BOULDER, Colo. — When we think of reclaimed building materials, durable resources such as brick, various woods and even shipping containers come to mind. Though many sustainably minded designers have employed the gamut of such materials, few have turned to a school’s parking lot for material inspiration. Beyond asphalt and cement, another possibility that might be ready for a second life is the old school bus. Enter Sustainable Skoolie Adventure, a Boulder, Colo.-based nonprofit that seeks to put the concepts of ecologically sound education on wheels.
Through a variety of workshops and leadership training, the venture seeks to foment sustainable communities by criss-crossing the nation in a 250-square-foot movable feast for the mind in the form of a classroom forged from a decommissioned school bus.
The bus is currently under construction, and is the brainchild of Founder and President Chava Erica Tzemach, an educator and activist with nearly a decade of nonprofit experience. The vision is to have an off-grid, fully functioning, sustainable home that features solar energy, a composting toilet, a green roof and insulation made of sheep’s wool. The bus, originally a 2001 Blue Bird School bus, will also run on waste vegetable oil, according to a profile in the Boulder Jewish News. Tzemach’s hope is to launch the project in Spring 2018 after raising $30,000 in the next 45 days (contributions can be made at a recently launched GoFundMe campaign).
Tzemach is currently working towards becoming a Certified Master Environmental Educator through the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education, a partnership between environmental education providers and supporters who are working together to advance environmental literacy.
“It is Sustainable Skoolie Adventure’s mission to increase public awareness of environmental issues and catalyze communities to act, turning knowledge into tangible actions that promote long-lasting sustainable practices in the daily activities of individuals, institutions and businesses,” reads the organization’s mission statement, which emphasizes values of earth stewardship, education and empowerment, among other tenets.
Tzemach is presently seeking sponsorships for the Sustainable Skoolie Adventure from both individuals and corporations interested in sustainability and education.