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Sharing knowledge to build rich, sustainable lives.

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in sustainability, appropriate technology, poverty reduction, and permaculture.

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Chicken tractors
The name "chicken tractor" is somewhat misleading, since no conventional motorized devices are used. A chicken tractor is little more than an open-bottom cage for chickens, which is light enough to be moved on the ground from location to another.

The chickens live in the chicken tractor and scratch, eat, and defecate on the ground surface. This process turns over the shallow surface, hence the 'tractor' reference. As the surface is sufficiently worked by the chickens, the tractor is moved to another space, repeating the process. The consumption of plants, seeds, and insects reduces plant growth and insect population, and the defecation nourishes the soil. Conventional chicken houses produce a volume of chicken waste with very high Nitrate concentration, which will burn many plants if used directly and therefore must be composted. The chicken tractor eliminates these handling and processing needs.

A chicken tractor will work on any flat surface with a substrate that supports plants and insects. Its main benefits are that it is a means of having free-range chickens and its attended benefits, but with better control/protection of the chickens. Moving it around permits more localized vegetation management, and keeps chickens out of gardens.

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Rainwater catchment at Isla Urbana

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

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Community action news

Yarra River & City Skyline.jpg
Jan 19 Melbourne's trams to be solar powered [1]

Jan 18 Barcelona Crowdsourced its Sharing Economy Policies. Can Other Cities Do the Same? [2]

Jan 17 Why Women in Brazil Are Turning to the Solidarity Economy [3]

Jan 17 Towards sustainable economies: Here's How Fab Market is Creating a Sustainable Marketplace [4]

Jan 17 India news: Solar power plan set to bring fresh water to out-of-reach villages [5]

Read More...


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Brundtland addressing the Congress of the Labour Party, 2007.
Fundamentally, sustainable development is a notion of discipline. It means humanity must ensure that meeting present needs does not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

Gro Harlem BrundtlandW
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You can have a green Christmas.
Green living (or sustainable living) is about practical choices, large and small, to preserve the earth and have a better quality of life. It is a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual's or society's use of the Earth's natural resources and his or her own resources.

In order to make sustainable choices, it is very helpful to have solid, reliable information that tells us which behaviors are sustainable and which are unsustainable. In quantitative terms, which actions will make the greatest difference, and should be prioritized. Green living can be high tech (buying a hybrid vehicle), low tech (green cleaning, or completely "back to nature." It can be smart grid or off the grid. Sustainable city living explains some of the areas of action for a city dweller.

Practitioners of sustainable living often attempt to reduce their carbon footprint by altering methods of transportation, energy consumption and diet. Proponents of sustainable living aim to conduct their lives in ways that are consistent with sustainability, in natural balance and respectful of humanity's symbiotic relationship with the Earth's natural ecology and cycles. The practice and general philosophy of ecological living is highly interrelated with the overall principles of sustainable development.

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ENGR 215 Introduction to Design projects – Spring 2011: Locally Delicious: The Spring 2011 semester of Engineering 215 worked with Locally Delicious to design, build, test and disseminate projects that support healthy lifestyles among youths grades 4th through 6th and their families.

Spring 2011 ENGR 215 Intro to Design Projects - Locally Delicious
Tear the Roof off
Dry sliced apples in 18 hours of sunlight with this legless solar dehydrator  
The GnomeTainer
Modular, raised garden with integrated rain catchment that can be installed on a porch  
Catch and Cook
A solar oven capable of reaching 160°F in 20 minutes  
Solar Bowling Oven
Solar oven kids can build and use on their own  
Wormland worm bin
Scalable vermiculture system from free materials for kids  
Row Blender
Row yourself a smoothie with an exercise powered blender  
Sodhoppers' Solar Dehydrator
Durable food dehydrator for a school from a waste kitchen cabinet  
Interactive School Garden
Modular school garden design incorporating several different garden styles  
The Solar Swing
Solar oven for a school reaching 200°F in 30 minutes  
School Worm Bin
Worm bin for a school built from a 55 gallon drum  
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Solar
Water
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