Florida's First Earthship Under Construction in Manatee County

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An Earthship has landed in Florida. And no, not in Clearwater.

Bryan Roberts, founder of Eco-Tech Construction, is behind Florida’s debut Earthship, a type of self-sustainable residential structure constructed from natural materials and trash. Although they have their roots in the Southwest, Earthships have been built in many other states and around, not surprisingly, Europe. Florida's first is being built in Manatee County.

Image: Lisa Haneberg

I profiled Taos, New Mexico-based Earthship Biotecture founder Michael Reynolds (AKA the “Garbage Warrior” but I like to call him the “Oscar the Grouch of architecture”) after he made a memorable appearance on the Colbert Report. Guest blogger David Quilty even took a vacation in one of Reynolds radically off the grid abodes.

As far as I can tell, Roberts is not officially part of the Earthship Biotecture “family” but his building concept is truly Earthship in style. The building’s exterior walls are dirt-filled salvaged tires; water comes from a local well and/or a rooftop collection system and is subject to a greywater system where water from sinks and showers is recycled for use in the toilets or to water plants; energy comes from solar panels; the landscape around the Earthship is permaculture designed.

Eric Stewart, a volunteer who helped build the Florida Earthship, writes about his experience in a blog post at Creative Loafing:

We have to move away from linear thinking that produces waste and is reliant on a dominator society. This transition to a partnership culture where we respect and partner with nature and each other to achieve a lifestyle worth living is the most admirable course we can pursue in our lifetimes. We are not just securing the future for ourselves, but we are helping to secure the future for human beings as a species. It's all but a choice, we must chose to live permanently on this planet or we will lose the opportunity to live at all. Earthships are such a way of living in partnership with the world.

A little heavy-handed, I know, but take a peek at the below video to see exactly what goes into the construction of an Earthship and Stewart’s words will perhaps resonate.

Via [Creative Loafing]