The Solar Living Institute has classes and internships in all aspects of solar power and sustainable living practices. When the Institute site was bought in 1994 by John Schaeffer, a dedicated environmentalist and president of the Real Goods store, it had been a dumping ground used by the California Department of Transportation for highway rubble. There was only one tree. The site has been transformed and is now shady and green with flowers, trees, ponds. and sculptures.
Visitors are invited to take self-guided tours during the week. Guided tours are offered on the weekends April 1st - October 31st. The tour stops include solar arrays, cob and straw buildings, aquaponics systems, gardens, and sculptures. The large Real Goods store sells everything needed for green and sustainable living.
The main path to the store and displays around the courtyard is accessible. Other paths are gravel, hilly or grassy and may be accessed with assistance.