A cooperative commitment to sustainability

 

Cooperative living and environmental Sustainability

Using a collaborative living space we can decrease our environmental footprint by sharing resources that otherwise we would individually be consuming. For example, we share certain main food resources like cooking oil, coffee, spices, bathroom and cleaning products etc. If each of us were living independently we would all need to buy these things, increasing our packaging waste and food waste.  

Another example is energy usage. Our main house was built with sustainable green building techniques, as a result we are very energy efficient. Though we are not “off the grid” our energy usage is closer to that of one small family home as opposed to a home for a family of 8.  If we were all living in our separate conventional homes our energy footprint would be much greater.

Our main heating system runs off a wood gasification boiler which provides all of our heat and our hot water in the winter. This boiler burns wood incredibly efficiently, minimizing the wood fuel needed for our space and decreasing the amount of wood smoke (carbon) being released into the environment.  

Radiant coils in our cement floor on the first level of the lodge work to create consistent rising heat in the winter through hot water, heated by our wood boiler. In the summer, when the water is turned off, the cement floor works as a cooling agent in the house, keeping our main first floor surprisingly comfortable even in the middle of summer.

In addition to the forestry management plan,we strive to incorporate permaculture strategies for the ten acres around our lodge. We have started a small orchard, we keep bees to support regional pollination and to provide us with local honey, and we raise egg-laying chickens.  We keep a community garden where we work to grow vegetables and herbs to support some of our food needs. [replace comma with period] The rest we get from a local CSA.

 
 
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Cooperative culture and generating
resources

An important piece to our cooperative model is the development of a community-based business.  A community-based business supports the continued development of the community itself. This business has manifested as lodging opportunities for travelers and those looking to explore our community model. This means that income we receive from our lodging program goes directly to maintaining and developing our community projects. This includes materials and resources for community development, such as permaculture projects, orchard trees, and feed for chickens.

Another way our lodging program reinforces our community goals is by promoting awareness about our model. We enjoy having people come stay and learn about what we’re doing. We also value the opportunity to meet fresh faces and hear about their stories and interests.  Our unique location and project are that much more vibrant when it is shared with others, like you!

Masonry heater

Masonry heater

Cellulose insulation

Cellulose insulation

Radiant coil cement floor

Radiant coil cement floor

Garden

Garden

 

Cooperative living supports social sustainability

Sustainability applies to the social and emotional realm of our members and guests as well as our green and environmental awareness and practices. After all, how can we help address the environmental needs of the earth if we are not cared for in our own bodies? Each floor has its own feel and can be helpful options for the many different kinds of spaces we find we need in our social and personal lives. By having these options we create a variety of ways to “be in community “ with each other.  It isn’t just black or white, in your private room or out in the middle of the hustle and bustle.