The Mountain Times

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Vermont kids come home with a sustainable bus and a message

Photo by Cristina Kumka
Snowboarders Dylan Lynch and his brother Tyler, raised on Fairview Avenue in Rutland are back for Christmas and have brought nine of their friends with them, all in a bus marked with graffiti and a message of sustainable living.

Raised in Rutland, now specializing in snowboarding with a focus in doing the right thing, about a half dozen residents are making their way across the country doing what they love and trying to inspire the next generation of Vermonters.

Dylan Lynch and his brother Tyler, raised on Fairview Avenue in the city - a stones-throw away from what was then called Zero Gravity (now Flipside) skateboard park - are back in the Rutland area for Christmas and have brought nine of their friends with them, not to mention a bus marked with graffiti and a message - sustainable living.

You might see the souped-up school bus, converted to run off diesel and unused vegetable oil from restaurants, and the boys throughout the Rutland/Killington region this week.

Killington Resort is where their passion first ignited.

Most of the crew calls themselves Gremlinz or the GBP (Green Bandit Productions) and most are from Rutland.

They started in elementary school, skating at the park, and formed lifelong bonds.

They left Rutland after high school to snowboard out west, now living in Lake Tahoe on the border of Nevada and California, and make a living filming extreme snowboarding/skating/surfing videos, distributing them worldwide and selling t-shirts and sweatshirts.

That eventually led to most of them getting sponsored by big-name winter sports companies and, even starting a snowboard company that ships freshly-made boards all over the world.

Some crew members have made more than $100,000 a year, they report.

But, according to Dylan Lynch, that's not the climax of their success story.

"Our goal is to end up on land with self-sustainable houses and promote that lifestyle to people in the future," he said.
The crew's website, www.gbp-gbp.com, boasts information about their ultimate goal - creating a "Sababaland" where their friends and family can one-day come live off the land, something they want to preserve not just because they make their money riding the Earth's snowy slopes but because it's the right thing to do.

The crew spreads a message, reiterated by one of their role models, New Mexico architect Mike Reynolds. A documentary called "Garbage Warrior" is posted on the GBP website and in it, Reynolds says the new American Dream is not about what career you have or how much money you make, but how Americans are going to figure out "how our children and how our children's children have a chance at life" on this planet.

Reynolds has been building sustainable, off-the-grid homes for the last 30 years out west.

The documentary chronicles Reynolds fight with the New Mexico State Legislature to let him build experimental homes that are wholly sustainable - making their own heat, water and power by capturing the sun's heat with glass bottles and using mud to insulate used tires and hold temperature, making them pure examples of thermal-mass.

Reynolds and his own crew traveled to India and Mexico in the wake of tsunamis that have happened over the last decade and the homes they built are still being used today by the native people, who were given the tools to build more of these sustainable homes on their own.

The film concludes with news that Reynolds' proposed law, one that would allow him to continue building the experimental homes in his home state, was passed in 2007.

"We are running out of oil, water and our climate is changing," Reynolds says in the film.

"We need to be doing it now, tomorrow morning," he said of building all-sustainable homes.

Rutlander, Dylan Lynch said, "Many of us are from Vermont. We have grown up with more green surroundings than others. We're about it. It's disgusting going to cities and seeing unsustainable economies... We are trying to be self-sustainable and trying to not depend on government or anyone else."

The GBP crew can be seen driving their bus around the Rutland/Killington area this week or can be reached via their website www.gbp-gbp.com

Cristina Kumka can be reached at cristina_kumka@yahoo.com or 802-770-4373