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Archive for the ‘Sustainable living’ Category

Energy Producing Home

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I just recently heard about a home designed by architect Rolf Disch that produces five times the energy it consumes.  The rotating home, dubbed “Heliotrope”, is designed for optimal use of the sun’s energy and an in home water purification system recycles gray water and rain water collected in a rooftop basin.

The video bellow offers a tour of the home.  For those of you who don’t understand German, narrator is saying that the house is awesome.

Written by Aaron Nee

August 23, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Moon Base Built With Printer and Moon Dust

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A friend of mine is one of the first kids on the block to be doing 3D scanning in Los Angeles and also partners with a company to do 3D printing, which has allowed me the pleasure of hearing about many of the advances being made in 3D scanning and printing technology.

Previously at Knosha, I posted about a printer that prints functional organs.  Today I would like to share with you another 3D printer that the European Space Agency is rumored to be considering for lunar construction.  The printer would use lunar regolith to construct a moon base.

There are several significant construction advantages a 3D printer presents. Curved structures that would be difficult and costly to make using conventional construction means are produced easily with the printer.  Not only can it produce more complex structures, but it can build four times faster than the normal building process and the building material does not need iron reinforcing.

Printed buildings could spell significant cost savings and environmental benefits, not to mention the fact that we may finally see the end of these miserably unimaginative box structures being propped up all over the place.  Here’s hoping.

For more on the printer, check out the article at Physorg.com.

Written by Aaron Nee

April 23, 2010 at 10:06 am

Does charity do more harm than good?

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This is something I’ve been thinking about for quite some time, but particularly after my trip to Haiti.  Out of all of the experiences I had there, the one that effected me the most was the impact “child sponsorship” seemed to have on the culture, or at least the behavior, of the villagers we were aiding.  The kids were adorable, pitiful, manipulative beggars.  I’m not saying that’s their entire identity, but it’s how they’ve learned to interact with “rich” Americans.  And with good reason.  As soon as we walked into their villages, their homes, we were handing out candy and balloons and pens and I’m sure my group wasn’t unique in this ritual. haiticandygiveaway Of course, the mission we were visiting was doing important things like establishing schools and clinics with indigenous teachers and doctors and giving food and clothes and establishing real and long-term relationships, with good results.  What was distressing to me was that the children were the commodity – they are the big
attraction to draw in the missionary “tourists” aka short-term missions.  They are what sells, what brings in the money, and they understand that.  And that is just a little bit disturbing to me.  What are we doing to entire generations of people?  What does living in this continuously dependent relationship do to their psyches?  Obviously there is need and we shouldn’t sit back and do nothing, but I wonder if there is a better way than continuous charitable donations.  My feeling is that an investment in an impoverished person’s or group of peoples’ skills, talents, ideas and passions might go farther in changing a person’s/community’s view of herself/himself/itself in relation to the wider world and make a larger, longer-lasting, and (I’m sorry, I have to use this word) sustainable impact.

Here’s a link to an article on this subject that I found interesting:

http://charitychamps.wordpress.com/2009/06/02/does-foreign-aid-to-africa-do-more-harm-than-good-how-about-microfinance/

Thoughts, ideas, or criticisms anyone?

Written by Hannah

July 11, 2009 at 1:53 pm

A low impact Christmas

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I really enjoy reading Colin Beavan’s reflections on living a low impact life…here’s a seasonally appropriate one that I think would be great to emulate.

http://www.yesmagazine.org/article.asp?id=3042

You can also read his blog as “No Impact Man” at

http://noimpactman.typepad.com/

Written by Hannah

November 26, 2008 at 10:43 am