10 Reasons Why EarthShips Are Fucking Awesome
Earthships are 100% sustainable homes that are both cheap to build and awesome to live in. They offer amenities like no other sustainable building style you have come across. For the reasons that follow, I believe Earthships can actually change the world. See for yourself!
1) Sustainable does not mean primitive
When people hear about sustainable, off-the-grid living, they usually picture primitive homes divorced from the comforts of the 21st century. And rightfully so, as most sustainable solutions proposed until now have fit that description. Earthships, however, offer all of the comforts of modern homes and more. I’ll let these pictures do the talking…
2) Free Food
Each Earthship is outfitted with one or two greenhouses that grow crops year-round, no matter the climate. This means you can feed yourself with only the plants growing inside of your house. You can also choose to build a fish pond and/or chicken coop into your Earthship for a constant source of meat and eggs.
3) Brilliant Water Recycling
Even the most arid of climates can provide enough water for daily use through only a rain-harvesting system. The entire roof of the Earthship funnels rain water to a cistern, which then pumps it to sinks and showers when required. That used ‘grey water’ is then pumped into the greenhouse to water the plants. After being cleaned by the plants, the water is pumped up into the bathrooms for use in the toilets. After being flushed, the now ‘black water’ is pumped to the exterior garden to give nutrients to non-edible plants.
4) Warmth & Shelter
The most brilliant piece of engineering in the Earthship is their ability to sustain comfortable temperatures year round. Even in freezing cold or blistering hot climates, Earthships constantly hover around 70° Fahrenheight (22° Celsius).
This phenomenon results from the solar heat being absorbed and stored by ‘thermal mass’ — or tires filled with dirt, which make up the structure of the Earthship. The thermal mass acts as a heat sink, releasing or absorbing heat it when the interior cools and heats up, respectively.
The large greenhouse windows at the front of the house always face south to allow the sun to heat up the thermal mass throughout the daytime.
Solar panels on the roof and optional wind turbines provide the Earthship with all of the power it needs. As long as you’re not greedily chewing through electricity like a typical first-world human, you’ll never be short of power.
With all of your basic needs provided for and NO bills each month, you’re free! You don’t have to work a job you hate just to survive. So you can focus your time on doing what you love, and bettering the world around you.
Imagine if the entire world was able to focus on doing extraordinary things instead of just making enough to get by. Imagine if even 10% of the world could do this. What would change?
7) Easy to build
At a recent Earthship conference in Toronto, Canada, a married couple in their forties shared about how they built a 3-story Earthship by themselves in 3 months. They had never built anything before in their lives and were able to build an Earthship with only the printed plans. They did not hire any help, nor did they use expensive equipment to make the job easier.
If one man and one woman can do this in 3 months, anyone can do it.
Earthships are exorbitantly cheaper than conventional houses. The most basic Earthships cost as little as $7000 (The Simple Survival model) with the most glamorous models costing $70,000 and up, depending on how flashy you want to be with your decorating.
With these cost options, Earthships can fit the needs of everyone — from the least privileged to the most worldly.
9) Made of recycled materials
Much of the materials used to build Earthships are recycled. For starters, the structure is built with used tires filled with dirt.
If there’s one thing we’re not short of on Earth, it’s used tires! There are tire dumps like the one pictured here in every country in the world. There are even places that will pay you by the tire to take them away.
The walls (above the tires) are created by placing plastic and glass bottles in concrete. When the Earthship team was in Haiti after the earthquake, they employed local kids to both clean up the streets and provide all of the bottles required for building their Earthship. Plus, they look pretty sexy.
10) Think Different
The most powerful thing Earthships do is force people to think differently about how we live. If housing can be this awesome, and be beneficial to the environment, then what else can we change? What else can become more simple, cheaper and better at the same time?
It’s time for us to re-think much of what we consider normal.
Think Earthships are cool? Me too. That’s why I’ve joined up with some people to create a community of Earthships and to make sustainable communities go mainstream! It’s something we call the Valhalla Movement.
This originally appeared on: HighExistence
The latest foray in London’s busy members only club scene is Library, a book-centered destination with all the usual amenities plus a whole lot more.
