During the energy crisis of the 1970s, New Mexican architect Michael Reynolds began designing Earthships. These passive solar homes are environmentally friendly structures that rely on renewable resources. A proponent of “radically sustainable living,” Reynolds advocates the reuse of unconventional building materials that would otherwise end up in landfills.

Using wind turbines, solar panels, and biodiesel generators to created energy for heating and cooling, each home has a cistern that catches rainwater. The walls are built using aluminum cans, adobe, old tires filled with dirt, and glass bottles. Inside the living space, the temperature is the same all year. To take a video tour of an Earthship home, click here.

Today, Michael Reynold’s Earthship Biotecture has an Earthship Academy that teaches people to build autonomous houses. They also organize sustainable development and poverty relief projects all over the world.

“Garbage Warrior,” a feature-length documentary, was made to tell the story of Michael Reynolds and his fight to introduce radically sustainable housing. The film in an intimate portrait of an extraordinary visionary and his dream of changing the world.

Nearly 3 billion tires were manufactured and purchased worldwide in 2019. Most will end up in landfills and can leach contaminants into the soil.


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