Garbage – Part 2: Earthships

Part two of my garbage-themed science travel series. This week, a place I visited after seeing it on a documentary.

4937828296_f9f887c202_zIn 2007, I saw the documentary Garbage Warrior at its premier at the Hot Docs film festival, and three years later it inspired a detour to Taos on my way to a conference in Albuquerque.

Garbage Warrior tells the story of Michael Reynolds, a renegade architect who developed a way to build sustainable homes out of garbage. It sounds crazy, it sounds disgusting, but the homes are beautiful and the way they are designed, built, and developed is experimental in not just the architectural sense, but also scientifically experimental: They try things, and if it doesn’t work, they change parts until it does work. Reynolds’ early customers didn’t always understand that aspect of “experimental” and complained when things didn’t work, but over time the buildings have become better and better.

The houses are called Earthships, and this is what they look like:

I stayed in this particular Earthship for one night in 2010, in between two conferences. I wrote up my experiences for WorldChanging Canada at the time, so you can read a bit more there as well. Continue reading “Garbage – Part 2: Earthships”

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