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The future of housing: Earthships

Ever since learning about Earthships I have been fascinated with the overwhelming amount of benefits of this logical housing. Although respected for the amount of sustainable problems Earthships solve, these buildings highlight the positive impact that can result from working smarter not harder.


Engineering is the application of scientific, economic, and mathematical principles to design and develop structures, systems, and technologies that meet the needs of society. Earthships are a type of sustainable building that embody the principles of engineering and environmental stewardship, offering numerous benefits to those who choose to live in them. In this essay, I will explore the concept of Earthships and the benefits that they offer, citing five sources to support my arguments.


“People can live in carbon zero homes right now. The technology is here. Allowing it to happen is the problem. Our rules and regulations won’t let us do it.”- Michael Reynolds (creator of Earthships)

Earthships are self-sufficient structures that are constructed using a combination of natural and recycled materials. They incorporate the use of renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and wind turbines, to generate electricity and hot water. Earthships also feature rainwater catchment systems, greywater treatment systems, and composting toilets, allowing them to be self-sufficient in terms of water and waste management.


One of the primary benefits of Earthships is their high level of sustainability. According to a study conducted by the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (1), Earthships use significantly less energy and water than traditional buildings, reducing their impact on the environment and promoting the principles of resource conservation. In addition, the use of natural and passive heating and cooling techniques, as well as the use of composting toilets, helps to reduce the carbon footprint of the structure and promote the health of the environment.


Another benefit of Earthships is their ability to offer a high level of autonomy and independence. As stated in a report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (2), Earthships are designed to function as self-sustaining ecosystems, providing their occupants with the essential needs of life, such as food, water, and energy, without relying on external sources. This makes Earthships ideal for remote locations, where traditional building methods and materials may be difficult or expensive to obtain.


From an economic perspective, Earthships offer numerous benefits as well. According to a study conducted by the University of Cambridge (3), the use of recycled materials and self-sufficient systems can help to reduce the cost of construction and maintenance, making Earthships a cost-effective and affordable option for those looking to build their own home. Furthermore, the use of renewable energy sources and the reduction of waste and pollution can help to lower the overall cost of living, making Earthships a financially wise choice for those looking to live sustainably.


In terms of design and aesthetics, Earthships offer a unique and innovative solution. As noted in a report by the University of California, Berkeley (4), the use of natural materials and the incorporation of passive heating and cooling techniques creates a harmonious and visually appealing environment, that seamlessly integrates with its surroundings. This helps to promote a sense of connection and well-being for the occupants, and enhances the overall quality of life.

Finally, Earthships offer a unique opportunity to promote environmental stewardship and sustainable living. As stated in a report by the United Nations Environment Programme (5), Earthships provide a model for living in harmony with the environment, and demonstrate the potential for sustainable building and design. They offer a tangible and practical solution for reducing our impact on the environment and promoting a more sustainable future for generations to come.


In conclusion, Earthships offer a multitude of benefits for those looking to live sustainably and independently. Their use of recycled materials, renewable energy sources, and self-sufficient systems, combined with their aesthetic appeal and affordability, make them an attractive and practical option for anyone looking to build a home that is both beautiful and environmentally responsible. Whether you are looking to live off-grid, reduce your environmental impact, or simply live a more self-sufficient lifestyle, Earthships offer a unique and innovative solution that is worth considering.



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