What is sustainable building? If you could build a home that produced all it’s own electricity, was heated by the sun and stayed cool in the summer passively why would you build any other way?
I came to New Mexico last year to learn about Earthships and have seen that people have been building this way for awhile now! Using local resources and recycling “waste” into building materials to create beautiful structures that are truly sustainable and not connected to the electric grid. When I walked into my first earthship I was amazed by the beauty and practicality of it. A light bulb went on for me at this time that this is what a home should be!
It is just in the past 100 years or so that it became “normal” to build identical homes with materials from far away that need heating, cooling and electricity. All these things cost us money and are a tax on the environment.
Native people had discovered simple ways to build comfortable homes with the things around them but that knowledge was lost as greed and globalization swept across the globe. It is great to see people building sustainably and teaching others what they have learned. If you are in New Mexico and interested in learning check out www.earthandsunsustainablebuilders.com for information on workshops being offered. Right now they are constructing an earth bag home that Carrie and I were able to help with some exterior mud work this past weekend and it would be a great way for someone to learn some basics of sustainable building.
There are no limitations to what you can make with PUM! Whether it is re-using paper or building a home using tires and earth, potentially useful material is all around us!