VIA “thespiritscience.net” by Steven Bancarz
Earthships are 100% sustainable homes that are super affordable to build and fun to live in. But they are more than just a cool alternative living situation, they actually have the potential to change the world!
1) Sustainable does not mean primitive
In this case, it means modern. When people hear about sustainable off-the-grid living, they usually picture primitive homes divorced from the comforts of the 21st century. And rightfully so, as most sustainable solutions proposed until now have fit that description. But these homes look much more artistic and sleek than other forms of sustainable living.
2) Free Food
Each earthship comes with at least 1 greenhouse which grows food all year round. You actually have the ability to feed yourself with the plants growing out of your house. You can also choose to build a fish pond and/or chicken coop into your Earthship for a constant source of meat and eggs.
3) Brilliant Water Recycling
Even the most arid of climates can provide enough water for daily use through only a rain-harvesting system. The entire roof of the Earthship funnels rain water to a cistern, which then pumps it to sinks and showers when required. That used ‘grey water’ is then pumped into the greenhouse to water the plants. After being cleaned by the plants, the water is pumped up into the bathrooms for use in the toilets. After being flushed, the now ‘black water’ is pumped to the exterior garden to give nutrients to non-edible plants.
4) Warmth & Shelter
One of the most amazing engineering advantages of earthships is their ability to maintain their heat year-round. Even in freezing cold or blistering hot climates, Earthships constantly hover around 70° Fahrenheight (22° Celsius).
This phenomenon results from the solar heat being absorbed and stored by ‘thermal mass’ — or tires filled with dirt, which make up the structure of the Earthship. The thermal mass acts as a heat sink, releasing or absorbing heat when the interior cools and heats up. Pretty cool right?
The large greenhouse windows at the front of the house always face south to allow the sun to heat up the thermal mass throughout the daytime.
Solar panels on the roof and optional wind turbines provide the Earthship with all of the power it needs. In reality, we should be doing this with all of our houses. Combine this with a little bit of consciousness regarding how much electricity you’re burning through, and you’ll be good to go.
With all of your basic needs provided for and NO bills each month, you’re free! Well, except for the building costs and such.
If even just 10% of the population decided to live like this, think of how much more productive we would be as a society if people had all of that extra free time and resources?
7) Easy to build
This may sound unbelievable, but it’s true. At a recent Earthship conference in Toronto, Canada, a married couple in their forties shared about how they built a 3-story Earthship all by themselves in just 3 months. They did not hire any help, any building team, nor did they use expensive equipment to make the job easier.
The point is, this doesn’t necessarily require you to turn 3 years of your life upside down to get all of this set up.
Earthships are MUCH cheaper than conventional houses. The most basic Earthships cost as little as $7000 (The Simple Survival model) with the most glamorous models costing 300,000k and up, depending on how flashy you want to be with your decorating. I’m not sure what housing costs in your part of the world, but you can’t really get anything livable for under 200k where I am from.
With these wide range of cost options, earth-ships can fit the needs of a wide range of financial situations.
9) Made of recycled materials
A good portion of the materials used to build Earthships are recycled! That’s double the sustainability. For starters, the structure is built with used tires filled with dirt:
If there’s one thing we’re not short of on Earth, it’s used tires! There are tire dumps like the one pictured here in every country in the world. There are even places that will pay you by the tire to take them away. They are literally everywhere.
The walls (above the tires) are created by placing plastic and glass bottles in concrete. When the Earthship team was in Haiti after the earthquake, they employed local kids to both clean up the streets and provide all of the bottles required for building their Earthship.
10) Think Different
Earthships encourage people to think differently about how we live. Do we really need to continue to live in cookie-cutter housing for entirety of the the future of our civilization? Housing can be simple, cheap, and sustainable while taking a massive load off of the environment.
What do you think about these things!?