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Environmental endeavors show us what’s possible

Hitch a ride with Lawrence OnBoard
3T3B6515 Lawrence OnBoard

Photo by: Ailecia Ruscin

Jenny and Tim O’Brien hitch rides around town using Lawrence OnBoard, the new grassroots ride-sharing program that is Jenny’s brainchild. Since its inception and this story, Jenny O’Brien has presented her concept on TEDxKC and taken it much bigger by partnering with CarmaHop. Learn how to hitch at ride at March/April 2014

Honor Dad with a green burial

20131005_122224 Green burial

To honor his Dad’s love of nature, Jeff Becker planned a green burial for Gilbert Becker. With the help of his brothers, Jeff carved a casket from the fallen trunk of a pine tree that had been significant in their lives. For the burial, the Becker family took Gilbert’s non-embalmed body to a resting place he had chosen in a wooded setting at Green Acres Natural Burial Cemetery near Columbia, MO. May/June 2014 

Go car-free in Kansas City

IMG_9813 Bicyclist

Rachel Krause enjoys a car-free lifestyle in Kansas City, using her bicycle as a primary mode of transportation to her job at BikeWalkKC. She built a bike trailer that she uses to tote everything from groceries to her cat, Yoshi. July/August 2014

Flourishing love leads to beautiful, water-saving garden

Lisa and Billy

Lisa Hays Justus discovered love and a budding gardener in husband, Billy Justus, as they planned a new life together and created an edible oasis in their Overland Park, KS back yard. What once was water-sucking turf is now home to vegetables, fruits, herbs and perennial flowers that are watered by a 900-gallon rain catchment system designed and installed by Billy. The garden is a certified National Wildlife Habitat and is full of native plants, water sources and nesting places that attract bees, butterflies and birds. September/October 2014

Little Free Libraries add a reclaimed twist

Ecklund-johnson 1-Little Library

Fashioned from wood pallets, reclaimed trees and even an old refrigerator, tiny libraries in the Kansas City area have a green mission hiding behind their neighborhood charm. With a little ingenuity, these reclaimed Little Free Libraries are a repurposed dream that are in with the old and out with the new. Here, Hazel and Violet Ecklund-Johnson preview newly arrived books for their library in Prairie Village, KS. November/December 2014

Residents reclaim native beauty in Roanoke Park

_DSC0004-Roanoke Park

Volunteers from four midtown neighborhoods organized the Roanoke Park Conservancy to restore the 38-acre Roanoke Park at the center of their neighborhoods. Residents from Roanoke, Coleman Highlands, Valentine and Volker have spent the last five years removing invasive plants, clearing hiking and biking trails, restoring bio-swales, planting native grasses, flowers and trees – and replacing children’s play areas in the 112-year-old park. With help from neighbors, the city and area businesses, Roanoke Park’s tarnished edges are showing new brilliance. Photo by: Frank Messer January/February 2015

Mattress recycling reduces landfill waste and creates jobs

Decon 2-Mattress

Avenue of Life opened the first mattress-recycling center in the metropolitan area with a grant from the Mid-America Regional Council. Usable mattresses are donated to Sleepyhead Beds for children in need, and unusable mattresses are disassembled and recycled for all of their parts. The organization is already keeping 600 mattresses a week out of the landfill. To make a donation or schedule a pickup, visit www.avenueoflife.orgMarch/April 2015

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