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Emilio-thumb.png Emilio Velis has been appointed the new Executive Director of the Appropedia Foundation! Read more...


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Direct and diffuse solar radiation (Practical Action)
Solar thermal energy. The sun is the source of the vast majority of the energy we use on earth. Most of the energy we use has undergone various transformations before it is finally utilized, but it is also possible to tap this source of solar energy as it arrives on the earth’s surface.

There are many applications for the direct use of solar thermal energy, space heating and cooling, water heating, crop drying and solar cooking. It is a technology which is well understood and widely used in many countries throughout the world. Most solar thermal technologies have been in existence in one form or another for centuries and have a well-established manufacturing base in most sun-rich developed countries.

The most common use for solar thermal technology is for domestic water heating. Hundreds of thousands of domestic hot water systems are in use throughout the world, especially in areas such as the Mediterranean and Australia where there is high solar insolation (the total energy per unit area received from the sun). As world oil prices vary, it is a technology which is rapidly gaining acceptance as an energy saving measure in both domestic and commercial water heating applications. Presently, domestic water heaters are usually only found amongst wealthier sections of the community in developing countries.

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Corn Cob Charcoal Crusher

Turning corn cob agricultural waste into a cooking fuel that combats deforestation and indoor air pollution.

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Community action news

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Oct 15 Visions: The Sustainable Future Town of Your Imagination [1]

Oct 13 Don’t frack with us: meet the victorious activist ‘Nanas’ of Lancashire [2]

Oct 10 Community involvement UK news: Becoming Unstuck With Relational Activism [3]

Oct 3 Climate news 2019: What does Greta Thunberg's call for equity mean? [4]

Sep 19 Climate news 2019: For the sake of life on Earth, we must put a limit on wealth, George Monbiot [5]

Read More...


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William Cullen Bryant
A breeze came wandering from the sky, light as the whispers of a dream; He put the overhanging grasses by, and softly stooped to kiss the stream, The pretty stream, the flattered stream, The shy, yet unreluctant stream of wind.

William Cullen BryantW
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Planted cattails at Millcreek greywater
Greywater, sometimes also spelled as graywater, grey water or gray water, is all of the effluent water from a household, such as water discharged from lavatories (bathroom sinks), bathtubs, showers, clothes washers, and laundry trays. Greywater is not wastewater from a sink used for food preparation, or water closet (toilet) wastewater.

The water leaving our homes carries nutrients and value. It may also contain pathogens, and/or harsh chemicals and care should be taken with it. However, it is not a great risk compared to blackwater (sewage).

Redirecting the water we use for tasks such as showering allows us to reclaim some of that value to grow plants and recharge the water table. It may be necessary to choose our soaps and detergents more carefully, if we use the greywater for watering and fertilizing plants.

Main portal: Water
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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.

Treadmill-a-volt treadmill powered charging

Treadmill power for the Humboldt Bay Center for Sustainable Living  
Troubleshooting the AEF photovoltaic system

Troubleshooting, repairing, testing and maintaining a preexisting off-grid photovoltaic system  
Tule Fog Farm Grassfed Shed

An indoor space for pigs and goats that also restores a previous brownfield while improving the overall natural landscape  
Umbrella solar cooker

A multi-use solar cooker  
Wild Chick Farm

A commercial pastured chicken operation in Arcata, California  
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