Earth Ships! The very phrase sounds so impressive, reminiscent of some extra terrestrial creation built especially for surviving life on this planet. They truly are a revolution in sustainable living – using every drop of the natural resources blessed upon them to their full potential. Every single ray of sunshine is maximised, each little drizzle of rain and whiff of wind is captured and utilised in the best way possible. You can find out much more about them by watching the video clip you will find here.
I want one! …and I can almost guarantee that you will want one too after you read these 13 incredible benefits of moving into an Earth Ship.
The first thoughts that may come to mind are of dark, cold huts with families twiddling their fingers in an image of old fashioned – cave style living. You could not be more wrong! Earth Ships are state of the art, modern, artistic works of wonder. You can enjoy all of the creature comforts of a typical home! Take a look at the pictures here for all of the proof you need. To read up on David’s experience living in a rental Earth Ship home take a look here.
Earth Ship designs incorporate at least one green house, allowing an abundant harvest all year round, regardless of climate. There are many resources providing tips on what to plant and when to provide enough sustainable foods for a family. When you add a few chickens and a pond of fish you end up with all of the food you need – with no need for supermarkets!
Earth Ships are self reliant when it comes to energy. They harness the sun’s power using solar panels and can also be connected to wind turbines, meaning power can be collected in all weathers. There is little or no need for fossil fuels at all. Providing your own energy means no more expensive utility bills!!
For me, the most impressive thing about Earth Ship design is the ingenious way that water is captured and used to it’s absolute maximum potential. Have a look at the diagram here for full details – I will attempt to explain it here.
The roof is designed in such a way as to collect rain water efficiently into a cistern. From here it is filtered for use as drinking water, fed to basins and showers as required. The run off from the basins is directed to the greenhouse, where it waters the edible plants. Beneath the plants there is another filter which draws water through the soil. It is directed from here to the toilet – for use in flushing. This is still not the end…..it is directed through a solar septic tank, and eventually makes its way to the outside garden area where it waters the ground and non edible plants. Phew! Impressive? Absolutely!
Walls of Earth Ships are structured using tyres, packed tight with dirt. This works not only as a strong, storm and lightning proof shelter, but also as thermal mass. This is superior to simple insulation (which slows down the transit of temperature, hot or cold through it), as it actually stores temperature – releasing it gradually.
This means that the temperature inside of an Earth Ship can be maintained at a constant 22 degrees Celsius all year round – no matter the weather outside. When it is cold outside, the sun streams through the glass windows and is stored in the thermal mass – which then gradually releases it. If it is hot outside, the sun can be blocked and the thermal mass will absorb the cool temperatures of the earth below it – gradually releasing cooler temperatures inside the Earth Ship.
Plans to build you own Earth Ship can be printed from the internet, and they are apparently very easy to follow! You can find a whole series of designs right here. There are reports of couples who have built their own Earth Ship from scratch using these plans in 3 months. So what is stopping you?
The cost of building your own Earth Ship is also substantially cheaper than building a regular house. It is estimated that it can cost from as little as $20,000, and of course the upper limits are endless depending on how fancy you would like your ship to be! They can therefore suit all budgets!
Most of the building materials used to build Earth Ships are recycled. Even the tyres are gathered from gigantic tyre dumps which are present across the world. Some will even pay you to take tyres away! Recycled glass and plastic bottles and even tin cans also make regular appearances in the structure of Earth Ships. Not only does this mean your costs will be low – but you will also be doing your part for the planet.
Can you imagine the knock on effect of having no more electricity and gas bills, no more water rates, no more rent, no more grocery bills? You will not be forced into the rat race everyday to work hard just to break even each month. What would you do with all of your time? Imagine the goals you could achieve? The good you could do for your community? That is real freedom!
You will have no reason to moan about the weather anymore! No matter what the weather, your home will be loving it. Rain or snow will be used to fill your cistern, sunshine will be harnessed for electricity and warmth, even wind can spin your turbines providing energy.
You can let your imagination run wild – creating the home of your dreams while building your very own Earth Ship. You can develop your plan around you and your family – rather than squeezing everything into a typical layout of a home designed to bring maximum revenue to a developer.
You will become a part of a ready made Earth Ship community!! There is a huge online presence of designers, builders and Earth Ship owners, ready to share their knowledge and wisdom with you. They give advice willingly, offering support to anyone who is keen to try this new, unconventional way of life. You can therefore find likeminded people who have plenty of experience in transitioning to an Earth Ship lifestyle.
As crazy as it may sound, you will be doing the planet an enormous favour! Reducing your carbon footprint drastically and actually feeding your little corner of the world. You may also inspire others by your example – and who knows, you could start a trend in your neck of the woods!
Slowly but surely, interest in self sustaining Earth Ships is growing. As more of us choose to unplug from the grid and stop relying on others for our supply of food, energy and water, there will be no choice but for things to start to change on a larger scale.
What are your thoughts? Would you love to live with the freedom of no monthly bills? Could you live off grid? We would love to hear from you!
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