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To catch the rain cover.png You made it happen! Get a paperback on Amazon or digitally at http://www.tocatchtherain.org.


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Appropriate Technology Engineering 305 class
Parabolic basket and tin can solar cooker. The objective of this project is to create a solar cooker out of local invasive species and waste materials. We want to create a device that can pasteurize water and be an alternative to the use of fossil fuels for cooking food. Our criteria for evaluating the appropriateness of technology are: use of local materials, efficiency, durability, ease of use, ease of construction, cost, impact on environment, impact on culture/lifestyle, education or expertise needed for construction.

Overall this was a successful project. We were able to meet our goal of pasteurizing water. The solar basket can pasteurize water in a quart container in about an hour with optimal conditions. If we were to make the solar basket version 2.0, here are some changes we would make: 1. double up the blackberry runners so that the ribs of the basket are stronger; 2. use another material instead of pampas grass because it causes lumps on the basket's surface, maybe something softer; 3. use all large can lids, of the shiniest quality; and 4.construct the rings that hold the parabolic shape out of a less flexible material than the aluminum and wire that we found.

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Hexayurt Project

The Hexayurt is a refugee shelter system that uses an approach based on "autonomous building" to provide not just a shelter, but a comprehensive family support unit which includes drinking water purification, composting toilets, fuel-efficient stoves and solar electric lighting. 8/15/07 Update: Winner of the Treehugger Participate! contest for Burning Man.

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Community action news

Römerberg houses on the west side.jpg
Feb 14 Germany: German cities to trial free public transport to cut pollution [1]

Feb 13 Trees, woodland and forest: A eureka moment for the planet: we’re finally planting trees again [2]

Feb 12 Climate news 2018: Talking climate, taking action – a quest for belonging [3]

Feb 12 Sharing news: 11 core principles for Sharing Cities [4]

Feb 11 How do you build a healthy city? Copenhagen reveals its secrets [5]

Read More...


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Jacques-Yves Cousteau
Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: We are all in the same boat.

Jacques CousteauW
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Blog

Kiva's straw bale greenhouse
An alternative or natural building involves a range of building systems and materials that place major emphasis on sustainability. Ways of achieving sustainability through natural building focus on durability and the use of minimally processed, plentiful or renewable resources, as well as those that, while recycled or salvaged, produce healthy living environments and maintain indoor air quality. Natural building tends to rely on human labor, more than technology. As Michael G. Smith observes, it depends on "local ecology, geology and climate; on the character of the particular building site, and on the needs and personalities of the builders and users."

The basis of natural building is the need to lessen the environmental impact of buildings and other supporting systems, without sacrificing comfort, health or aesthetics. To be more sustainable, natural building uses primarily abundantly available, renewable, reused or recycled materials. The use of rapidly renewable materials is increasingly a focus. In addition to relying on natural building materials, the emphasis on the architectural design is heightened. The orientation of a building, the utilization of local climate and site conditions, the emphasis on natural ventilation through design, fundamentally lessen operational costs and positively impact the environmental. Building compactly and minimizing the ecological footprint is common, as are on-site handling of energy acquisition, on-site water capture, alternate sewage treatment and water reuse.

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ENGR 215 Introduction to Design projects – Fall 2010: HBCSL Somoa Hostel: The Fall 2010 semester of Engineering 215 worked with Humboldt Bay Center for Sustainable Living to design and build projects that support a proposed eco-hostel in Humboldt County.

Fall 2010 ENGR 215 Intro to Design Projects - HBCSL
Thermosyphon Solar Shower System
An outdoor shower that utilizes solar energy to heat the water  
Samoa Hostel Truth Tank
Provides greywater treatment system for a satellite solar shower  
Samoa Hostel Wattimus Prime
A metering scheme that monitors the amount of energy used by the visitors  
Can You Feel The Heatloss?
An education display about convection and heat loss  
Samoa Hostel Natural Paints
A natural paint display to educate visitors of the Samoa Hostel  
Pain in the Axle
A bicycle-powered electrical generator that powers a television and DVD player  
Samoa Hostel Windbelt
An array of wind belts that can charge a cell phone  
The Mechanical Munchy-Maker
A mechanical bicycle that generates energy to power a kitchen appliance  
Samoa Hostel Insulation Station
Educates visitors about the effectiveness insulation types and their relative costs  
Samoa Hostel greywater island
Models, designs, and educates guests and implementers of hostel size greywater treatment  
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