Werner Heiber

Werner has desired to live more sustainably all his life. He grew up in Basel, Switzerland, and has worked in the pharmaceutical industry in Basel, New York, and Salt Lake City, first synthesizing new pharmaceutical drugs, then specializing in transdermal drug delivery. In Switzerland, he completed an apprenticeship in chemistry, and in the United States he obtained a B.S. in chemistry from Adelphi University as well as certificate degrees in Urban Planning and Mediation and Conflict Resolution from the University of Utah. Werner’s passion has always been energy-efficient homes, gardening, and the outdoors. He built his first passive solar house in 1975. Since his early retirement from the pharmaceutical industry, he has worked on energy-efficient homes, including as a Vista Volunteer on a demonstration house for Utah State University. Since moving to Southwest Colorado, he has helped start up a rural cohousing community, built strawbale houses, and run an affordable housing non-profit building mutual self-help houses. Werner has been involved with the sustainability movement in Durango, Colorado, since 2002. He lives in Durango while exploring his passion of highly energy-efficient clustered homes combined with productive gardens.

What you are currently doing to make a difference? Having been engaged in many different worthwhile actions for over 40 years, I got burned out and started giving up. Several years ago I started to work on letting go of “a wished for outcome” giving me the freedom to be engaged with less ruminations.

What I want to do? Drastically reduce toilet paper by using a bidet. Most single-use paper is made from clearcutting virgin boreal forests, which are storing almost twice as much carbon than tropical forests.