We Tread Lightly

CGC has made a commitment to build and run our facility in harmony with our natural surroundings, leaving the smallest possible footprint.

Our facility's design emphasizes passive solar, natural light, and natural cooling.

  • Buildings are clustered by the edge of fields to preserve open spaces.
  • We use renewable energy for electricity - solar panels provide 100% of our power!
  • We conserve energy – with efficient appliances, well-designed systems and extra insulation.
  • Renovated barns house our programs. Recycled doors, windows, and equipment add to our facility's charm.
  • We use building materials found on site - lumber from our woods, stone deposited by glaciers (a while ago, to be sure)
  • Sprinkled throughout the property are small projects that exemplify green construction:

1. a straw bale cabin, with natural insulation to keep you cool in the summer

2. a composting toilet outhouse that uses no water to remove waste

3. an outdoor, wood-fired brick oven, that takes the heat out of the kitchen, uses renewable fuel - and makes great pizza

In addition, the Eco-Lodge, which was completed in 2011, features solar-heated hot water & heat, natural clay plaster walls, a green roof, and more. 

If you would like to delve deeper into what we've learned through experience, Peg Kamens, Common Ground Center co-founder, has created a resource about our carbon footprint and sustainability, which you can access here

.Kids descend the stairs of the composting toilet.

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