Earthships: Coming to a city near you!
As Austin Energy struggles to get rate increases passed through City Council, it is worth thinking about what energy efficiency, sustainability, and green lifestyle really mean.
For ratepayer, energy conservation and renewable sources cost money up front to build infrastructure.
For individual homeowners, a green lifestyle can simply require a commitment.
Take Stuart Simmons, a refugee from the Bay Area, who moved to Colorado and built an “Earthship.”
His house is constructed entirely of recycled materials-including tires, aluminum cans and plastic bottles- and the native hillside. The roof is made of Ferro cement.
Cisterns catch and retain rainfall, while indoor and outdoor containment pods hold and reuse sewage. Solar and wind power produce electricity.
Greenhouse gardens provide heating for the home and shelter for food gardens.
The cost is the same as conventional homes. These homes are much safer for the environment and the materials used to make them are easy to find.
Earthships claim a 40 year history. Their models (they have 5 different levels of building) can be build in any part of the world. The versions range from Simple Survival, Packaged, Vaulted Global, Global and Custom. Each plan has a video available on their website.
Earthships offer the survivalist and just plain Eco-conscious consumer an alternative to traditional homes that use fossil fuel. They meet standard building codes.
Earthships also provides courses on plant life such as, herbs, vegetables, and even edible flowers that you should use in the sustainability of your home.
In fact, don’t be surprised to see Earthships at next year’s Austin’s Green Festival.
As a realtor, I’m still unsure of the resale potential of Earthships. But as always, it depends on who is buying. There are plenty of environmentalists out there!
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