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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.

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.


Sectional view of sand dam
Sand dams. Drought is the most serious natural hazard facing Eastern Africa in terms of severity and frequency of occurrence. The most seriously affected areas are Arid and Semi Arid Lands (ASALS) that face frequent reduction of water or moisture to significantly below the normal or expected amount Pastoralists and agro pastoralists who occupy this vast region barely meet basic water requirements. Consequently they suffer from livelihood losses, hunger, diseases, conflict and internal displacements. The worst affected are women and children who may have to walk all day long in search of water. Due to limited and unreliable rainfall most rivers are ephemeral seasonal sandy bed streams and only experience heavy water run-off for short periods of time after rain. During such periods of high flows, large quantities of sand are transported downstream while others get trapped on the upstream sides of rocks ledges along the stream. Such sand traps form natural aquifers that are capable of providing clean adequate water if well harnessed. Using appropriate technologies this can be exploited for water storage in the form of sand dams. Read more...
Ecological dry toilets at Pedregal, a Permaculture Demonstration Center in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Ecological dry toilets at Pedregal, 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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Lonny Grafman (right), the founder of Appropedia.org
I love to see projects that make the world a better place manifest. The way a project manifests from inception, brainstorming, researching, creating, testing, iterating, promoting, etc. always fill me with wonder and excitement. There is no one way that it unfolds, but my favorite ways to be part of are those that are collaborative.


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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