How can you remove things that would last forever in a landfill,
and put them to good use? Earthship homes are the perfect answer.
Built with discarded tires and other "garbage", these
homes are not only uniquely attractive, but they also use the
sun for their power, and they are quite energy-efficient.
Earthship Home Being Built
The basic Earthship starts on a base that is made of solid dirt-filled
old tires. Each house takes about a thousand tires out of dumps.
The dirt makes them firm and sturdy to use, like building blocks.
These tires are stacked and then desert mud is used to cement
them into place.
Aluminum cans are also used in the cement, for the walls of the
house. They form the surface needed for the second mud layer,
and then these walls are used to build rooms, as you might see
in a traditional home - with many exceptions, as far as materials
If you live in an Earthship, you use and re-use rain water, and
the builders use can and plastic bottle bottoms to make windows
that look like stained glass, making the walls unique and attractive.
The designers call them machines, since they can exist off the
power grid, virtually running themselves.
Earthship Shape ...
Earthships face south, to reach the best of the sun's rays, keeping
them comfortably warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Their
temperatures are well-maintained, even when outdoor temperatures
are at extremes.
People who live in these innovative homes often have no utility
bills. They may use propane to cook with, but otherwise, they
are self-sustaining. Solar panels are affixed to roofs along with
decorative recycled designs, giving the home quite a unique appearance.
The decorative materials used are actually old appliances, which
removes even more from landfills.
Inside the Earthship, you will find, if the owner desires, flat
screen TV's and Wi-Fi. Some owners prefer to live in a more back
to nature way, but it's up to you. Earthships cost nearly the
same amount of money to build as do traditional homes. But you
can help in preparing materials for the construction, and tackle
some of those jobs yourself, to save money.
Once this house is built, you will have instant savings from
the home you live in now, since you won't have any utility bills.
People who made fun of Earthships when they were first being built
don't poke fun so often any more, with utility prices sky-high.
If we weren't so attached to the traditional ways of building
houses, the designer of Earthships would like to see entire subdivisions
of these unique homes. You can find them now in the United States
and Europe, as well as in Haiti, a place that can use proper buildings
after most of their substandard housing was destroyed, a couple
of years ago. Rubble can become new homes. The original designer
of the Earthship returned to Haiti in 2011 to install the electrical
and plumbing in houses they had built.
To those who still scoff at his home, the designer explains that
they take much of what people don't want, and build homes that
don't need utilities that are made through unclean processes.
And no utility bills? It's hard not to find that attractive.