We covered cottage industry appropriate technology in a previous blog post. The aim here is to identify the top 10 products for ease of construction, impact on community and potential profitability. These products obviously go way beyond just creating jobs and making a buck. The products featured here will have a big impact on local communities. Some are saving thousands of lives. Water filters, for example, help prevent disease. Treadal pumps have enabled hundreds of thousands of farmers to greatly increase crop production.
Low Cost Roof Tile Manufacture (MCR)
Practical Action.org: Micro-concrete Roofing Tile Production
“Much attention has been paid to developing the small-scale production of concrete roofing tiles as an affordable alternative to both traditional roofing materials, such as thatch, and modern, mass-produced, often inappropriate, galvanized iron sheeting or asbestos cement. These tiles are relatively low in cost, durable (with a life span expected to exceed 20 years in most areas), aesthetically acceptable, able to offer adequate security and comfort, and provide protection from both the heavy rain and the hot sun.
Making a Dent in the Universe
I’ve been reading up on Paul Polak’s work at Paul Polak.com. His new book The Business Solution to Poverty with co-author Mal Warwick has inspired me to dig deeper in search of more affordable housing solutions. They explain why governmental and philanthropic efforts to end poverty have fallen short and will never end poverty because “they lack the incentives of the market to attract massive resources”. Donations and tax money will never end poverty. It’s just Business 101 if you think about it.
Home-based Business: Growing Microgreens
I’m always on the lookout for good ideas for starting sustainable small businesses that are low cost and easy to implement. Microgreens are small plants midway in size between sprouts and baby greens. Besides being used in salads, they can be used as a garnish on food such as fresh basil on pizza. Microgreens and sprouts are super nutritious and tasty, and also profitable as shown by this video. This guy turned a hobby of growing things into a business that saved his home. Grow your own food, get healthier and cut your grocery bills.
Etsy Home Based Business Marketplace
Many natural builders are moving to rural areas to save money and lower construction costs, but as you know, jobs there can be scarce. Consider starting a home based business and selling your unique items over the Internet through Etsy.com.
TeachDemocracy.org: Help for Starting Microbusinesses
“At www.TeachDemocracy.org on the MICRO BUSINESS tab/page you can see the 9 videos in the series “How To Start A Micro Business” along with worksheets for those starting a micro business to complete and transcriptions of the video audio so Google Translate can translate all of it into any one of their 53 languages.