What is appropriate technology?

The term “appropriate technology” refers to any method or equipment that is powerful enough to accomplish the task at hand, and not more powerful than that.

A tank is appropriate technology for attacking an enemy stronghold, but it is not appropriate for a trip to the grocery store. For that task, appropriate technology would be a car, a bicycle, or even our own two feet, depending on how far away the store is and how much we plan to carry back.

As another example, a huge mowing machine might be appropriate technology for harvesting acres of corn, but it is too big and powerful for maintaining a suburban lawn. Whether a residential-size ride-on mower, a gas-powered push mower, or an unmotorized mower is most appropriate depends on the size of the lawn and the physical ability of the owner.

As a general rule, appropriate technology is smaller, quieter, simpler, and less polluting than too-powerful technology. When we choose appropriate technology, we save money, conserve resources, and make our neighborhoods more peaceful places to live.

What is appropriate technology?

One thought on “What is appropriate technology?

  1. In the case of outdoor power tools you should only ever buy what’s necessary for your needs. For example, a ride on mower is undeniably the only way to mow the lawn in true style, but if your garden is a postage stamp, then you’ll not only be wasting your money, but consuming resources unnecessarily too. This is an extreme example and although it might seem obvious you’d be surprised at how much and ego can distort making sensible decisions!


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