As human understanding of the Earth’s limited natural resources, pollution, global climate change, and other environmental problems has increased, we have begun to live in more environmentally sustainable ways. We are more conscious of energy use at home, we buy local, we try to drive less and bike and walk more. A culture striving toward sustainability has opened the door for entrepreneurs and innovators across the world. Those working at Earthship Biotecture LLC. have taken sustainability to the next level by creating sustainable homes made from recycled materials that are capable of being completely self-sufficient in terms of energy and water use.
These self-sufficient homes called Earthships, are built using recycled materials such as used tires, used cans and bottles, and dirt! The water collected on the roof of an Earthship will be used four times through the home’s system! It is channeled through silt catches to cisterns where it is purified and pressurized in a Water Organizing Module. Water is first used for things like bathing and doing dishes. This water is then filtered through interior botanical cells (plants that filter water based off of a wetlands approach), and used to flush the toilet. Then the resulting toilet water is contained and filtered through exterior botanical cells which purify the water a second time. Water is heated primarily from the sun. Natural gas is used as a heat source only when the water is not hot enough.
Electricity for Earthships is produced by using Photovoltaic (PV) panels, or solar energy. The PV panels convert the sun’s energy in DC power which is then stored in batteries. The Power Organizing Module (POM) converts energy from the batteries to AC power when it is needed. The POM can be connected to the traditional electricity grid or can remain off grid.
Earthship Biotecture LLC. offers internships to those who are interested in learning firsthand how to construct Earthships. They must pay a housing fee and are responsible for food and transportation, but are able to live in an Earthship for a month and work on the Earthship for the Greater World Community.
In addition, Earthship construction drawings are for sale. Check out this website for a much more detailed explanation of Earthships, awesome photos, the internship program, and how to purchase the construction drawings.