Spring break is upon us!
Well here we are again, this week is Dead Week. The week before break, when everything is due and there is no room for negotiation with your teachers. The likelihood of surviving this week in tact is dwindling into the single digits now… But there is a silver lining: Spring Break!
That magical halfway point
Spring Break. The one week where you can stop thinking for a few minutes and take some time to travel, see friends/family, and possibly experience some of that “fun in the sun” I’ve heard so much about. Some of my friends are staying in Fort Collins for break, some are traveling to wherever the ‘party buss’ takes them, some are going home to see family and some are working and catching up on their studies like good college students.
I’m going on my Alternative Spring Break trip to Taos, New Mexico. I’ve been all up and down the east coast so I was really keen on going to a new state out west that I’d never been to before. My last Alt. Spring Break trip took me up to Pine Ridge, South Dakota to work with a man named Henry Red Cloud. It was a really cool experience working to build a greenhouse with him! And now I’m going to Taos to help with the construction of an Earthship!
Earthship! A revolutionary, and relatively new, architectural approach to living green. An earthship is really just a fancy way of saying “a super-sustainable home”. I visited one in the middle of being constructed with my spring break group this past Saturday and it was a beautiful sight. There is a misconception with earthships that they are houses made of trash. But they are so much more than that! An earthship allows you to reappropriate unconventional building materials in a sustainable way
The walls of all the earthships I’ve seen are made of tires packed tight with earth. He’s a somewhat decent picture to show you what that looks like:
Of course there is concrete and insulation involved but the use of the tires and the soil actually uses the natural properties of soil to regulate the temperatures in your home much better than the walls of a conventional house. Most people build greenhouses (or at least green rooms) in their earthships and of course these houses are built strategically so that the natural light of the sun does almost all of the heating within the structure. You pay no utilities but you get a home that stays around 70 degrees all year round unless you want to change the temperature of course. Below is a picture of the greenhouse they’re working on:
These homes work with the environment to help their inhabitants live far more sustainably than most other people while also maintaining the comforts of home that people are used to. On top of that they add to your living experience by offering you a chance to impact the environment in a much less negative way, grow your own food inside, build your own home to your own specifications and work with nature in a healing way. The earthship we visited this Saturday had no resemblance to a “house made of trash”. The owner wasn’t done building it yet but he told us how he planned to have trees growing inside his home, a roost overlooking his greenhouse fitting with a coffee station, a huge fridge to keep his family well fed, and a Jacuzzi, all while keeping his home heated and comfortable with nothing more than a small vintage wood oven. I’m so excited to get to work hands on in building an earthship! I also can’t wait to start drawing up the plans for my own earthship! So excited to go off on this adventure with my group members, I know it’s going to be a blast!