip wall of CCAT's Greenshed  
CCAT greywater marsh (2008)

CCAT's Greywater Marsh 2008  
CCAT greywater marsh (current)

CCAT Greywater Marsh Continued  
CCAT interpretive wind turbine display

Demonstration wind turbine  
CCAT's living roof

Replacing CCAT's living roof  
CCAT MEOW 2012

Refurbishment of CCAT's Mobile Energy Operation Wagon  
CCAT natural concrete stain

Natural concrete stain  
CCAT natural paint project

Interior paints from natural ingredients  
CCAT natural wall construction

Earthen informational kiosk for CCAT  
CCAT pedal powered grain mill

Pedal powered grain mill for CCAT  
CCAT pedal powered TV

Updated version of CCAT pedal powered bicycle  
CCAT rainwater catchment system

CCAT's current rainwater catchment system  
CCAT Raised Garden Beds

Controlled beds of soil above toxic ground  
CCAT remediation zone

A stable slope for planting and attracting beneficial insects  
CCAT Retaining Wall

Retaining wall for slope erosion at CCAT  
CCAT rocket stove

CCAT's improved fuel rocket stove  
CCAT small rainwater catchment

Rainwater catchment for CCAT's cob bench roof  
CCAT's Vermicomposting Bin

CCAT's vermicomposting bin  

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