Greg Epps: Sustainable Living
Before coming to Omak, former Associated Students of Wenatchee Valley College at Omak President Greg Epps lived in Wisconsin and worked as an entrepreneur in the masonry business. Harsh winters made masonry seasonal work. He enjoyed the work, but for the sake of his back and his health, he didn’t want to do it forever. He took a leap of faith and moved to Washington.
While in college he purchased land on contract outside of Tonasket, with the goal of building a sustainable homestead. He lived in a small trailer for several years while he built the homestead and recently moved in.
Active solar panels provide the electricity to run the lights, computer and small appliances. The house is heated by a wood stove and through a passive solar design – a crystal clear polycarbonate roof on the south side allows for ample solar heat. In the summer a thermal siphon releases hot air out of the structure and pulls cool air in from a shade tree area on the north side.
"There’s nothing like sitting down to check e-mail on a sunny day and knowing the electricity to power the computer is clean and free," Greg said.
He graduated in 2010 with associate degrees in both accounting and business. He currently works in the main office as a part-time office assistant.
"I feel appreciated for the work I do and supported by co-workers," said Greg. "That wasn’t a feeling I felt in the construction industry. When I was a student here, this was my home away from home; now it’s like my family."