Amidst economic instability and stay-home quarantines, interest in Earthships and other forms of rural, self-sustaining and off-grid living have seen increased interest. According to Michael Reynolds of Earthship Academy, which offers online classes for those interested in building their own passive solar earth shelter, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a massive spike in Earthship interest across North America.  

Owners of Earthships, of which there are more than 3,000 across North America, have been largely unaffected by the pandemic as their homes were designed to be self-sustaining and, with the help of solar panels and wind turbines, cost less to maintain.

So what?

Financial insecurity, increased focus on family time and simple needs, and an emphasis on resilience have contributed to increased interest in Earthship and rural lifestyle living. As more people become aware of the fragility of employment markets, supply chains, and financial lending, it’s natural that many would seek self-sufficiency alternatives like subsistence farming, off-grid living, and radically low-cost living - all features of Earthship lifestyles.

Whether or not most people decide to pursue this type of lifestyle, the rising interest signals a demand for alternatives and the potential to renegotiate some of the norms of 21st century living.

Could interest in self-sufficiency and resilience push urban dwellers out of cities, or could it pull principles of Earthship lifestyles into cities?

Signal spotter: Ksenia Benifand


Photo by Biodiesel33 / CC BY-SA (  


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