Tony Sanchez

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Could Earthships be one of the first steps to be made towards a sustainable social change?

Mike Reynolds has been building sustainable and environmentally friendly housings for over three decades now; while still having to battle the idiotic bureaucracy of most industrialized nations.
Perhaps he's fighting the same war as those who, also for decades, have tried to bring an alternative to our dependency on fossil fuels for our transportation while constantly being blocked by, ironically, those who are profiting from the petroleum industry. The same could be said about those medical researchers who fight the pharmaceutical industry's blockade on any true discovery for cures, while increasing their catalog of ineffective(even dangerous) drugs at an alarming rate.

Imagine a partially or even fully self-sufficient home. Where recycling and technology go hand in hand to provide for its inhabitant. Where the need for a professional activity in order to pay for one's requirements would be tremendously diminished, freeing the individual to pursuit more meaningful quests.

Is this a threat to the consumer's world we have created(or allowed to be created)?Or is it just an utopia?

Some resources on Earthships:
http://earthship.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthship
[SPANISH] http://www.sitiosolar.com/Barcos%20terrestres.htm
http://www.earthships.com/

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    Jun 20 2011: I ran across some of Mike Reynolds work a while back and been on a kick talking about them to other people. From my reaction I get I don't think it is so much a threat to consumer culture as it is invisible to most people. Most people from my limited experience talking to people about them dismiss them as some hippy nonsense without really looking into the implications of the design features. I do feel that as more people become aware of them they will explode in popularity. One good thing that will come from declining housing prices is that people will start to judge their homes on livability factors, rather than abstract market values.
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      Jun 21 2011: I totally agree Anthony. I get that a lot too, this unfounded new-age attack. Perhaps if you wouldn't mention they are made of recycled materials and adobe instead of bricks and cement, they would just look at some of them as luxury homes. The funny thing, in my case, is when I talk to people that are beyond skeptical about the whole concept of earthships, but are those that have a couple of solar panels for their pool, or brag about eating organic food.
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        Jun 21 2011: Yes I think it mostly a conceptual issue. I mean I pods are better than CD in every conceivable way yet if they were not marketed properly It would have taken much longer for them to take hold. Houses are much older and its form is much more entrenched in the collective mind. From what I seen Mike Reynolds is not much of a PR guy which is refreshing, but it can hinder a wonderful idea.

        As I say this though, I only came across the concept a few months back and I have not seen one in person or talk to anyone with first hand knowledge of them. I have not seen any criticism of them other than some of the early prototypes over heated which Mike Reynolds acknowledges. what is your experience with earthships.
  • Jun 22 2011: Earthships don't provide enough insulation for very cold climates. They're also not the only self-sufficient (or nearly) homes around anymore. Nothing works in every climate, and so all types of alternative construction need to be promoted.

    I am a big supporter of building with natural materials however - and yes, the primary reason why it's not common is because natural materials can't be patented.
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    Jun 20 2011: i want one so bad! but they are expensive
    and if it was in the netherlands, that would be a plus lol