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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1) SUSTAINABLE DOES NOT HAVE TO MEAN MEAN PRIMITIVE
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.
2) FREE ORGANIC FOOD GROWING INSIDE YOUR HOME FROM WASTE WATER
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!
3) HIGHLY EFFICIENT MULTI USE WATER RECYCLING & CONSERVATION
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) PASSIVE SOLAR HEATING & COOLING IN EXTREME HEAT OR COLD WITH NO POWER
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.
5) FREE ENERGY / NO BILLS
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.
6) FREEDOM & TRUE LONG TERM SECURITY
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?
7) LOW TECH TO BUILD WITH LITTLE TO NO EXPERIENCE, SUITABLE FOR SELF BUILD
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.
8) CAN BE EXTREMELY CHEAP WHEN DONE MODESTLY
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.
9) MADE OF RECYCLED MATERIALS
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.
10) THINK DIFFERENT
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.
WATCH THIS BEAUTIFUL & INSPIRING EARTHSHIP TOUR
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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