The Future is Sustainable

Maxine Martinez, CO-EDITOR IN CHIEF

  I first learned about Earthships in the place that I’ve been gaining most of my information from: TikTok.


   At first, it was the architecture and interior of the homes that piqued my interest. The walls commonly defy the normalities found in suburban homes: they bend and curve. Light emits from the windows that are sealed from old glass, both clear and colored, while what looks like jewels line the walls. And perhaps the most intriguing aspect was the multitude of greenery inside and outside of the home.


   The 60 second video was enough to convince me to do further research on Earthships, where I quickly learned that they are more than their noticeable spunk; they are designed to meet all of a human’s needs while having little to no negative effect on the environment. 


  “Well I think it’s a fantastic way to rid the earth of carbon emissions,” said junior Lucas Valdes. “It also seems to be a great new take on home living, adding all sorts of new varieties to the modern home design.” So how do these houses manage to combine all these factors? 


   Originally designed by architect Michael Reynolds in the 70s, the home designs have grown in popularity over the past few decades. Since Reynolds’ first attempt at low-impact living, he has expanded on his company “Earthship Biotecture” to meet the six needs of humans, which his website outlines as food, energy, clean water, shelter, garbage management, and sewage treatment. 


   Each part of an Earthship was curated and placed in a home for very specific reasons. Waste, such as tires, glass, aluminum cans, and more all play a vital role in the structure, along with adobe mud which is used as a plaster. Earthships also have their own heating and cooling system that uses no fossil fuels or other resources.  Even the food on Earthships is home-grown.


   Along with this, these homes have their own, what the aforementioned website refers to as, “power plants.” They also use collected rainwater or melted snow that is filtered and then stored for use. Lastly, they cycle used water through plants to be cleaned and used for flushing toilets and later cleaned again to be used by landscaping plants. 


   As of now there are only a few Earthship communities in the world. Senior Emily Danzinger comments on the idea of these mostly being off the grid homes by saying, “I think they should be gradually incorporated into large scale communities since that’s the only way we can insert them into our societal structures to eventually rely only on Earthships as homes and create a more sustainable society overall.”


  She continued, “If we keep them off the grid[,] not only will it be inconvenient for those who need to be near a city center or closer to their job[,] but it will also be a sort of option that people can choose since [many …] are resistant to change.”

   As the world continues to evolve, so will the demand for eco-friendly and sustainable living. Earthships meet those demands at a relatively affordable and hard-labor free price. As more people gain the knowledge and ability to push the boundaries on housing, society might just yet become Earthship’s biggest community.