Emma, a woman living in the Welsh woods, has found happiness in a lifestyle far removed from modern living. For the past 20 years, she has resided in an earthen home that cost her only £1000 ($1,300) to build.
Emma intentionally chose to live without the amenities of modern life, including electricity, running water, the internet, and even a telephone, because she didn’t want to be a “wage slave” working endlessly to make ends meet. She believes that the Earth wants humans to be happy, and living in isolation in a home built from all-natural materials is what satisfies her the most.
Emma’s earthen home is completely legal as she owns the land on which it is built. She sustains herself with chickens and goats that provide eggs and milk, water from a nearby stream, and food cooked on an open fire. Emma admits that winters are a challenge, but she has managed to adapt by chopping wood and carrying water.
The house is a result of trial and error, with Emma making the plaster herself using horse manure and clay. The roof, covered with greenery, sits on walls made from straw bales, making it blend wonderfully with its surroundings.
Emma’s earthen home has no curtains on its massive windows because she likes to have natural lighting. The structure of her ceiling, with each rafter sitting on top of another, is a metaphor for equality. Emma has also built a fireplace where she heats water for tea and cooks when necessary.
With no furniture inside her home, Emma does everything sitting or squatting on the floor, which she says is the way she likes it. She collects water from a nearby stream for her hygienic needs and has a sauna, a bath that can be heated with fire, and a composting toilet.
Emma’s story is a beautiful reminder of how little we need to live and survive. Although her lifestyle may seem extreme to many, seeing how happy and content she is makes us believe that she has figured out what it means to truly live.