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Home Synthesis

Cultural & Ecological designing


last update: May 2, 2000

  • Aprovecho Research Center - a small community of staff and interns living on 40 acres in Oregon, USA, researching, living and teaching practices including sustainable forestry, organic gardening, appropriate technology and indigenous arts and skills.
  • Bamboo: so many shoots! - Bamboo is so versatile and many-faceted that it gets a list of its own. From airplanes and bicycles to something starting with Z, bamboo may do!
    • American Bamboo Society - an introduction to the American Bamboo Society, information of all sorts on bamboo itself and links to additional information about bamboo on the web, including national and international bamboo organizations.
    • Bamboo World - an Australian organization dedicated to the promotion of non-invasive (clumping) bamboo for all manner of uses. Includes a nursery and bamboo plantation, species lists, growth and care information, plants and products for sale, and tons more, along with some nice pictures.
    • Quindembo Bamboo Nursery - a full-service bamboo nursery on the Big Island of Hawai'i, certified for export shipping. Some general information, a catalog of Japanese bamboo and gardening tools, an online catalog and links to other bamboo sites. Besides local and export nursery sales, they are growing organic shoots and timber bamboo for local sale and use on the Big Island.
    • Tradewinds Bamboo Nursery - in Gold Beach, Oregon. This site has a photo tour, planting, care and feeding information, and an online catalog and order form coming soon. They ship everywhere and have a wide variety of temperate and near-tropical bamboo to offer.
  • Campus Center for Appropriate Technology - at Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA, USA. "The mission of the CCAT residents is to demonstrate technologies which contribute to a healthy environment, to examine the ethical and social consequences of the use of technology and to provide a forum for experiential learning."
  • Canoe Plants of ancient Hawai'i - a guide to twenty-four life-sustaining plants carried by early Polynesian voyagers in their canoes - roots, cuttings, shoots & seeds of plants for food, cordage, medicine, containers, fabric, and other physical and spiritual needs. Includes descriptions, illustrations, growth and cultivation info and applicatons of various plant products.
  • Context Institute - a nonprofit research organization exploring and clarifying just what is involved in a humane sustainable culture. These folks have been at this work since 1979. There are online versions of current and back issues of In Context magazine and other great resources.
  • The Country Life & Simplicity Village - "created to provide one central place on the internet to keep all kinds of information about country life and simplicity," including off-grid living, food growing and processing, raising farm animals, etc. Online forums (newsgroup style via a handy web interface) are a feature in areas such as ethnobotany (herbs), bread & flour making, cheese & yogurt making, etc.
  • Development Center for Appropriate Technolgies - "...fosters creative solutions for meeting current basic human needs in ways that preserve positive options for future generations." Research, projects, prototypes, conferences, publications.
  • Dry Country News - a print magazine devoted to Earth-based, low-impact living in the American Southwest. Information of interest to desert dwellers everywhere. Includes alternative construction methods, gardening, solar energy, desert herbs for food and medicine, sustainable irrigation methods, etc. and is heavy on reader contributions.
  • Earth Garden Magazine - a 25-year-old Australian quarterly magazine for self-sufficiency and practical environmentalism. Covers topics including organic farming, permaculture, alternative power, natural/alternative building, cultural and social issues, and much more!
  • EcoFoot (Ecological Footprints on the Internet) - Ecological Footprint analysis is a tool which gives a measure of resources required by specific consumption patterns. This site features an eco-footprint calculator plus general and specific information about ecological footprints.
  • Envirolink - a multi-faceted site claiming to be "the largest online environmental information resource on the planet." Library, news service, businesses, a search engine, One World magazine, and an Earth-Air-Fire-Water scheme for sorting information.
  • EuthenicNet - "EuthenicNet is about a holistic and interdisciplinary approach to environmental design, management, planning and policy. EuthenicNet was established as a commons for the community of professionals, activists and public leaders that influence human quality of life through environmental change." This is a complex site, indexed in a variety of ways and full of links to potentially useful resources. Do not start an in-depth exploration without adequate provisions...
  • Friends of the Trees - their mission is "to inspire, enable, educate, and assist people to live in harmony with forests and trees." They publish positive visions of a sustainable world and strategies to get there, including solutions to world deforestation. Relevant publications, courses, seminars, are listed and/or linked regularly.
  • Genetic Resources Action International - a.k.a. GRAIN - working " help further a global movement of popular action" against the threat of "genetic erosion" - loss of biological diversity. Newsletter, publications, listserver, briefings and bulletins.
  • Homestead.Org - a diverse and eclectic site focusing on homesteading and small farming resources, but with lots of links to related topics such as energy, land, community, agriculture, etc.
  • Integrated Bio-Systems in Zero Emissions Applications - proceedings of the "Internet Conference on Integrated Bio-Systems" in 1998. Includes all papers from both sessions plus related resource links, encompassing a wide variety of inquiries into and case studies of integrated bio-systems for biogas generation, solid waste handling, water purification, agricultural system integration and so on.
  • Intenational Society for Culture and Ecology - "Working on three continents to promote ecological regeneration, community renewal and economic localisation," focusing on links between cultural and biological diversity; food and agriculture, with an emphasis on small farmers and rural society; the importance of strong local economies; and the psychological benefits of community and connection to nature. Founded by Helena Norberg-Hodge, author of "Learning from Ladakh."
  • The Natural Step/US - the "official" US site for the Natural Step program, which originated in Sweden. The program aims to provide a framework for " ecologically and economically sustainable society," based on four fundamental system conditions.
  • The Progress Project - "Rethinking progress and human development." This organizatio's core purpose is to "...engage citizens, scholars, leaders and policymakers in the public and private sectors in a vital debate on progress."
  • Rocky Mountain Institute - uncommon amounts of common sense in the area of energy efficiency - and the data to back it up. Lots of publications chock-full of the kind of information that will enable informed resource policy decisions in both the public and private arenas.
  • Solstice - The Internet Information Service of the Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology (the latter may be an oxymoron - we'll find out soon enough, I reckon).
  • Sunseed Trust - working to "...improve the quality of life and of environment of people living in arid, near-desert areas of the world." A trust and related research community in the desert area of southeastern Spain, with ongoing research projects in biology, forestry and tree-planting, appropriate technology, and gardening relevant to desert climates.
  • Sustainable Architecture, Building and Culture - a diverse site with links to architects, consultants, materials, and other resources relevant to sustainability in various areas.
  • Whole Systems Design Association - "...created as a common ground place for Whole Systems Design students and professionals to come together to advance the arts, sciences, and applications of Whole Systems Design." Mailing list, worldwide calendar of events, links.
  • Yeomans Concepts - from Ken Yeomans (son of P. A. Yeomans, developer of Keyline design) comes this site on "greenhouse" effects, soil improvement, social change, energy and politics (to name a few elements).

Copyright © 2010 John Schinnerer
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