About 25 km northwest of Taos stands the headquarters of Earthship Biotecture: a home builder that specializes in self sustaining, off-the-grid earthships. Unless you drive with your eyes closed, you can’t miss it — just look for the big houses made with aluminum cans.
The Phoenix is the premium rental earthship on the property: a luxury three-bedroom, two-bath home with all the amenities of a conventional house but no outside energy sources.
“It’s for people to experience and understand what it’s like to be in an off-grid home” says Jonah Reynolds, a biotect (biology/architecture) for Earthship Biotecture.
The entire earthship can be rented for $295 per night ($340 on holidays) or you can rent one wing for as low as $170 per night.
Although this home is completely self-sustaining, the amenities are no different from that of a conventional home. High-speed Internet, satellite television, king beds and regular-sized residential appliances make the off-grid experience even more remarkable. “Every piece of it is luxurious, opulent, or five-star,” Reynolds says.
But when it comes to dining, the Phoenix is anything but conventional. Guests are encouraged to eat the food growing right inside the home. Rosemary and grapes grow in the kitchen, banana plants in the living room.
“A little bit less than half of it (the earthship) is planters, so we can grow a lot of food here,” explains Reynolds.
The indoor jungle also provides much-needed humidity for the home, and is watered automatically through a system that recycles grey water.
Without seeing it first-hand, it’s almost hard to believe that this luxurious home is free of all things conventional homes rely on — no electricity grid, no fossil fuels, no outside energy source whatsoever.
“It’s like a tree: a template that Mother Nature has set about the most efficient way to live on this planet,” Reynolds says.
Earthship Biotecture is hosting a seminar Sept. 21-23 at the ROM in Toronto. For tickets, go to earthship.com/canada.