Living off-grid in a reclaimed gravel pit
As sustainably minded folk, we tend to curse the environmental disruption that occurs when new roads are built through beautiful wilderness areas. But for a number of residents living just north of Taos, New Mexico, it was the creation of a nearby highway that actually helped pave the way for their unique community.
That’s because their homes are actually built in a reclaimed gravel pit — taking land that was cast off as worthless and turning it into usable living space. But these aren’t just any living spaces, either. These Earthships are completely self-sustainable, off-grid homes.
Made with reused materials like car tires and actual earth, these homes are carefully designed to take advantage of the abundant sun to create power and natural heat, and to conserve and recycle (four times!) the scarce water resources of the New Mexico desert. The Earthships, which incorporate gardens inside the homes to help filter greywater, are truly living organisms themselves — existing in harmony with their environment without sucking resources.
Todd and I got the chance to tour several of the Earthship homes and talk to one of the residents directly involved in the gravel-pit reclamation project. Below, our conversation with Ron Sciarillo:
For more information about the sustainable features of the Earthship homes and the community near Taos, New Mexico, check out these two videos, created by the Earthship folks themselves:
Here are a few more images from our Earthship visit: