Pioneered by Architect Michael Reynolds, Earthships are sustainable homes because they encourage easy living and above all, they are cost-effectiveness to construct. Their sustainability is attributed to the fact that they utilize readily available natural materials as well as reusing resources that would otherwise harm the environment. The design and architecture of an Earthship is equally oriented towards environmental sustainability by optimizing on the use of natural resources such as solar energy and the harvesting of rainwater.
Besides, the presence of both solar energy and rain water supports the production of food which can be grown in the shelter. These are just a few of the many benefits of Earthships as there are a myriad of reasons individuals should build an Earthship home. This article thus seeks to unveil the 15+ magnificent reasons it is essential in this time and age to build an Earthship shelter.
1. They are easily sustainable. Earthships are very sustainable as they require less and provide a lot. For instance, it is easy to harvest natural water from rain and snow melt. Moreover, the house supports the growing of food which means one gets to eat healthy and cuts back on food expenses. The availability of water ensures the crops have constant supply of water for growth and there is also warmth in and out of season sustained by the solar energy conserved in the house.
2. Presence of free food. One of the most rewarding advantages of an Earthship is that it is very conducive for crop production. The construction design allowing for the utilization of solar and water harvesting guarantees there is adequate warmth and water for the growth of crops.
An individual residing in an Earthship therefore has the capability of producing own food which translates into saving on food budgets. For this reason, the more the care and attention taken by the owner, the greater the success of crop production.
3. There is an efficient way of recycling water. Through the effective water harvesting techniques of an Earthship from rain or melting of snow, the structures offer an efficient way of recycling water. The water is tapped through the help of gutters set up all round the house and collected in a cistern. The water is pumped to the showers and sinks for ordinary chores and cooking activities. The waste water recovered is used in a greenhouse for the purpose of watering the plants therein.
4. Presence of warmth in the shelter. Earthships are designed with a lining of thermal mass conduction which promotes the absorption of heat from the atmosphere while preventing it from escaping. The heat is therefore regulated which ensures the shelter is warm even in winter. Apart from the thermal lining, the Earthship has large glass windows facing the sun that facilities the entry of heat into the shelter.
5. Presence of sufficient energy. Earthships are built to encourage the tapping solar energy through the use of solar panels. Given that it is a self-sustainable shelter, the installation of solar panel is part of its essentiality. Consequently, there is adequate energy realized in the shelter. An individual who is a cautious user of energy in the house will find the energy sufficient and will see no need to install electricity.
6. There is a feel of freedom. Work is a necessity for people to get the finances for food, clothing, shelter and other needs. It is for this reason that globally, people work on a daily basis to put food on their table, have a place to call home, and have clothing. However, with this structure, there is recycling of water and growing of crops, which means less incentive to put much effort in working. It is through this rewarding outcome of the structure that gives one a chance of freedom to enjoy his/her hobbies as well as activities that are fulfilling.
7. It is easy to build. The design of the structure is very easy to comprehend and put up. It does not necessarily require the advice or supervision of a house contractor. Minimal knowledge is required to construct an Earthship. Besides, most of the Earthships are single-story making it even easier to build. Also, the construction does not require the use of heavy machinery but the output of an individual seeking to have the shelter.
8. It is cheap to build or buy. Earthships have a considerable low price when compared to other modern houses. The reason for this is that there is less use of expensive materials in construction. A basic Earthship requires readily available materials for its construction, making it cheaper than others.
Nevertheless, they differ in prices depending on the level of décor in the house as well as other factors such as available rooms, architectural design and space. In consequence of this, both the wealthy and the less privileged can have such shelters with different designs on the basis of preference.
9. It makes use of recyclable materials. Because of this, Earthships aid in environmental conservation. For instance, most landfills are full of waste that requires proper disposal. With Earthships, some of the materials found in landfills ranging from car tires, plastic, glass bottles to cans can be utilized in construction. The materials only require their reinforcement with concrete.
10. Proper treatment of sewage. The design and construction of ordinary houses usually results in challenges especially regarding the proper treatment of sewer waste. Earthships, on the other hand, enable the treatment of sewage on-site as it is part of its design. Waste water from sinks is taken to the green houses or gardens for cleaning and watering the plants. The water is then piped to the toilets for use and later drained to the ground for crop growth.
11. Initiates a difference in thinking. Through the use of sustainable housing which is not only easy to build but also cheap, there is an influence regarding new strategies in environmental conservation. For example, the initiative has brought about the resourceful use or recycling of waste that is often regarded as useless.
It also conserves the water available and utilizes natural heat to keep the house warm. It is thus mind blowing to the point that people are now opting to go this way and to use their time to discover more on how best to preserve the environment.
12. It is possible to build as per individual preference. Most of the conventional houses have already been built and are rented out or purchased with a set of preferences as pictured by the contractor. In this case, however, there is a chance to build a home that suits your preference. What comes into mind when you hear of an Earthship is that it is a “stupid house.” If you do your homework, however, you’ll realize there are numerous beautifully built Earthship. This is possible since the design and modeling of the Earthship is up to the owner.
13. Little to no bills to cater for. Since Earthships main goal is self-sustainability, it is a huge plus. For starters, if you built the house, there is no chance of paying monthly rent rates. Also, through the use of solar energy self-installed in the house, there is no chance of paying electric bills and if so, in minimal amounts. With free flowing water, there is no need for water provided by the state that will subsequently bring about more bills.
14. Earthships can be built in almost all locations. The structures are easy to construct in any location with less difficulty. It can be built in the most adverse locations like the snow-laden areas, sandy areas, windy areas, forested areas and mountain tops. The possibility of this is attributed to the fact that there are a myriad of materials which can be used for the construction.
15. It is now possible to connect with nature and still be part of society. The world we live in today is characterized by a lot of modern technology from phones to laptops to the internet. Therefore, if you are an individual seeking to opt out from this kind of society without completely detaching yourself, an Earthship will provide such a company. Presence of solar energy instead of electricity, presence of food instead of going to the stores for groceries and much more. Moreover, one is able to venture in green house production which provides adequate connection with nature.
16. Presence of an Earthship community. There exists other people globally who advocate for the evolution of Earthship houses. On this basis, if you are an individual seeking to build such a structure, you will have the support of other like-minded people who will not only provide physical support in construction but also revolutionary support as the globe moves towards initiatives that bring about less destruction of the environment.
Image credit: Rong , Kyle
Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.