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Revision as of 16:10, 2 December 2015

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Sharing knowledge to build rich, sustainable lives.

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in sustainability, appropriate technology, poverty reduction, and permaculture.

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Fixed dome digester
Biogas and liquid biofuels. Biomass residues can also be converted into various non-solid fuel forms. These fuels are referred to as biogas and liquid biofuels. The aim of this conversion process is to improve the quality, specific energy content, transportability, etc., of the raw biomass source or to capture gases which are naturally produced as biomass is micro biologically degraded or when biomass is partially combusted. Biogas is a well-established fuel for cooking and lighting in a number of countries, whilst a major motivating factor in the development of liquid biofuels has been the drive to replace petroleum fuels. In this fact sheet we will be looking at some of these fuels, their applications and the conversion technologies used to derive them.

In Europe and the United States, as well as in several developing countries, there is a move toward cultivating energy crops specifically for the production of biomass as a fuel. The potential for energy production from biomass throughout the world is enormous and as fossil-based fuels become scarcer and more expensive, as carbon emission levels are becoming of greater concern and as people realise the benefits of developing integrated energy supply options, then biomass could begin to realise its full potential as an energy source.

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Open_source_3-D_printing_of_OSAT

Open source 3D printers, such as the Rep Rap, are being used to create open source appropriate technologies such as the DremelFuge.

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Community action news / Hot topics

Community action news more Hot topics
Street Party Table.jpg
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Blog

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Paul Polak presenting at the Cusp Conference 2008, Chicago, IL
I hate books about poverty that make you feel guilty, as well as dry, academic ones that put you to sleep. Working to alleviate poverty is a lively, exciting field capable of generating new hope and inspiration, not feelings of gloom and doom. Learning the truth about poverty generates disruptive innovations capable of enriching the lives of rich people even more than those of poor people.

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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Energy

Solar
Water
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