Students Build House from Recycled Goods

By: Alex Denis
By: Alex Denis

Students at the Walton Career Development Center have made it their mission to help save the environment by building what they call an Earthship.
It doesn't have anything to do with aliens, but has everything to do with recycling.
These students plan to build a house, entirely out of recycled materials.
At first glance the pile of tires and soda cans scattered across the Walton Career Development Center's property may look like a pile of junk.
But closer examination reveals each item has an important part in a school-wide project known as the Earthship Project Red Wolf.
When it's completed, the Earthship will be a home made from recycled goods.
"We've already had plenty of people come out amazed that you can build a home out of tires and recycled material," says student Aaron Ealum.
Construction started last year after teacher Kristen Hoffnung discovered the concept vacationing in New Mexico.
She immediately realized the project would teach her students about energy and water alternatives, while improving the environment.
"I always ask my kids every time I see them, 'Did you change the world today? Did you change the world today?' And now they can say 'Yes' we are changing the world today," says teacher Hoffnung.
Students and facility spend 2 days a month working on the building, which will eventually be self-sustaining.
Some wash the recyclables, others shovel dirt.
They've begun work on the walls.
Eventually the tires will be covered with cement giving the outside of the home an Adobe style feel.
The process is time consuming, but it does save money.
When the project is complete, building managers say, the building will be 1,200 square foot. If a homeowner wanted to build something like this it would only cost about $35,000 thanks to the recycled material.
Inside, the home will be furnished just like any other.
The building will have its own water source, and solar panels will take the home "off the power grid".
Students are anxious to show-off the finished product.
"It's pretty cool that I will be able to bring my children and grandson, grandchildren, up here and tell them ‘Hey, I helped build this',” says student Jared Lee.
Project managers expect the Earthship will be complete by the end of the school year.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by NM Location: NYC on Sep 29, 2009 at 11:49 AM
    Congratulations Kristin Hoffnung and the Walton Career Development students. Keep up the good work, and thanks for serving as role models to to help motivate people to reduce their impact on our struggling planet.
  • by nunya Location: FL on Sep 29, 2009 at 08:14 AM
    Devon Smith & the students of WCDC. Im glad to see that your school system & your community is taking the initiative to teach you about the importance of recycling & green building. I dont see any of the other schools in this area with any such programs. So concider your selfs ahead of your neighboring school systems students. Recycling is fast becoming an important part of our society today. So take all the "GREEN" training you can get. It should benefit you in the future.
  • by devon smith Location: defuniak springs on Sep 28, 2009 at 02:21 PM
    i am a student at wcdc and it is going to save money and what not. but when we go out there to work we dont play like for instints we have a trail out lined with tires that leads back to a water sorce and a trial of tires leading to the house right now i would say that the house stands at a good 10 feet tall. then we got a holding tank for water to settal and it is going to have a green house facing the sun for plants to grow thanks for reading and come on out and help support us at walton career development center
  • by Anonymous Location: FL on Sep 27, 2009 at 03:21 PM
    Is this truely recycling or just redistributing junk ? When i saw the story title i thought they were talking about recycling lumber, blocks, bricks, & windows, from deconstructed buildings, not old tires. I know old tires are a problem, but there are companies that grind the tires up & use them in many different ways, like roads and alternative landscaping materials.
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