So, around a year ago I was pregnant, puking up my toenails, buried in my couch and looking for distractions. Hello internet and hello Stumbleupon! (Read more about Stumbleupon here – trust me, the toolbar is worth the download, you won’t regret it!)
After much random internet browsing my interest was thoroughly peaked by an article about a man called “Can Dan,” or Dan Phillips, who was busy helping people create low-impact, green homes out of recycled materials. People, these homes are so uniquely beautiful and his message falls in that same category. Check out the video below and see for yourself:
After this article, I couldn’t get it off my mind! For days I didn’t want to throw anything away! ‘I bet I could use it for something…’ I’d think. Now my garage is filled with glass bottles (big and small), coffee cans, soda cans and more. Don’t you envy my husband?
I had this hunger within me that could not be satisfied! Every internet moment I could squeeze out of my day was spent researching green living, building with recycled materials and living off the grid. I couldn’t get enough. And my poor, poor Facebook friends were bombarded with shared links! I force-fed them these links in utter fascination! Why!? Why aren’t we all living like this!? By the end of this post, you might ask yourself the same question!
I know, it sounds crazy, futuristic and “outer edge-ish,” and it is! In a good way! On their website, Earthship Biotecture says “An Earthship is a radically sustainable home made of recycled materials.” Radical is right! Earthships, created by architect Michael Reynolds, are perfect for any type of climate, are incredibly resistant to natural disasters and are extremely self sustainable! But how? And why?!
The foundation of an ES is built using old recycled tires (sometimes people will pay you to take them off their hands!) which are packed full of dirt until they literally become large, heavy and virtually unmovable bricks! They are stacked to create the outside walls of the structure and the base. For walls and such inside the home, aluminum cans are paved into the structure as bricks as well! The wood, stone and glass features in the home are often recycled materials; in fact take a look at how glass bottles are used for beautiful accents and as small windows!
Earthships stay warm during the cold months because the rubber tires collect warmth from the sun and when the temperature outside drops below the temperature of the tires, the warmth of the tires is emitted into the structure. Plus, every ES I’ve come across have multiple custom fireplaces! They also stay cool during the summer because of the actual soil used to pack the tires. Also, because of the sturdy structure, they are earthquake, hurricane, natural disaster resistant!
Earthships have large windows facing the sun which allow for the individual to grow food year round in the home itself. I’ve seen everything from herbs, to vegetables and even fruit trees growing indoors!
They are equip with solar panels on the roof and occasionally, given the unique climate considerations, are also powered by wind. Rain water is collected, stored, filtered and recycled within the structure and used for showering, watering indoor plants, for toilets and irrigating outdoor plants. Even used toilet water is recycled by being cleansed and filtered again and distributed to outdoor plants!
The best part about these homes? They are totally customizable and possible to build for a couple hundred grand or millions of dollars! There are even a few communities of Earthships found in Arizona, New Mexico and overseas in areas of poverty!
So, again, why aren’t we all living in one of these amazing structures? You can bet one day I will be!
It’s not like I’m obsessed and have been collecting these photos for the past year or anything….heh heh. Right?