green buildings

While in northern New Mexico
a couple of weeks ago,
we visited the Earthship village
a few miles west of Taos.
We fell in love with the Earthship idea
a couple of years ago
after seeing a presentation at Oklahoma State University
by Earthship founder Michael Reynolds.
So it was thrilling to get to see a whole community
of Earthships on the high desert.
(We even saw Michael sailing by on his motorcycle
as he left the construction site of a new experimental Earthship,
to go home, presumably, for lunch. Embarassingly,
we all shouted at each other, “That’s him!”—exposing ourselves
as the sustainability groupies that we are.)
An Earthship uses local materials—
clay rammed into old tires, straw bales,
aluminum cans, glass bottles—
to build a structure
that can be off-the-grid.
Solar panels and a wind turbine,
generate all the energy needed.
Water from rain and snow
is used by the inhabitants
and then—all of it; even sewage—
filtered and reused
in the house and garden.
Earth-sheltered,
the Earthship includes a garden,
around the sunny side of the living space.
They are beautiful;
too, the most sustainable contemporary buildings
in the world.
And they are built all over the world.
You can start to learn about them,
and see a video,
at this link: http://earthship.com/design-principles
It’s a dream to build one
at Turtle Rock Farm.
Better dream:
a whole village
of people living in Earthships
here,
on the Oklahoma prairie.
(It may ultimately be the only way
for humans to live on the Oklahoma prairie!)

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Taken from the entrance to the model Earthship,
at headquarters, outside Taos, NM
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The entrance hallway garden

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Tires and aluminum cans
in walls being constructed
in an experimental design
of a new Earthship
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