Most of us would agree that cities are a huge source of pollution. Generally, most of the junk in the air, waters, and land comes from urban areas, where the greatest concentrations of humans are gathered. This leads some to believe that the best way to “get sustainable” is to move to the country, where things aren’t so crowded and the potential and space exists to do projects that nurture the Earth and grow food. In reality, if there was a mass exodus of people from the cities currently, the countryside would be destroyed by urban sprawl in no time. This process of people leaving the gray city slate for the forested green of the country could explain how urban sprawl actually occurs. Rather than entertain potentially destructive notions in the hope of making a dent in the problem, turn the problem to its source for solutions. Cities are hubs of communication, the home to millions who want to see green where they live; they don’t want to have to leave to have their cake and eat it too. They want to green their cities, and why shouldn’t they? Introducing the movement to improve the ecology in the most ecologically destitute places on Earth, turning some of the world’s biggest cities into resplendent emerald attractions that bring even more residents, commerce, and tourists.
Earthships are partially-underground passive-solar buildings that incorporate as many of the needs of living into one self-contained unit as possible. They are well-known for using recycled materials like tires and bottles and Earth to create structures that are comfortably-heated throughout the winter. They are capable of supporting a full diet of food for the inhabitants (because the south-facing part of the building is basically a green house). But don’t take our word for it, visit the Earthships homepage.
Principles behind Earthships can be employed as attachments for existing houses, or integrated into greenhouse design. Earthships could be set up as a food and heat source for residential dwellings that are connected by tubes or tunnels.
Modern housing is unsustainable in a number of ways.
Thankfully many people have worked to develop housing technologies which combine ancient methods with modern advancements and create comfortable, beautiful, unique homes that are also cheap to build in terms of labor and materials. Cob is an ancient building method which uses the dirt, wood and raw materials of the land itself to create houses that are more like works of art. These houses take advantage of passive heating and cooling to stay naturally cool in the summer and cozy in the winter. An average individual can learn cob building in the course of a couple weeks, though it takes patience and skill learned from hours into days of experience to complete your structure. Cob is a building artform that is lost on the undisciplined worker. These constructions are by no means substandard housing, cob constructions are fitted with all necessary modern plumbing and appliances.
Geodesic domes were invented in the 1960’s by Buckminster Fuller to meet the growing housing need of a growing population. Mr Fuller imagined that human civilization could support 20 billion + individuals living on the face of the earth if the adopted sustainable strategies. He designed his domes to mimic the molecular structure of nature around us which is always light on resources and designed beautifully to withstand the elements.
On top of being visually attractive, geodesic domes are also designed for optimun light, heat, and air flow inside and around the dome. In a windstorm it is probably quieter then just about any other dwelling you could think of even the yurts designed by the Mongolians for use on the windy and frigid steppes. It is no coincidence that many Native American structures, such as the igloo of the north, are designed this way.