Bright Ideas Use Low Tech Solutions

Plastic bottle sealed at 14,000 feet on Mauna ...
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I think I first read the term “intermediate technology” in the writings of E F Schumacher in the mid-70s, and it made so much sense. Find the achievable scale of industry or machinery that is both affordable and effective, without senselessly clutching onto the latest and most sophisticated, which might not even be the best in many situations.

I read some while back about using the ubiquitous clear water bottle in third world countries for disinfecting water for pennies a gallon. SODIS: Solar Water Disenfection

Another “bright” use is to cut a hole in the sheet metal roof of an african hut, and provide light in dark places. See The World’s Cheapest Lightbulb Is Made Of Just A Plastic Bottle | Fast Company

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Ain’t it grand. Another couple examples of amazing things just waiting to be discovered right under our noses.