‘Ecological Earthships’ in the deserts of New Mexico

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The architect of trash
By María V. R.
Who says that you cannot build houses with bottles, tires, and used cans? The visionary architect Michael Reynolds has been doing it for more than 35 years in his now-famous ‘Earthships’ - houses built mostly from trash. He has founded an experimental community in Taos, New Mexico (US) that consists exclusively of Earthships which are constructed using local natural materials and waste products. The inhabitants live in symbiosis with nature raising their own crops, and managing their own water treatment systems.

The walls of the homes are made from old tires filled with natural insulation. They store heat from the sun during the day, and keep an internal ambient temperature of 21ºC all year round. Energy is obtained in a clean and sustainable way using solar panels, wind and geothermal energy. Water is extracted naturally through wells and rainwater harvesting, and it is purified with organic filters. All degradable waste is reused for natural fertilization of crops, or as sources of heat. Michael is a hero within the environmental movement, and his houses are considered a model of self-sufficiency showing how families can live completely off the grid.


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