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Passive water heater diagram
Thermosiphoning is considered to be an appropriate technology. This process utilizes natural, renewable resources and the basic laws of thermodynamics to create movement of a heated supply of air or water. The energy source for this process is solar radiation: the energy of the sun is captured in a solar collection device and is transferred to either air or water via conduction. The entire process may be explained by the thermosiphoning effect: When air or water is heated, it gains kinetic energy from the heating source and becomes excited. As a result, the water becomes less dense, expands, and thus rises. In contrast, when water or air is cooled, energy is extracted from the molecules and the water becomes less active. It also becomes more dense, and tends to "sink." Thermosiphoning harnesses the natural density differences between cold and hot fluids, and controls them in a system that produces natural fluid movement.

The passive thermosiphoning of water is the process of heating and moving water within a system without the need or use of electricity. This process functions by utilizing natual phenomena such as solar energy, gravity, and an available water source.

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CCAT pedal powered innovations

Years of pedal powered innovations from CCAT, all in one place.

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Community action news

Mar 19 London news: London’s first eco-friendly, human-powered gym is opening [1]

Mar 15 California news: How Cooperation Richmond is empowering marginalized communities to build an equitable economy [2]

Mar 7 Climate action UK: UK carbon emissions in 2017 fell to levels last seen in 1890 [3]

Mar 1 South Africa: Cape Town’s water crisis shows the reality for cities on the front line of climate change [4]

Feb 28 Amsterdam: First plastic-free aisle is an example for other supermarkets to follow [5]


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Buckminster Fuller
All of humanity now has the option to "make it" successfully and sustainably, by virtue of our having minds, discovering principles and being able to employ these principles to do more with less.

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Bicycle wheel
Transport. According to the Appropriate transport manual, sustainable transportation is a strategy for the flow of people and goods across the Earth that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Transportation accounted for 32.6% of US green house gas emissions in 2005. In addition to the widely publicized environmental consequences of driving automobiles, it is also socially and economically costly:
  • Land use: Parking and roads use valuable land resources.
  • Transportation equity: Driving, with all of its expenses, costs the average U.S. household $7,000 per year per vehicle.
  • Economics: Most of the money spent on driving leaves a local economy, weakening it.
  • Community: Travelers outside of their cars interact more with their physical environment and each other.
  • Safety: The presence of pedestrians and cyclists make our neighborhoods safer from crime. Conversely, 42,000 Americans are killed in car accidents every year.
  • Health: Increasingly, Americans are suffering from weight-related illnesses. This is partly attributable to the decline in active transportation use and availability.

Building and encouraging alternatives to the single-occupant vehicle, or, for short "alternative transportation," is imperative. Some alternative transportation advocates have taken to using the term, sustainable transportation, instead of the previous, widely-used "alternative transportation" term to avoid sidelining their interest from the mainstream.

Many efficient, practical, and inexpensive sustainable transportation technologies already exist, meaning activism, policy work, and planning research is most often more crucial to developing sustainable transportation than technology development.

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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.

AEF food dehydrator

A solar dehydrator to help preserve surplus crops  
AEF greywater

Greywater system at the CSA, Arcata Educational Farm  
AEF informational kiosk

An earthen informational kiosk  
AEF photovoltaic system

Modified off-grid photovoltaic system  
AEF solar water heater

Improved solar water heating system  
AEF spiral herb garden

Restored the existing herb spiral  
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