Tanya Savas

Class of '19

Place of service: Earthship Spokane

Why I Serve

Earthships are sustainable homes that are constructed from recycled and natural materials and are built in community with others. Earthships are designed with solar heating and cooling, solar and wind electricity, contained sewage treatment, and catchwater. My service to Earthship Spokane is rooted in my deep love for the beauty and life-sustaining force of our planet, and what I believe is our absolute duty to protect these gifts. In addition to creating structures that reduce our impact on the Earth’s ecosystem, the labor of the build itself creates deep roots within the community. Since moving to Spokane from Providence, Rhode Island, I have developed a strong network of like-minded friends and innovators who aspire to be stewards of the Earth through my service to Earthship Spokane. With each build welcoming all who wish to participate, experienced Earthship builders teach the methods and processes to others, who can then go on and teach others themselves. The Earthship movement is a global one, with the leaders of Earthship Spokane having worked on, and learned through participating in, community builds in Jamaica – and other volunteers traveling from Seattle, Olympia, British Columbia, and North Carolina to participate in our projects here in Spokane.

How I Serve

The process of building an Earthship offers opportunities for all to serve. I helped construct the interior wall that surrounds the water filtration system. I also helped pack the tires out with dirt using a pick-axe and sledge hammer. When not packing, I refill buckets and wheelbarrows with dirt and carried them from our mound to workers on the structure who need refills. I have also helped construct a can wall using recycled tin cans and concrete. I then help pack concrete into the exterior of the interior wall using my hands as the tools. Healthy, organic food prep for all who participate is also a duty on the project, so I assist in the food prep by taking over dish duty after the meals. In between build weekends, I collect tin cans in homes, in public, and at Whitworth to supply the cans for Earthship Spokane to help construct the can wall.