Materials Doug Eichelberger built his barn at Lucky Ranch using baled scrap plastic and scrap paper - source: Doug Eichelberger

Published on February 17th, 2009 | by Glenn Meyers

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Trash House

Doug EichelbergerThere is plenty enough to know about all the trash we create and the wastefulness of our ways. But when you meet Colorado architect, Doug Eichelberger, you are happy to find a person who is all about solutions, putting trash to use as a building material.

A visit to his Lucky Ranch reveals a very special looking barn, built out of trash. He used scrap plastic for the foundation blocks, then erected walls of baled trash paper. The wall materials were inexpensive and provided excellent insulating quality, says Eichelberger.

Construction of the Lucky Ranch trash barnEichelberger and some of his associates see plenty of possibilities for this type construction in the developing world. The materials were virtually free, excluding transportation. The majority of the cost was labor, which is plentiful in the developing world, he points out in his PowerPoint presentation.

Some of Eichelberger’s conclusions:

* Plastic waste is in abundance and could be taken out of landfills and used to build structures
• Plastic bales are weaker than conventional methods, but where materials are not available (i.e. Tsunami stricken areas) could be useful
• With more compaction and investigative testing plastic bale strength could surpass that of straw bales

LAB TESTING

Some lab testing on plastic bales was completed in the spring of 2005 at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  Engineering students completed a number of tests on numerous bales.  Their paper/ results can be viewed at. http://www.edc-cu.org/ppt/PlasticBales.pdf.  Since the wall system required a panelization/ post tension approach, lab tests should be completed on bales configured in those conditions.  From those results design loads per span etc. can be established.  Further tests could evaluate a bale’s insulative qualities. Stuccoing each side of a bale will capture air between, this dead air becomes that insulative quality.

Editorial

Virgin Islands Daily News December 23, 2009 Joseph Sibilly Elementary School students wrote Letters to Santa this year. Since all the letters started and ended very politely (“How are you” and “Thank you so much and have a Merry Christmas. I love you.”), we have omitted those sentences for brevity.

Also, to protect their privacy, we have omitted the names of the students who wrote the letters.

We are certain that Santa knows who’s who – just as he knows who’s been naughty and who’s been nice.

These are some of the letters from Santa’s mailbag. He’ll be sharing more of them on Thursday.

- – - From Zolayma Belle’s second grade class Dear Santa, For Christmas I would like to have a DS, Baby Alive, and posters of you and your elves. I would also like my cousin who is in Iraq to come home safe.

- – - Dear Santa, For Christmas I would like to have a DSI, touch screen phone, PSP, X-Box, seven Bakugans, a Driver’s License and a real car.

- – - Dear Santa, For Christmas I would like to have a neater handwriting and good friends.

- – - Dear Santa, For Christmas I would like to have Michael Jackson clothes, a DSI, Pokemon (Diamond and Pearls game), MP3 player, a real monkey and a chance to be like you, Santa.

- – - Dear Santa, For Christmas I would like to have a DSI, a real Shitzu dog, a Baby Alive, and an I Pod. I also want my mom to get back her job before Christmas.

- – - Dear Santa, For Christmas I would like to have cartridge games, a Bakugan, and a Nerf Blaster and $800 to put in my bank account.

- – - Dear Santa, For Christmas I would like to have a scooter and good behavior.

- – - Dear Santa, For Christmas I would like to have seven Bakugans, a soccer ball and a Sonic Rider for game cube, and I would like a great Christmas.

- – - Dear Santa, For Christmas I would like to have a DSI, Bakugan Goblet, a laptop, and lots of Bakugans. Please help me to do well in school.

- – - Dear Santa, For Christmas I would like to have Astro Boy the game, Pokemon cards, DSI, Yu-Gi-Oh cards, Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, LG touch screen phone, Bakugan set and Bakugan Coblet. I would like to also have good family and good friends.

- – - Dear Santa, For Christmas I would like to have a Bakugan game and five Bakugan toys. I would also like a DS. and Pokemon cards and continue to get good grades – - – Dear Santa, For Christmas I would like to have a DSI, Wii, copybooks, a new pink and red book bag and things that teachers use. For Christmas I want to do good for other people.

- – - Dear Santa, For Christmas I would like to have a Baby Alive, DSI, PSP, shoes, makeup kit, dress-up kit, Barbie doll, laptop, iTouch, iPhone, books, a real dog and a healthy family.

- – - Dear Santa, For Christmas I would like to have a DS, DSI, PSP, dollhouse, a puppy, a diary, a Dora chair, tattoo set, and $100 for college.

- – - Dear Santa, For Christmas I would like to have the best Christmas in the world and be happy.

- – - Dear Santa, For Christmas I would like to have a Barbie make-up kit, and a Barbie car, not a real car. I would also like a Baby Alive, dress- up kit, laptop, Barbie dog, DVD, and a phone. I also would like a great Christmas – - – Dear Santa, For Christmas I would like to have an X-Box 360. I want everybody to be happy in the world – - – Dear Santa, Can you please bring me a Walk and Giggle doll, a Teddy Bear, and a new DS game. Please let my family be healthy too!

