5 Thing I Love About Earthships

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Look at this gorgeous hobbit village we stayed at on our trip to New Mexico! Actually, they are Earthships!

An earthship is an unique type of house which produces food and energy, cleans water, moderates temperature, and turns trash into treasure!

Sounds amazing?  Let’s take a tour and see how we can apply some of the inspiring ideas to our own homes!

 

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1. Trash to Treasure

Have you ever noticed that humans are the only species that have the concept of “waste”? In nature, everything is part of a beautiful cycle of life. One of the most amazing things about Earthships is that it turns what society considers “trash” into treasure – soda cans become building materials, glass bottles become stained glass art, discarded tires become vessels for earth walls, can lids become outlet covers…

The secret here is creativity. When we look at something with fresh eyes and open mind, we see not an end, but potential!

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2. Embrace Sun and Wind

When we embrace the tremendous energy that the sun and wind provides, we see creative solutions to utilize them. In an Earthship, besides solar panels and wind turbines, there are many smarts designs such as solar hot water, thermal mass, orientation of the building and careful placement of windows so it stays at a comfortable temperature with little needs for heating and cooling.

It’s true that not everyone can remodel a house overnight, but small things such as a simple solar box cooker (we have one and it’s awesome!) or even a wind chime makes one appreciates the sun and wind in a deeper way!

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3. Celebrate Water

When we walked into the earthship that we were staying at, the guide told us “Please don’t try to conserve water! Take nice long showers, the plants love it!”

Here we are in the middle of a harsh New Mexico desert, yet inside by the sunny south window, there’s an oasis of flowering and fruiting plants thriving. The water in an Earthships comes from harvested and filtered rainwater. Shower water is filtered to feed the plants, and sink water is filtered to flush the toilet.

I remember an inspiring tour where I visited many homes that retrofitted their laundry system so the water is cleaned and channeled into the garden. If that sounds a little complicated, an outdoor shower with bio-degradable soap is a fun way to celebrate water and irrigate our gardens on warm days

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4. Grow an Indoor Food Garden

From fig trees and bananas, to tomatoes and kale, the Earthship is a mini food forest. All those indoor planters and hanging buckets are not only beautiful, but also bountiful year round. Some recent Earthships even have aquaponic systems where one can have fish and plants co-exist harmoniously: the fish waste (ok, poo) provides nutrients for the plants, and the plants cleans water for the fish! That’s definitely a must have in our near future! If you are curious, check out this amazing site- Backyard Aquaponics!

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5. Create Art and Beauty

Just because it’s green does not mean it can’t be gorgeous! Earthships bring joy to people through all the beautiful handmade details. One can sense the creativity and love that goes into the walls, floors, and furniture pieces.

In our modern world, the time we spend making something for our homes most likely won’t match the money we make in our day jobs, yet the love that radiate from something we make is so valuable that could not be measured by numbers.

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Hope you enjoyed this tour! Here are a few of my favorite links if you want to explore further :

If you love Earthships, you will love this wood fired earth oven that’s easy to build and fun to use! Check out the full tutorial here. apieceofrainbow31 (55)

63 Comments

  1. Love the photos, and the idea too! Such a beauty and most of it thanks to recycled bottles. Definitely would love to have such fence or something made with built-in glassware. Thank you for the inspiration!

  2. I just found your site today but I’ve lived in New Mexico near the earthships and they are beyond beautiful , completely self-contained and you can build them yourself .That’s what they were created for by the brilliant humanitarian architect , Michael Reynolds many years ago .
    He wanted a way for regular people to have safe and uplifting shelter for the least money and resources .
    Google Michael Reynold’s earthships and you’ll be amazed .

  3. I have seen an article before on earthships. They are of such a unique architecture that it is hard to believe they are made from “trash.” I enjoyed your article very much. If I was President, we would all live in one of these.

  4. The pleasure of reading this post…you have no idea! I knew nothing about eathships and love the well-chosen name, the concept and the challenge. It is encouraging to think that even in our urban dwellings (my case) we can still be more mindful about waste, recycling etc. Just until the day we get our very own earthship, that is 😉 Thank your this inspiring and surprising discovery (not so fictional after all, that hobbit house, hun?).

  5. I would love to live in one of these homes. They are just my style. I have always been creative and would love to design a home. They are just fascinating! If I were alot younger there is no doubt I would take on this project. To spend my older years here! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Seriously? This is crazy cool! I’ve never heard of earthships before. I hope we are moving more in line with this way of life. By the way, did I see paper bag floors? Too cool!

    • hi nikki! this one we stayed at does not have paper bag floors, but like you, i am crazy about paper bag floors! x

  7. These are SO cool! I’ve never heard or seen them before, so this was such a great post. I love reading about the recycling of water, etc. What a great experience. And, i love that you shared it with us! Gorgeous photos too!

  8. This is soo very cool! I had never heard about this until now! the pictures where great and I have to put this on my list of things to experience! WOW!!

  9. What can I say? I’m gobsmacked, spell bound and just so happy to have read this post today. This is the first time I’ve heard of Earthships- such a neat idea. Thank you for sharing your experience here Ananda:) I would love to visit one of these some day, or better still create one in the Arabian desert!

    • that would be amazing! an earthship in the arabian desert! thank you arti, i am so happy that this resonates with you! xo

  10. Wow – I would love to try to stay at a place like this. I’ve always loved the look of glass implemented into the building structure too. Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos.

  11. Okay, THIS, is amazing. I have never even heard of anything like this – and I was captivated by every word of this post! GORGEOUS! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  12. Wow! These photos are so fascinating and beautiful! I never heard of an “earthship” until reading this post and I love the artistry and architecture that goes into these homes.

  13. Thanks for the links at the end of the post – since my husband and I are new to the USA (we moved to California, from Canada) we’re always exploring. We drove down and ended up going through New Mexico, but didn’t see these of course. It’d be nice to drive back there and explore more.

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