Eco Homes of the Future: Passive Solar, Earthships, Straw Bale


Do you ever dream of building a home? I do, especially because the house I grew up in was designed and built by my grandmother, who raised me. She camped on the land for a few seasons to make sure she was situating the house in just the right spot, oriented it so that it would get great light in the winter, and used glass and local stone in innovative ways. I loved that house, as quirky and unusual as it was in many ways, because it was perfectly suited to both its environment and the people living in it.

Now, of course, there are other considerations when building a home; namely, the environmental impact (and resultant energy bills, which can make or break a great home). A home can—and should—stand for a hundred years or more, so it makes sense to think ahead to an energy-expensive future. The infographic below, from The Big Deal, an energy switching site, gives me some creative ideas….which home do you think you’d prefer? I think I’d go with passive solar, with solar companies like Hour To Midnight (like the house in the image above), so after I designed and built my home, I’ll need left is a moving company like Out of State Moving to relocate all my belongings.


Main image via Jeremy Levine Design/Flickr


Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.