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Georgia couple building off-the-grid home

Special to SEGAZINE

Living “off the grid” might seem crazy to some but for Andy Hickman and his fiancée Rosemary Kinsman it was a dream come true.  The Royston

couple is building a completely sustainable home, what they’re calling a “New Earth Home”.

“We just wanted to focus on a home that was going to take care of us and allow us to be more independent and self-reliant,” says Hickman.

When Andy and Rosemary moved on to a seven acre plot with a 100-year-old home in ruins, right away they found a way to salvage the lumber.

“I immediately saw an opportunity,” Hickman says, “Cleaned it up and built a one hundred percent reclaimed wood shed and shower house.”

The theme of recycling continued as the two began to design their home.  “We take recycling to another level,” says Hickman.

Taking full advantage of what come to the earth naturally the 1700-square-foot has cisterns built into the roof to harvest rain water. Inside the home, Hickman has installed a grey water cell for used household water from showers and sinks. The cell will grow edible plants and help in recycling the water while avoiding contact with fecal matter.

“We’ll be able to basically reuse the water in our house multiple times before it goes to the septic system,” says Hickman.

What looks like beautiful stained glass windows from afar on the home actually turns out to be glass beer and wine bottles lit up by the sun.  One wall alone features over 500 bottles. “We’ve turned it into a beautiful work of art,” says Hickman.

Hickman kept two things in mind while building his home: functionality and acceptability to the masses.

“We have no utility bills. I shower with rain water. I can charge my computer and watch TV. We will have all of the things a standard home has… ceiling fans, TV’s, washer and dryer, dishwasher and we’ll be getting it naturally.”

The passive solar aspects of the homes design, including the south facing windows and the fact the home is built deep into the earth secure reasonable temperatures year round.

When asked what his favorite part of the home was, Hickman simply states: “We’re reducing our carbon footprint, we’re living an example of what is available and what is possible.”

Jane’s Green Team brings you the complete interview Thursday. Plus, for more information about the “New Earth Home” check out Hickman’s facebook page here.

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