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A Thousand Voices: Effort to restrict plastic bags in Lawrence gets mixed feedback in latest survey

There’s some uncertainty among those who voted in the Journal-World’s latest online survey about an effort by local environmental groups to restrict single-use plastic bags in Lawrence.

Sustainability board votes to work on proposal to reduce plastic bag use

Lawrence’ Sustainability Advisory Board decided Wednesday to work with environmental groups on a proposal to restrict single-use plastic bags in the city.

New KU art class studies where creativity meets sustainability

In a studio on the first floor of Chalmers Hall, the labyrinth-like structure that up until this past spring had been generically known as Kansas University’s Art and Design Building, students are busy. Busy bees, you might say.

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Year-end report: Lawrence residents have taken to curbside recycling

One year after the city's curbside recycling program began, a city official says the first annual report shows the program is popular. But the program has some kinks to work out including problems with recycled glass.

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KU architecture students debut 'passive' house in East Lawrence

It’s not easy to build a home that meets the highly demanding criteria for official architectural sustainability designations. But Connor Rollins, 2015 Kansas University master’s of architecture grad, hopes homes that do make the cut — like the “passive” house he and colleagues from KU’s Studio 804 class just completed in East Lawrence — can at least be inspirational. Even “little things here and there” can reduce the energy a home uses. By Sara Shepherd

KU adds soil microbiology specialist to list of Foundation Distinguished Professors

A world leader in soil microbiology will join the Kansas University faculty as a Foundation Distinguished Professor, KU announced Tuesday. James Bever, professor of biology at Indiana University, will begin his joint appointment with KU’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Kansas Biological Survey in January 2016.

Earthquakes strike in southern Kansas again

South-central Kansas and northern Oklahoma on Sunday and Monday experienced the second batch of manmade earthquakes in four days with magnitudes reaching as high as 3.9 and 4.1.

Trees lost outpace trees planted at KU; effort aims to bridge gap

A Chinese proverb on the Replant Mount Oread website says: “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” When it comes to trees, Kansas University is playing catch-up. By Sara Shepherd

Permaculture leader to offer talks, workshop in Lawrence

A permaculture expert will be in Lawrence next week to talk about and offer a workshop on the movement.

20 years ago, Lawrence prairie blazed the trail for conservation easements in Kansas

Tom Akin's decision 20 years ago to grant his Lawrence prairie as a conservation easement in honor of his wife, Dorothy, paved the way for dozens more Kansas landowners to do the same. The Kansas Land Trust, based in Lawrence, now holds 54 conservation easements across the state, including 11 in Douglas County, making up more than 22,000 acres. By Giles Bruce

City OKs letter of intent to work with KU

Douglas county is under a severe thunderstorm warning through 9 a.m. today and is likely to see some strong thunderstorms capable of producing strong wind, heavy rain and the possibility of hail. Look for showers for the morning hours. Our ...

Electronics Recycling Event

Bob Akers, deputy director at The Surplus Exchange, discusses what happens to the hundreds of TVs, computers, and microwaves that were dropped off at the Electronics Recycling event at Free State High on Saturday. The City of Lawrence sponsored the annual event designed to encourage recycling of potentially hazardous products.

Students learn about energy conservation

Laura Lutz, a account manager for energy efficiency programs at Westar Energy, visits Jeannine Hendrix's fifth-grade classroom to talk about the importance of conserve energy. The presentation, which included students cranking a hand generator to power a CFL and incandescent light bulb, was a hit.

Third World Wind

A group of KU engineering students, Nick Garrett, Brian Blackwell and Brian Larkin, have spent the past year working on wind turbines that could be built with materials easily found in Third World countries.

Scoutmaster Scott Braden talks about why he volunteered

Scott Braden, who spent six years as scoutmaster for Boy Scouts' Pelathe District Troop 55, talks about why he volunteered 20 to 30 hours a week.

Green hero

Gayle Sigurdson talks about being honored as a 'green hero' by recycled paper products company Marcal. Sigurdson has organized a recycling program at Babcock Place. The honor came with a $2,500 charity donation and a month's supply of paper products.

Unused space

Amyx's Barber Shop has an energy problem common to many downtown buildings. While the roof is well insulated, the space between the high ceiling and the roof is bringing cold and hot air into the rest of the building. Since that space doesn't need to be conditioned, energy auditor Sarajane Scott Koch said it should just be sealed off. It can be a relatively easy fix.

Saving electricity

Switching to more efficient lights and using smart power strips are two ways for businesses to save energy, said Sarajane Scott Koch with Scott Temperature. Koch was preforming an energy audit on Amyx's Barber Shop in downtown Lawrence.

Blower door test

An important part of almost any energy audit is the blower door test. Sarajane Scott Koch talks about how the test works and how it can help in finding ways to make a home or business more energy efficient.

Tom Boxberger talks about on-campus recycling at KU

From newspaper to milk jugs, Tom Boxberger oversees the trash that gets turned to recyclables at Kansas University. Boxberger is manager of KU's recycling warehouse. And, it's a job he loves.

Earth Day Changes

On Saturday, April 16, we asked visitors to Lawrence's Earth Day Celebration what they plan to do to make the earth a cleaner place. Here's what David Owen, Michelle Rogers, Tiffany Clark, Paul Hladky, Dee Bisel, Rianon Wallace Demby, Calia Lowery, Celeste McCoy and Michael Bradley had to say.