One cultural heritage that may well prove very useful in the near future, but is at serious risk of being lost in the present, comprises the writings and ideas of the appropriate technology movement of the 1970s and early 1980s. Inspired partly by the energy crises of the time and partly by such innovative thinkers as Ernest Callenbach and E.F. Schumacher, “appropriate tech” practitioners explored the ways that local, small-scale, low-impact technologies could meet human needs without drawing on fossil fuels or inputs from large-scale industrial processes.
The individuals and small nonprofits that made up the bulk of the appropriate technology movement, despite shoestring budgets and the active opposition of many utilities and large corporations, devised and refined a toolkit of effective technologies for managing energy, producing food, and handling waste. For the most part, however, their work was published only in journals with small print runs, and in books—mostly paperbound—that have been out of print for decades. This page is one aspect of a CCF project intended to gather up as much as possible of the heritage of the movement and make it available to people today.
Master Conserver instructional handouts (8 Mb pdf file). Specific topics from the masterconserver.pdf handouts have been gathered into five smaller files and are now also available in the library.
The Master Conserver program was active in the early 1980s in Oregon and Washington states. Drawing on ideas from the appropriate technology movement, but funded by state energy offices, it was modeled on the Master Gardener programs active in many states then and now. Master Conservers completed a set of classe, and then volunteered a minimum amount of time to the community, helping to insulate and weatherize community buildings and the homes of the poor. This collection of instructional handouts, 190 pages, covers energy conservation, insulation, weatherstripping, solar energy, wood heat, and many related subjects.
If you have the copyright to documents from the appropriate technology movement, or have copies of documents in the public domain, and are willing to have them posted here, please contact us.