from planetgreen.com | Rennovation Nation
May 18, 1997 | Associated Press
A brief look at the building, operation and cost of Earthships:
Construction: Used tires are packed with dirt and stacked on steel reinforcing rods to form exteriors. Aluminum cans are tucked between the tires and the entire walls are coated with mixed mud and straw. Interior walls are made of cement and glass bottles.
Water: Water is collected from rainfall on the roof, stored in 3,000-gallon cisterns and passed through filters before coming out to sinks and showers. The water then drains through an interior garden, is pumped back through toilets and then flushes (as sewage) into outdoor gardens that leach out waste.
Electricity: Power is generated by rooftop solar panels and windmills. Electricity is captured in batteries that must have water added to them about once a month. An Earthship office can run six computers, fax machines, copiers and more with solar- and wind-generated power. Homeowners say cloudy days mean less power, and they time their vacuuming accordingly.
As temperatures begin to dip below freezing in Taos, New Mexico, and snow is moving in, we begin to suit up and take the necessary steps to ensure that our living conditions are as efficient as they promise. Although our Global models prove their efficiency in terms of functionality and temperature stabilization, some of our older buildings may need some small tune-ups to keep warm this winter. Here are a few examples that may help for your home too:
Propane levels need to be monitored especially in the winter months as it is used in heating water and cooking in some homes. You can check the gauge on the tank to see the percentage of gas remaining. It is good to keep a back-up tank available.
New Zealand puts 3.4 million tyres into landfills every year
More than $130,000 is being given to a product recycling organisation to research the options for recycling used tyres.
Environment Minister Nick Smith announced this afternoon that the Product Stewardship Foundation will receive $133,000 “to explore recycling options for used tyres”.
The Product Stewardship Foundation is an organisation which researches ways to reduce the environmental impact of manufactured products.
Dr Smith says the funding will help “identify the best way for New Zealand to recycle and re-use our used tyres”.
Thousands of used Marlborough tyres could end up transformed as sneakers thanks to a new scheme to export tyres to Asia for recycling.
People will pay less to dump old tyres at transfer stations throughout Marlborough under the scheme, a partnership between the Marlborough District Council and a Christchurch-based tyre collection contractor. Scrap Tyre Movements owner Pat Rogers said tyres are exported to Asia in bales and ground down to a powder.
The powder is sold as raw material which is used for anything from roading to shoe soles.
Prior to the scheme, whole tyres could be taken to the landfill for between $5 and $10 per tyre. Alternatively, a tyre could be cut up and deposited within a regular trailer load of rubbish.
The South Island’s largest city, Christchurch, is a city of warm, friendly people, beautiful gardens and open spaces. It has a lively entertainment scene, strong cultural heritage, lots of sports facilities and good shopping. Christchurch’s special character is most obvious in its glorious parks and gardens, which led it to win the International Garden City Award.
With a huge range of recreational activities and attractions on offer visitors can enjoy active or more leisurely pursuits the whole year round.
There is never a dull moment in this very special city. Throughout the year Christchurch proudly celebrates over a dozen festivals with themes covering everything from music to comedy, books to buskers, and the arts to gardens.
The city also plays host to numerous international sporting events each year.
The Christchurch City Council’s goal is zero residual disposal of waste to landfill. A policy of Zero Waste was adopted in December 1998.
Nearly three decades have passed since Michael Reynolds built his first “radically sustainable” Earthship dwellings out of cast-off materials such as tires and beer bottles on the high mesas near Taos, New Mexico. His Earthship mantra, however, remains the same: “Live free.” That is, off the grid and without power bills.
Earthships have evolved from simple structures lacking flush toilets into multifloor homes with flat-screen TVs, wi-fi, and greenhouses brimming with crops. And they’ve gone from fringe to 53,000 Facebook fans as a new generation tunes in to Reynolds’s alt-sustainable message. Today, there’s also a school, the Earthship Biotecture Academy, which teaches design principles and philosophy.
Project Build an Earthship in Rural Malawi!
The project, Kapita Earthship Community Centre, is to become a sustainable development epicentre for 38 villages and over 5000 rural people in South East Mzimba district in Malawi. We want to plant the seed of an ideal condition from which a sustainable community can grow and flourish from a radically sustainable building made with recycled materials. With a budget of US$70000, the Kapita Earthship Community Centre is to house a community bank, a mini library, a dispensary, offices and a food bank. Local labour will be wholly volunteered, so no labour costs. […]
Hello, my name is Gonzalo and I’m from Chile. I had the most amazing experience of my life a couple of months ago in Taos, NM learning how to build Earthships… For the first time in my life I didn’t feel alone. 16 years ago, when I just a kid, my dad took me with him and a couple of his friends to build “mediaguas” (3×6 meters-big emergency social homes), for poor people who live nearby Santiago. That was the first time I affronted the housing problem in Chile… I couldn’t stop crying when I would pray at night remembering how thankful these people were for their new home and remembering the exact words my father said to them when we gave them the house: “sorry for the little, but we don’t have anymore to give, for now.”
Many people have asked about the maintenance of Earthship homes through our website, forums and our Visitor Center, and ask about comparing the maintenance to that of a conventional home. Even though Earthships help to create a self sufficient and free-living lifestyle, it does not mean that there is no upkeep involved. Earthships create a symbiotic relationship between residents and their homes, which calls for participation in this relationship.