A celebration of 50 technologies

To celebrate our 50th anniversary, we've put together a list of 50 technologies that, with your support, have had a huge impact on communities across the world. Our supporters voted for these as the top three. Do you agree? You can feedback here: practicalaction.org/blog/news/50-technologies/ We would love to hear your views.

Top 3 technologies     chosen by our supporters

Floating gardens

Floating gardens

Where land is scarce, farmers are able to grow crops on water using aquatic weeds as a base on which vegetables can be grown. Read More
Composting toilets

Composting toilets

Enable users to reuse the waste as compost and fertiliser to grow crops. Read More
Tippy tap

Tippy tap

Simple device made from wood and a plastic container for washing your hands after going to the toilet. Read More
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Energy technologies

Solar water pumping systems

Solar water pumping systems

Solar water pumping supplies water for drinking, livestock and irrigation
Wind pumps

Wind pumps

Small-scale wind turbines use the power of the wind to create electricity
Micro-hydro

Micro-hydro

Micro-hydro produces energy using a turbine turned by water power
Biogas

Biogas

Biogas is produced when organic waste decomposes
Improved stoves

Improved stoves

Improved stoves use less wood and emit less harmful smoke
Smoke hoods

Smoke hoods

Smoke hoods are simple chimneys that reduce indoor air pollution
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Agriculture technologies

Donkey plough

Donkey plough

Specially designed to be lighter than many ploughs so that it can be pulled by one donkey across arid land.
Sandbar cropping

Sandbar cropping

Using barren sandbars and land to grow crops such as pumpkins by digging pits and adding compost.
Saline-resistant rice

Saline-resistant rice

Developing a saline resistant rice post tsunami in Sri Lanka based on indigenous rice species.
Micro-irrigation

Micro-irrigation

Low-cost plastic pipes laid on the ground to irrigate vegetables and field crops without wasting water.
Fish cages

Fish cages

Constructed with bamboo and net and is used to farm fish.
Tsetse fly trap

Tsetse fly trap

This simple trap kills tsetse flies and stops the spread of disease in humans and cattle.
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Water and sanitation technologies

Rainwater harvesting

Rainwater harvesting

Rainwater harvesting is vital where water supply is poor or expensive
Bio-sand filters

Bio-sand filters

Bio-sand filters use sand and gravel to make water clean and safe to drink.
Arsenic and iron removal mini plant

Arsenic and iron removal mini plant

Simple aeration removes arsenic from water by trapping it in filters
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Food preservation technologies

Essential oil production

Essential oil production

This technique extracts essential oils without damage or contamination.
Zeer pot

Zeer pot

The zeer pot, one earthenware pot inside another, with a layer of wet sand between, keeps food cool and fresh.
Peanut butter making machine

Peanut butter making machine

Small electric mills improve quality and speed in making peanut butter
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Transport technologies

Aerial ropeways

Aerial ropeways

Aerial ropeways provide transport in areas of Nepal where roads are scarce and terrain is difficult.
Bicycle ambulance

Bicycle ambulance

The bicycle ambulance offers access to healthcase for remote communities at critical times
Ferro cement boats

Ferro cement boats

Ferro-cement boats are made with steel wires covered with sand and cement plaster.
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Shelter technologies

Stabilised soil brick construction

Stabilised soil brick construction

Cement or lime added to soil blocks allows earth walls to take more weight.
Flood-resistant housing

Flood-resistant housing

Flood-resistant housing, built on raised plinths uses concrete pillars and bamboo.
Earthquake-resistant housing

Earthquake-resistant housing

Modified construction techniques help make housing more resistant to earthquakes
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See more of our top 50 technologies

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