These houses look like they were built by people on LSD

Words: Josh Rakic
Photos: Airbnb

These holiday homes aren’t just off the grid – they’re out of this world

These American homes look like they belong in a Mad Max film. The New Mexico dwellings are known as Earthships and made entirely from other people’s waste. They’ve taken eco living to the abstract and have been inspiring others to live more sustainably, too.

Earthships first came about in the early 1970s, when a genius architect by the name of Michael Reynolds dreamt of going off the grid, and then applied his kick-ass skills to make his dream a reality. The result? A passive solar house made of recycled goods – including dirt-packed car tyres and beer bottles – that naturally heats and cools itself, is powered by the sun and wind, and harvests water to feed the fruit and vegetables growing in the greenhouse. It’s effectively a living, breathing house in the middle of the desert.

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Reynolds had created a lifestyle that lifestyle caught on, spurning an entire town of Earthships and a movement geared towards a simpler and more sustainable way of life. Today his idea has grown into a successful a company that sells blueprints to build your own Earthships and offers building services across the US. 

But if you’ve always wanted to live off the grid but would like to try the lifestyle before diving in, you can now take a holiday in an Earthship. Here are five of the coolest Earthships available in New Mexico.

Magic Mountain

With surprisingly luxurious interiors and amenities, Earthships may make living off the grid look easy, but getting to this place is no simple feat. Perched on the mountainside with views of the valley, you’ll need a four-wheel-drive to make it to this gem. Well, most of the way. When there’s snow, you may have to walk the final quarter-mile. But that’s half the fun.

Boasting some of the most aesthetically stunning interiors of any of the Earthship, this lime-green pad stays a cosy 22ºC regardless of the temperature outside. There are epic views of mountains across the valley, and with no neighbours, clothing – like electricity and gas bills – isn’t be required.

The Odd house

If there were a hipster Smurf, this is what his pad would look like. Part mid-century cave, part atrium, it combines all the seclusion of living underground with rooftop living. It’s a contradiction, a rarity and a dream all at once.

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The Dome
dome, kitchen, house

© Airbnb

A common theme is starting to build here, with this humble geodesic dome bearing a distinct similarity to one of Bedrock’s most notorious homes – that of Fred and Wilma Flintstones. And with a spiral staircase to the bedroom loft, it’s as if Slate Rock and Gravel gave Mr F a pay rise and allowed him to remodel the place. 

Outdoors in

The most distinctive home on the list and arguably the most luxurious. With circus tent-style ceilings, you’ll never have to step outside with what’s effectively a forest on the inside. But you probably should, because there are a tonne of hikes and other cool Earthships to check out. Plus, the Taos Pueblo ancient ruins are nearby.

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