More than 40,000 vacant lots, many piled high with illegally dumped tires, blight the city of Philadelphia. High unemployment and crime rates discourage many residents, but not Rashida Ali-Campbell, director of the non-profit, LoveLovingLove, Inc.
In Philadelphia's empty lots and abandoned, decaying buildings (approximately 75,000), Ali-
Campbell sees hope and unlimited possibilities. Her mission is to open a school for low-income residents to learn sustainable building techniques. She plans to bring the first urban Earthship to Philadelphia.
Earthships are the brain-child of architect and inventor Michael Reynolds. His 40-year-old company creates 100 percent self-sustained buildings with a process he calls "Earthship Biotecture" and he has created thousands of them all over the planet. His life-changing projects have brought hope to communities in Europe, Africa, the Netherlands, and Haiti. (For videos click here)
These homes heat and cool themselves, produce wind and solar electricity, grow their own fruits and vegetables, (many even have a catfish pond and a chicken coop providing fresh eggs) they collect and sterilize water and maintain their own sewage system. This small greenhouse (pictured, above), is only a taste of Earthship Biotecture. A two-bedroom home can support a family of four without them ever having to go to the grocery store and their utility bill would be less than $100 per year.