Sladers live sustainably together

Christa Guzman, Staff Writer

String lights illuminated the walls and people huddled into any free space they could find as musicians, poets, storytellers and beyond took the stage.

Students flock to the Slade Coffee Haus every other Thursday night for an open mic.

Slade Ecological Co-op, an off campus housing option for students, was founded as a way for student activists to form a community based in s

Jenny Koppang
Senior Clay Maroney (Left) and junior Courtney Smith (Right) perform at Slade Cooperative’s “Coffee Haus,” Oct. 10. Slade, an off-campus housing option for students, was founded as a way for student activists to form a community based in sustainability.

ustainability. After being on campus for 46 years, Slade Cooperative moved off-campus and into downtown Burlington with UVM’s help and permission.

According to Slade’s website, Slade Hall was built in 1921, and was in need of renovation in 2013. Slade was established in 1971 as UVM’s environmental-themed living community before establishing itself in Slade Hall on Redstone campus in 1979.

The program was originally referred to as UVM’s Environmental Theme House. 

The name was eventually changed to Slade Environmental Co-op, and is now Slade Ecological Co-op. 

Slade has kept its traditional practices similar to how they have run for years. Members hold open mics and make decisions by group consensus. 

Slade is now located on 315 Maple Street. Their goal is to live sustainably, and what they eat is influenced by that goal. 

They buy sustainable food local to Vermont and have grown vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers and squash this summer.

 Junior Mia Vaccaro is a member of the Slade community and said she enjoys the process of feeding the community.

“There’s a certain sense of purpose I feel when I’m cooking dinner for my whole house using ingredients from local farms that we’ve built relationships with over time,” Vaccaro said.

Students who live at Slade take the time to cook together five nights a week. Their cooking crew starts at 5 p.m Monday through Thursday and at 4 p.m on Sundays. 

Outsiders can join them for dinner Monday through Thursday at 7 p.m. and on Sunday nights at 6 p.m. These dinners are open to anyone in the community. 

Slade is passionate about sustainability but it also put s a lot of focus into the arts and music. This is displayed on the walls of it’s home. Paintings and photographs hanging around make it look a little like a museum.

They regularly put on events such as Spacious Porch, which is an outdoor concert series.

Spacious Porch and Coffee Haus both alternate every Thursday. The next Coffee Haus event will be Oct. 17. 

At a recent Coffee Haus, some cuddled onto couches, others slinked into bean bag chairs. 

Slade prides itself for always aiming to be a positive environment. 

Junior Cobalt Tolbert is a regular attendee of Coffee Haus. 

“The environment at Slade is always super welcoming,” Tolbert said. “It is always a warm and inviting and you can see how passionate Slade is about the arts and sustainability.”

Junior Sophie Berg is a current member of Slade. 

 “I think Slade can be an especially important space for underclassmen who crave a home-cooked meal or somewhere to hang out off campus,” Berg said.

The application to apply to Slade is located on their website,

Slade’s website states: “The plans and hopes of the Co-op’s current Sladers are to begin building a network of student co-ops in Burlington and UVM that can make living as a student more affordable, sustainable, and fun. We’re doing pretty well so far.”