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Bwb-book-mockup-no-bg.png New book Building a Better World in Your Backyard Instead of Being Angry at Bad Guys Check currently being funded on Kickstarter. (sponsored friend).


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Estuary
884 million people lack access to safe water supplies; approximately one in eight people. That’s nearly 3 times the U.S. population.

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Horsetail
The chief medicinal property of horsetail is its high silica content. The best dietary source of silica is whole grains-meaning much of our dietary silica is lost in the refining process. In addition to silica, horsetail contains large amounts of potassium as well as aconitic acid, equiaitinee, starch and many fatty acids. Horsetail is often used for mending broken bones. Our hair, skin, nails, and bones all need silica. Silica gives our cells strength, durability, and flexibility.

Think about walking outdoors on the grass. You put a lot of weight on the little blades of grass, but they spring right back up again. This is because of the high silica content in the grass. Silica enables the blades of grass to be resilient and bend, yet not be broken. Without silica, our bones would be very brittle and break easily. The same is true of hair, skin, and nails. Without enough silica in our diet, our hair can be brittle and break easily, causing split ends.

Without enough silica, our skin loses its elasticity. Without enough silica, our nails become very brittle and split. As horsetail is very, very high in silica, it feeds our hair, skin, and nails along with our bones and keep the cells in these systems strong and resilient.

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Parabolic basket and tin can solar cooker

Creating a solar cooker out of local invasive species and waste materials in order to pasteurize water and be an alternative to the use of fossil fuels for cooking food.

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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The Parras Summer Program, in Parras,W, Mexico is a summer immersion in Appropriate Technology, globalization and Spanish language and culture. See the Parras Invitation for more information.

Most of the Parras2005 group near Perote  
Most of the Parras2006 group near Perote  
Most of the Parras2007 group farming  
Most of the Parras2008 group near Perote  

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