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New Mexico's Earthship Communities Champion Environmentalism
June 21, 2021

New Mexico's Earthship Communities Champion Environmentalism

by The CE Shop Team

New Mexico Leads the Way in Sustainable Living

Today, homeseekers are prioritizing environmentalism more than ever, and housing markets are responding in kind. Leading the charge is the Land of Enchantment and our interesting array of Earthship communities. These developments are redefining sustainable living and could impact the way real estate agents market, find, and sell homes.

What Are Earthships?

Earthships are essentially homes made of upcycled and natural materials. These structures typically operate entirely off-the-grid or otherwise prioritize responsible energy use. Earthships may be built from tires, stucco, concrete, and even recycled cans. Their building materials, shape, insulation, and location all seek to promote sustainability. 

Despite their sometimes curious appearances, Earthships are gaining traction across New Mexico and the nation. Earthship communities create a system of like-minded homeowners, all aligned in their goal to reverse the negative effects of housing, empower individuals in their desire for sustainable living, and reduce barriers to housing, financial or otherwise. Today, the largest Earthship community in the world is just northwest of Taos and spans 630 acres of land. 

Where Did Earthships Come From?

Despite their name and New Mexico’s flair for the extraterrestrial, Earthships did not just drop out of the sky. The idea for these structures were first conceived in the 1970s by Mike Reynolds, the founder of Earthship Biotecture. Reynolds imagined an entirely sustainable home, that was crafted from local materials, efficient in utilizing renewable energy, and affordable for the average homeseeker. He set to work making his dream a reality, and the concept gained momentum.

Earthships Today

Today, you can find examples of Earthship architecture in nearly all 50 states as well as across Europe. Aside from the environmental implications, they remain relatively affordable compared to standard homes. In fact, it costs approximately $225 per square foot to build an Earthship as compared to the up to $500 per square foot you might pay when constructing a traditional home. As an agent, consider the fact that clients with a tighter budget could be open to learning a little bit more about the Earthship movement. 

Similarly, more and more homeseekers are considering environmentalism. In 2019, a whopping 81% of consumers asserted that it is extremely or very important that companies prioritize environmental improvement. What’s more, the National Association of Homebuilders found that homeseekers will actually pay more for sustainable home features. So, whether you’re selling affordability or sustainability, knowing these eco-friendly houses like the back of your hand could actually help you get your client into the right home - er, Earthship.

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