Earthships

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Haiti was devasted in early 2010 by an epic earthquake. Throw in 52 aftershocks and the hurricane season and you’ve got a country in desperate need.

There have been several ideas to emerge to help with the rebuild and aid in Haiti, but this one is one of my favorites. Earthship Biotecture builds dwellings from old tires, styrofoam, bottles and other waste materials.

The brains behind the operation, architect Michael Reynolds, says he intentionally doesn’t use the word ‘house’ because people have preconceived notions about what a house looks like. Instead he calls them Earthships, which are structures built from waste materials in local environments. They are durable and sustainable. Solar and wind energy are used to to generate power and heat and the homes are designed to collect usable water from rain.

Homes made from recycled materials are an excellent all-consuming use of what’s around, especially in places that have lost all infrastructure and have lots of waste about. This idea ticks all the boxes.

(Spotted in the Wall Street Journal)

Katherine Hui
Katherine Hui is currently the Social site editor at Green Thing, a web-based public service in London that inspires people to lead greener lives through creative content.

Before this, she worked as the Development Manager at Social Innovation Camp, an organization that encourages people to use web and mobile-based technology to mobilise social change. She oversaw 300 ideas submission and helped build 20 prototypes – five of which have gone on to get further funding or investment.

Katherine’s came over to the UK form Canada in 2007 for an MSc program at the London School of Economics. Before arriving in London, she managed a small environmental start-up in Vancouver called the Canadian Climate Change Alliance.

Katherine is football mad. She is a loyal supporter of Arsenal FC, plays for Islington Borough Ladies FC and coaches for Gunners in Islington in her spare time. Her second favourite hobby is kite surfing and she can sometimes be found chasing the wind.
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