If you’ve never heard of “Earthships” before, well, grab a chair. Homes are a funky fusion of sustainable living, lots of dirt, and off-grid life – and you can rent one through Airbnb.
Anyone who is not very interested in the sustainable / alternative housing movement can absolutely be forgiven for not knowing what Earthships are. I readily admit that my familiarity with them is based on the period of my life when I obsessively read about alternative housing models. monolithic domes and straw bale construction—Including Earthships.
The concept was initiated in the 1970s by architect Michael Reynolds and combined traditional adobe construction techniques with modern materials. These modern materials are mostly recycled, such as using old tires to make clay shapes, incorporating bottles or cans thrown into walls to create insulating spaces and reduce materials, etc.
But that’s only half of the Earthship equation. The other half is designing the house to use as little energy as possible. Everything in homes is designed to help the home minimize its energy consumption through passive and active measurements. Windows are placed to maximize heat gain in winter, water is collected on the roof, a “gray water” system safely increases water reuse in the house, electrical needs are met with solar panels, etc. Houses may seem fancy, but the science and engineering of their design is a fascinating look at how far you can push home design for energy efficiency and off-grid living.
Because they’re such an alternative and odd thing to a traditional home, however, it’s definitely something you’d want to experience in person before committing to. While the organization founded by Reynolds to promote Earthships, Earthship Biotecture, has been offering rentals for years, Airbnb has made the experience much easier and simpler.
At Insider, they have rounded up a collection of listings for Earthships in Arizona, the spiritual home of the movement, but if you search for Earthships on Airbnb, you’ll find them all over the world, including places as far away in Arizona as New Zealand and Croatia.
Far from a nearby Earthship rental location or wisely avoid travel during a pandemic? No worries, you can get your solution with the video above or other virtual tours like this from RelaxShack and Living big in a small house.
And hey, even if living in an off-grid Hobbit hole isn’t in the cards for you to dream of a house where bananas grow in your kitchen and you don’t have an electric bill is a really good way. to spend the afternoon.