Garbage Warrior is a feature-length documentary film telling the epic story of maverick US architect Michael Reynolds and his fight to introduce radically sustainable housing. An ... See full summary »
Garbage Warrior is a feature-length documentary film telling the epic story of maverick US architect Michael Reynolds and his fight to introduce radically sustainable housing. An extraordinary tale of triumph over bureaucracy, Garbage Warrior is above all an intimate portrait of an extraordinary individual and his dream of changing the world. Written by
The Works International
A View Into Alternative Living Most People Don't Consider
Mike Reynolds is the "garbage warrior", an architect who has been designing homes from refuse and natural objects (largely dirt) for roughly forty years. This documentary opens up his world to viewers who otherwise would not consider such living possible, and certainly wouldn't be aware of the potential comfort levels available.
I was shown this documentary by a friend who, to say the least, is fascinated by Earthships. She has met Reynolds, been in an Earthship and swears that some day she will live in one -- something I find to be quite plausible. My enthusiasm doesn't come close to hers, which made for an odd viewing experience (her excitement can be overwhelming), but it's a good film that should be seen by more people.
Reynolds' ideas of "radically sustainable living" and "Earthship Biotecture" need to be ported out to other communities and get recognition for their amazing achievements. The houses are not perfect -- some leak, some have little or no temperature control -- but they are experimental, and Reynolds and his crew are still learning. Objections aside, the good that can come of these homes is outstanding -- complete "off the grid" power, self-producing food, and a waste system that cleans and filters "black" and "gray" water.
I'm somewhat skeptical of how well these ideas would work on a mass scale. However, even if they didn't, it seems fairly safe to say that certain aspects could be adapted into rural or urban settings... and any effort to get energy independence and sewage filtration into the mainstream is welcome. World governments are taking important steps towards renewable energy, but after seeing this film, you may start to think the answers have been here for decades and we're just dragging our feet.
My only real complaint with the documentary is that it is by no means objective. Reynolds is cast as the hero and as something of a savior. Now, this is not to say that he's not a hero, because he is. But without hearing from his detractors (aside from some clueless politicians) this film comes off more like an infomercial, which leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It could simply be that nothing bad can be said, though.
My petty objections aside, Reynolds is an unsung hero and his work really does need to get noticed by more. Even those who are environmentalists may not familiar with his work, which is a shame. The man is almost dead... let's get him some attention before that "almost" is gone.
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