Chances are, if you are reading this, you support green causes. You go to meetings, you visit local farmers’ markets, and soon you start running into familiar faces. You know their names, but have you ever wondered what they do to be ? Well, Meet Local Green Peeps! hopes to satisfy your curiosity about area green people and what they do to be GreenAR in the Natural State. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Vital Statistics (Name & Location): Ann Bowick Owen, Little Rock
What Do You Do?: I work as an environmental educator in the RES-Q (Responsible Environmental Stewardship Quest) program at the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service 4H Center, as well as an informational specialist at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center in Little Rock.
Now that both of my kids are in college, I’ve become more active in a number of organizations. I serve on the board for Central Arkansas Master Naturalists and hold volunteer certifications as a Master Naturalist and a Pulaski County Master Gardener. I’m on the steering committee for the newly forming Arkansas Interfaith Power & Light chapter and am a member of the Green Faith Alliance, Sierra Club and the Ozark Society.
I chair the Environmental Stewardship Task Force and serve on the Outreach Ministry at Second Presbyterian Church. I recently taught an adult Sunday school class called Just Eating about issues related to food and faith. I serve on the City of Little Rock’s Sustainability Commission, chairing the Communications Committee and serving on the Green City Operations Committee. I recently joined the board of the Arkansas Sustainability Network.
Steps Taken to be GreenAR: My husband Rick and I have been making a concerted effort to continually reduce our carbon footprint. We chose to remodel our smaller, older home rather than move to a newer, larger one, and we made several improvements to our home this spring following an energy audit by ClearResult in January – we’ve realized a substantial savings on our electric and gas bills since then! We recently replaced our dying hot water heater with a tankless one and our washer with an Energy Star model.
We’ve made other lifestyle changes as well. We eat lower on the food chain, we strive to live more simply, we compost and recycle, we each drive a Prius, we purchase environmentally-friendly products, we donate useable items, and we take classes like the ones offered by the Arkansas Earth Institute to learn best practices from others. I’m also a fanatic about picking up litter!
Hard-to-Take Steps: I’d like to be a bike or bus commuter but haven’t found a practical way to do that yet. We love to travel and want to learn how to do it more greenly and about carbon offsets.
Future Steps to be GreenAR: I want to establish a home garden!
Favorite AR Groups & Businesses: We love being Arkavores. We shop routinely at the Certified Arkansas Farmers Market in Argenta and are members of Arkansas Sustainability Network’s Local Food Club and the Foodshed Farm’s Basket-A-Month program. We enjoy supporting local restaurants that feature Arkansas foods: Ashley’s, Lily’s Dim Sum, Boulevard Bread, Za Za, The ROOT Cafe (soon to open on 7th Street), and we love to shop at The Green Corner Store on Main Street. Also, I’m a thrift junkie, so I search for treasures at local resale shops as often as I can!
If You Can Do One Thing to Make the Natural State Even More Natural, What Would You Do? I’d make Arkansas coal independent – it would improve our health, our environment and our economy.
Know a green Arkie? Leave a comment and let me know how I can get in touch with him or her.