This documentary has been on our list since last year (like many others we’ve been watching lately), and we just got around to seeing it. Garbage Warrior is the story of an innovative New Mexico architect and his struggles with local authorities to build a sustainable housing development, designed with thermal mass and energy-independent homes he calls “Earthships.”
For 30 years Michael Reynolds and his green team have devoted their time to building self-sufficient, off-the-grid communities, gradually improving on previous designs and adding new aspects to homes that have been designed to maintain a comfortable room temperature with snow and -30°F temperatures outside. Some homes were shown with full gardens inside them, including tropical banana tress.
After years of development, these experimental homes create conflict between Reynolds and the local and state authorities, and the architect lobbies for the right to create a sustainable living test site to allow his team to continue their development. In the process, he is forced to give up his architecture license.
As the battle wages on, natural disasters strike around the world, leaving communities in India and Mexico devastated by tsunamis and hurricanes. Reynolds and his team travel to these countries to use their skills to benefit those who need it most, building sustainable housing in places where many of the locals have lost their homes.
Director Oliver Hodge says, “I met Mike Reynolds in May 2003, when he and his crew arrived in the UK on a two-week visit to build a prototype Earthship house in my home town, Brighton. I was inspired by Mike’s apocalyptic view of the future, and by the urgent means by which he and his crew were preparing for it.”
This is an inspiring movie about a visionary with creative solutions. I highly recommend it! We need more homes like these.