Most of us can only dream of a life without bills to pay, but for Craig and Connie Cook, creators of Wind Chasers, that dream has become a reality in the form of an Earthship, the place they call home.
Located near Lake Erie, Ontario, their "dwelling" was built using 1,200 recycled tires (which they acquired and had delivered for free).
Pioneered by Mike Reynolds, Earthships are a type of passive solar house that are made up of a combination of natural and upcycled materials, such as earth-packed tires, bottles, and cans. Making these homes the perfect sustainable housing option for the throwaway culture of modern society.
What is most intriguing is that these spaces interact solely with both the sun and the earth to provide all the necessities needed for homeowners.
Connie and Craig’s Earthship is a testament to sustainable and affordable off-grid living with a side of charm, feasibility and self-reliance. The couple now gets to experience life without any strings (or bills) attached. The only challenge? They must be in tune with the environment around them (which would be a challenge for some of us!.
Instead of being hooked up to hydro, the couple uses stored thermal/solar energy gathered from solar panels, for heating and cooling. As well as a combination solar and wind power from on-site wind-turbines that they've constructed, for electricity. The couple collects and filters their own rainwater, using filtration systems installed on the roof and connected to the home.They’ve even avoided paying for a septic system by using a composting toilet! Now that's true genius.
What’s more is that, since it is a thermal mass and passive solar home, they get to enjoy a stable comfortable temperature of 20-22 degrees celsius year-round. This is done without any external energy or furnace, since the walls absorb and maintain heat. Additionally, the windows, which have been designed at right angles to the winter sun, guarantee warmth in the winter and just enough sunlight to sustain the planter in the summer.
Oh, that’s right, they even have an indoor planter, where they grow and produce a lot of their own food with options ranging from sweet potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and bananas. There is hardly anything this couple can’t do from the comfort of their own home, for a fraction of the cost!
Who knew saving the environment could be this inexpensive and pleasant? It might be time for all of us to consider launching our own Earthships, for the sake of the environment and our wallets.
To learn more about their impressive home, visit Wind Chasers.
Excited to meet the couple and hear their story? Then take a look at Connie and Craig Cook's short video.
Want to learn more about Earthships, or perhaps build your own? Visit EARTHSHIP GLOBAL
Images Courtesy of Exploring Alternatives.
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Researched and Written by Nathalie Ghawi, Double Major in Architecture and Urban Studies, University of Toronto.