The OHIO Ecohouse is a unique, off-campus student residence that provides students with hands-on learning experiences in relationship to sustainable lifestyles. The house features a variety of technologies and resources such as solar PV, solar thermal, a campus community organic garden, energy efficient appliances and a wood pellet furnace. Residents are taught a number of behaviors that promote sustainable living. Lessons include: natural cleaning; home weatherization, water conservation, food preservation, composting, energy conservation, permaculture and more. These "EcoSkills" are taught in an effort to offer students responsible approaches to a lifestyle that has a smaller impact on the environment and focuses on community development.
Each semester, the residents register for a one-credit seminar that allows them to engage in weekly discussions about sustainability, environmental leadership and living a sustainable lifestyle. A background in sustainability is not required for residents; merely a willingness to learn. Each resident is required, through the previously mentioned seminar, to complete one or more projects each semester that increases their own connection to living a sustainable lifestyle. In the past, such projects have included soap making, creating natural beauty products, preparing and preserving local foods, performing energy audits and drying herbs for use in salves.
It is the intention of Ohio University for the house to serve as a living laboratory for not only its residents but also our students, faculty, staff and community. It is our hope that this project will allow others to understand that living sustainably is not a radical effort and does not require compromising your desires to have a well-maintained home. Quite the contrary! Living a sustainable lifestyle is attainable for any individual, and we are committed to increasing awareness of how to reduce one's impact on the environment through daily lifestyle.
The OHIO Ecohouse is currently the only residence at Ohio University that offers students the chance to focus on sustainable behaviors. Any student eligible to live off-campus is invited to apply to live in the house to further their knowledge of and investment in sustainable living. No experience with sustainability is required; residents merely must have an interest in learning more. Residents engage in a variety of exciting activities and workshops to enhance their sustainable living skills. Applications are available by following the navigation links to the left.
The OHIO Ecohouse is managed by Residential Housing and the Office of Sustainability. Rent fees go toward utilities and maintenance of the building (including overhead costs).