On two acres of desert land in New Mexico, miles away from the nearest small town, a small community of odd-looking homes exists. The homes are called ‘Earthships’ and they are the latest incarnation of an idea which came from an architect Mike Reynolds in the 1970’s, he had previously built 70 self-sufficient homes entirely out of recycled materials which were bulldozed after the community was declared an illegal subdivision.
Today Reynolds and his team have been given two acres of land to experiment with, with no restrictions, and they use that two acres to create the latest generation of earthship designs. They turn trash such as bottles, tires, and cans into shelters which regulate their own temperature by staying cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
In this 40 minute documentary Kirsten Dirksen meets with Tom Duke, a former professional volleyball player, who purchased a piece of land at the location and set about creating his dream two-bedroom Earthship style home for his family. The home collects and processes its own water, cycling it four times, and treats its own sewage. Duke gives Dirksen a fully-guided tour of his home and the other Earthships in the small community.
To learn more about the movements founder Mike Reynolds and his building techniques check out the awesome documentary Garbage Warrior (2007). Kirsten Dirksen has also produced a documentary on the tiny house movement: We The Tiny House People (2012).