I have been following the Earthship building concept (see earthship.com) conceived and tested widely by Mike Reynolds for many years.
Sustainable design and architecture is one of my passions and for years Ive wanted to pop out to Taos New Mexico and do one of his internships. Taking time off work for something like that up until now has just not been practical, so I was very excited to discover an option right here in the UK and to my delight only a short trains journey away from London in Brighton.
I signed up for a 3 day course thought the Brighton Permaculture Trust and popped down to get my hands dirty.
There is no comparison between a 3 day course and a 3 month internship, but we all have to start somewhere and being the avid researcher I am, have studied the concept for some time. Its the hands on stuff I was excited about.
It was a great experience to meet like minded people, many with similar ideas and values.
In time I will explore more of the Earthship concepts myself and you never know, if the opportunity arises in the future, I may still head out to Taos. For a background on Mike Reynolds and his work, I would suggest his documentary Garbage Warrior. Its sad in that it highlights some of the flaws in human nature and modern society, yet is positive as it shows that there are a growing number of us who are breaking free from the bureaucracy that paralyses and stubs out innovation. Innovation that is needed now more than ever as we face potentially devastating changes in our weather patterns, overpopulation, corporate control of your food supply and the poisoning of our environment.
I truly believe that Earthship design and other types of Eco Building like straw bale, earth bag and rammed earth, have an important part to play in the future and I look forward to experimenting more in South Africa with these concepts.