Appropriate Technology Roundup #17 [10/30/07]

  1. An introduction to Biodiesel from the Practical Environmentalist

    A useful post that gives a basic intro to biodiesel, dispelling some common misconceptions along the way.

  2. Is Biodiesel an Appropriate Technology for Farmers? from Treehugger
  3. Bottle Buildings from Treehugger
    Bottle Building

    When we get tired of carrying all our wine bottles back to the store for deposit, we may just recycle them into a bottle building in the backyard.

    See also this post, Earthships in Taos, New Mexico, for bottle and can buildings
    Earthship Entrance

    Can building

  4. Quote of the Day: Laura Allen on Gray Water from Treehugger
  5. It IS getting hot in… solar water heaters from It’s Getting Hot in Here

    Here in Delhi, average October daytime temperatures are 34 C, or 93 F, and average solar intensities peak around 650 W/m2 midday. I personally lack any desire for a hot shower on days like these, and the black water tanks on our roof are essentially solar thermal heaters on their own. Still, the use of electric water heaters or gas-powered heating tanks in Delhi and cities all around the world are consuming large amounts of energy, energy easily and efficiently provided by the sun.

    All of which makes the recent announcement from the Delhi government very appropriate and exciting! Solar water heating systems are now mandatory for all hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, and commercial buildings. Existing regulation has already mandated solar water heating systems for government buildings and residential buildings on an property of 500 square metres or more.

  6. HOK’s LEED Gold-certified Straw Bale Building from Inhabitat

    LEED Gold-certified Straw Bale Building

    LEED Gold-certified Straw Bale Building

    A mix of desert climate, high performance goals and the insight of a leader in sustainable design has yielded one of the first LEED Gold-certified straw-bale buildings in the world.

  7. Hyperefficient Transportation: Utility Bikes and Bike Trailers from MetaEfficient

    Utility bikes or “work bikes” are very efficient vehicles for transporting cargo (and children too). They are quite popular in bike-friendly places like Amsterdam, Copenhagen and China. Bikes can tow a remarkable amount of weight. Loads in excess of 880 pounds (400 kilograms) have been hauled behind bikes along flat surfaces. Generally though, 300 pounds (140 kilograms) is considered the upper threshold for hauling.

  8. Bike-mower roundup from MAKE
  9. Japan To Use Disposable Chopsticks For Biofuel from The Sietch

    Japanese government officials want to start using the millions of wooden chopsticks that go discarded each year as biofuel. The chopstick biofuel (chop-fuel, bio-sticks?)is seen as a way to reduce dependence on Middle East oil and lessen the impact of global warming. Japan imports virtually all of its energy resources including oil.

    Other ideas for how to use unwanted/unused chopsticks.

  10. 🙂

  11. The VIP – an invention from Zimbabwe from Afrigadget

    Venting a pit latrine

    The major advantage of the VIP over a normal pit latrine is that it comes with a ventilation pipe (covered with a durable fly screen on top) which reduces flies and odour. In the absence of other alternatives, the Ventilated Pit Latrine is considered reliable, which explains the success of this technology: over 500.000+ units of this type have been built in Zimbabwe alone and it has proven to work elsewhere around the world.