Living Lightly in an Earthship Home

Earthship Biotecture Instutute TourThis journey isn’t only about choosing where to live, but how to live. Like how to use sustainable, eco friendly building construction methods that we can incorporate into our future stick home. From straw bale to earthships, there are countless, affordable options to live a less impactful life. All it takes is a little research, and a lot of elbow grease.

Before leaving New Mexico, we toured the world-renowned Earthship Institute, just outside of Taos. Earthships are built out of recycled materials like tires, and aluminum cans, and are designed to be completely off-grid. They’re a lot of work to build, but as you can see, the results are spectacular. We definitely see one in our future.

13 Responses to “Living Lightly in an Earthship Home”

  1. Recycling is fun. It challenges your creativity too. I have done some recycling before but not as huge as Earthships..^^
    While I was having lunch today, I saw an interesting news on TV. It was about a family who is constructing a house out of junk plane parts. I think what they did was just the same with Earthships.

    I hope a lot more people will be encouraged to do recycling. This is a huge help in management wastes.

  2. There is an increase of eco friendly houses/buildings being constructed today. This is good. šŸ™‚

  3. This is really cool. I wonder what it feels like living in this kind of home.. šŸ™‚

  4. Thanks for the information. We will be sure to check this place out on our travels.

    Before we set out on this adventure, I had hoped that while we were out here, I would be able to get some real world experience building a straw bale house. I am planning on finding someone who is building one and is willing to trade labor for a place to park and the chance to learn more about it, hands on. I plan on building a house someday and am interested in all of the different options available.

  5. Eric Auckerman May 24, 2008 at 12:45 pm Reply

    You can bet good and bad money that I’ll be there when you two are ready to build as I love this kind of thing, besides, anyone whose willing to commit to living that way gets my sincere and rapturous applause. It takes courage to turn words into action and living in the above mentioned manner means you’ve made a contract with your ancestors to get a taste of calloused hands and sleep filled nights.

    Juli and I saw “Surfwise” at the local indie theater, turns out Greta Garbo first opened this historic gem in the late thirties which very much accounted for its charm, and I would urge every alternative life-style person to see this film.

    Alternative life-style doesn’t just mean flies hovering over your dirty children in a hard-pounded yurt somewhere outside of Sedona, not even, as ALS can be just like the Pascowitz family that lived 9 children in an RV in sixties to the seventies simply surfing and frolicking away the times.

    The interviews of the kids now some years later (ages ranging from early thirties to late forties now) were stunning as many times the kids were bitter about there current social and economic status as dad – who had a Standford medical degree – didn’t give his own kids the tools they needed to make their way in this world, but in some odd fashion he did as the family opened a surf camp and then fought over what little money it generated. There’s more to this story than this box will allow but I urge anyone considering an ALS to view this very entertaining and educational docu-masterpiece.

    But tell us more about the film uncle Eric, well, OK, … after all the kids grew up and left the RV they didn’t speak with their parents for over 10 years. During much of the film the kids began to reveal with a hint of anger that their lives had become challenging as earning a living without even possessing the fundamentals of a basic education (all the Rs and one M) was hindering if not blocking them from achieving some possible dreams as was afforded their father.

    One wanted to become an MD but he didn’t possess the skills of high school graduate at 21 – this, in my opinion is unfair on the part of the father and selfish (opinions aside of course). Another brother helped build a multi-million surf-wear business but got nothing in return as he lacked an understanding of equity agreements and other like contracts.

    I’m not making excuses cause there are countless stories of folks making a comfortable living in this country with even limited English skills, but this film does much to explore possible consequences and outcomes for the children of alternative life-style parents.

    See this film and get ready to choke on some real tears cause there are moments of ecstasy and real hurt. I’ll say no more.

    Buy the land Rene/Jim, get the tires, feed the dog, and I’ll see you in the mud – Eric.

  6. I see your point, Auckerman. Did you ever see that PBS series, Frontier House? Kinda like reality TV, where they got families that had a hankerin’ for the way things used to be, and stuck them in 1800s homesteads. Then documented their trials and tribulations. It was great fun to see how they coped. Yes, it would be very hard work.

    But maybe we didn’t make it clear with the Earthship concept. These things have plumbing, electricity, the works! They have everything a traditional house has. No squatting in an outhouse or living by candlelight. It doesn’t “seem” like real hard work to live in one, other than doing the “green acres shuffle” by conserving solar juice so you don’t have to run the genny too often.

    The hardest part about these things is the labor to build. Wanna come by and pound some dirt into tires when we are ready to get started?

  7. Eric Auckerman May 23, 2008 at 1:46 pm Reply

    I’m with Jefe on this one and Chris, before you buy, you might want to find out why the owner is so “anxious to sell”. Also, no one knows what a reasonable offer is, it’s what someone is willing to take and what someone’s will to offer and that number can swing in many directions.

    As I get older I personally expect more than 1 bedroom and no bathroom as I’ve been indoctrinated since youth to expect a bathroom as well. I did live in France for a while where all we had was an outhouse, in the Winter this was never pleasant as everything froze upon exiting.

    When people say “back to the land” to live simply so others can simply live I have to ask how committed are you to the reality over that of the ideals? Would you be willing to work like your grand or great-grandparents is the larger looming question as that’s how it will be.

    A close friend of mine lives in a yurt above Big Sur, the last time I saw Kevin he was very – and I mean very – happy to live a chamber pot in yurt lifestyle (he’s also missing several key teeth that do a good amount of the breaking down food elements as well but that’s another story). Kevin has chosen that life and has lived it for the past 15 years. His wife has since left him because though it was a carefree life for the most part it was a tough life that offered little beyond amazing sunsets and mud everywhere including on their kids who now live with their mother who now has a flush toilet.

    Again, choices is what it comes down to and given the choice, it’s always wise to test before you buy. I have this other friend whose about to spend some serious jack on a motorhome, I asked if he’s ever driven, traveled, or maintained one, he said no but he couldn’t pass up the deal. OK, go for it says I.

    Small but fun steps might be the way to go when thinking about living Pre-20th Century. Read some of the works by Scott and Helen Neeary (I forget the spelling of their names) but their books will either put the fire in your bellies or help you relish the water in your bidette.

    Oh, the film “Surfwise” just came out, we’re going tonight here in CA, get it when comes out on Netflix. If you find strength in other people living their dreams then this film is for you.

    Over and out – Eric.

  8. looks like a “hovel” with fancy antennae !

  9. Just stayed in one for a few days, it was fantastic and we hope to build one soon!

  10. Just listed, nearly-new yurt. 1 bedroom, no bathroom, end-of-the-road privacy, owner anxious to sell. Any reasonable offer considered.

  11. This is definitely a place Sam and I will have to see our next time through this area. Looks fantastic!

  12. This is awesome! Reminds me of the Mystery Castle in Phoenix – Arizona.

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  1. Video Tour of Earthship Biotecture Institute Headquarters - May 28, 2008

    […] just a quick video follow-up to the post about our tour of the Earthship Institute near Taos, NM. If you’re ever near the Earthship Biotecture World Headquarters, and […]

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