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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 8,799 articles. Contributors have made 417,865 edits and uploaded 34,881 files.

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Announcements — more

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


Micro hydro scheme showing the power house, the penstock and the transmission lines
Microhydro power. Water power can be harnessed in many ways; tidal flows can be utilized to produce power by building a barrage across an estuary and releasing water in a controlled manner through a turbine; large dams hold water which can be used to provide large quantities of electricity; wave power is also harnessed in various ways. It is a technology that has been utilized throughout the world, by a diverse range of societies and cultures, for many centuries. Water can be harnessed on a large or a small scale. Micro-hydro power is the small-scale harnessing of energy from falling water; for example, harnessing enough water from a local river to power a small factory or village. This fact sheet will concentrate mainly at micro-hydro power. In the UK, water mills are known to have been in use 900 years ago. Their numbers grew steadily and by the 19th century, there were over 20,000 in operation in England alone. In Europe, Asia and parts of Africa, water wheels were used to drive a variety of industrial machinery, such as mills and pumps. The first effective water turbines appeared in the mid 19th century and it was not long before they were replacing water wheels in many applications. In contrast to water wheels and the early turbines, modern turbines are compact, highly efficient and capable of turning at very high speed. Hydropower is a well-proven technology, relying on a non-polluting, renewable and indigenous resource, which can integrate easily with irrigation and water supply projects. Read more...
Terraces and ditches at Petregal a Permaculture Demonstration Center in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Terraces and ditches at Petregal a Permaculture Demonstration Center in Oaxaca, Mexico. Read more or check our book


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Community action news

AlleeImFruehling.jpg

May 26 Towards sustainable economies news: World health leaders urge green recovery from coronavirus crisis [1]

May 15 London news: Large areas of London to be made car-free as lockdown eased [2]

May 5 UK Climate news: Airline bailouts without climate conditions could be unlawful [3]

May 5 The full impact of Finland’s UBI experiment is in - improving wellbeing, cognitive confidence, and a sense of personal control [4]

May 4 Ethical consumerism: What could tourism become, post-Covid? Former "destinations" can build new livelihoods. And make new urban-rural connections [5]

Read More...



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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


A windmill is used to power a water pump which fills a swimming pool.
Appropriate technology (AT) is technology that is designed with special consideration to the context of its use - including environmental, ethical, cultural, social, political, and economical aspects of the community it is intended for. With these goals in mind, AT proponents claim their methods require fewer resources, are easier to maintain, and have less of an impact on the environment compared to techniques from mainstream technology, which they contend is wasteful and environmentally polluting.

The term is usually used to describe simple technologies proponents consider suitable for use in developing nations or less developed rural areas of industrialized nations. This form of "appropriate technology" usually prefers labor-intensive solutions over capital-intensive ones, although labor-saving devices are also used where this does not mean high capital or maintenance cost. In practice, appropriate technology is often something described as using the simplest level of technology that can effectively achieve the intended purpose in a particular location. In industrialized nations, the term appropriate technology takes a different meaning, often referring to engineering that takes special consideration of its social and environmental ramifications.


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