Building An Earthship In Darfield, B.C.

We are a family of five living in Darfield, BC.
Our house is six hundred square feet in total and we are feeling cramped.

We have decided to build an earthship!

So starts the adventure ...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Can we do it? Yes we can!

O.K. so a hokey rip off of Bob the Builder.  But Bob's on our side (having built an earthship on his show; sadly only in the U.K so we can't get it here).  I figure Bob wouldn't mind me ripping off his chant as the introduction to our can collection post.

Earthships use pop (beer) cans as part of the building process.  Cans are pressed into a form of cement for interior walls and planter walls to limit the amount of concrete used in the building.

Last year we did a rough estimate of how many cans we would need.  We arrived at 10,000. 

We don't drink pop and we don't drink much beer.  Thankfully, many volunteers, friends and family have been regularly donating cans and we figure we now have, perhaps 2,500. 

A week ago Chris and I walked to our mail box.  We walked there the back way but came home along the highway, bringing back with us, about 10 cans (a 200m stretch).

The following day Chris went on his own for a walk down the highway but took a grocery bag with him. He walked 2km on one side of the highway and 2 km back along the opposite side.  He got honked at, too, by our friend Dave Tremblay, who must have thought we were running out of money!

Here's Chris' haul from that walk.

The next day we drove the Upper Louis Creek Heffley road from Barriere to Sun Peaks (where we ski).  After 6 km of the 30 km stretch of road, we finally started stopping.  The kids thought we were cracked, but they soon got right into it (laughing and talking and spotting).  Stephen and Chris would retrieve cans and the girls would laugh. 

The 36 cans we picked up were all beer cans. This prompted a discussion in the car about why we weren't finding pop cans.  The kids were interested to learn that even if you are a passenger, open alcohol is against the law.  So the conclusion we came to is that the risk of being caught far outweighed the benefits of getting the 5 cent deposit back.  Also Chris pointed out that lots of people travel that road after a day of skiing and the beverage of choice quite obviously neither Coke nor Pepsi!  BTW it is overwhelmingly Bud Light!

The next day we found another 16 cans.  Some we obviously missed the first time, but some were newly discarded.  Chris then found some on the road to Dad and Gail's and on his last walk in the northern direction from our house, he found 110!  Recently my brothers gave us big bags, too!

If anybody wants to contribute to our research, please peruse the back roads that you travel and commit to picking up cans.  Then let us know what the beer of choice is in your neck of the woods.  (And if you wanted to donate the cans to our building, it will guarantee a photo on this blog!)


Keren said...

Use those journalism skills Sandra and get an article in the local paper about your need for cans. You'll be innundated!!!

Sandra said...

I've thought about it...there's often bottle drives on right now thouh from grad clubs, etc and I hate to take away from that...I'm thinking of putting a big cannister by the driveway with a sign, but I'm worried about gettig trash, intead of cans!

Nicole up North said...

What about just a sign saying "help build our Eco House, we need Pop and Beer Cans! Please leave them in a bag here"