One of my long-cherished dreams involves moving into an Earthship somewhere between Tucumcari and Santa Rosa and living a life completely independent of the grid.
A new movie is coming out, called Garbage Warrior. It’s a documentary about Michael Reynolds, the architect/environmentalist/hippie-maverick-rebel-rouser who designed the Earthship, which is quite possibly the most socially responsible type of dwelling ever built. Obviously I plan to go see it as soon as it gets here.
Mother Earth News has been following Reynolds’ career since the early ’80s. I didn’t hear about him until 2001, when Ron informed me that he would like to live in an Earthship someday. I’d never heard of Earthships at the time, but Ron sent me some links, and we started wishin’ and hopin’ and plannin’ and dreamin’.
A few months later, on our first Route 66 trip, we took a right at Clines Corners and made a little detour north to Taos to spend a night in the Greater World Earthship Community.
That evening confirmed my belief that the ideal retirement plan for me would involve building a completely self-sustaining home with no power, water, or sewer bills. I like the idea of independence. Too many power outages and boil orders during my formative years taught me to have an innate distrust of the government’s ability to provide essential services reliably. And too many years in Belleville, Ill. — where the government was willing to deny people power and water as a means of forcing compliance with intrusive, unjust, and unconstitutional city ordinances — left me feeling like it might be a good idea to cut out the middleman and get all my basic necessities directly from Mother Nature.
Earthships are just about perfect as both a means of shrinking one’s environmental footprint and a form of political protest. Their independence thrills my libertarian hippie soul. I can’t wait to see this movie and learn more about the man behind them.