Sustainable homes and World Environment Day

Have you ever wondered what the future for sustainable homes would look like? Located just a short drive outside of TDS serving area Socorro, New Mexico is the town of Taos, also known as the home of the Earthships here in the United States.

Earthships are the environmentalists’ dreams in the way that they are built and function. Designed by architect Michael Reynolds in the 1970s, Earthships are created by recycled materials and rely off the sun and wind for natural energy. When coming up with the idea of Earthships, he had in mind a home that required no specialized skill in construction to build and thus generated the building of these homes into a common ‘U’ shape. The homes focus on the six needs for a harmonious human life on Earth: food, energy, clean water, shelter, garbage management, and sewage treatment.

Since the time Earthships were created, there are now as many as 3,000 Earthships around the world today. The concept is becoming more popular because of climate change, dwindling resources, and the desire for environmental change. To live in an Earthship, many people hire eco construction companies, purchase an already built Earthship, or attend Michael Reynolds Earthship Biotecture Academy to see how to build their own.

What makes Earthships so appealing over traditional homes is their harvesting and food production aspects along with natural energy that can save significant amounts of money. Crops grown in Earthships can include pineapple, red peppers, tomatoes, and even watermelon. Many Earthship homeowners spend no more than $3,900 a year on water, electricity, and food combined. Some of the key building materials for these environmentally conscious homes are old tires, glass and aluminum bottles, and stone which makes them so affordable.

Taos embraces travelers coming to see the Earthships for themselves and offers guided and self-guided tours as well as overnight stays in select ‘ships’ all year round. Check out their webpage here to schedule a visit for yourself.

To learn more about TDS’ own green initiatives, read here on how we strive to contribute to global change through green practices and energy saving habits.


By Meagan Brown, TDS Communications Intern

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