Follow me for just a moment as I try to explain how everything we really need is right before us – often in abundance – if we choose to look carefully. I’ll limit this discussion to homebuilding, but the same is true with friendships, love, joy, etc.

I’ll start this train of thought with subsoil – the key component in earthbag building – which is said to be the most abundant building material in the world, according to the US Geological Survey. This is the soil under our feet, just below the fertile topsoil, that’s often free for the taking or very low cost. In addition, you can also use sand (preferably with some clay mixed in for stability), gravel, rubble from demolished buildings, lava rock and other materials as earthbag fill inside the bags.

There’s air enough to breathe. There’s sufficient water for our needs if we capture the rainfall and/or tap other water sources, and conserve this precious resource.

We can grow our own nutritious food instead of paying ridiculous prices at the supermarket, and have far better tasting food at the same time. So incorporate some food growing space in your sustainable home if at all possible.

We are literally surrounded by energy from the sun, wind, tidal waves and heat from the earth. There’s no need to buy oil from the other side of the world or fund resource wars to take it away from others. That’s just madness. I suggest disengaging from the current system as soon as possible and developing renewable energy supplies, a home based business and an energy efficient home.

Furthermore, there are many simple strategies to leverage the energy we have around us:
– passive solar design
– natural convection
– insulation
– thermal mass
– building into the earth
– reflective surfaces
– utilizing water elements like ponds and fountains for cooling
– shading, taking advantage of breezes, living roofs, building small…

More on this topic: Why is there an Energy Crisis?


Comments

Surrounded with Everything We Need — 7 Comments

  1. Reminds me of a quote from (if I recall correctly) Heinlein – it’s raining soup, and we don’t even have a bowl. I suppose it would be more appropriate to say that we, as a society, are generally too lazy and stupid to use the bowl, though.

    Doug

  2. I think it is important to note that even if we live in earthbag structures, we don’t need to give up technological progress. We can build massive fibre optic network going directly to houses for telecommunications. We can continue our space programs and eventually have colonies on the Moon and Mars that use earthbag structures.

    An earthbag house can easily take advantage of new wiring standards and technology so long as conduit is embedded into the walls.

    Hypothetically if making power cables out of graphene becomes as cost effective as our current copper, we could cut down power loss because of the differences in electron mobility between the materials.

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