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From today's featured article

Brundtland addressing the Congress of the Labour Party, 2007.
Fundamentally, sustainable development is a notion of discipline. It means humanity must ensure that meeting present needs does not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

Gro Harlem BrundtlandW

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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.

Highlighted project

Asthma inhaler spacers

Spacer for asthma medications made from a 500cc plastic bottle.

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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ENGR 215 Introduction to Design projects – Fall 2011: Flock House: The Fall 2011 semester of ENGR215 Introduction to Design worked with the Flock House to research, design, and build sustainable and inspiring systems for two living systems that will be traveling through and interacting with various New York neighborhoods.

Fall 2011 ENGR 215 Intro to Design Projects - Flock House
Plastic Plumage and Bird Cage
Corrugated plastic shell and one gallon milk carton shingles  
Aluminum Awareness
Aluminum can shingles and 2-liter bottle windows  
Poly Pod
Doors, windows, and planters made from ironed plastic bags and bubble-wrap, with umbrella awnings  
Geared-Up From the Feet-Up
Bicycle powered generator capable of generating 100+ Watts  
Pump'n Power
A handcar styled, two person, human powered, energy generator  
Hyper Visible Power Meter
A post-apocalyptic, bomb-like, display for the state of the Flock House batteries  
Window Shopper and Back Me Up
Flock House solar dehydrator and backpack solar dehydrator  

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