- – - Dear Santa, For Christmas I would like to have a Barbie doll, a Barbie doll house, an iPhone, crayons, markers, Baby Alive and dress-up clothes. I also want my family who don’t live here to visit me.

- – - From Eslyn Gibbons’ third grade class Dear Santa, I am having a birthday later this month. By the time you write me back, I will be 8. I am on the Honor Roll and I really love school. First of all I would love to see “No Danger” signs everywhere in this world. I think an end to all violence and crime would be great. I also want to have a healthy and happy family all the time. I would like a Dora Links Doll, a pink laptop and a PSP for Christmas, too. Please help me to get my wishes. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

- – - Dear Santa, I have been good this year. I’m writing you this letter to ask you since I’ve been a good boy if I can have these gifts: Wii, Playstation and a Playstation 3.

- – - Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is a Nintendo Wii and I want you to be careful riding your sleigh.

- – - Dear Santa, I want a Barbie laptop, an iPod, new shoes for school next year, My Little Pony books, some pretty socks, new pillows, a DS, PSP, a doll, and a My Little Pony toy.

- – - Dear Santa, I would like an iphone, IPod, the Best Christmas DSI and for my family to get better and many other toys and games for my DSI. Merry Christmas, Santa!

- – - Dear Santa, I want a million gifts. I want a DS, PSP, boxers, DSI, Limo, Xbox, Wii, Playstation and I want a Louis Vutton suitcase for my mom. I would also like a laptop, iPod and an iphone. Best Christmas wishes and a Happy New Year.

- – - Dear Santa, For Christmas, I want a DSi. Thank you.

- – - Dear Santa, I would like a PS3, and iphone, a bike, Barbie Dream House, Barbie Town House, a computer, a Bratz airplane, a DSi, a TV, a bag, a PSP, a baby sister plus a DSi plug to go download music. web site pokemon diamond pokedex

- – - Dear Santa, Hi! I would like an Easy Baker, Wii, a room make-over, and for my family to be happy. If you give me these things, I will be very happy.

- – - Dear Santa, This is what I want for Christmas: a DSi, PSP, Xbox 360 Live, game cube, PS3, Wii fit, 50″ flat screen TV, dirt bike, Transformers, Bakugan cards and that’s all.

- – - Dear Santa, All I would like for Christmas is a good Christmas with my family. Thank you.

- – - Dear Santa, I would like a Wii for Christmas.

- – - Dear Santa, You are the best, Santa. I would like for you to bring me a Playstation 2 and an Xbox. I have good grades in school. I am doing good. I would also like for Christmas a cell phone, and a laptop. Thank you, Santa!

- – - Dear Santa, I want Lulu, my Cuddling Kittie and fake blood.

P.S. I don’t have a chimney.

- – - Dear Santa, I would like to have a mini-motorcycle, an electric scooter, a Wii, and an Xbox. Thank you, Santa.

- – - Dear Santa, This Christmas I would like a dirt bike, a pool table, a DSi, a new pair of shoes, a hot tub, a chain and for my family to all be together. Thank you.

- – - Dear Santa, I want a guitar, a Hannah Montana PSP, a high school Musical doll and the light up paint brush. Santa you are the best in the world and I just want to say Merry Christmas to you, Santa.

- – - Dear Santa, I really want a DSi, a laptop, and a limo.

- – - Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is a DSi, guitar, drums, body guards, limo, jacket, and to go on a cruise. Thank you.

- – - From Sherilyn Hodge’s third grade class Dear Santa, I would like some games, a remote control car, a jacket, clothes, and bratz dolls, clip-on earrings that don’t hurt my ears, my dad to come home safe, and some stuff for my family.

- – - Dear Santa, I would like a DSI, a Wii Balance Board, a Louis Vuitton bag for my mom, a Hannah Montana guitar, an X-Box 360, a Cooking Mama DS game, a Cooking Mama game for Wii, DSI games and tinker bell game for PSP and DS, a cabbage pack camera and I-phone.

- – - Dear Santa, What I want for Christmas is a cell phone, remote control boat, new shoes, new clothes, a bakugan, new bag, new toys, new bed, new camera, DJ set, DSI, PSP, Xbox 360, Gucci chain, PSP games, DSI games, and a game for the Xbox 360. I would much appreciate it.

- – - Dear Santa, For Christmas, I would be very happy if you would please bring me an X-Box 360, an IPod touch and a drum set.

With these gifts I promise you I will be the best boy in the world. Thank you in advance, Santa.

- – - Dear Santa, My birthday is January 2. I would like a DS, DSI, flag, a puppy, bicycle, a Baby Alive, and a TV for my parents and a phone.

- – - Dear Santa, Christmas is a nice time of the year to ask for gifts. This year I would like a pocket rocket, green pants for school, Wii, and games for my DSI. I would also like for everyone to have a safe and Happy Christmas.

- – - Dear Santa, The things I want for Christmas this year are a DSI, DS, Nintendo, baby alive, Wii, laptop, PSP, and anything else for my mom, dad, and the rest of my family. Santa, I hope you enjoy the milk and the cookies I left for you. XOXO, Love you.

