Ne znam kako je vama ali meni je jesen početak godine. Vjerojatno mi je to ugrađeno u gene jer potičem iz učiteljske obitelji a i sama sam prošla popriličan broj godina obrazovanja pa to postane prirodno stanje. Početak školske godine pretvori se u početak svega; s mora i odmora sve se seli doma i u gradove. Novi ciklus djelovanja može početi.
Ej,što se svega događa ovih dana nakon dugog, vrelog, sparnog i letargičnog ljeta! Od uputa za pripremanje svih mogućih jela od tikvica do energetske strategije HR-a o kojoj se raspravlja u Saboru. Meni mozak danas radi sto na sat; tjera me da razmotrim hoću li probati pripremiti rižoto od narančaste tikve, hoću li s psima otići skupljati kestene u šumi, hoću li se konačno prihvatiti usisivača i krpe za prašinu pa spremiti sobu za sutrašnju gošću, hoću li odjuriti u poreznu po dokumente o povratku PDV-a, hoću li rezervirati mjesto na tečaju o gradnji „earthshipa“…
Ludnica! Živim u potpunom kaosu na svim razinama i čini mi se da u takvom kaosu u biti najbolje funkcioniram. A sve to zahvaljujući dugogodišnjem treningu u novinarstvu koji je moj „normalni“ mozak pretvorio u protočni, baš poput protočnog bojlera. Uliješ milijun ideja, uključiš grijanje, zagriješ, prokuhaš; one koje su za otpad pretvore se u „kamenac“ a ostanu samo najživlje, najžurnije, one koje treba dodatno prokuhavati i na njima raditi. Druge potpuno zaboraviš a onda odradiš jednu-dvije na dan. Sljedećeg te dana zalije milijun novih ideja ali one više nisu problem jer je bojler već prazan i spreman da ih preradi.
Nalazim da je protočni mozak najpogodniji za vremena u kojima živimo. Brzo se zagrije ali i brzo ohladi. Sinoć sam još razmišljala o tomu kako da najbolje utrošim novac od prekinutog životnog osiguranja pa sam provela cijeli dan u planiranju davno željenog putovanja oko svijeta, a danas? Danas je novi dan, novi početak godine, nove novosti, nove želje, novi planovi… Novac ću najvjerojatnije potrošiti na lož ulje, generalnu rekonstrukciju septičke jame, struganje parketa…a jedan ću dio ipak staviti na stranu, u plavu kovertu i na njoj napisati EARTHSHIP.
To je jedna od ideja koja me pohodi svake jeseni na početku školske godine. E, uvijek si kažem, ove ću godine početi ozbiljnije učiti sve o ekološkoj gradnji, o mojoj novoj kući ukopanoj u zemlju, potpuno neovisnoj o HEP-u i INI… I hoću! Jer moj je protočni mozak ipak nešto zadržao u svojim vijugama, nešto što me zanima već stoljećima. A to je povratak prirodi na najbolji mogući način - život u ZEMALJSKOM BRODU!
Ima li još sanjara i entuzijasta poput mene? Ako ih ima među vama možda će vas zanimati najnovije o gradnji „zemaljskog broda“ i kako svoj san ostvariti u svom dvorištu. Javite se jer smo zajedno jači!
Kodaikanal: A novel idea is taking shape in the hinterlands of Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu, even as you are reading this. Alex Leeor, 35, from Brighton, UK, has arranged about 800 tyres and a few truckloads of mud(as seen in pic above) on a remote, difficult-to-access hillock tucked away in Karuna Farms at Prakaspuram village, some 15km from the main town. Leeor is building what is set to be mainland India's first Earthship (the other being at the Andaman and Nicobar islands), a fully self-sufficient passive-solar home, made of natural and recycled materials.
Gurudarshan Somayaji / DNA
Imagine a fully integrated home with no connection whatsoever to civic amenities, except the road leading to it.
Here, there's no need to run helter-skelter to get enough water supply or electricity for the house. There are no soaring electricity bills and no water shortage issues to deal with. This seems too good to be true. But these are just some of the advantages of this project. Add to this, your contribution to the environment. For, on the Earthship, you would be as eco-friendly as you can get.
A self-sufficient home
The Earthship is a 1,200 sq ft project. It will be a fully integrated house with no connection whatsoever to civic amenities, except the road leading to it. Electricity to the house will be supplied through solar panels, water will be tapped through rainwater harvesting, and the house itself has water planters to grow plants, making it, in Leeor's words, "freely self-sufficient".
So what prompted Leeor to bring this concept all the way to India? "About ten years ago, I attended a workshop in Brighton by architect Michael Reynolds, brainchild of Earthship homes. Inspired by his ideas, about 25 of us got together and formed the Low Carbon Network to spread awareness about greenhouse emissions," explains Leeor. He moved to Kodaikanal four years back and felt the need to build an Earthship to continue his radically sustainable lifestyle.
House of tyres
Vehicle tyres are the most commonly used construction material. Leeor says: "You fill the tyre with mud, making it weigh over 300 pounds. Through this, you get what is called thermal mass, which is much more than in a conventional wood-and-brick construction. Tyres are literally like batteries for heat. During the day, the tyres absorb a lot of heat."
There is too much dependence on an outside system to make our house function. Life goes out of gear when power supply is cut. When food and fuel does not reach us and when the system breaks down, we get affected. Leeor is of the opinion that it actually does not take much to knock ourselves out of the comfortable way of life we have created around us. "Climate change and global warming are too much of a threat to the world at the moment."
The Earthship can be modified to suit the geographic location and weather conditions. "In Mumbai, there are many mountains which have nothing on them. All houses are built around them. These mountains can be reclaimed and Earthships can be built on them," he says.
Will it work for me?
Will the Earthship concept work for the masses? Absolutely, says Leeor. "The idea is to be as self-sufficient as possible. Cities are generally a waste of space in terms of the civic amenities. You don't need anything more than a road for the Earthship," he opines.
It sounds complicated and costly; it isn't, assures Leeor. Earthship Karuna, when fully built, will cost Leeor around Rs20 lakh. This cost also includes his investment in a 500 Watt hydroelectric motor. The Earthship doesn't require a foundation, immediately reducing the cost of construction. One starts by sourcing lots of old tyres. Leeor mentions that while on his quest to stock up enough tyres, local authorities at Coimbatore took a keen interest in the project.
The Earthship, with its design, is fairly simple to build too. It does not need extensively skilled labour. According to Leeor, who has the backing of a few architects and a local mason, "You can build an Earthship with virtually unskilled labour, which makes things much cheaper."
The Earthship Karuna also trains people on how to go about building a house like this. "Many westerners have seen this Earthship and want to replicate it back home. Also, locals working here have been exposed to things like creating black water for the toilet -- basically allowing water to be treated underground. One of the workers who built this wants to build one for his house too," he says.
Leeor points at pits in the structure, which are lined with used 500 ml soft drink bottles and mud (see pic on right). "These are the planters where water from the kitchen sink will be routed. In these planters, various plants will be grown -- mainly vegetables and herbs. The warm indoors along with grey water (water that's been used once) makes it a perfect combination to grow your own food. Any excess water from these planters will go out to banana trees that will be planted along the building. Water from the bathroom and the wash basin will be filtered and routed into the toilet flush. "Why flush your toilet with fresh water? You don't need to," shrugs Leeor.
"The Earthship is to demonstrate to middle and upper class people, who usually build bigger houses, that they can spend less and build luxury homes using the Earthship model. This is an example for people that the model is truly independent of the grid," he adds.
If you want to build and live in an Earthship, check http://www.earthshipkaruna.net/