Keeping KC Sustainable

Kansas City offers many ways to live a sustainable lifestyle, whether it be using public transportation, supporting plastic-free businesses or eating at organic plant-based restaurants.

Emma Hutchin, Photo Editor

As the topic of climate change gets more heavily covered in the media, many consumers are finding ways to adjust their lifestyles. In a large metropolitan area like Kansas City, there are many ways to eat sustainably and support local farmers. Here are a few local restaurants that put the environment first and focus on organic, healthy diets. 


Emma Hutchin
Mocha and Pumpkin Rosemary Lattes from PT’s at the Crossroads. Each coffee was an average of three dollars.

PT’s at the Crossroads

Just off of Southwest Boulevard and at the edge of the Crossroads Arts District, PT’s Coffee offers traditional coffee tasting and a full-service menu. The walls are lined with local artwork and the trendy atmosphere makes it easy to get work done. Underneath it all, however, the coffee house is doing its part to help combat the climate crisis. The tables are made from reclaimed wood that once carried coffee beans to the roasting facilities. PT’s is also one of the first coffee roasters to participate in Direct Trade, according to their website.

By trading directly with farmers and by cutting out the middleman, PT’s focuses on sustainable agriculture and works with farmers that consider the economic and environmental issues that come with mass production. To trade directly with a farmer, part of PT’s criteria is that “the farmer must be committed to sustainable-quality coffee, healthy environmental practices and responsible community practices.” At an average of $3 per cup, PT’s makes staying environmentally-conscious practical. Instead of supporting mass production of coffee beans, purchasing from Direct Trade businesses is one way to participate in smart consumption. 


Emma Hutchin
The potatoes and cashew cheese sauce at Café Gratitude. The entire menu is vegan with gluten-free options.

Café Gratitude

A few hundred feet away, Café Gratitude welcomes all people to try their 100 percent vegan menu with gluten-free options and homemade meals. The vegan restaurant focuses on simplicity and down-to-earth food while also providing a trendy and hip atmosphere. Meal prices vary anywhere from $9-15 and some of their breakfast options are served all day. What makes this restaurant unique is the solar panels that keep the business running smoothly. Café Gratitude sources its produce from local Kansas City farmers and focuses on sustainable farming methods. Many of the restaurant’s light fixtures are created from old wine bottles and the tables are made from reclaimed wood from a Kansas barn.

The restaurant puts on multiple classes and events and has an upcoming Thanksgiving dinner that will feature an organic, vegan menu. Vegan diets cut out all animal products and support sustainable agriculture. By reducing or cutting out meat consumption, harmful cattle farming practices are cut down. Café Gratitude makes its dairy products from nuts like cashews and other Brazil nuts and uses coconut milk in their breakfast dishes. Vegans and non-vegans alike will find something to enjoy at this restaurant and the environmentally-conscious atmosphere is inspiring and admirable. 


The Farmhouse

Nestled inside River Market West, The Farmhouse has much to offer those looking for a filling meal. Brick exposed walls are home to local artwork, and the tables are matched with assorted chairs. The restaurant plays off of the farmhouse look but also incorporates modern elements like a bar area and a clean environment. What makes The Farmhouse special is its support of local farmers.

Being a “farm to table” restaurant, local Kansas City farmers sell their crops directly to the restaurant, cutting down on mass production and transport. With the removal of importing products into the city and switching to local sources, greenhouse gas emissions are cut down and the process runs smoother. Produce, meat, and dairy products are sourced directly in state. The menu is seasonal and changes as the year progresses. A little more on the expensive side, each meal ranges from$7-20. This is the perfect place for a Sunday brunch and it’s only a short walk away from the bustling river market center filled with fruit stands, sweets, and flower shops.

Pumpkin Spice french toast from The Farmhouse. Brunch is held on Sundays and the seasonal menu changes.