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By Kim Glovas

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Earth Day is just a couple weeks away, but a local organization is sponsoring a three-day seminar on sustainable building at the Penn Museum’s Rainey Auditorium.

Michael Reynolds started building Earthships 40-years ago. The idea is to use what we think of as garbage.

“You gather tires and you use them, you gather bottles and you use them, you gather cans and you use them. You know, garbage has kind of a stigma to it, so it’s not the word you really want to use. I call it byproducts of our society.”

Listen to Kim Glovas’ interview with Michael Reynolds in this CBS Philly podcast:

Those items are used to build the walls of an Earthship. The concept calls for making a system where the house makes energy, collects water, makes food, and cools and heats itself.

The seminar will also discuss how you can apply these ideas to an apartment or even your own home.

“You could take an apartment with a south-facing window in Philadelphia, and we have what we call a one-room power system. What do you need? You need a cell phone, you need a laptop, you need a little bit of light. We can run that for you — a power system that is $600 or $700.”

The Earthship Philadelphia Project ultimately will build an education center to spread the word.

The Philadelphia Earthship Seminar will be held April 6th, 7th and 8th. Click here for ticket information.

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