The purpose of the Los Técnicos Chixot Education Center is to provide Comalapan youth with marketable skills that will enable them to be responsible citizens and entrepreneurs. Educational opportunities for teenagers and young adults in rural Guatemala are severely lacking, and this project will give them the tools they need to be competitive in the job market. The school will offer relevant educational opportunities, create jobs, and combat environmental issues in Guatemala.
Taos, United States – It’s a green architectural movement that took root in the desert of New Mexico some 40 years ago. That’s when Michael Reynolds, 69, began experimenting with building homes out of garbage and natural materials that he called “Earthships”.
“I was [called] an idiot for building out of garbage, but people are starting to realise that maybe there is something to look at here,” Reynolds told Al Jazeera. Although it hasn’t been an easy journey, Earthships are becoming a more mainstream housing option. Today, people are living in Earthships in 50 states across the US, and in at least 25 countries around the world.
Earthships are built by digging at least 1.2m below the earth’s surface, where the temperature remains stable throughout the year, thereby needing no fossil fuel-derived energy for cooling or heating. Exterior walls are made of recycled materials such as truck tyres, used bottles and spent beer cans.
Solar panels and wind turbines on the house generate enough electricity to run electrical appliances.
Earthships also harvest their own water from rain or snow, and store it in a huge tank on the roof. This water goes through a filtration system and is used for drinking and cooking. Read More
No Malawi, em África, resíduos foram utilizados para construir um centro comunitário sustentável – Centro Comunitário Kapita Earthship, que visa prestar serviços à população local.
O polo de apoio vai contar com estufas para produção de alimentos, sistema de captação de água da chuva e painéis solares para gerar eletricidade. Read More
The Colorado Solar Village is seeking the greenest of the green to form a community of some of the most sustainable homes in existence, Earthships included. The goal, according to developer Dave Hatch, is for the roughly 65-home community to be fully self-reliant for energy.
Hatch is so sold on the idea, he’s offering a free electric car to the first eight buyers to commit.
“Our goal, really, is to bring sustainable housing to everyone in an affordable way,” Hatch said recently.
For now, the 400-acre village is an empty plot of land on France- ville Coal Mine Road, east of Colorado Springs, but Hatch said he hopes construction will begin in spring. No one has closed on any property yet, but Hatch is confident the idea will catch on.
“I am sure there are 65 people in this county who think this is a pretty neat thing,” he said. “I’m sure of it.”
Hatch said lots are ready for construction, and he plans to put up at least one model home in the spring.
He expects interest will pick up quickly from there.
Lot sizes range from 5 to 40 acres, starting at $50,000. Home sizes ranging from 800 to 3,000 square feet are expected to cost $200,000 to $600,000, on top of the land purchase. Plans must go through an architectural review before construction.
The project was originally planned as an Earthship-exclusive community, similar to the Earthship village in Taos, N.M., which boasts self-reliant homes partially made with recycled materials such as brightly colored glass bottles that play artistic and structural roles.
But Hatch broadened the types of homes that will be available, an attempt to appeal to more people. So in addition to Earthships, the solar village will include GEOS-designed homes – more conventional-looking but equally solar-reliant – straw-bale and cob design adobe and stucco homes, and other green creations.
There will be another big difference between the Taos community and the one near Colorado Springs. In Taos, Earthships produce their own electricity and harvest rainwater that’s cleaned and recycled for conventional water use, watering indoor and outdoor plants, and flushing toilets.
El Paso County has strict regulations on harvesting rainwater, however, so prospective villagers shouldn’t expect to be self-reliant for H2O.
But as long as water conservation is a prime focus of the development, it will be an asset to the area, said Steve Saint, sustainability coordinator for the Green Cities Coalition.
“Most of the folks in the Green Cities Coalition feel like we really need to address water and food and have a huge effort to shift our dependence on water and food from the outside area to the area itself,” he said.
Since the development is small compared with the total number of homes in El Paso County, the overall impact on energy use will be small, said Kevin Gilford, assistant sustainability director at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. But the village can still serve as an example for greener living.
“The greater impact will be longer term, and that will be that people will realize that there’s another way to build homes,” he said.
Residents of the new village will have to pay a fee for a homeowners association, but Hatch said he is not yet sure what that fee will be.
Roads in the village won’t be paved, and if residents so demand, there could be community gardens and greenhouses, free range chicken and beekeeping facilities, a community barn, an electric car-sharing program and a community house where people can make meals together or hold classes.
That could be key to making it a truly sustainable community, Saint said.
“There needs to be a cultural design as well, so you get not only an eco-village with self-reliant structure, but you also get people who want to build a community together (of people) who want to trade, have potlucks, build chicken coops,” Saint said. “Cultural design would be really important because if it’s just a real estate deal and people are just buying in and selling when the market’s better, that’s not going to work.”
Hatch, who lives in Boulder, said he plans to move to the village once his daughter graduates from high school. He hopes the community will have an educational environment instead of being just another development. He doubts he’d be quite so enthused if he were putting up McMansions, he said.
“Yeah, I’m a businessman,” Hatch said. “But I really get excited about the educational aspect of it.”
Contact Kassondra Cloos: 636-0362
Twitter: @Kassondra Cloos
This week’s cover story in the Indy pertains to a new housing development, east of Colorado Springs, which will be modeled after a popular Taos, N.M. tourist stop: the Greater World Earthship Community.
A cluster of Earthships — off-grid, sustainably built habitats that are constructed in harmony with nature — should pop up here as soon as spring, 2015.
You can read the full story in our print edition, but should you desire to take an interior tour of some Earthships, watch this slideshow of images taken by Kirsten Jacobsen of Earthship Biotecture, compiled by Indy online content coordinator Craig Lemley.
Each year, nearly 300 million tires are disposed of in the U.S. alone. The EPA estimates that markets exist for approximately 80 percent of those tires, leaving an estimated 60 million scrap tires to be stockpiled or landfilled.
Luckily, the market for scrap tires continues to increase. Whether used as fuel, ground and recycled into new products, retreaded or used in civil engineering projects, their rate of recycling and reuse continues to climb.
One such method of reuse is beginning to gain popularity among eco-friendly builders: building with tires.
Earthy, geeky getaway
So what did you think of “The Interview?” Surely you’re not the only person on the planet without an opinion. Oh, did you take advantage of holiday doorbuster deals last month? And do you have Valentine’s Day plans yet?
Sorry to get your blood boiling in just a few lines of text, but it’s to illustrate a point: The noise is stressing us out! Time to get off the grid. Read More
September 12th-14th, 2014. Regenerative Lifestyles in collaboration with Earthship Biotecture will be having a weekend retreat and tour at the Greater World Community. Regenerative Lifestyles is a company co-founded by Mike Wird one of Earthship Biotecture’s first academy graduates. Along with the retreat and tour there will also be a night of music at Taos Mesa Brewing with Denver Hiphop group The Soul Pros and special guests. This is the crossroads where biotecture, urban music, art and culture meet. A rare opportunity. See flyer for more info, to register visit. http://denverearthship.com/product-category/tours/