10 Reasons Why Earthships Really Are Fuc!*ng Awesome!

in ecotrain •  27 days ago  (edited)


Earthship Biotecture really is a movement, more than simply an approach to sustainable building. It is our answer to the capitalist system, and the only option for us to be able to step out of the rat race and just live our lives. I have lived in an earthship for 12 years, and luckily for me I have almost no monthly bills whatsoever. Despite that I have more power than I can use via solar panels, boiling hot water for a solar powered jacuzzi with water heated by the sun, plants and food growing from grey water botanical cells both inside and outside the house. I am comfortable in summer and winter time and don't even need to turn the fireplace on year round.. The Earthship just encounters all the forces of nature and stores and funnels them right into my home, with nothing to do or maintain on my part.

"The sustenance of people should not be subject to an economy. People should have shelter, water, food, and energy, regardless of economy."

I have spent most of my adult life promoting sustainable building and living. I discovered Earthships back in 2001 and since then my life has never been the same! After a 13 year long mission to self build my own Earthship, i finally succeeded in 2012 with the completion of Earthship Karuna. There is a LOT to say about Earthship Biotecture, and these 10 reasons just scratch the surface!

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When people hear about sustainable, off-the-grid living, they usually picture primitive homes with no creature comforts. Earthships, however, offer all of the comforts of modern homes and more. I’ll let this picture do the talking…Earthships are low tech, but anything but primitive.




Earthships are outfitted with one or two greenhouses that grow crops year-round, no matter the climate. This means you can feed yourself with only the plants growing inside of your house using waste water from the kitchen sink. People live in Earthships on rainwater harvesting alone and in areas with only 9 inches of rainfall a year!



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.




The most brilliant piece of engineering in the Earthship is their ability to sustain comfortable temperatures 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 it when the interior cools and heats up, respectively. 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. As long as you’re not greedily chewing through electricity like a typical first-world human, you’ll never be short of power.



With all of your basic needs provided for and NO bills each month, you’re free! You don’t have to work a job you hate just to survive. So you can focus your time on doing what you love, and bettering the world around you. Imagine if the entire world was able to focus on doing extraordinary things instead of just making enough to get by. Imagine if even 10% of the world could do this. What would change? 



At a recent Earthship conference in Toronto, Canada, a married couple in their forties shared about how they built a 3-story Earthship by themselves in 3 months. They had never built anything before in their lives and were able to build an Earthship with only the printed plans. They did not hire any help, nor did they use expensive equipment to make the job easier. If one man and one woman can do this in 3 months, anyone can do it. 



Earthships are exorbitantly cheaper than conventional houses. The most basic Earthships cost as little as $7000 (The Simple Survival model) with the most glamorous models costing $70,000 and up, depending on how flashy you want to be with your decorating. With these cost options, Earthships can fit the needs of everyone — from the least privileged to the most worldly. 



Much of the materials used to build Earthships are recycled. 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. 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. Plus, they look pretty sexy.




The most powerful thing Earthships do is force people to think differently about how we live. If housing can be this awesome, and be beneficial to the environment, then what else can we change? What else can become more simple, cheaper and better at the same time? It’s time for us to re-think much of what we consider normal.



Did you know, I built four Earthships in India as well as being instrumental the creation of the first Earthship in the UK, Earthship Brighton. If you are also on this path and would like to read my story, I have recently published a book. It is not only a great story, but a valuable resource for you to learn from. I had no experience or training when I embarked on my mission, but managed to successfully build a gorgeous home called Earthship Karuna.

You can buy this book with Steem on the homesteaders co-op. Whilst you are there please do have a look at some of the other products as there are all kinds of great things there!


If you don't have any Steem you can also buy the ebook and paperback on amazon.

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Ive researched much into Earthships and would love to build one in Australia. Thankyou for your information. Reposted. :)

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with a name like yours, i bet you have! ;-) thanks for the re steem.. australia is SO suited to this approach it is quite incredible. Most of the country SEEMS too baren and dry to live in,, until that is you do it earthship style! Best of luck!


