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Oklahoma's Own Earthship

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Kathy Dixon and her family moved into their Earthship in 2000. Kathy Dixon and her family moved into their Earthship in 2000.
Old tires are the basic building blocks of Earthships. Old tires are the basic building blocks of Earthships.
Most of Dixon's house is furniture-free. Most of Dixon's house is furniture-free.
The Earhship is made largely of recycled materials. The Earhship is made largely of recycled materials.

By Darren Brown, News9.com

GENE AUTRY, Oklahoma -- Would you be interested in a house with low maintenance, low utility bills, and one that was weather-resistant?  How 'bout if it was made of steel-belted radials? 

That's what Kathy Dixon's house is mostly made up of.  Dixon lives in an Earthship that she and her family built themselves. 

Earthships are not exactly new, architect Michael Reynolds came up with the concept more than 30 years ago.  Reynolds has spent most of his life promoting "radically sustainable living," and has written several books on the subject.

And it was one of his books, "Earthship Volume 1," that inspired Dixon.  She found the paperback at a bookstore in Alabama.

"My first thought was 'What an ugly lookin' shell of a house,'" said Dixon.  "But it was on the sale rack, so I thought 'You know what, $5, I'm gonna buy that,' and I bought that, and I coudn't stop reading."

In a short time, Dixon found herself knee-deep in old tires--nearly 3,000 of them.  And those tires, along with aluminum cans, old bottles and plenty of adobe mix now make up one of the most unique homes in the state. 

"It's very labor intensive," said Dixon.  "But if you love the concept of getting back to nature and getting back to living in harmony with the earth, well then it was like a pleasure to me." 

The 2300-square-foot partly underground house features skylights, interior adobe work, an indoor garden that functions on a gray water system, two large bedrooms and one large kitchen. 

And of course, the Earthship has its share of large-screen TVs.  

"Being earth-friendly doesn't mean that you have to be y'know, backward," Dixon said.  "I mean you can be very modern and be earth-friendly."

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