An Earthship is a unique type of low-cost home that strives for self sufficiency and is built primarily with recycled materials. These sustainable homes have been installed in India, Haiti, Sierra Leone, and other countries to empower local communities – and now the Earthship team is bringing its housing model to First Nations communities facing a housing crisis in Canada.


earthship, earthship wall, earthship bottles

Francine Doxtator and her family are among the first members of the First Nations to collaborate with Earthship Biotechture on such a project. “We’re all looking forward to the new home,” says Doxtator, “but I still don’t believe it’s happening.” The new earthship home, powered by solar panels, hydrated by a rainwater collection system, and insulated by recycled tires, will reduce utility bills by hundreds of dollars per month. It will also allow the family to have a more respectful relationship with nature. “We try and respect Mother Earth, says Doxtator. “Right now we’re ruining her. We have to look after her so she can look after us.”

Related: First Nation builds spirited solar project in the heart of Canada’s oil sands

While earthships may seem an ideal solution, there are obstacles that currently prevent their wider adoption. Earthships often do not qualify for standard mortgages or loans in Canada, which puts its cost of C$60,000 out of reach for many. Strict regulations on new housing on First Nations land also prohibits the spread of earthships. The newest earthship installation at the Doxtator homestead arrives as Prime Minister Trudeau has promised the public investment of C$554 million in First Nations communities. The earthship’s best days may still lie ahead. “I would love to see this happen for more people,” says Doxtator. Still, even the new homeowner is a bit perplexed by the unusual design. “I just hope it doesn’t look like a Flintstones house in the end.”

Via the Guardian

Images via Wikipedia and Adrienne Harper