It also offers a boutique hotel on the premises and ”The Kitchen” which will feature rotating menus influenced by the latest cookbooks and will even have the author/chef occasionally come in and cook. Then there is “Room Seven” with its floor to ceiling bookshelves which will showcase a collection of reading material chosen by select current authors.
Forbes recently spoke with Ronald Ndoro, the man behind the concept who says one of the main draws of Library will be “the impressive roster of events lined up for members including book readings, live music and literary seminars. Art consultants Tani Burns and Andrew Hancock will curate a revolving series of exhibitions and 19 Greek Street, the design agency who oversaw the interiors of the club, will host dinners for the design community.”
And on what makes the Library different he says, “Obviously the fact that we double as a boutique hotel helps us to stand out. And of course our extensive collection of books. Members can come to read, to work, for a massage, for the gym, for a meal or to sleep!”
The University of Sankoré, or Sankore Masjid is one of three ancient centers of learning located in Timbuktu, Mali, West Africa. The three mosques of Sankoré, Djinguereber Mosque and Sidi Yahya compose the famous University of Timbuktu. During the 14th -16th century, Sankore University enrolled more foreigen students than New York University today.
The Mali Empire gained direct control over the city of Timbuktu in 1324 during the reign of Mansa Kankou Musa also known as Musa I “King of Kings”. He designed and saw the construction of one of Sankore’s first great mosques and the Jingeray Ber Masjid in 1327.The foundations of the previous structure were laid around 988 A.D. on the orders of the city’s chief judge Al-Qadi Aqib ibn Mahmud ibn Umar. A local mandinka lady, esteemed for her wealth, financed his plans to turn Sankoré into a world class learning institution.
By the end of Mansa Musa’s reign (early 14th century CE), the Sankoré Masjid had been converted into a fully staffed Madrassa (Islamic school or in this case university) with the largest collections of books in Africa since the Library of Alexandria. The level of learning at Timbuktu’s Sankoré University was superior to that of all other Islamic centers in the world. The Sankoré Masjid was capable of housing 25,000 students and had one of the largest libraries in the world with between 400,000 to 700,000 manuscripts.
Today, the intellectual legacy of Timbuktu is neglected in historical discourse. These pages of WORLD history tend to get ripped out. .
Yea it’s clearly our “generation that’s making homosexuality a trend.” Seriously, pisses me off when people say that. look at this! It’s always been around, it’s not a trend, it’s real. It’s beautiful.
These are really beautiful images.
History Lesson: In America from about 1700-1920 there was a social rule that said that women did not have a sex drive. According to men, all women ever were asexual and only ever had sex because their husbands wanted it and as a good doting wife they would open up for him. That said, lesbians flourished in this time! Because it was believed that women did not have sex, when two women would share a house and finances together (called a Boston Marriage, look it up!) nobody thought anything of it. Because clearly they werent homosexuals since clearly women were incapable of being independently sexual. The more you know!
"I’ve been a deep believer my whole life. 18 years as a Southern Baptist. More than 40 years as a mainline Protestant. I’m an ordained pastor. But it’s just stopped making sense to me. You see people doing terrible things in the name of religion, and you think: ‘Those people believe just as strongly as I do. They’re just as convinced as I am.’ And it just doesn’t make sense anymore. It doesn’t make sense to believe in a God that dabbles in people’s lives. If a plane crashes, and one person survives, everyone thanks God. They say: ‘God had a purpose for that person. God saved her for a reason!’ Do we not realize how cruel that is? Do we not realize how cruel it is to say that if God had a purpose for that person, he also had a purpose in killing everyone else on that plane? And a purpose in starving millions of children? A purpose in slavery and genocide? For every time you say that there’s a purpose behind one person’s success, you invalidate billions of people. You say there is a purpose to their suffering. And that’s just cruel."
It was once known as seventh holy city of Islam. It was also called the “City of Libraries” and home to the cultural elite of West Africa. Now Chinguetti is in the process of being swallowed up in its entirety by the desert and will disappear in a few generations.
Less than ten libraries and thousands of rare books remain including important Islamic manuscripts on religion, science and literature.
I hope an army of conservators and preservationists are on their way.
More at Messy Nessy Chic: The Lost Desert Libraries of Chinguetti