With sites like Airbnb having a variety of accommodation options, booking your stay can become a part of the main attraction when traveling. While hotels and motels certainly have their own charm and appeal, finding unique accommodations can really go a long way in spicing up a getaway!
With that being said, we wanted to highlight an interesting type of accommodation that has gained popularity over the last few years: Earthship homes. The design prizes itself in its commitment to sustainability, and it has proven to be extremely successful. Whether for a quick vacation or to generate some inspiration for your own sustainable living journey, booking a few nights in an Earthship home will be an experience you won’t forget!
Earthship homes follow a style of architecture that was developed by architect Michael Reynolds in the late 20th to the early 21st century. They are sustainable homes, designed to function as passive solar energy shelters, and are made from natural and recycled materials. For example, earth-packed tires are one of the key materials used in building these homes. The tires are used to build the walls of the Earthships, and each build can divert approximately 700 to 1,500 tires from being thrown into a landfill. They are also cost-efficient and sturdy.
Earthships also promote sustainability through the use of thermal mass and solar gain to manage the temperature of the home without electricity, fossil fuels or wood. This is partially due to the densely-packed tire walls (which store temperature), and the fact that the south side of the home is completely covered with windows. These windows allow the sun to heat the living space naturally and added air vents are used to help circulate air. The windows also fulfill the function of a greenhouse, wherein the front of the home is completely filled with plants that can be harvested for consumption. This indoor garden is also used to filter some of the home’s gray water, and an outdoor garden is used to help manage and filter the water in the septic tank. Earthships are also built to collect snow and rainwater and harvest solar energy.
If this dreamy eco-design isn’t enough to convince you, the architectural structure and beauty of these homes might! Between the Earthship’s unique structure, cascading sunlight and abundance of plants, guests won’t need to compromise on comfort. These homes are also usually built with an accent wall made from colourful recycled glass bottles. They are often arranged in an artistic way that creates a beautiful mosaic of light when the sun shines through.
These homes are most commonly found in the United States, especially in New Mexico and Arizona, where the sunny weather facilitates the Earthship’s use of solar energy. Moreover, while these homes are available to rent on independent sites, many listings can be found on the Airbnb website. And for those that fall in love with the design, there are special contracting companies that can help you build one for your family!
By: Briahna McTigue