Earthships currently exist in every U.S. state and in several other countries, but the Earthship World Community, about 15 miles northwest of Taos, N.M., is ground zero for this alternative form of dwelling. It's forbidding country: flat, arid, high-altitude and really hot in summer. And really cold in winter.
As you head west on U.S. Highway 64, you come across a collection of about 60 oddly shaped but wonderful-looking houses off the right side of the road. And you immediately notice one thing: each and every one of them is built into the side of a small hill.
But it's not just any hill. It's a south-facing hill. That's crucial, because it means each earthship has its major windows facing south. And anyone who's ever put a minute of thought into the way their house is oriented knows that facing south means being directed toward the most sunlight–in the northern hemisphere, anyway