One Utah woman is pioneering the future of self-sufficient and environmentally friendly buildings.
Roslynn McCann, who works at Utah State University as a sustainable communities specialist and associate professor, constructed her Moab, Utah home with sustainability and a lower environmental impact in mind — the $0 monthly gas bill was a perk that came along with it.
McCann used non-toxic building materials and insulation in the design and also installed her own “gray-water system.” These gray-water systems recycle water that is used in showering or cleaning clothes for other uses like landscaping, allowing her to avoid contributing to the drought that is plaguing the western United States.
McCann told Yale Climate Connections (YCC) that she sees clean energy as a road to independence. With no gas line and an array of rooftop solar panels, McCann creates her own power without relying on utility companies.
“We wanted to completely step away from the fossil fuel industry as much as possible,” she told YCC. “And so [we have] no gas line, so we have no gas bill.”
Designing homes to run solely on cheaper, cleaner energy is quickly becoming popular throughout the country.
In addition to the steep savings these homes can provide their owners, they are also better for the planet.
Homes that run on solar and wind power create less harmful carbon pollution, which contributes to the worsening of extreme weather events. Plus, more environmentally friendly homes sell more quickly and for higher prices than their traditional counterparts, according to Zillow.
But the benefits of clean-energy homes and electric appliances, like induction stoves, don’t end there. Studies have shown that methane-gas-powered appliances, like stoves and ovens, can leak toxic gases inside your home that have been linked to serious diseases.
Brady Seals, a sustainability researcher with the Rocky Mountain Institute, recently told the New York Times that for “children who live in a home with a gas stove, the increased risk of asthma is on par with living in a home with a smoker.”
Recently, McCann has been giving tours of her amazing home to others interested in sustainable living.
As she told YCC, “It’s just the way we should be building our houses.”