Can old tyres, beer cans and wine bottles help build a home?

Yes. And if the ‘Earthship Community’ in the high desert of American southwest is anything to by, then it’s all you need to build a dream home that can survive an environmental apocalypse.

An Earthship is an off-grid structure that offers all the comforts of modern living without any power or water bills. It grows its own food, harvests snow and rain for water and recycles its waste water. Electricity is generated from reneweable resources, mostly solar. In other words, it’s the epitome of sustainable living.

The first Earthship was first built in 1988 in the deserts of New Mexico, US, by Mike Reynolds, an architect who is also endearingly known as the ‘garbage warrior’. He called it Earthship because like a ship, these houses are self-sufficient vessels. The community just outside Taos, New Mexico, has about 75 such homes, probably making it the world’s largest off-grid colony.

Here’s what living independently of all public and municipal utilities looks like: (Source: Photo by Ritika Chopra)