Yep my earthship name says it all. Luv your work. Keep the posts coming Cheers 👍👍

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OMG this is nothing less than amazing! AWESOME. I have a house (not earthship) on an island and I use solar panels and wells but I wouldn't mind having one earthship! This is so great, I bet you enjoy it! Lucky you!


thank you! i agree of course! maybe one day you can make a small one.. its not so hard! sort of ;_)

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thanks Miti!


You are most welcome! Your project is very interesting.

Oh my!!!!! They are amazing! Is this place yours?

I absolutely LOVE the decor!!!!

I am quite blown away by these... I had no idea they even existed. What a wonderful approach to lifestyle and so forward thinking!


thanks @jaynie! yes earthships are mind blowing.. this one in the pic is my home, Earthship karuna,, the story of that build is linked on this post at the end.. They normally look a bit different than mine, but always beautiful,.. and often much more cozy and rustic / nature..

that video at the end is well worth a watch.. Nice little tour of an earthship and how some of it works..

So inspiring! I am very curious to learn more, especially about the grey water and black water processes. We are adding running water within the house in the next couple of weeks, now to design its exit!! I am going to check out the trascripts you link to... Hugs!


I followed your links and found the session 2 transcripts. Looking forward to digging into them. What a wonderful first find as I return to Steemit today!


GLAd you found the transcripts! i put a lot of time into it just for people like you!
here is a link to the index of all the posts... theres quite a few! luckily its broken down somewhat so you can find the section you are looking for:


enjoy! and feel free to ask any questions, im happy to advise / assist if i can


you might also really like this video. its a REAL special one and shows you a bit about how they have set up their water systems, amongst other things


I'm I will most definitely check it out. Thanks Alex... Hugs.

I must add that a wee bit of me is envious that you are in India by my understanding. I left a piece of my heart there 30 years ago... And have yet to return to retrieve it.


i understand! how comes you didn't come back for so long just for a short visit?

Great points!
Do you have a link to that couple´s presentation in Toronto? (point 7)

  ·  27 days ago (edited)

hey! i dont have that link, but i do have another one, which i LOVE.. this movie just rocks!

Super Efficient Off-Grid Earthship Built for Early Retirement Plan

  ·  27 days ago (edited)

Alex, I have long wanted to ask, but forgot. How are you doing with the fridge? In the book you wrote that you do not have it. Are you still doing without it? How do you organize food storage? Do you have any ice cave?


GREAT question!
well, since the last year i have a FRIDGE again! i was in the local shop ((in india) and saw they had some new looking 5**** enefgy efficient ones.. i spun it round as i always do, and checked the power use.. It said it only used the equivalent of 50 Watts!! its a proper fridge /freezer.. and my mind was blown!

its works on a new digital compression pump that can work at a lower speed, it is virtually totally silent and i checked it with a clamp meter as soon as i got it, and it was showing 48Watts.. I also turn it off at 10pm and on again at 8m, .. so it hardly draws much power.. in fact i dont even notice it most of the year as my batteries are running at 100% most of the day, and i go to bed nice n early.


I can attest! It works great and (so far) has had no issues with either power or function... it's like a whole new ear of crisp Broccoli! Nice article Baba, lots of new info and links. Sending love to you all at the farm, keep the rhythms rocking!

Good post. I've looked into building an earthship myself but have yet to do anything regarding it.

Wondering is earthship so complex to build like that warranty to spend years building

  ·  27 days ago (edited)

hi! they are not complex to build, but took many years to develop the theory and design so that they can function. They can be built very quickly, i have built a small Earthship home in just 2 weeks with only volunteers! Some people also take years to build, each to their own.

Congratulations @eco-alex!
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Do you have any examples where planning departments have refused permission to build earthships, but were persuaded to change their minds? If so, what was their strategy. Thanks

  ·  25 days ago (edited)

there are two good posts that talk about this.. there are some great tips here on planning.. but a lot depends on where you are..



feel free to ask questions!

being friendly and a good communicator goes a LONG way!

I'm sold! Just love that water system!! Might have to start planning and working on hubby.

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