green getaway: check in to an earthship

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A few years ago, during my first New Mexican road trip, we were driving down the long, flat road that leads into Taos when we spotted a group of odd little houses tucked in the valley. They looked like either Luke Skywalker or Bilbo Baggins was living there — funny little grass mounds with solar panels and undulating walls. We pulled into one that had a “visitor center” sign in front and learned that these unique buildings were Earthships, completely self-sustaining homes designed by architect Michael Reynolds. There’s a whole community of progressive folks living out there completely off-the-grid. Their homes are made of recycled materials like mud-packed tires and bottles, and each home generates its own power and collects its own water. Today, you can find earthships all around the world (the most recent project was in France) but for those of us just passing by, you can see how they work by renting one for the night. Chad and I stayed in The Studio $125 a night. It’s has a large room with a fireplace, plus a kitchen and full bath. The temperature inside is consistently pleasant and in the morning, as the sun rises, you can hear the houses mechanics click into gear. The location is a bit remote for us to imagine staying for long, but for one night of extreme green living and an amazing view, you can’t beat it. Click here to read more about Earthships. And go here to see about booking one for a night the next time you’re passing through Taos. — Angela M.

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Allan Wayne Bradberry

I have been designing earthship underground homes since 1980. I am currently starting my own in Gorman TN. USA. If anyone would like to volunteer help to learn how it’s done, I would love the help. If anyone has any ideas let me know and I may incorporate them in my home. I want to show the people in my area what is possible.