About Real Goods
Founded in 1978, Real Goods is the original purveyor of off-the-grid living supplies. Originally envisioned as a one-stop-shop where people could find everything they needed for their remote homesteads, the store began with the sale of the first retail solar panel in the United States and the humble goal of changing the world.
The Real Goods Store has returned to its roots in Mendocino County, proudly housed in the world's largest straw bale showroom. The amazing 5,000 square foot space is passively cooled and heated, demonstrating the most effective techniques in sustainable design. The store sits at the center of the 12-acre Solar Living Center, a brilliant green oasis alongside Highway 101 that demonstrates how lush and rewarding a sustainable life can truly be.
Real Goods' Place in the Sustainability Movement
We wrote the book on Solar Living. Literally. First published in 1982 and now in its 14th edition, the Solar Living Sourcebook is widely regarded as the most comprehensive resource on off-grid living available. With over 600,000 copies in print in over 40 countries, it is the quintessential guide for anyone interested in renewable energy, energy conservation, green building, homesteading or living remotely, alternative transportation, or generally lessening their environmental footprint. Many of our original members refer to it as "the desert island book" - the one book you would need to have if you were stranded on a desert island.
We also wrote The Declaration of Energy Independence, an open letter to every person willing to look beyond their own lifespan and to future generations in regards to America's unsustainable energy policies. Written collaboratively by the Real Goods staff in 1991, the Declaration of Energy Independence was disseminated across the country by numerous print publications, and resulted in 10,000 forward-thinking individuals signing their names to it and returning it to Real Goods. After they were collected, former California governor and presidential candidate Jerry Brown hand delivered them to the White House.