Alternative Housing :: Earthship Living

bridget
earthship-living-watercolor-text

by Bridget (Click for larger view)

Earthship?

Like a spaceship?

Nope, these are actually real homes, folks.

Although they have been around since Michael Reynolds gave birth to the idea in the 1970s, it seems like there’s been no better time than now to give them a closer look. The epitome of green living, these homes also offer relief from the suburban housing crisis. With the plunging economy, why continue to worry over utility bills when you can operate off the Grid?

First, I guess you ought to know what the heck they are. Well, they are based on 6 main concepts:

1. Building with recycled and natural materials

2. Solar & wind generated electricity

3. Water harvesting

4. Thermal/solar heating & cooling

5. Contained sewage treatment

6. Food production

Earthships started out as a few scattered hippie homes in New Mexico, but now they can be found across the globe and even comprising true Earthship communities.  The great thing is that you can build them with a small team of your friends (no construction crew or experience necessary), you can have one built for you, or you can buy an existing one on MLS.  If you’d like to try one out, you can even rent them for a short stay. Although they’re primarily made of mud and trash, many are built to be quite luxurious (the Phoenix is on sale for $1.5 million) and beautiful! You can completely customize them to suit your comfort needs and taste. Earthships have also been built in impoverished areas.  A group goes to the area and demonstrates the process by starting the construction, teaching the community members how to complete it. Earthship Biotecture accepts interns to help with these builds.

Phoenix bathroom wall made with recycled bottles

I’ve compiled a few helpful links below for you to learn more:

Earthship Biotecture official site

Michael Reynolds on CNN

Earthships 101

Lastly, many people blog about the Earthship living experience. A simple Google search should take you there.

March 21, 2009 7:00 pm

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