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Provide a Community-based Model for Sustainable Living

At Davidson College, the EcoHouse houses 10 students from various classes and interests to build a community, discuss sustainability, and provide a model for sustainable-minded living. I am currently a house member. This is what the model and mission looks like.

Photo of DiemTien Le
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These are the components of the EcoHouse model:

  • Daily Commitments
    • Each house member has a role, which may include composting, recycling, managing house utility usage, or buying environmentally-safe products.
    • We use a clothes-line to dry our clothes.
  • Community Dinners
    • We have two house dinners weekly. We invite students, faculty, and community members to Sunday dinners to talk about sustainability as a group. 
  • Food and Groceries
    • ‚ÄčThree members carpool to the grocery store weekly to purchase house food. We focus on local, organic food.
  • Building Community
    • By living together, we can engage in many formal and informal conversations with one another. 
    • Living with ten housemates requires respect and collaboration when making house rules and expectations
    • In the busy world of a college student, the house serves as a place to relax and talk informally with roommates and friends.
    • Another requirement from the house is a service event per semester. This is an opportunity to 'get our hands dirty,' learn about other organizations and what they are doing, and to serve our community!
  • Educational Aspect
    • We are expected to host campus-wide educational events twice a year. These are opportunitites to inform the campus and community about our mission and ways they can practice sustainability daily!
    • We have used solar energy panels at events to power all the lights
    • We have plans to have chickens to educate people about local, organic methods!
    • We built our own table using recycled wood

This model can provide a tangible, living example for others in the community. This is only an example, and would probably need to be adapted to guide for other communities who are interested in adapting the model for their own location and needs.
 Davidson College's EcoHouse strives to engage students, faculty, staff, and the communities in ways that they can live sustainably.

How Might We adapt this model for other communities?
How might we improve this current model for greater impact?


Join the conversation:

Photo of Shuting Zeng

Hi DiemTien, I really love this eco-house! it reminded me of the language houses at school first of all. And green is a new language now we need to speak.

So I wonder if you plan to get more community engagement about the green discussion besides having it mostly within the roommates in the house? If so, how will you plan to copy this eco-house to more school communities?

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