Sustainable Living

Sustainahouse – A Sustainable Living Experiment at the University of Missouri


Photo by Jessica Salmond

Sustainahouse is a sustainable living experiment where six students from the University of Missouri try to teach the community the benefits of an eco-friendly lifestyle.

“When I was applying to go to university, I visited small liberal arts schools. Many of them had some sort of environmental based living community,” says Claire Friedrichsen, one of the initiators of the Sustainahouse project. This inspired her to create her own project – six chosen students living under the same roof and practicing ways to reduce energy and water consumption and generate as little waste as possible. To accomplish their mission, the six will monitor daily energy consumption using a special software, they will grow their own food and live on a budget.

“Telling people ‘You should do this,’ or ‘You should do that’ doesn’t really work,” says Monica Everett, one of the six students living in the Sustainahouse, “we want to lead by example. We’re going to show people that introducing sustainability into all facets of their college life is possible.” The team plans to open the East Campus rental house to the public every two weeks, for a potluck dinner. This will be the perfect opportunity to reach one of their main goals, providing a learning environment for the community and teaching students that they can live comfortably in a rented, sustainable house.

The house chosen for the experiment is located on North College Avenue, has six bedrooms, two kitchens, two living rooms and a dinning room. Not your typical eco-friendly home, but the six students wanted to show everyone that students could rent any kind of house and make it sustainable, if they can accomplish a list of set goals.  “We decided it would be a great idea and we did it.” Henry Helmuth said, “we are hoping to prove it possible and cheaper to live in a sustainable house.”

The residents of Sustainahouse live without air conditioning, own to chicken who provide fresh eggs, don’t use a dishwasher and have clotheslines to avoid using the dryer. Each of them has a set of responsibilities that include waste managing and recycling, food coordinating, public relations and web mastering. In case f extreme heat the students spend their day in the basement, opening the windows only at night. During the winter months, they plan on covering the windows with thermal curtains. “Anyone can do it, students can live normally in a sustainable environment. You don’t have to be weird to do these things.” one of the six students concluded.

via The Maneater


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