In New Mexico's Desert, 'Earthships' Rise
Made from garbage, these homes use just $100 in utilities a year
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2010 7:09 AM CST
Earthships are environmentally friendly homes being build in New Mexico.    (AP Photo/The Sundance Channel)

(Newser) – One man's garbage is another man's ... Earthship? An architect in New Mexico is taking old tires, bottles, appliances, and other trash, and using them to create environmentally friendly, solar-powered, self-sustaining homes. Angled just so, to keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer, the Earthship houses are always around 70 degrees, without heating or air conditioning. "It's kind of a machine, not a house," says the architect. "And it's a machine that involves biology and physics to make it so that the people can NOT need municipal utilities."

Now turning up from New Mexico to the Netherlands and the Caribbean, the Earthships cost from $100,000 to $400,000, and as high as $1.5 million in his flagship home. But the saving from utilities is huge, reports ABC News—just $100 a year, for the propane used for cooking.