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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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Yeast Cakes from Hops
Yeasts for Baking. Generally when one mentions yeast, aromatic loaves of fresh homemade light bread come to mind. And so they should. Aside from acting as a leavening agent in bakery products, yeast is also the ingredient responsible for the tantalizing aroma that arises during baking.

Though probably today the most commonly known and used are store-bought packages of dried yeast, there are several other different kinds. The recipes that follow show two examples of different ways to make yeast--dry yeast cakes made from hops and an everlasting yeast "starter"--and also how the yeasts are used in making bread.

The dry yeast cakes are made in part by boiling the blossoms of the hop vine. These flowers contain a fragrant yellowish oil called lupulin. The use of this oil as a preservative in beer and as a narcotic drug originated in Germany before Charlemagne. Since then its use has become widespread and the vine cultivated in other nations, including America.

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Home biogas system (Philippine BioDigesters)

"It can be built as a : Do-It-Yourself (DIY) project where expert masonry skills are not required" and "by using common and inexpensive materials available anywhere."

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Portrait of Benjamin Franklin
He that is rich need not live sparingly, and he that can live sparingly need not be rich.

Benjamin FranklinW
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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ENGR 215 Introduction to Design projects – Fall 2005: RCEA: The Fall 2005 semester of Engineering 215 worked with RCEA to develop educational displays for the general public.

Fall 2005 ENGR 215 Intro to Design Projects - RCEA
A Bright Idea
To create an interactive, educational display that demonstrates the importance of electrical energy conservation  
Biggest Little Thing
To design an interactive display promoting electrical energy conservation  
Thermal Curtain
To educate people about thermal energy conservation  
Know Your Load
To educate people about phantom loads on electrical devices  
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