Saturday, April 11, 2009


I love to watch HGTV. I saw a re-run of an episode on “Extreme Living”. There was a community of people in New Mexico who built these unique and unusual homes which were very “green”. They used tires to make their walls – by using tires it allowed the walls to curve instead of forming 90 degree angles, not only did it provide a different design, but it saved the owner money as well. The tires were packed with dirt and then the walls were made of plaster. The foundation of the homes were built 3 feet down into the ground to control the temperature. Ironically, the roof was built completely backwards from the way roofs are built today – instead of trying to deflect the water, the roofs for these homes were built to catch the water. Once the rain water was trapped, then it would be filtered, it was used for about 5 different things before it was released back into the earth. Drinking, cooking, bathing and washing, toilet water, watering plants inside, watering plants outside and finally released back into the earth.

I love this concept. What I love about this concept is that when we used to live in Texas, there was a particular article in the newspaper about how old tires and junk were collecting near the Texas/Mexico border, and how water would collect in these tires, causing moscuitos, hence causing disease. I remember at the time, how seriously I took that article. I did a little research and thought if I had the money, I would set up a recycling plant right there on the border and not only would I be helping get rid of disease and trash, but I would be creating jobs, too. I felt like I had just struck gold - that I had come up with a real money making idea and could save the planet at the same time. Nothing ever came from my bright idea or my researching efforts, however.

Back to the show, one home only used 2 solar panels, while another owner opted for 4 panels. I have not done enough research into these panels to know how many is required per square footage and what the cost is per square foot, but to not be dependent on the power companies would be great. Although, you would still be dependent for your battery backup I would think.

I am going to try to find the links for this show. Here is one link The link from the HGTV web site is The homes featured on this show were called “earthships” and located in Taos County, New Mexico. So according to google maps, this is north of Santa Fe, NM right below Colorado Springs, CO. So probably where there is annual snow fall. As I was browsing for links for this article, I came across a link showing actual earthships for sale. Most of them come with a lot of acreage and are in the high price range, but if you look hard enough, there are some that are incomplete and are less money. In the past, my dream home was nothing like these earthships, but today, I’m starting to contemplate the possibility of living in one of these. I just don’t know if I would like the desert like environment that these current homes are built in. I guess only time will tell.

Please take a look at the earthship photos below. The following earthship pictures are provided courtesy of Kirsten Jacobsen with Earthship Biotecture

click on image to enlarge picture or hold control key and hit + to enlarge or control - minus key to decrease size of image on screen.

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