Philadelphia could soon be the first city in the world with an Earthship
What was once an empty grass lot off of 41st Street and Lancaster Avenue, littered with bits of paper and packaging, is now once again filling up with trash — trash that will become a self-sustaining structure that will be the first of its kind in cities around the world.
Volunteers are stacking tires and cans to create an Earthship — a building made completely from recycled materials that generates its own energy from renewable sources, runs its own water, grows its own food, stabilizes its own climate and manages its own sewage. If you’re wondering how that works out, toilets use gray water, or water already used in showers and sinks, before the waste goes into food production.
Earthships are peppered throughout the world, including New Mexico, Belize and even Easter Island. But the structures are built in rural locations with little infrastructure where it would be useful to have a self-sustaining building, like a vessel in the middle of the ocean. Philadelphia’s will be the first urban Earthship, a practice in sustainability designed to fit more aesthetically into the cityscape. For example, it will be the first with corners rather than rounded walls.
LoveLovingLove, a Yeadon nonprofit, is behind the project, along with Earthship designer, Michael Reynolds. The project is crowdfunding on Indiegogo, and has so far raised half of its $5,000 goal, although the campaign ended on Jan. 5.
Volunteers plan to finish the building's construction this year. The building will then become what LoveLovingLove is calling an Embassy of Sustainability — a community hub where the public can visit, garden and learn about sustainable living.