With the Government’s announcement on compensation for those whose homes are in the ‘Residential Red Zone’ of the Christchurch Earthquake, it is becoming time for the people of Christchurch to really start to move on. Many of the residents of the Eastern suburbs are itching to make a new start in a new town and who can blame them. Thrust into accepting major changes to their lifestyle, these people, eternally optimistic, seeing this as an opportunity to change for good.
How many will choose a environmentally sustainable home?
What does environmentally sustainable mean to these people these days?
A dwelling that can sustain them in harmony with their environment?
What do you think these people think of their ‘environment’ these days?
An environment that can whip all the modern (conventional) comforts from them in a few shaky seconds. No utility power, no utlilty drinking water, no utility sewage.
So many of us that are interested in Earthships find this a journey of Self-actualisation, putting us right at the top of Maslow’s Needs Hierachy. And thats OK. Earthships do have a habit of bringing perspective to your life and a feeling of control at the most existential level. But for people that use Earthships as a solution to help them recover from traumatic disasters, its a lot more basic than that. First of all they need a home that will keep them alive and safe. That’s shelter, warmth, a place to cook, sleep and wash. It doesn’t need to have any major altruistic value, it just needs to work. Earthships work, in that they are self-sufficient in the provision the power, water and sewage, but they still need to prove themselves in their structural safety and code compliance. But things are looking up in New Zealand, as we have some very thorough building codes and the Gubb’s version of an Earthship met the code and is a living case study.
However these people need to move on in their journey to meet their needs and this is where a Earthship offers a cathartic solution to reinstating their sense of being. The construction approach to building an earthship is a community one. It needs people and sweat and that can only be sustained by a group with a common sense of belonging, which is what we crave after our safety and physiological needs are met.
Once these people realise the vision of an Earthship, standing before them, they will hopefully feel they are getting back to where they want to be. A feeling of self-esteem will come with being the envy of your friends with a home that can hold its own in the finest of Architectural magazines. Once they are living their new life and getting used to their ‘new normal’ hopefully it will all start to make sense and the journey will really start to somewhere new and worthwhile.
Those of us with anything from a passing curiosity, to expertise or a financial interest, need to put aside our own needs and come together to help these people on their journey to heal themselves. Who is prepared to do that?