Earthships 101

So here are the details – Earthships 101 – I will warn you that I am a novice, but I have absorbed as much as I could since yesterday and here’s what I understand thus far:

  1. Eartships are built from recycled materials. The supporting walls are used tires packed with dirt and pounded down (36″ thick). Interior non load bearing walls are concrete interspersed with used aluminum cans/glass bottles.
  2. Earthships are entirely off grid. Each earthship has solar panels for electricity, a solar hot water unit, passive solar design, and a cistern for rainwater. The rainwater is filtered and used for potable water. The water from the sinks, bath, and shower are then filtered and pushed into a greywater system which is used to water the plants throughout the whole in a drip system. The water that drains from the planters is pushed into the toilets for flushing at which point the water is marked as “blackwater” and is no longer usable so it enters a traditional septic system outdoors. Off grid = no utility bills. Ever.
  3. Earthships are literally built into the earth (see photos). The thick walls as well as the portion of the building that is seemingly underground take advantage of thermal mass to ensure no heating or cooling system is necessary.
  4. Earthships are beautiful.

Since yesterday, I’ve watched a ton of videos and perused pictures of earthships. The majority are in three communities in New Mexico where the Earthship creator – Reynolds – lives.  Each is a truly unique structure. There are no words.

A couple pics of the Earthship we visited in NC are below. They are linked to pages with larger images.

Earthship Entry Earthship Planter Earthship Kitchen Earthship Bedroom Earthship Bathroom EarthShip Exterior

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5 thoughts on “Earthships 101

  1. Dear Friend,
    i have been studying earthship for my research paper…..

    it would be really nice of you if you can ans. some of my questions as you have been there personally…..

    if you think you can help me and give me first hand info. about Earthship then please mail me at arshefali@gmail.com.

    warm Regards,
    shefali

    ps.i have to give a presentation on this subject on 24th Oct.

  2. I am not an expert by any means – this is actually the first earthship I’ve been in, but I’ve been doing lots of research online. I suggest reading through and watching the videos on earthship.net. You can also go to youtube and search for earthships. Good luck!

  3. I hope you still read this!! I am pursuing building an Earthship in NC, and I want to go look at the one in NC. Can you tell me where it is? I haven’t been able to find it online!

    Thanks,
    Beth

    • Hi Beth, thanks for the comment.

      I wouldn’t be able to tell you the location if I tried, but if you get in touch with the Mountain Xpress, they might be able to put you in contact with the couple who built it. At the time, he was helping others build earthships and may still be doing it.

      Mountain Xpress’ follow-up article is here: http://www.mountainx.com/article/13874/Earthship-revisited

      Good luck! We’d love to hear about your progress.

  4. Hello,

    I am working on a research paper on Earthships and I was wondering if you had any additional information or if anyone knew of useful sites to use for sources. Links and other information can be emailed to Jethom19@louisville.edu

    Peace & Thanks,

    Jonathan

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