- – - Dear Santa, I want a DSI, a West Highland Terrier, a doll, a Game Boy, a PSP, a phone, a Wii and a Wii Fit. I want a DSI because it has a camera and you can go on the internet. I want a West Highland Terrier because I really want a dog. I don’t really want a doll. Let’s just go on! I want a Game Boy because all of my friends have one except me (Please make it pink, thank you.) I want a PSP so I can challenge my father. I want a phone because I’ve been asking for one since I was 6 and now is the chance. I want a Wii and a Wii Fit for my family. go to web site pokemon diamond pokedex

- – - Dear Santa, I love you and I would like for Christmas a Baby Alive, Blackberry, laptop computer, skating shoes, DS, DSI, and a Hannah Montana movie. I am doing good at school. I hope I pass. I thank you for caring and making everyone happy in Christmas. I hope I don’t get any F in my report. I love school and school is the best. Thank you Santa and I will give you a gift.

- – - Dear Santa, I will like a DSI, Jonas DS game, Planet 51 DS game, Baby Alive with everything, a PSP, and the games High School Musical, Kim Possible and That’s So Raven, Planet 51, Tinker Bell, New SpongeBob Square Pants DS game, New V Smile, Girl Touch. The End.

- – - Dear Santa, I would like a DSI, Dora toy, makeup, and skateboard, and DS, bed, skate shoes. I would like Barbie shoes, Wii, a rabbit toy, a puppy, a cat, a bike, slide, swing, and fish. Now, I thank you Santa for giving us Christmas gifts and school is the best.

- – - Dear Santa, I would like a Hannah Montana, PSP, a Barbie house and a cell phone. The kind of phone I would like is an iphone. I would want a new computer and new DS games. A lot of dolls, a makeup set and a Barbie pool. A bratz doll, a trip to Las Vegas and another Baby Alive. A littlest pet shop set and a trip to Atlanta.

- – - From Richard Wax’s second grade class Dear Santa, Please give me a laptop. Santa, if I don’t have a Christmas tree could you just give me a toy? Please give me a toy train, Nerf Blaster, a pet fish in an aquarium, 12 Bakugan balls, 12 Legobots, and a sparkle scooter. I hope you have a nice holiday.

- – - Dear Santa, Could I have a little dog, a little cat, and my room decorated? Could my Earth be better? Could I see your elves and your reindeer? Could I have a good life?

- – - Dear Santa, I hope my brother feels better. He is sick. I would like a bendaroos. I hope the people on the street find a home.

- – - Dear Santa, You’re my best friend. All I want for Christmas is a jetpack, a DSI with Mario games, new phones, skateboard, Barbie Toy Guitar, a For Real Pet, Swim to me puppy, necklace with earring, a new car, iPod, little pet shop board game.

P.S. When you see a messy house, make sure you watch your step. I also want a girl cupcake maker.

- – - Dear Santa, I hope you are having a great time at the North Pole. I hope Mrs. Santa is great. I hope the reindeer are having fun. Can I have a beanbag chair, a DSI, pair of shoes, and a makeup kit? Merry Christmas, Santa and Mrs. Santa!

- – - Dear Santa, Can I have a blue motorcycle for Christmas? Can I also have a green car, a light-up scooter and a DS game for Christmas?

- – - Dear Santa, I hope Mrs. Santa is OK and your little elves. I hope your reindeers are doing fine. For Christmas, I want a DSI and a DS. I hope you can give a Game Boy, scooter, 15 games for my DS, and a green and red car. Bye, Santa.

- – - Dear Santa, I hope you are fine. I want to get an iCarly DS game and Pet Shop game. I also want a drum.

- – - Dear Santa, Can I get a Wii? I would like to get a PSP. Can I get a pool? I want a Baby Alive and a tea party set. Are all your reindeers OK?

- – - Dear Santa, Please make me smart and help me. Please bring me a DSI and a Bakugan.

- – - Dear Santa, I would like you to bring me a DS game and a doll. Thank you, I hope you enjoy your Christmas.

- – - Dear Santa, I like your reindeers and elves. I would like to help make toys. I think its fun too. MERRY CHRISTMAS SANTA!

P.S. Good Luck!

- – - Dear Santa, How are you doing? How is the weather? For Christmas I want a laptop and a Nerf Blaster.

- – - Dear Santa, I hope you and your wife and your elves feel good. How does up in the North Pole feel?

- – - Dear Santa, Do you have reindeers? I hope you and your elves are happy. I would like a DSI, iCarly toys, Barbie make-up and the mic with the radio.

- – - Dear Santa, I would like a Barbie toy, a new bike, a PSP, and a coloring book. I want a gift for my mom. I want a scooter, a princess toy, a princess dress and a playhouse.

- – - Dear Santa, Can you make the world better? You are very nice. Can you give my mom a present, please? Can you give me a Bakugan set and a Bakugan light?




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About the Author

is a writer, producer, and director. Meyers is editor and site director of Green Building Elements, a contributor to CleanTechnica, and founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.



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