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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

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Meet the Earthship

7 minutes

The case for making our homes out of trash – tradition and culture be damned

Built in and around the town of Taos in New Mexico, the oddball collection of off-the-grid houses known as ‘Earthships’, made from natural and recycled materials, might at first glance look like a gimmick aimed at idealistic hippies or survivalists prepping for doomsday. However, Michael Reynolds, the inventor of these unusual homes, emphases their liveability and practicality, believing that people will choose to live sustainably only when they see it as a viable, cost-effective alternative. Finding inspiration in the ‘Beer Can House’ in Houston, Texas, completed in 1972, Reynolds started building his own structures from recycled materials shortly after. Today, Taos’s ‘Greater World Earthship Community’ features about 65 completed Earthships, each harnessing sunlight for heat as well as sewage and greywater for plant fertiliser. An offshoot of The Adaptors podcast series, Meet the Earthship is an intriguing look at the possibilities of living just outside the norms of tradition and culture.

Director: Flora Lichtman, Katherine Wells

Website: Sweet Fern Productions

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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.
But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Support Aeon

Essay/
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Do platforms work?

The distributed network has gobbled the hierarchical firm. Only by seizing the platform can workers avoid digital serfdom

George Zarkadakis

Essay/
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Fuelling the future

Fantasies about new power sources for human ambitions go back a century or more. Could these past visions energise our own future?

Iwan Rhys Morus