EXPIRED: 01/26/10 – Frank Schiavo, 70, was green before being green was cool.

They called him the “messiah of the environment.” He lived in a solar-paneled home, had “zero tolerance” for garbage, and wanted to be buried in the ’64 Chevy Nova that he converted into a propane-powered vehicle decades ago.

He composted in his front yard, washed dishes by hand, took short showers (his average gas and electric bill was $11 a month) and created no garbage.

In 1994 the City of San Jose tried to rule he had to pay a monthly garbage bill even though his house didn’t generate any trash.

He only used his car once a week, for grocery shopping, where, of course, he brought his own bags. He also was known for adding a fourth “r” to the reduce, reuse, recycle mantra: refuse.

“If it cannot be recycled or composted,” he’d say, “don’t buy it.”

Schiavo taught environmental studies at San Jose State University from 1974 to 2003. Back in 1971, he was named “Teacher of the World.”

But having all that heart for the world doesn’t save your heart from over working. He had a heart attack in his home, unexpectedly.

And the earth loses one of the good ones.



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