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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.


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Solar Charged Lawnmower
Solar Charged Lawnmower. An electric lawnmower that utilizes solar power as an energy source will address a number of issues that standard internal combustion engine mowers do not. An electric lawnmower with a solar charger will be easier to use. There is no messy dangerous gasoline to deal with. It will eliminate those pesky trips to the gas station for fill-ups. Just plug the mower into the charging station when not in use and it will be charged and ready for your next mow! Most importantly it eliminates the emissions of an internal combustion mower.

The basic idea is to convert an older non-working gas mower into an electric powered mower by replacing the gas engine with an electric motor that runs from a 12 volt battery. This battery will be charged using photovoltaic panel (A.K.A. - solar panel). I chose to convert an old gas mower rather than just starting with an electric mower due to cost and so I could design the power output. I also planned on using as many used materials as I can. This will help to save these materials from ending up in our already over filled landfills.

I would like to claim that I came up with this solar charged electric mower idea on my own but the truth is I came across an article about one in a "Home Power" magazine (Issue 107) a while back and have wanted to build one ever since. When the opportunity arose to use it as a project in my Engineering 305 class at Humboldt State University I jumped at the chance.

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Solar Charged Lawnmower

Converting a very used gas power lawnmower into a solar charged, low emission, almost silent, lawn cutting machine.

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Community action news

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May 6 Biodiversity news: Humans 'threaten 1m species with extinction' [1]

May 6 Reduce, reuse, repair and recycle: Bringing the power of plastic recycling to the people [2]

May 2 Mexico: A new, collective business model for traditional crafts in Oaxaca [3]

May 1 UK Climate news: UK Parliament Declares Environment and Climate Emergency, Claire Mitchell [4]

May 1 Bank On San Francisco: Supporting community financial empowerment [5]

Read More...


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E. F. Schumacher
Perhaps we cannot raise the winds. But each of us can put up the sail, so that when the wind comes we can catch it.

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Hot topics / In the news

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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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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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Water
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