>> Friday, July 30, 2010
BY HEATHER HARMON
Everywhere I turn, I find the media espousing such terms as sustainable living, social responsibility, going green, and living frugally. These terms may have new meaning to many of the younger generation, but they are certainly not new concepts. Many of our grandparents were living sustainable lifestyles that were both frugal and socially responsible way before it was considered fashionable to do so. When I began doing the research for this article, I decided to focus on homes built mostly from salvaged material. I wanted to find more people who weren’t just buying “green” products for their home, but who had found ways to look at materials in a different way and keep them out of the landfills. Not having a clue where to start, I began by asking my own family if they had ever heard of anyone in this area that had done such a thing. To my utter amazement, my aunt told me to start with my grandfather. She informed me that the cabin my grandfather had built in St. Martin along the Little Miami River more than 40 years ago for a weekend/vacation home had been built almost entirely from salvaged materials. I should have known this, but it had just never really occurred to me to ask about it. I had been visiting or staying there since birth and I had always taken its presence for granted. Intrigued by this discovery, I decided to interview my grandpa, Stan Pfister, for this article and headed to St. Martin where we were celebrating his 90th birthday in May at his cabin.