Sustainability for Residents

Sustainability requires work to preserve and improve the natural environment by using resources responsibly. We challenge you to be a green neighbor through energy conservation, pollution reduction, recycling, and more. Environmental, economic and social sustainability work together to improve lives and create a better environment for future generations.

View ways you can live sustainably at home below.


Gayle Bergman
Sustainability Programs Coordinator
[email protected]

Energy Use

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy, such as energy collected and produced by solar panels on your home, creates utility savings, energy independence, grid resilience and a healthier planet. To increase your home’s energy efficiency, try incorporating one of these renewable energy options

Renewable energy rebates

Take advantage of the solar federal tax credit that can be claimed on federal income taxes for a percentage of the cost of a solar PV system paid for by the taxpayer.

If you are building a home in Overland Park, you can also receive a reduced permit fee for adding solar.

Energy Efficiency

Reduce energy consumption and save money with simple steps, including:

  • Adding insulation.
  • Sealing gaps.
  • Upgrading appliances.
  • Using smart thermostats.

Start with a home energy assessment to identify inefficiencies and prioritize upgrades. Consider replacing outdated appliances with Energy Star-certified products and taking advantage of federal tax credits for energy-efficient home improvements.

For renters, switching to LED lighting, unplugging fully charged devices, washing clothes in cold water, adjusting thermostat settings and regularly changing air filters are effective ways to save energy and money.

Natural Systems

Being environmentally sustainable means working to preserve and improve our air, water, and soil for our health and the health of our local ecosystems. As a homeowner, this means doing what you can to prevent air, water, and soil pollution and adopting practices that work with the natural environment. 

Limit Solid Waste

The City provides opportunities to divert waste from the landfill through events and programs:

Landfills release greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, pose risks to water and air quality and require resources to build and maintain. Divert solid waste from landfills by following the strategies outlined below.


The easiest way to minimize waste is to avoid creating it in the first place. You can accomplish this by avoiding disposable utensils when packing meals, enrolling in paperless billing, unsubscribing to junk mail and buying packaging-free items like loose produce at the grocery store or farmer’s market. Replace disposable items with reusable ones when possible so you are prepared to refuse items. 


Some products cannot be avoided, so reduce usage when you can by printing double-sided, buying food items in bulk quantities (like yogurt cups or single-serve coffee pods) to reduce packaging, purchasing milk in reusable glass bottles, planning your meals so less food is wasted, taking care of your clothing and repairing items instead of throwing them away.


Many disposable items have reusable replacements that can often save you money at the same time:

  • Bring your own mug or thermos to the café.
  • Opt for reusable shopping and produce bags for trips to the grocery store.
  • Use handkerchiefs over disposable tissues for a runny nose.
  • Replace paper towels in your kitchen with washable rags.
  • Buy clothing secondhand (and donate yours).
  • Bring to-go containers for restaurant leftovers.
  • Keep a refillable water bottle handy to avoid single-use plastics.
  • Repair small items like shoes and clothing as well as larger items like appliances.
  • Purchase products in reusable containers such as refillable water jugs and cleaning and personal care products like liquid hand soap, shampoo and even lotion.

Has an item lived its useful life for its intended purpose?

Maybe you can breathe new life into it!

  • Cut up old jeans, and turn them into dog rope toys for an animal shelter donation.
  • Use the other side of a document as scratch paper.
  • Smother weeds or create a base layer in raised garden beds using cardboard.
  • Collect used cooking oil in a salsa jar before taking it to your local household hazardous waste drop-off.
  • Cut up old clothes to be used as rags.
  • Wrap gifts in newspaper.

Recycling is actually the last resort to diverting waste from the landfill! Purchase items in easily recyclable packaging like cardboard, paper products, glass and aluminum instead of plastics.

Dispose of household hazardous waste and electronics properly. Local government agencies often offer drop-off sites or special events as disposal opportunities for these items. Overland Park residents can make an appointment to dispose of many forms of hazardous waste with Johnson County.

Composting is a great way to recycle organic material like leaves or food scraps! You can compost for free in your backyard or pay for curbside or drop-off services.

Social Sustainability Resources

Social sustainability helps create a City where people feel connected and provided with the resources they need to promote health and wellbeing.  Here are some of the resources available to Overland Park residents.


OPCares is a non-emergency reporting tool for common issues from repairs to noise complaints, and more. 

Volunteer Opportunities

The City relies on the willingness of volunteers to help serve residents and visitors of Overland Park. View upcoming volunteer opportunities to contribute and create a shared community value of sustainability.

Johnson County

Johnson County manages many social services and resources for Overland Park community members which promote social sustainability. 

Mental Health Services

The City is committed to promoting and supporting the mental health of residents. Licensed mental health professionals and a crisis intervention team respond to calls for service when mental health intervention is needed. The Mental Health Advisory Committee advises the City on issues and supports initiatives around mental health in the community. 

Overland Park Teen Council

The Overland Park Teen Council is designed to give high school students experience with the legislative and administrative operations of local government. Teen Council advances social sustainability by teaching the value of community building and promoting the health and wellness of community members to the next generation. 

LQBTQ+ Support

It is a priority of the City Manager’s Office that Overland Park be a welcoming community and that the City of Overland Park be a welcoming organization.

If you have LGBTQ-related concerns, please reach out to:
Lara Isch
LGBTQ+ Liaison/Sustainability Manager
[email protected]