Mike Reynolds never worried too much as the world inched closer to doomsday. With global warming looming, the Earthship, New Mexico’s alternative housing model, is finding enthusiasts and popularity.

Reynolds is the son of famed Earthship creator and architect Michael Reynolds who moved to Taos in 1969. He started building environmentally friendly dwellings in 1973 after he obtained a patent for building blocks made out of cans.

Earthships are off-the-grid homes made of recycled or upcycled materials that use passive solar energy to heat and cool the home. Some of their common features include earth-packed tires, mosaic glass bottle walls, and rain-water catchments.

Jonah Reynolds has been around Earthships his whole life.

His dad’s company, Earthship Biotecture LLC has built homes on every major continent and in such countries as Uruguay, Malawi, Japan, and Australia. In 2018, they got involved in Puerto Rico as a response to Hurricane Maria.

From AWM:

Four years ago, in 2018, Bryce from the YouTube channel Living Big In A Tiny House traveled to Australia to meet with a couple who were living their dream life in an Earthship home.

The YouTube channel’s video follows the couple who were living off the grid in Adelaide, Australia. They created an Earthship home that attracted the attention of the YouTuber, so he created a video tour of the household for his fans and followers to see.

When Reynolds created the idea of Earthship homes, he wanted to create a movement of dwellings that addressed the rising problem of trash in America. Reynolds wanted his homes to be great for people and great for the environment. He saw Earthship homes as an easy way to live off the grid and to follow a path of “radically sustainable living.”

Martin and Zoe really liked Reynolds’s ideas, so they decided to create their own Earthship home in Australia. Michael even traveled to Taos, New Mexico, to study under Reynolds. He became a student of Reynolds’s Earthship Biotecture and studied how to create an Earthship home of his own. When he finished his studies and returned home to Australia, Martin and Zoe got to work creating their own version of Reynolds’s invention.

Martin and Zoe created a small Earthship home. Their home is considered a tiny home since it is only 750 square feet in size. Nevertheless, the home is extremely efficient. It generates power from solar panels and has the ability to collect water from the natural environment around the house. The home also maintains constant temperatures, includes equipment to recycle greywater, and also has space to grow food for the couple to consume.

The couple found help from a group of volunteers. These people came out to the Australian property to help the couple build their Earthship home from the ground up. The couple also decided to create their home after obtaining permission from the local council’s approval procedure. This was no easy feat, given that they were trying to create a unique home on their property.

This kind of attraction does not go unnoticed, but a lot of work goes into making an Earthship. Chipper Moore, Department Chair of Architecture and Construction Technologies at the NMSU branch of Doña Ana Community College, said that people should do their research before starting to build.

“If you aren’t going to be able to do a lot of the work yourself, it can be labor-intensive and therefore expensive,” he said.

Moore said Earthships bring a big lifestyle change, and folks should actually stay in an Earthship before they commit to building one.

“Make sure you know the positives and the challenges,” he said. “The lifestyle impact that it has may be great and right for you. But do that research upfront because it can be a pretty big project.” 

Earthship construction designs from Earthship Biotecture can start at $6000 and include one-on-one consultations with Michael Reynolds. A one-month training program costs $2500. It is said that Earthships can cost up to $225 per square foot.

Watch the video below:

Source: AWM

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