These are Earthbag Homes! You can build them for under $5,000, which is pretty much nothing. It is my dream to have such a humble, natural home. You can build them under ground, above ground, or make the interior look any way you want. Also you don’t need to worry about mortgage! ;) I’ve had my mind set on building one of these for a few years now, & I’m glad to share this info with you. :)
I don’t want this to just be fiction. I want to try and start some sort of movement, even if it’s just one small place.
I’m working on starting an off-the-grid Eco Village with earthbag homes, like the hobbit houses from LotR for the most part. I am doing my research and going to companies who help get me started with making it a non-profit project and get me in contact with other people who have a better understanding of construction and costs. The common designs for these homes that I’ve seen include greenhouses attached to the house for growing food and using grey water to hydrate the plants. I have a knowledgeable friend to help with raising chickens and such for eggs, and I already know I like soy milk and tofu- simply because I can’t kill an animal myself. If there are other people in the village who want to get their own meat/hunt, I guess that’s ok. I understand that we are a part of the food chain as well. Also, technology isn’t going to be something evil. It’s all being powered by solar and wind (and hydro if there’s a river nearby), and right now there’s nothing to be done about the materials they’re made of. Live and play video games in peace, and recycle your old systems and such!
One of the best parts is that once everything is in place, living is free. No need to pay off companies just to survive, for things like water, heat, food, the home itself. Having even a small job is still recommended of course, to buy food that can’t be easily grown right now or without a lot of space and tools such as wheat, to pay for connecting technologies like phones and internet access (unless there’s a way to build our own wifi tower?), and health insurance.
And frivolities of course! Living green doesn’t have to mean living without having fun! Make some money to buy books, games, movies- Rome wasn’t built in a day, and arts and entertainment are still an important part of being human!
Trade can be a part of the village as well. For people who are unable to work for whatever reason, they can trade what they can make with others in the village for things that they can’t make the money to buy.
A library, a tavern and maybe a general store are also things I think would be good to have- places for the community to interact and socialize!
A main focus is having the village be aesthetically pleasing while still being green. Built in a valley with the homes up on the sides to prevent flooding and getting buried in snow in the winter. Gardens and maybe a water feature in the centre, along with the other community buildings around the centre but still high enough to prevent those other issues. Pathways lit with LED solar lights and maybe ‘paved’ with those solar panels!
I’m sure there’s somet of this that might be over the top, and that there are other things that can be done better- so I’m putting this out here to ask for advice and information!
There is a way out from the work-spend-rent-mortgage-die treadmill. Other than living in a tent in the woods or seeking one’s vagabond fortune in the wide world–not that these don’t have their appeal–there is a way out:
Earthbag building. (Earth materials building or earth architecture are the more general categorical descriptions.)
Earthbag building is the radical factor in the work and life equation. It’s the removal of the whip of involuntary work to which 99% of us must submit in order to keep dry and warm. It’s the fundamental power shift between employee and boss that suddenly places control of your life and time into the only hands it deserves to be in–your own.
Hyperbole, you’re thinking.
Hardly. A growing number of people are building their own earthbag homes for material costs of typically under $10,000, $5000, or sometimes as low as $500 without amenities, but with all you really need for right now.
What do you need? Bags, basic supplies (barbed wire, e.g.), the right combination of earth (dirt, sand, etc.), basic tools, 6-12 months, two or more determined workers, a plot of land, and the essential knowledge base from a book like the excellent Earthbag Building: The Tools, Tricks and Techniques, by Kaki Hunter and Donald Kiffmeyer.
What would it mean to you if your reason for working were not primarily driven by the need to endlessly shuttle money into someone else’s hands to pay for your shelter?