Manitoba Earthship

8.2.13




This past Sunday, I travelled about an hour north of Winnipeg to St. Andrews where I interviewed the most interesting couple I have ever met.

Kris Plantz and Nicole Bennett appear to be your average young married couple. They work, are thinking about starting a family, and are currently building a house — except their new home will be nothing like the average Manitoba home. 

Eight years ago, Kris and Nicole were spending hours in their downtown Winnipeg apartment watching documentaries about about people living off the grid. They found the idea of growing their own food and living in a house made of tires and pop cans exciting, but totally unrealistic, right? Wrong. It wasn't long before they started planning how they would take the first steps toward a self-sustaining life. In 2011, they finally started building their dream home with the help of family, friends, and volunteers from as far away as Australia. They call it the Manitoba Earthship.

I spent Sunday afternoon in Kris and Nicole's 1,200 square foot Earthship that is still a long way from being finished, but provided plenty of shelter from the wind and freezing temperatures outside. First, they took me on a tour of the Earthship, showing me the future greenhouse and where the three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and kitchen will eventually go. I also got to see the walls up close — I still can't get over the fact they are made out of concrete, dirt, pop cans, and recycled tires! Kris insisted that "pop cans provide incredible insulation."

I interviewed Kris and Nicole partly because I'm writing a feature article about them for a school project, and partly because I was intrigued by their story after I heard them on CBC Radio a few weeks ago. I think it's incredible that they are willing to take such a risk and be so open about it.

Thank you Kris and Nicole for the amazing tour! Best of luck with the build!








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