If you’re someone with a passion for sustainable, green living and/or a desire to live off-the-grid, a visit to the Earthships in Taos, New Mexico is a MUST!
I recently had the pleasure of staying at the Earthships community during a Qoya retreat I attended last summer. It’s a pretty unique experience for the traveler that likes to explore off the beaten path.
An Earthship is a type of solar house that is made of both natural and upcycled materials, created by architect Michael Reynolds in the 1970’s. Reynolds wanted to create a home that would utilize materials sourced from the local area, and recycled materials, such as earth-packed tires and glass bottles.
He wanted the homes to rely on natural energy sources and be “off the grid,” as well as making it easy to build, so a person with no specialized construction skills could create the home of their dreams! Now the Earthships have evolved into the common U-shaped, earth-filled tire homes that you see more often.
An Earthship addresses six principles, or human needs
1. To reduce and even eliminate utility bills. Sounds good to me!
2. To get ALL of your electricity from the sun and the wind. Solar power all the way.
3. You catch water from the sky for all your water needs. This includes drinking, bathing, cleaning, showering, washing, flushing, etc.
4. To contain and treat ALL of the sewage you produce in a healthy, beautiful way.
5. Maintaining comfortable temperatures in your building ALL year long, in any climate. This can reduce or even eliminate your heating and cooling bills. Sweet!
6. Some kind of internal food production capabilities.
I found the experience of the Earthships to be completely out of this world and almost a little space-agey. It’s pretty incredible what is able to be created out of materials that all of us have in our homes and are being wasted in our landfills! We could all learn a thing or two from staying in an Earthship and experiencing its beauty, and laid back way of life first-hand.
I had so much respect and admiration for the community that is growing in Taos. There’s room for about 130 homes to be built within the community, being the largest in the world.
I stayed in 2 different Earthship homes during my week-long stay. Many of them are available on Airbnb for rentals by the night.
You can also take a self-guided tour through their Education Facility that allows you to experience a fully-functioning Earthship. It’s not a fully-furnished home, as its purpose is to educate the public, but it gives you a great look into how the homes are built and how they function. A tour lasts about an hour, and if you are visiting Taos, you don’t want to miss this special treat! It’s $8 for adults and children 12 and under are free.
And let’s not forget the backdrop for the Earthships…this is almost the best part!! The landscape is jaw-dropping, and the energy coming from the land and its culture in Taos, is something very special and far from ordinary.
Taos is rich in spiritual traditions, fine art, and a thriving music scene. It’s one of America’s top bona fide art colonies, set on the backdrop of a majestic landscape, that includes the Rocky Mountains and the Rio Grande Gorge, and its famous bridge. Taos is also home to Taos Pueblo, a World Heritage Site, and a world-class ski resort. Why would you not visit?!
Check out the following photos and prepare to get transported to another magical world!