Hopefully this website is fair testimony to the fact that we are committed to one day living in our own Earthship in New Zealand. In the meantime I have to bear the stress of leaving that dream unfulfilled, which doesn’t sit very comfortably. In thinking about what holds us back from realising the Earthship dream in NZ, I realised the following:
- Land is too expensive to be able to build straight away (bare land, of the right size, in the right location)
So? Go find land that you can afford to build on
- But the land that I can afford is too far away from key community, infrastructure and economic opportunities [schools, work and hospitals (for work)].
- But commuting in a conventional sense flies in the face of the whole point of living in a Earthship. What’s the point of living in a home that costs US$100/year to run if petrol in the future costs you $5 per litre or higher?
So? You have a choice: accept the higher price of land that gets away from the need to commute or protect yourself from peak oil fuel price hikes by finding a solution to that problem.
So this is where I have got to and I feel its probably not a unique position for many people contemplating the move to an Earthship lifestyle. I’m no Grisly Adams and I need to be part of a large community and the world around me to be happy. If people could unlock the solution to the transport problem by either ensuring that renewable and public transport options (Bikes & Boats and Bus & Train services) or alternative fuels were available; then I think there would be less holding people back from having a go.
I guess this goes to prove that you can’t just seek Earthships as a solution in isolation. Overall you need to be looking at Transition Town tools like Energy Decent Action Plans in all aspects of your life (and not just housing). You also need to understand how you will meet your economic and social needs with an Earthship – as often people make large lifestyle changes (moves to small farms etc), only to find themselves willingly moving back to their old lifestyle, as all their needs weren’t catered to. In NZ, Lifestyle Blocks anecdotally change hands on average every three years, representing the typical length of time before people find the commute or isolation from social groups isn’t working for them.
It’s a conundrum, so it doesn’t have an easy answer. At this point it is probably worth leaving the matter out their for other’s to contemplate and comment.