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Revision as of 12:05, 16 December 2011

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Sharing knowledge to build rich, sustainable lives.

Appropedia is for collaborative solutions
in sustainability, appropriate technology, poverty reduction, and permaculture.

You are encouraged to add to and edit Appropedia -
your site to find, co-create and improve the solutions we need. Our vision and mission.

Contributors have made 392,408 edits and uploaded 31,519 files.
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To catch the rain cover.png You made it happen! Get a paperback on Amazon or digitally at http://www.tocatchtherain.org.


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Covered bike racks at Fabrica La Estrella
Parras transportation gallery. There appear to be hundreds of bicycles hung on a series of covered bike racks at Fabrica La Estrella, just inside the entrance to the fabrica (factory). The bicycles are unlocked. The racks were manufactured in Torreón. Active non-motorized transportation offers benefits to its users' health, the community at large, and earth's climate. Covered bike racks, specifically, offer bicyclists greater status (as people worthy of finding a dry seat when they go to use their bike), and make bicycle parking a more emphasized part of the landscape. Improving the status of bicyclists is particularly important in Parras, as the bicycle is identified as a poor person's vehicle, and they are afforded little respect on the road. Drunk driving is rampant on weekends. It happens that on the morning of 4 June 2006, a bicyclist was run over early in the morning. In such accidents, as in this case, the driver most frequently does not stop. If covered bike racks are to truly improve the status of bicycles, however, they must be installed outside of the factory, as in this location they are intended to serve the the lower-class labor force of the factory exclusively, and are invisible to the greater community. Issues include the factory labor practices, waste water, etc. Long distance travel using bikes can be difficult. Also, bikes require frequent maintenance, whereas cars require less frequent but more costly maintenance.
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Aleiha's parabolic solar cooker

A very hot (400 °F) parabolic solar cooker. Made from an reclaimed satellite dish using bicycle powered tools.

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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