Sleeping in a Papercrete Home

Trip Start Nov 25, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Saturday, February 3, 2007

Peter and Polly are friends of friends of ours. We've been e-penpals since November. They "snowbird" down here from Wisconsin, and we had hoped to connect with them. Through them we discovered the Desert Humanitarians, and this weekend they've invited us to stay overnight with them in their newly-constructed home addition. They used an alternative construction material called papercrete, a type of concrete that replaces stone or sand with recycled paper. It is lighter than concrete but durable. This technology has been around for 75 years, although I've never before heard of it.

They partner with a papercrete business in Columbus run by a friend of theirs who lives in an alternative settlement just outside of Columbus called "City of the Sun." For fun we drove through a bit of this settlement and saw a variety of papercrete homes, underground structures, pyramids, domes, structures made from bottles, structures that failed and were abandoned, lots of homes that were 'off the grid,' run by solar, etc. Amazing! $1500 gets you get a property lot, water and sewer hookups, and the permission to be creative.

I liked Deming-a small city with easy access to Interstate 10 and, therefore, with Las Cruces and El Paso also. Peter and Polly's home is attractive, and they are intelligent, energetic and principled. We enjoyed our weekend with them very much.
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