Saturday, March 27, 2010

the bottled glow

one of the beauties of being a teacher
is that you get to sew seeds.

i have an idea
about the kind of future i wish for my kids
so
i took my class
that incorporates active and passive solar systems,
grey water processing
geothermal heating,
walls made from straw bales
and adobe.
walls made from shredded denim and adobe.

and the people who work there showed
how it can all be put together
into a real working building.

but honestly,
i was really drawn to a wall
made of cans and bottles
and mud.


it was truly beautiful.
especially because the light
was drifting through
green


and blue glass


even the clear glass put on a show


and what was especially exciting
was that i was able to say truly
to my kid's faces
that this is now -

it's real.

it's here.

it's entirely possible
and it doesn't cost more than a regular
old-fashioned building.

like the one i call home.

we're hoping to be asked back
to help plant the butterfly garden in the spring.
it'll match the one we have planned to dig in to the natural habitat at our own school.

18 comments:

Alaine said...

There are a couple of those straw-bale houses around here. What a lovely thing to introduce to children.

I'd love a wall with the sun shining through the different coloured bottles. Very cool.

Liza said...

Oooo Steven, this is so up my alley!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for introducing this to your students.

I like what you said,
"it's entirely possible"
Yes it is!

I live an earther-sheltered home (concrete construction with a dirt roof that we would like to reintroduce grass too - the previous owners put washed rock over everything).
Eventual goal is to be self-sufficient.
Surprisingly, the place is not dark. Our very own hobbit home in the shire!

Pauline said...

I'm so grateful that you teach us here as well as the students you teach at school!

Dan Gurney said...

Teaching is a high calling, and the world is so lucky that you've answered that call!

R. Burnett Baker said...

Great post, Steven. Here's an interesting and fun link that discusses glass bottle buildings.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Rick

http://popsop.com/6571

ellen abbott said...

Oh, good for you Steven. I love the bottle glass wall. Hmmm. Guess I'll start saving my bottles instead of taking them to the recycler.

steven said...

alaine - my class is responsible for several of the "green" initiatives within our own school primarily focussed on reducing the school's carbon footprint. i would love a glass bottle wall. it's mesmerizing! steven

steven said...

liza - i have loved the idea of the bermed in home, the hillside home, and i had no idea that your statement about living in the side of a hill was that literal!! cool for you!!! a hobbit home to be sure!!! steven

steven said...

hi pauline - you're welcome. when i work with my class i like them to know me as a facillitator to their learning. i'm there when they truly don't know. i learn lots from writing this blog so i get to learn right alongside my visitors. working with kids is exactly the same - i get to learn alongside them. have a great day! steven

steven said...

dan - i tell people how lucky i am to have arrived with this role. it's a long story but it's so entirely improbable that i believe that even though it runs counter to so much that i would wish for myself, it is what i need. thanks for this generous comment dan! steven

steven said...

hey rick thanks for the link. i've looked at some buildings online before and they are usually assembled by very whimsical beautiful eccentric people! i'll be popping over for a look-see later on. have a lovely day. steven

steven said...

hi ellen - i asked the two women working in this home if they had consumed the contents in order to provide the raw materials for the wall. they simply went to a restaurant and asked for a couple of night's worth of bottles and cans. done! easy peasy!! the result is simply beautiful. steven

hope said...

I love that glass bottle wall! And the next time Hubby says, "I still don't know what to do with this back porch room, I'll have a new idea. :)

I don't know if it grows well there, but I planted Lantana last year and I've never SEEN so many butterflies...and I live in the country. One was a fiery red/yellow mix, another was 2 shades of pink and yellow.

And you will be sharing pictures of said garden, right? :)

steven said...

hello hope - yes, lantana does grow here. i have to check to see if it's a native species as part of our mandate is to only use plants that are native and not "invasive" or "alien". i will post photos when the work's done, and as it grows...... have a peaceful day - and good luck with convincing the man to build you the wall!!! steven

Linda Sue said...

Loving the alternatives! There is a pediatric dentist here who built her office out of some alternative stuff with a bottle wall like the one you have photographed- It is very col and the children get a talk about recycling along with flouride or whatever they do now.Your photos are gems! Very beautiful.

Meri said...

Very powerful message about possibilities and new ways of seeing. What could be a more important message for a teacher to deliver?

Delwyn said...

Hi Steven

I know that you are a fine teacher, one with imagination, creativity and resources


we had a tourist attraction here called the House of Bottles. Your pic reminded me of it.

Happy days

Elisabeth said...

This is a terrific example of the use of resources and how exciting resourcefulness can be. Thanks, Steven. I love the house made of glass bottles and mud. Such resourcefulness.