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  A Sorted Affair

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Dennis Weaver's Earthship and Ecolonomics
by JANE BOGNER
SUNDAY, September 04, 2005

Does anyone have an extra $3.75 million laying around. That's the asking price for Dennis Weaver's Earthship "Sunridge" located in Ridgway, Colorado. Growing up just west of Dodge City, Kansas, my family faithfully watched the TV show Gunsmoke. Weaver played the part of "Chester," Marshal Dillon's sidekick.

Weaver is still acting in movies and on television but his commitment and dedication to our planet is something to be praised. In 1989, Weaver built his Earthship incorporating 3,000 used tire-bricks which were rammed with over 300 pounds of dirt to form thick, dense thermal mass walls. The thinner non structural walls were made from 350,000 aluminum cans. Natural stone and tile floors were laid and the wood used to construct the roof and finish the interior came from dead-standing spruce and beetle-killed blue pine. The tire walls create a thermal mass that keeps the indoor climate constant while outdoor temperatures fluctuate. The house is oriented to the south to absorb solar radiation that enables year round growing of fruits, vegetables, and plants.

This Earthship is connected to large solar panels that supplies almost all the energy needed. The Earthship's monthly electric bill is around $50, an incredibly low figure for a 10,000 sq. ft. home. In addition to his Earthship, Dennis Weaver founded The Institute of Ecolonomics (IOE) in 1993. Ecolonomics is based on his conviction that a truly sustainable future requires a healthy environment and a prosperous economy. Weaver believes that "for every environmental or economic problem, the solution already exists in the mind of an inventor, innovator or entrepreneur." The mission of the IOE is to demonstrate that creating a symbiotic relationship between a strong economy and a healthy ecology is the only formula for a sustainable future.

Goals of the Institute of Ecolonomics include the following: develop non-polluting technologies that turn into viable ecolonomic (sustainable) businesses; increase the population base whose daily practices center around ecolonomic theories; promote clean and inexhaustible energy sources; support inventors of ecolonomic technologies; and implement worldwide ecolonomic curriculum including literature for young people underscoring the interdependence of our ecology and economy. The Institute of Ecolonomics Office of Educational Outreach opened its doors in October 2004 on the campus of Missouri Southern State University(MSSU) in Joplin.

Graduates of the Ecolonomics Certificate Program have held two annual Ecolonomics Conferences on Sustainability on campus. MSSU also offers a Minor in Sustainability and has recently formed an International Student Ecolonomics Association to promote these theories worldwide.

For More information go to Weaver's website www.DennisWeaver.com

VALLEJO COMPOSTING CLASS
VALCORE's next free backyard and earthworm composting class will be held on September 10 at 38 Sheridan from 10am to Noon. The last class of the season will be on October 8. Two composting bins will be given away at each class to two Vallejo residents.

Coastal Cleanup
Mark Saturday, September 17 on your calendar. We pickup litter from 9:00 a.m. to noon, then celebrate with a trash-free picnic prepared by our girl scout troop. Call 707 55-EARTH for more information.

VALCORE Recycling President Jane Bogner's "A Sorted Affair" is published every other week in the Times-Herald, Community Outlook Section. For recycling information call her at 645-8258 or visit www.VALCORErecycling.org.

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VALCORE Recycling, Inc.           38 Sheridan St.           Vallejo, CA 94590 
Phone:(707) 645-8258          Fax:(707) 553-2784          Composting Hotline: (707)55-EARTH 
E-mail: info@VALCORErecycling.org          
          Website: www.VALCORErecycling.org 
2003 VALCORE Recycling, Inc.