Sunday, March 14, 2010

I Love Earthships but This Is Even Wilder

My nominee for most incredible, interesting and imaginative home ever. Period.

I stumbled across it on a green homes for sale site.

Yes, there is a little voice in my conscience that wonders if it's appropriate to build a home in a former Anasazi village. But it was a dwelling. It is again. That seems far more reasonable to me than other possible uses or abuses.

But seriously - can you imagine waking up in that house? Coming home from the store and realizing that's home?

I have also been madly in love with earthships for a long time.

If you're not familiar with them, they're off-grid, totally self sufficient homes made from recycled tires, rammed earth and old bottles. They've got a unique, whimsical, organic shape to them and the many colors of bottles create amazing light play both inside and out.

There's a village of them outside Taos, New Mexico and my daughter and I stopped and took a house tour a couple of years back. Amazing. Curved walls, recycling systems for water, indoor greenhouses, lots of sunlight. This very cool one is currently for sale.

But earthships are usually found in communities and I am, at heart, anti-social. I fear that if I ever lived in my earthship, I'd find myself eventually wishing that my home actually was a ship so I could move it farther away from my neighbors.

I also adore old houses and am convinced that most homes built today don't have a tenth of the quality or character. So I'm caught between last century and the next, and I wonder why we are so stuck in building styles and materials that don't make sense.

Why are new homes built with oil and propane heat? What's the point? Why are we so slow to embrace new, greener insulations, heating systems, building styles?

Solar doesn't work for everyplace, but there's also wind, geothermal, fuel cells. But drive into a newly constructed neighborhood and you see either little boxes or McMansions, nearly all of them heated by fossil fuel. It's kind of like offering someone a spiffy new Edsel...why would you want to invest so much in something that's already ancient technology?

I like the cave, personally.

But I could also learn to love this one in Idaho. I've always been a sucker for silos.


Liza said...

This is so up my alley! I live in an earth-sheltered home. We are not self-sufficient as of yet, but that is the goal.
Cob housing is something else that I find quite interesting. I love housing that isn't so run of the mill, and the kinder to Mother Earth, the better.
Marvelous post!

Amy said...

I, too, really enjoyed this post. I've seen the earthships in Taos and I feel, like you, that the "community" would probably do me in! The Monticello "cave" home is really out there too! I'd like to see the kitchen - I think I'd have trouble with so few windows!

Anonymous said...

An Earthship is a radically sustainable home made of recycled materials.

Global Model:

Russell said...

Interesting post. I like the idea of environmentally friendly houses. I am planning on having a geo-thermal heating/cooling system installed this summer.

Take care and thanks for an interesting post.

Susan said...

Liza, lucky you! You're ahead of the curve. Amy, I wonder about the light issue, too, though I'm assured by people who've been in such places that all the windows on one side and the layout means plenty of light everywhere. I think they should give us a tour!
Anon, nice of you to provide more material.
And Russell, geothermal rocks. I was in a house that had it and could not believe the QUIET.

Jo said...

I absolutely love old, old, old homes. The older, the better -- the more ghosts and spirits of the people who lived there before, the better. The typical "subdivision" home that is being built today is just more planned obsolesence.

I do love the space ship homes, though. I had not seen those before. What a unique feeling that would be to live in one of those.