(fake names are being used to ensure privacy of people mentioned)
My significant other “Aegeist” and I have decided that in the next 3-5 years we want to fix up our little house in cottage country (close to city), rent it out and move further out into the country. We want to move at least 1-2hrs from the city, into the Canadian Boreal Forest. We also plant to buy an empty lot at least 20acres and build our own home. Aegeist is currently finishing getting an education in Environmental & Biological studies. The area we plan to move to is in desperate need of people in his field of work. I plan to go back to school soon for accounting and can work from home. We would grow our own vegetables, herbs, chickens and get our red meat from a local butler. Living “off the grid” with solar and wind power is also something we hope to afford. We have been talking about this idea for a while. We even think that starting a very small community in this fashion would be beneficial, because of the distribution of work around the “farm”. Each household would own its land, but contribute and trade(mainly food) amongst the other neighboring 2-3 households. By having a small community it becomes easier to be self sufficient as a group(example: a communal greenhouse & solar/wind power system). I was telling a friend “Ronnie” about our plans and he told me about EARTHSHIPS. The ideas and principles behind this company are exactly what we are looking for. The building designs are very unique, and interesting to look at. (See pics at end of post)
Earthship Design Principles:
1) Thermal/Solar Heating & Cooling
Earthships maintain comfortable temperatures in any climate. The planet Earth is a thermally stabilizing mass that delivers temperature without wire or pipes. The sun is a nuclear power plant that also delivers without wires or pipes.
2) Solar & Wind Electricity
Earthships produce their own electricity with a prepackaged photovoltaic / wind power system. This energy is stored in batteries and supplied to your electrical outlets. Earthships can have multiple sources of power, all automated, including grid-intertie.
3) Contained Sewage Treatment
Earthships contain use and reuse all household sewage in indoor and outdoor treatment cells resulting in food production and landscaping with no pollution of aquifers. Toilets flush with greywater that does not smell.
4) Building with Natural & Recycled Materials
House as Assemblage of by-products: A sustainable home must make use of indigenous materials, those occurring naturally in the local area.
5) Water Harvesting
Earthships catch water from the sky (rain & snow melt) and use it four times. Water is heated from the sun, biodiesel and/or natural gas. Earthships can have city water as backup. Earthships do not pollute underground water aquifers.
6) Food Production
Earthship wetlands, the planters that hold hundreds of gallons of water from sinks and the shower are a great place for raising some of the fresh produce you’d like to have in the winter, but find expensive or bland tasting from the supermarket.
I only have an issue with the cost of an actual EARTHSHIP home. Just the blue prints are expensive.
Studio - $5,000 / 800 sq. ft. One Bed - $6,000 / 1000 sq. ft. Two Bed - $7,000 / 1200 sq. ft. Three Bed - $8,000 / 1500 sq. ft.
But Ronnie also explained that someone has already built an Earthship in the area and is helping guide people in building them for cheap. I think we can take the concept of an Earthship and build it our way. He showed me some videos on youtube, and I've found some on my own that got me hooked on the idea. VIDEO 1 VIDEO 2 VIDEO 3
Check out the EarthShip website…