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Earthships: A Home And A Garden Under One Roof


Imagine a house that is constructed of ecologically friendly materials, provides enough water for the needs of a small family regardless of the climate, maintains a comfortable temperature in any season, and has the capacity to grow sufficient food (and even fish) for its inhabitants. This amazing structure is appropriately known as an Earthship. It’s basically built with old tires that are filled with earth and piled like bricks. Adobe or cement covers interior walls, mostly concealing the tires from view. Since it’s partially constructed underground, the earthship stays warm even when it’s frigid outside. Solar power provides energy, and rooftop reservoirs collect rain water which is treated, used, and reused.

These ingenious structures have the capacity to sustain indoor agriculture. Plants are not only an attractive addition that enhances the healthy environment by utilizing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, they are a valuable food source that is limited only by your personal tastes. A bit of experimenting will determine which vegetables and fruit thrive in different areas of the earthship. Grey water from sink and tub (which is afterwards used to flush the toilet) and sufficient light are all plants need to thrive.

There’s an even better system: aquaponics, which has the advantage of adding protein to the diet. A tank containing water supplied with healthy bacteria is home to carp or other long-lived fish. On top is a plant bed consisting of clay pellets. The fish produce ammonia, algae, and minerals which must be removed from the water–and are beneficial to plants. A pump delivers the water to the bed, the plants absorb the nutrients and purify the water, and a siphon returns it to the fish tank.

The possibilities for providing a comfortable, healthy, economically sound, ecologically friendly, and productive dwelling for you and your family are endless. Earthships may very well be the home of the future.

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