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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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The Earthen Ox Oven at the Blue Ox Mill
Blue ox earthen oven. The earthen oven at the Blue Ox Millworks in Eureka, California was constructed in 2004 by Appropriate Technology (Engr305) students at Humboldt State University. The project took four, three-hour work sessions to complete over a total of four weeks. As of 2007 it is still standing, is in immaculate condition and retains nearly the same heating efficiency as when it was first constructed. This page includes information on the construction of the Blue Ox earthen oven and information and updates on its current condition.

Earthen Ovens have been used for thousands of years by cultures all over the world and they are still built today by people all over. Earthen ovens are made up of just that, EARTH! Sand, clay and straw are used in building these versatile ovens.

An earthen oven can be used to cook the same things cooked in a normal household oven, so long as you can fit it through the door! Often Earthen Ovens are somewhat unique from other ovens in that they don’t have a fire burning continuously to cook with. The oven is heated before any cooking is going to take place. Generally Earthen Ovens are fired for a few hours and the hot coals are then scraped out of the interior. Once the coals are scraped out, the oven is ready to cook in.

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Aleiha's parabolic solar cooker

A very hot (400 °F) parabolic solar cooker. Made from an reclaimed satellite dish using bicycle powered tools.

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Community action news

Madrid Shared Space.jpg
Feb 27 Spain: El anillo ciclista que revolucionará la movilidad [1]

Feb 26 Spain: 10 propuestas sevillanas para luchar contra el cambio climático [2]

Feb 24 Chicago: And then? Sustainability Through Arts + Culture [3]

Feb 24 Sustainable transport activism: Ethical and user-friendly transportation options [4]

Feb 23 France offers €200 subsidy on electric bike purchases [5]

Read More...


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Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.

Oliver Wendell HolmesW
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Hot topics / In the news

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Aleiha's parabolic solar cooker
In physics, energy is an indirectly observed quantity. It is often understood as the ability a physical system has to do work on other physical systems. Since work is defined as a force acting through a distance (a length of space), energy is always equivalent to the ability to exert pulls or pushes against the basic forces of nature, along a path of a certain length.

Sustainable energy is the provision of energy that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Sustainable energy sources are most often regarded as including all renewable energy sources, such as hydroelectricity, solar energy and power, wind power, wave power, geothermal energy and power, biomass fuel and energy, and tidal power. It usually also includes technologies that improve energy efficiency.

While many renewable energy projects are large-scale, renewable technologies are also suited to rural and remote areas, where energy is often crucial in human development. As of 2011, small solar photovoltaic (PV) systems provide electricity to a few million households, and micro-hydro configured into mini-grids serves many more. Over 44 million households use biogas made in household-scale digesters for lighting and/or cooking, and more than 166 million households rely on a new generation of more-efficient biomass cookstoves.

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HSU Chiapas Program 2010: Humboldt State University's 2010 summer immersion in Appropriate Technology and Spanish Language & Culture took place in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. In 2010, we worked with Otros Mundos and various community members in San Cristobal de las Casas and near Acteal to collaboratively build three improved cookstoves, three rainwater catchment systems, windbelt prototypes, microhydro power feasibility studies, and a biogas digestor.

Practivistas Chiapas 2010 Projects
HSU Chiapas improved cookstoves
Improved cookstoves at Otros Mundos and in a rural community
(en español)  
HSU Chiapas micro hydro feasibility study
Microhydro feasibility study in a few rural communities
(en español)  
HSU Chiapas Windbelt ASE
Windbelts at Otros Mundos
(en español)  
HSU Chiapas biodigester
Biodigester at a demo house in San Cristobal  
HSU Chiapas rainwater catchment
Rainwater catchment systems at a demo house and in a rural community
(en español)  
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