Did you think sustainable building is boring? Think again. Or wait, let us help you rethink with these 12 amazing houses that are built with trash.
As inspiration for realizing how beautiful other ways of looking at our current way of living are, 12 astoundingly cool houses built from scrap.
This house built out of 25,000 recycled bottles cemented together is situated in Cap-Egmont, Prince Edward Island, Canada. Photo by Keith Watson via Flickr.
Victor Moore built The “Junk Castle” completely out of scraps and salvaged materials he found on a nearby junkyard. The artist and high school teacher started building the place in 1970 at a total cost of only $500.
The fairy-tale-like structure is situated atop a defunct rock quarry in Washington state. Photo by David Patterson via Inhabitat.
This (not so) tiny home is built with two reclaimed shipping containers and some additional material to create the part that merges the two partially opened up containers to one stunning home.
This eco-friendly small house has a patio deck and is just one of the best container homes we’ve seen so far. Check out TinyHouseTalk for more photos.
Spiral Island is the name of a floating artificial island built in Mexico by British artist Richart “Rishi” Sowa. Completely build out of plastic bottles inserted in bags.
The island consists of two layers of these bags with soil in between and on top of it. Thus enabling vegetation to grow creating a root system that keeps the island more tightly together.
In 2005 hurricane Emily completely destroyed Spiral island version 1 but Sowa didn’t give up and picked up his project naming the second version Joyxee Island.
Designed by Urban Office Architecture for a retired pilot this villa is created to give its inhabitant the feeling of living in open air. Via GizMag.
Dan Phillips has built many houses from trash. Make sure to watch his entertaining and pretty funny TED Talk presentation too.(at the end of this post).
Dan puts it eloquently, “Although it’s a small contribution to nature, hopefully it can have a deep impact on our consciousness to treasure our mother earth.” Take a tour of this beautiful house here.
Earthships are ultra-sustainable homes built from recycled trash such as bottles, tires, aluminum cans, and other litter. The cans and bottles are filled with soil and then plastered over with natural mud.
Interesting fact, many of these seemingly primitive structures around Taos, Mexico use solar panels or small wind turbines to create renewable electricity. Image credit and more info at Laurel Kallenbach’s blog.
Many earthships have ingenious water recycling systems, solar panels for free energy, and greenhouses for free food. It may come as a surprise to you that some of these 100% sustainable buildings have amenities many traditional buildings not even have.
Not technically a home but this boat turned upside down into a shed makes such an appealing impression. A great example of how simple recycling and approaching waste in a fresh way can be. Image credit: Dave White.
Apart from building a tropical island, plastic PET bottles are very useful for building walls too. This home created by the Alfredo Santa Cruz family in Puerto Iguazu, Argentina, consists of thousands of plastic bottles.
According to the building, Casa de Botellas is “a tool for promoting ecological and social responsibility.” Via Planet Magazine.
This structure was built using more than 100,000 beer and soda cans, wooden windows, hubcaps, screen doors, bicycle reflectors and more. The creator, Dominic “Cano” Espinosa, a Native American Vietnam vet was inspired by “Vitamin Mary Jane” and Jesus.
This house is built from recycled pallets and comes with Ikea style assembly instructions. Watch this YouTube video to learn more.
Can’t get enough?
Check this TED presentation by Dan Phillips about Creative houses from reclaimed stuff. The man has built a whole bunch of houses from junk and he’s pretty funny too.
Why building with recylced materials is the way of the future.
Our present economy is cracking. People all over the world realize we have been upsetting nature’s balance on a massive scale. Carbon dioxide levels in the ultra-thin layer around our blue planet we call atmosphere, are still increasing, posing the biggest threat humanity has ever faced.
Hopefully, ecological initiatives and changes in the way we think and act will turn the tide before it’s too late.
People who started building with trash were perceived as crazy a few years ago. Nowadays they are perceived as wise pioneers that are guiding us into the right direction. What do you think?