Earthships: The Coolest Way to Live Sustainably 


Do you ever wonder if there is any tangible solution to climate change? Do you think about how we can radically change the way we live in order to be more cautious about the way that we live?

carbon footprintIn today’s society, living sustainably can feel out of reach. We’ll visit website after website looking for ways to decrease our home’s carbon footprint. We always forget our reusable grocery bags when we leave for the store, or we throw away your compost randomly one day because it’s attracting too many bugs.

In comes Earthship, a brand predicated on the idea that the primary human needs can all be addressed through environmentally friendly designed living. Once you learn about this architectural phenomenon, you’ll look at homes entirely differently.


While it’s now becoming more popular, the Earthship concept began in the 1970s. Michael Reynolds, an architect, had an idea to design a house that would follow three basic principles.

The first, utilize sustainable architecture. All construction materials would be indigenous to the local area or used recycled material. The homes would also rely on natural energy sources and be separate. The last and perhaps the most revolutionary characteristic is that these homes are feasible for anyone without specialized construction training to build.

The homes provide everything that humans need to survive and incorporate the beauty of the natural surroundings as much as possible. 

Design Framework

sewage treatment Most Earthships are horseshoe-shaped as the walls are made with rammed tires and cob, an adobe-like construction material. The design typically maximizes natural light and solar gain. The thick walls provide cooling during the summer months and heating during the winter.

Earthship is founded on the idea that six critical human needs can all be addressed through environmentally sustainable buildings.

  1. Natural and Recycled Materials
  2. Heating and Cooling
  3. Food Production
  4. Contained Sewage Treatment
  5. Water
  6. Solar and Wind 

1. Natural and Recycled Building Materials

Earthships also make ample use of glass bottlesEarthships use a variety of natural and reclaimed materials in their construction. Tires are used for the walls, for example. Earthships also make ample use of glass bottles, and internal walls are lined with tin cans. 

2. Heating and Cooling

Fundamentally, Earthships are structures that can cool and heat themselves without burning fossil fuels, using electric, or wood. The buildings make use of the concepts of thermal mass and solar gain. They are capable of reaching a comfortable temperature and maintaining it, no matter where they’re located.

The walls are made out of automobile tires with earth tightly stuffed on the inside so that they become thermal mass ‘bricks’ of a sort. These are thick enough that there is no need for a concrete foundation.

The walls also include recycled glass bottles built-in to let the sun in to heat the walls and the floors. At night when it gets cold, that stored heat is released into the rest of the home. In the summer, the sun is high in the sky, and the mass stays cool. 

3. Food Production

hydroponic plantersThe most recent designed principle added to the framework is interior, in-home, organic food production. The system has been designed to optimize plant growth while using gray-water botanical cells.

With hydroponic planters and vertical growing space in the greenhouses, they’ve been known to yield lush herbs, peppers, kale, beets, carrots, tomatoes, and more.

4. Contained Sewage Treatment

What do you do with poop? This is an issue that most people have when it comes to off-the-grid living. The answer to the problem: plants. Each Earthship incorporates a system where toilet water flows into a rubber-lined botanical cell outside that is filled with landscaping plants, which filter the grey-water. 

5. Water Harvesting

rain-waterWater is life. All Earthships collect their water from rain and snowmelt from their roof. Water from the cistern will feed a pup to a filter system that will clean the h20 and sent it to a water-heater. 

6. Solar Wind and Electricity

Earthships have their own personal, renewable “power plant,” which is affordable for residential use. According to them, residents can meet any energy demands from one kilowatt or less of energy from solar panels. Windmills are also used for Earthships built-in stormy climates. 

Earthships Around The World

There are between two and three thousand Earthships around the world today, in almost every continent, except for Antarctica. The concept is becoming more popular because of climate change, dwindling resources, and the desire for change.

At Earthship Academy, people can go to the commune in New Mexico and learn how to design and build these unique homes. They have the potential to affect substantial positive change in areas that are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters and the increasing threat of global warming. 

The Verdict

We can only hope that more sustainable design techniques will make their way into the mainstream. Humans don’t necessarily need to be attached to the grid to a life of comfort, beauty, and luxury.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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