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Sharing knowledge to build rich, sustainable lives.

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

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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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Solar hot water system for a hotel in Parras de la Fuente, Mexico
Hotel Perote solar pool heating system. Parras de la Fuente is a desert oasis town of about 44,000 residents located in the south of the Mexican state of Coahuila. Along with textile manufacturing, tourism is one of the main industries in Parras. Tourism has become increasingly emphasized after Parras's designation as the "primer pueblo mágico del Norte de México." Parras is warm in the summer, and cooler in the winter, but temperatures rarely fall below freezing, snow falls once every several years.

Antiqua Hacienda de Perote is a hotel, restaurant, nuez (pecan) ranch, vineyard, and winery. It sits on about 500 acres on the western-most edge of Parras. According to Igancio (Nacho) Chacon, Perote's owner, Perote's hotel business has been growing rapidly, and in 2006, the hotel was constructing rooms to meet demand.

Parras Program students Heather Kuoppamaki and Rowan Steele built a rooftop solar hot water system for Hotel Perote in the summer of 2005. Intended as prototype for a larger system to heat a spring-fed swimming pool (alberca), then being constructed, the system was sized to provide heated water for a single hotel bathroom. The 2005 system is no longer located at Perote, and has been moved to the residence of someone afiliated with the local city government. Igancio has requested a system to keep the pool at 28° centigrade from October to March. The design problem revolves on this performance parameter and several state variables.

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Solar Charged Lawnmower

Converting a very used gas power lawnmower into a solar charged, low emission, almost silent, lawn cutting machine.

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Community action news

Southwark1.jpg

Jun 11 UK Climate news: Theresa May commits to net zero UK carbon emissions by 2050 [1]

Jun 3 California news: How one nonprofit is fighting hunger, food waste, and poverty with kitchen apprenticeships [2]

Jun 2 Network (UK): Alternative Editorial: Capturing and Surfing the Wave [3]

May 30 New Zealand 'wellbeing' budget promises billions to care for most vulnerable [4]

May 24 Spain: The Frugal Leftist Who Shook Up Madrid [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
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Hot topics / In the news


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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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.

Air Ship Air City rooftop greywater filtration

A rooftop greywater filtration system  
Aleiha's parabolic solar cooker

Parabolic Solar Cooker  
Amal's ethanol still

A valved reflux ethanol still  
Backyard Biodigester

A biodigester converting organic waste to a fuel source  
Bike Rodeo bicycle blender

A kid's bike blender for Rio Dell Community Resource Center  
Bike trailer

A bike trailer from a converted baby stroller  
Blue ox earthen oven

Blue Ox earthen oven  
Bottoms strawbale earthen plaster

Earthen plaster and natural paint recipes  
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Energy

Solar
Water
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