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Welcome to Appropedia

We develop knowledge to build rich, sustainable lives (read our vision and mission).

Explore solutions for sustainability, appropriate technology, poverty reduction, and permaculture. You are encouraged to add to and edit Appropedia with your original research on these subjects. To learn more about appropriate technology, we invite you to check Portal:Appropriate technology.

Browse our categories or all 8,730 articles. Contributors have made 413,983 edits and uploaded 34,290 files.

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To catch the rain cover.png Rainwater catchment around the world.
Get a paperback on Amazon or free digitally at http://www.tocatchtherain.org.


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. Read more...
A detailed greywater system at Centro Orgánico Finca Sarita, an Ecuadorian seed saving center.
A detailed greywater system at Centro Orgánico Finca Sarita, an Ecuadorian seed saving center. Read more or check our book


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Community action news

Cyclists riding in Melbourne for 350 Climate Action.jpg

Apr 1 Climate news: Why We Can't Ignore the Link Between Coronavirus, Climate Change and Inequity [1]
Mar 28 Tackle climate crisis and poverty with zeal of Covid-19 fight, scientists urge [2]

Mar 25 Biodiversity news: Coronavirus: 'Nature is sending us a message’, says UN environment chief [3]

Mar 22 Visions: From the middle of this century, our response to Coronavirus doesn't look too bad, say these authors [4]

Mar 20 Europe: Covid19 Emergency Is a Green One. The only emergence from the Covid19 Emergency is a green one: A message to European finance ministers to double down on European Green Deal as the economic response to the Corona-pandemic. By Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Hunter Lovins, Kate Raworth, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber. Club of Rome. [5]

Mar 16 Scotland news: We don’t need institutes, we need constitutes… and they should live in a Makar House, Pat Kane [6]

Read More...



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Bill Mollison talking about the future.
You don't have a snail problem, you have a duck deficiency.

Bill MollisonW


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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