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A Practical Zeer Pot (evaporative cooler / non-electrical refrigerator)

Build your own eco larder - Fridges are an often forgotten base load on your electricity supply. So why not trade yours in for a smaller, more efficient model, and move foodstuffs that need only light chilling to your very own eco larder...

Build your own eco larder

A box of salt is all you need to make eggs last longer. Plus other life hacks from 100+ years ago that could come in handy

The Benefits & Pleasures of Low Tech Living

PHOTOS: This Family's Truly Unbelievable Secret

Fridge Without Using Electricity! Here's how it works: You take a smaller pot and put it inside a larger pot. Fill the space in between them with wet sand, and cover the top with a wet cloth. As the water evaporates from the sand, it pulls the heat out with it, cooling the inner pot. It's a natural, cheap, easy-to-make refrigerator. The invention keeps food from perishing for up to three weeks.

"Technology has both simplified & complicated our lives, & that goes far beyond housework. So many possibilities! So many things we could be doing! It’s easy for the “coulds” to mutate into “shoulds”. Cook more gourmet meals-you’ve got machines to help you chop, slice, dice, & steam. Check that email during your child’s school play–isn’t that what smart phones are FOR? Earn more money–the internet has made it possible, right? Stuff the drawers with clothes–your high-capacity washing machine..."

The physics of the concept are straightforward: the bottles are placed in roofs – half outside, half inside – and their lower portions refract light like 60-Watt light bulb but without the need for a power source. A few drops of bleach serve to keep the water clear, clean and germ-free for years to come. "My kids are completely crazy over this Free Form Magnatab Toy. They draw and write with the magnetic stylus, which raises metal balls to the surface of the sealed Magnatab base. And erase their creation by pushing the magnets back down with the back of the stylus or their fingers. To me, it feels like taking designing for screen, pixel constraints, to the analog world."

Fridges are a recent invention; for thousands of years, people lived without them, but had many low-tech ways of making food last. Today most fridges are filled with stuff that would last just as long and probably would taste a lot better if it was never lost in the back of the fridge. They are expensive air conditioned parking lots for what Shay Salomon called "compost and condiments." Some are looking at alternatives to such an expensive and wasteful model. Kris De Decker of No Tech Magazine "refuses to assume that every problem has a high-tech solution," and shows the work of Korean designer Jihyun Ryou, who says "we hand over the responsibility of taking care of food to the technology, the refrigerator. We don’t observe the food any more and we don’t understand how to treat it." She has developed a series of modern designs that rely on traditional techniques, learned from her grandmother and other elderly people in the community.

Lots of useful machines made from bicycles.

Designed primarily for weighing letters in order to determine postage, the non-digital, non-electronic, and barely even mechanical little gizmo is nonetheless accurate enough that its use has been approved by the US Postal Service.

Window Orientation and Shading

"Makeshift" is a quarterly magazine and multimedia website highlighting creativity and invention in resource-constrained areas around the world.