Have you heard of Earthship Homes?
I lived in New Mexico in the mid 1990's. I moved there to learn about more alternative energies, because where I lived in Iowa, many wrote off things like solar panels and different methods of building as things that wouldn't work. While living in New Mexico, I was lucky to work with some fantastic people in many different areas, but my favorite place to visit was the Earthship village in Taos New Mexico.
The Earthship design was developed by a man named Michael Reynolds. The style consisted of walls made from recycled tires, rammed full of dirt, for the walls. Holes were filled in with waste like plastic and glass bottles, and metal cans, for a completely filled in wall. Then the walls were covered with an adobe mud, basically dirt and water much like the original dwellers made years ago for adobe homes. The result was beautifully organic walls with a solid feel, holding temperatures so well that there was minimal need for heating and cooling. The roof provided water collection systems and the electric was from solar panels. The designs usually incorporated a greenhouse along the front of the home for growing your own food.Hence the Earthship name. The building was designed in a way so as to provided the dwellers with everything they needed. The challenge was to live there without any dependence on outside sources for any utilities or food/water. You can read more about these homes in Mother Earth News.
When Mr. Reynolds first developed this design, many wrote him off as a nut, building homes out in the desert. But his vision and his commitment to creating a sustainable method of living is probably one of the most dedicated I have seen in the alternative energy movement. I have always admired his tenacity in this project to build homes with no carbon footprint what so ever.
I recently ran across The Earthship's website, and I have to say he has come a very long way. I was thrilled to see that he is now building these homes in a project to assist Haitians in designing permanent homes that can withstand the forces of weather like hurricanes and earthquakes. His crew will be returning to Haiti to start another building in October, expanding on educating and empowering the people of Haiti on how to take care of themselves. Hear more about Michael Reynolds and his work in Haiti:
Jerri McCombs, Advanced Virtual Assistant
828/553-5190 or info@JerriMcCombs.com