Earthships: An Evening with Michael Reynolds – GreenFoodie News and Reviews

Last night I had the great privilege of attending a presentation by Michael Reynolds, renegade architect or biotecture specialist as he calls himself, star of the movie the ‘Garbage Warrior‘ and creator of radically sustainable houses known as ‘Earthships.’ Michael was engaging, passionate, down-to-earth and so inspirational. Although I knew a bit about the man after watching the movieĀ Garbage Warrior, I was still blown away by the concept of biotecture, the practical applications of totally autonomous housing adaptable to extreme climates, and the multi-layered benefits of these buildings.

Michael and his team have been using the Earthship concept to assist people and communities in countries devastated by poverty and environmental disasters, such as India and more recently Haiti. See the video below for an insight into the great work he and his team are doing in Haiti.

Earthships are completely sustainable and autonomous, built with natural and recycled materials (what some people call garbage), heated and cooled with passive thermal and solar design, powered by self-generated solar and wind electricity, they harvest their own water, treat their own sewerage in a zero discharge system and produce their own food.

They can withstand earthquakes, fires, hurricanes and extremes in temperature, maintaining a comfortable internal temperature of between 21 and 26 degrees Celcius. They can be adapted for different climates, different budgets and different purposes (eg private housing, communal housing, schools etc). The can also be created into beautiful works of habitable art or designed to resemble more traditional houses.

Plants are grown in a buffer zone within the building and serve several purposes: a buffer between the outside and the inside to stabilise temperatures, food production, treatment of sewerage (grey and black water), cleaning and oxygenation of air inside the building and aesthetics. Can you imagine the joy of reaching over your dining chair to pluck a fruit straight from your garden or go fishing for your meal inside your own home? Or just sitting amongst the greenery, soaking up the ambiance (and the oxygen)?

These buildings are truly marvelous and I can’t wait to take the Biotecture course at the Earship Academy in New Mexico, USA. When? Who knows, but I am determined to learn to do this for myself, the Universe will sort out the how! In the meantime I can dream and plan and hope.

I hope you get inspired by the Earthships too! Thank you so much to Milkwood Permaculture for hosting such a fabulous event!!

Official Movie Trailer for ‘Garbage Warrior’

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