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A treadle pump being demonstrated in Malawi.
A treadle pump is a human-powered Pump designed to lift water from a depth of seven meters or less. A Treadle is a lever device pressed by the foot to drive a machine, in this case a pump. The treadle pump can do most of the work of a motorized pump, but costs considerably less (75%) to purchase. Because it needs no Fossil fuel (it is driven by the operator's body weight and Leg Muscl]s), it can also cost less (50%) to operate than a motorized pump. It can lift five to seven cubic meters of water per hour from wells and Boreholes up to seven meters deep and can also be used to draw water from Lakes and Rivers. Many treadle pumps are manufactured locally, but they can be challenging to produce consistently without highly skilled welders and production hardware.

Compared to bucket irrigation, the treadle pump can greatly increase the income that farmers generate from their land by increasing the number of growing seasons, by expanding the types of crops that can be cultivated, and improving on the quality of grown crops.

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New Dawn composting toilet

New Dawn composting toilet at a demonstration center in Costa Rica, helping treat human waste and provide fertilizer with a reduced bacteria count.

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Community action news

9th Av 30 St bikelane jeh.jpg

Mar 19 New York City news: Composting in NYC [1]

Mar 7 New Zealand: River granted full rights of legal personhood

Mar 5 Sharing cities movement, Barcelona

Mar 5 Norway: Oslo Is (Almost) Car-Free -- And Likes It That Way [2]

Feb 20 Refettorio Gastromotiva, Rio de Janeiro

Read More...


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Albert Einstein
It is high time that the ideal of success should be replaced by the ideal of service.

Albert EinsteinW
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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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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.

Chris's ENGR305 Solar Food Dehydrator

A hybrid, solar food dehydrator  
Compressed earth brick press

An exploration of compressed earth bricks  
Deidre's vertical vegetable garden

Solar powered vertical vegetable garden  
Devan's vertical axis wind turbine

Experimental Vertical Axis Wind Turbine  
Engr305 peanut sheller project

Peanut sheller made from clay and newspaper  
Engr305 pulser pump

A working model of a Pulser pump  
Engr 305 solar learning station

Instructional Solar Learning Station  
ENGR305 windbelt

Testing new materials for prototype windbelts  
Ethanol from organic sugar beets versus refined cane sugar

Determining the cost inputs and energy outputs of small scale ethanol production  
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