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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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A treadle pump being demonstrated in Malawi.
A treadle pump is a human-powered Pump designed to lift water from a depth of seven meters or less. A Treadle is a lever device pressed by the foot to drive a machine, in this case a pump. The treadle pump can do most of the work of a motorized pump, but costs considerably less (75%) to purchase. Because it needs no Fossil fuel (it is driven by the operator's body weight and Leg Muscl]s), it can also cost less (50%) to operate than a motorized pump. It can lift five to seven cubic meters of water per hour from wells and Boreholes up to seven meters deep and can also be used to draw water from Lakes and Rivers. Many treadle pumps are manufactured locally, but they can be challenging to produce consistently without highly skilled welders and production hardware.

Compared to bucket irrigation, the treadle pump can greatly increase the income that farmers generate from their land by increasing the number of growing seasons, by expanding the types of crops that can be cultivated, and improving on the quality of grown crops.

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Decreasing turbidity to optimize solar water disinfection

Salt and sunlight can actually be used to clean water with the SODIS method.

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Community action news

Pekín hutongs agosto 2004.JPG
Mar 22 Sustainable transport activism: Q&A: LibreTaxi's Roman Pushkin on Why He Made a Free, Open-Source Alternative to Uber and Lyft [1]

Mar 21 Towards sustainable economies: “Basic Income should be seen as a democratic right” [2]

Mar 21 Copenhagen: The Transition Flower Shop [3]

Mar 20 Community involvement USA: Participatory Budgeting Gaining Momentum in the U.S. [4]

Mar 20 New York City: The Freelance Contract Gives Gig Workers Fair Working Terms [5]

Read More...


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Albert Einstein
Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.

Albert EinsteinW
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Man working in a rice field.
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is ingested by an organism and assimilated by the organism's cells in an effort to produce energy, maintain life, and/or stimulate growth. Historically, people secured food through two methods: hunting and gathering, and agriculture.

Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the development of civilization. In the developed world, industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture has become the dominant system of modern farming, although there is growing support for sustainable agriculture (e.g. permaculture or organic agriculture).

Sustainable agriculture is the practice of farming using principles of ecology, the study of relationships between organisms and their environment. It has been defined as "an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will last over the long term: satisfy human food and fiber needs; make the most efficient use of non-renewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls; sustain the economic viability of farm operations; and enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.”

Related portal: Permaculture
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ENGR 215 Introduction to Design projects – Fall 2008: Full Belly Project: The Fall 2008 semester of Engineering 215 worked with the Full Belly Project to adapt their Universal Nut Sheller in the following three manners:

Fall 2008 ENGR 215 Intro to Design Projects - Full Belly Project
The LC sheller
Innovating concrete with sawdust and clay to lower the costs and weight using materials available in some parts of Western Africa  
The Full Bell
Improves the original UNS by reducing the cost and increasing durability of the sheller  
Hot Dang Plastic Encasement
Waste plastic bags available in Haiti cleaned, cut, crocheted and ironed into a hard plastic mold  
Pressed Plastic
A process to thermoform waste plastic bags to form molds for nut shellers using resources available in Haiti  
Nutsy
Shaped like an acorn the Nutsy aims to be a smaller, more portable, and more aesthetically pleasing version of the UNS for marketing within the US  
Multiplicity
Smaller U.S. prototype with exchangeable rotors for different size nuts  
Simple Simon
Smaller US prototype made from wood and aluminum  
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