Students live green at Dickinson College ‘Treehouse’

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CARLISLE, CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. -- Living green: some students attending Dickinson College in Carlisle are living in a 'Treehouse', hoping to help the environment.

Although students say it would be neat to live in the trees, 'Treehouse' is just the name of the building.

Students who live at the Treehouse conserve energy every day, and it's not what some would call your typical college experience.

It's cold, dark, and what 14 men and women call home while studying at the school.

'Tree Kids', like Rachael Moore, must apply to live at the Treehouse.

"I mean, maybe we're a little bit dirty, but we do shower, and it's not necessarily two minutes. We just strive to reduce our impact on the planet," said Moore, a senior.

They hope to make a difference through small everyday changes, like showering less often and using less electricity.

"I can't really think of a least favorite thing. Honestly, it would be the temperature, and how many blankets I have to keep on my bed, that's about it," said Nick Long, a junior.

Push mowing the grass and planting flowers, washing laundry with cold water, and finding ways to dry 14 peoples' clothes without heat!

"One thing I found with the house is that the little things are important, and they build up," said Long.

And those little things help build the students too.

"We have our personal goals that everyone has written," said Moore.

The `Tree Kids` challenge each other to be better with goal writing, and many learn skills while living together at the Treehouse.

"Being in a communal living space forces you to sort of talk together and really try to get to know people beyond how you would in a regular dorm on a college campus," added Long.

"Just bonding and being able to have a support system that is there for you," added Moore.

The Treehouse is a part of Dickinson College's commitment to sustainability. Officials say there will soon be 12-acres of solar panels that will make the campus even more environmentally friendly.

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