Making Earthships more "conventional".

I’m loving Low-Tech magazine.

There are some pages that appear to me overly negative, but others that just make sense. Their page on the trolley bus system has convinced me (at this stage) that trolley buses are the way to go ASAP. (As Soon As PEAK-OIL-convinces-politicians).

EG: “The capital investment of the 19 kilometre line in Quito was less than 60 million dollar – hardly sufficient to build 4 kilometres of tram line, or about 1 kilometre of metro line. “

It’s just a more pragmatic, less agenda driven, “common sense” approach to transport.

Then there is their explanation of Earthships. Now I’ve already mentioned that tonight’s “Grand Designs” is looking at Earthship’s so make sure you check that out. (Tuesday 14 July, ABC1, 8:30).

It will probably feel a bit “alternative” like this 9 minute youtube clip about an Ohio permaculture Earth-Ship. Now while Low-Tech Magazine are probably support everything in the Ohio counter-culture permaculture farm, there’s something missing. Mass appeal, taking this MAINSTREAM! For some it’s just too alternative, too crazy, too hippie. Even I found the look of the Ohio Earthship a bit too “cave-man” with the rather industrial looking brick floors inside and plastic sheets hanging from the ceiling.

As Low-Tech Magazine says:

Most Earthships in the US take on an unconventional form. They have fairy-tale like features that remind one of the works of architects like Gaudí and Hundertwasser. But others, like the 16 Earthships being built in Brighton (picture right), hardly look any different from conventional houses. These more traditional forms may help with the general acceptance of this type of building method by the general public.

Built up environments

Until now, most Earthships were built in isolated places, where most people live in built-up urban environments. The problem with the feasibility of an Earthship is the size of the plot on which it is built. This plot is significantly larger than the size of a conventional house.

But the idea is flexible enough to adapt to different situations. When an Earthship is built, earth mounds are formed, which in turn may provide support for another Earthship, and so on. The result would be revolutionary and unconventional. However, in response to the recent warnings from the International Energy Agency, unconventional and revolutionary ideas need to be adopted if we want to help prevent a worldwide fight for energy.

© Kris De Decker (edited by Shameez Joubert & Vincent Grosjean)h(es)

Sometimes I just have to applaud efforts to make these alternative ideas more conventional and mainstream, to get the energy benefits out there in society.

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