While in New Mexico, I visited an Earthship. The Earthship concept was conceived by Michael Reynolds in the 1970s. The Earthship concept utilizes sustainable architecture, and material indigenous to the local area, or recycled materials wherever possible. The homes rely on natural energy sources to remove the need for utility services, " off the grid". Also plans are developed so that no specialized construction skills are required to build.
The majority of the building designs incorporate passive solar architecture, retaining walls constructed with used tires, filled with earth and stacked up like bricks. The interior surface of the tires is then plastered with adobe or cement and empty aluminum cans are mortared into lightweight, curvable walls. The design also incorporates many ecological concepts, such as water catchment from the roof, reuse of greywater, composting toilets, indoor gardening, etc.
An Earthship addresses six principles or human needs[:
My imagination was in overload. There are so many creative ways to build this sustainable homes. Technology truly exists that would solve all the worlds problems. I truly believe that we don't want to solve any problems. I will save that discussion for another blog.