Sunday, April 28, 2013


A few weeks ago a student came up to the reference desk and asked for help finding primary sources and scholarly articles about earthships. I was thrilled and told her Rick and I would be glad to be interviewed for her paper and invited her to come up for a tour. It was so nice this afternoon to visit with her and her family about our experiences in building and living in our home. Hopefully, if they do eventually build an earthship they can use some of the hard earned knowledge we acquired on this journey. They were able to share with us the three day Earthship Biotecture workshop they recently attended.

Earthship dwellers tend to not be overly social. We like being self sufficient. When we were embarking on our journey to build our earthship we really wanted to talk to people who lived in earthships and those who had built them. There were some wonderful people we met by going up and knocking on their doors who shared their wealth of information with us. We met another earthship family from standing in a supermarket line and the person behind us said she had friends who were building one, too.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Interior Photos Posted

Earth Day is almost over for the year but wouldn't the earth be a lot healthier if we all tried to make it Earth Day every day. In honor of the day, I finally uploaded some photos of the earthship's interior. Living in a sustainable house is a comfortable pleasure.

Earth Day

Earth Day makes me reflect on how happy I am with our earthship home. In previous years we've opened our house to tours but this year it didn't happen. So, if you were hoping for a tour, just email me at dherald at mac dot com. We are also happy to talk to folks who want to unplug from the grid or just live a more sustainable life.

Living off the grid is not as hard as some would imagine. Water is provided via snow, rain, frost and dew and stored in our cisterns. We have ample electricity for our needs--lights, water pressure tank, fridge, freezer, computers, printers, DVD player, stereo, etc. The house maintains a pleasant temperature, warm in winter and cool in summer.

I really appreciate the lack of city noises, the presence of bird song, the fresh scent of sage brush, and the constantly changing play of light and shadow on the far side of the canyon.

Our gate in winter.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Water Catching

All of our water is captured on our roof and stored in two 2500 gallon concrete cisterns. It works amazingly well and even in the midst of a drought we didn't run short. We do a lot of things around the house to conserve water. When we go below 70% in the cisterns we start using the composting toilet more but we do also have a traditional flush toilet.

I saw this short video (not thrilled with the pop ups that show up) but it was a beautifully produced segment on water in Tucson. Some really smart ideas.

I did a short vlog myself several years ago on how we deal with water for our earthship.