Green

Big Ideas for Planet Earth in a Roxbury Man's Bus

cb670f8dd340c319a44b__IMG3827fava.JPG
Donna Elazar and Bryan Callahan work on their bus while Lila, their dog, watches
4f8cd4c31c07b119afad_153a720389507ad179c1_busfront.PNG
7939e56932000ffce106_4135db36c9f6fc47da85_businside.jpg
Bus appliances operate on low-pressure propane. Callahan is adding solar panels and batteries for other electrical needs
cb670f8dd340c319a44b__IMG3827fava.JPG

ROXBURY NJ – Back in his Roxbury High School days, Bryan Callahan wasn’t a football star, a gifted member of the marching band or president of the student council.

He preferred running wires to running fields. His favorite instruments didn't make music; they measured volts.

The Kenvil resident said he did receive one acknowledgment from the school, an accolade somewhat related to his passion for tinkering with wires, switches, bulbs, gauges and the like: “I graduated in 2003 with the Senior Award in Science Excellence,” he said with a chuckle.

Sign Up for E-News

Now the kid who installed a siren and a pushbutton alarm system in his backyard treehouse is close to accomplishing a long-held dream: He and girlfriend Donna Elazar are planning to hit the road in a 43-foot-long, 2001 International Genesis modified school bus on a mission to help the planet.

The bus has been converted into a home on wheels that the couple will use to roam the nation as evangelists for off-the-grid, sustainable living. This week, Callahan, 31, and Elazar, 24, were busy installing solar panels atop the huge vehicle. They hope to get the bus road-ready in time to take it all the way to Oregon next month, where they volunteered to work at Oregon Eclipse, a week-long “sustainability event” that starts Aug. 17 and coincides with an upcoming solar eclipse.

Callahan planned to be rolling across America by now with Elazar and their frisky white Lab named Lila. But a bit of last-minute bad luck put the brakes on that idea.

“During this year, we overcame various setbacks, all the while pushing onward,” Callahan wrote on an online crowdfunding site where he is seeking donations to finish the bus project. “But, on what was to be the eve of our departure a few weeks ago in June, a fender bender and our only two cars breaking down on the same day destroyed the capital we had left to finish the conversion and get us to our first destination.”

It’s not the first setback. Callahan bought the bus in November from a man in Egg Harbor. While he was driving the rig home to Roxbury, one of the front air brakes failed. There was also an issue with some frozen waste water lines this winter.

But with Callahan installing security systems and Elazar - a 2015 honors graduate of Ramapo College - also working, money was found to fix the brakes and water lines. Before the recent setbacks, they had the cash they needed to finish the bus and head west.

“Our main goal is to look for farms and small communities that are trying to integrate permaculture ideas,” Callahan said. “Permaculture is a form of farming that integrates the natural cycles of the earth … What I’m trying to do is bring in the off-grid and sustainable power to run pumps for irrigation and do all the heavy-lifting stuff our technological society does.”

Callahan and Elazar are no strangers to nationwide travel. They’ve already crisscrossed the country – in a pickup with a homemade camper top – helping out at events and projects aligned with their belief in sustainable lifestyles.

“These individuals are some of the most inspiring people I have had the pleasure to know,” said Ryan Vander Horn, a friend of Callahan and Elazar. “They live their life untethered by the mundane and superficial aspects of everyday life. Bryan and Donna have a drive that stems not from concern for the expectations and desires of others, but rather from the needs and cries for help that rise up from the collective.”

Vander Horn, a former Rutgers University English major about to head to law school, said he’s seen Callahan and Elazar in action and is awed by their conviction and generosity.

“No matter what environment they find themselves in, you can notice their sense of duty to the community around them,” he said. “Whether it is at a friend's house lending a helping hand with chores, or teaching workshops at festivals around the country, the main goal is to help those around them.”

Callahan said he is acutely aware there are people in dire circumstances, facing illnesses or situations far more worthy of charity. In the first sentence of his crowdfunding page, he says “asking for help isn’t easy for me.”

His hope is that others who share his beliefs will chip in a little to help. He said the bus, with almost everything inside powered by the sun, will be like a “portfolio” on wheels, a lumbering, tan and blue example of simple living and ingenuity.

To donate money, click here.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Roxbury

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_6c8f4c8a65923e7e9073_lastrada

Thu, July 19, 6:00 PM

La Strada Ristorante, Randolph

La Strada Dinner & Retirement Income Workshop

Business & Finance Food & Drink

Carousel_image_d0c07f45f1cd01f57f16_11951809_902305396503606_7880674558307039176_n

Thu, July 19, 7:00 PM

Horseshoe Lake Bandshell, Succasunna

Roxbury Summer Concert Series: Rodeo Gypsies

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_e09a9a439fd4b08e0c8b_logo

Sat, July 21, 9:00 AM

Henry Bona Pools & Spas, Kenvil

Bona Pools Customer Appreciation Sale!

Home & Garden

Carousel_image_6a57ceb4cc57f8ad301a_82709170faa9db7ba6d1_bona

Sun, July 22, 9:00 AM

Henry Bona Pools & Spas, Kenvil

Bona Pools Customer Appreciation Sale!

Home & Garden

Have You Seen Buttons?

July 11, 2018

MOUNT OLIVE, NJ - Residents of Roxbury living near Flanders are asked to keep an eye out for a lost female Yorkie mix that has been missing since July 7.

"Buttons" was last seen near Kevin Drive and Christopher Court in Flanders. The dog, described as friendly but shy, is brown with dark highlights and a white chest patch. If you see her, please call 973-219-9323.

Columns

Peyton Knight's Pointers for Safer Driving

Many customers ask my advice for ways to add more years of life to their vehicles. Here are a few pointers from my 35 years of experience in the auto repair industry, as well as some tips to keep you safer on the road.  

1.    Pull Through a Parking Spot.  Pull through to the other side of a parking space so your vehicle faces forward out ...

More Snow! Let Your Kid Drive in It!

ROXBURY, NJ - We are again about to be walloped by a snowstorm. These words, first written at the beginning of winter, need to be reiterated:

Many parents with a new driver at home will see the storm approaching and instinctively decide to not allow their kids to get behind the wheel until the snow's been cleared.

They might want to rethink that.

When it snows, ...

Is Your Car Ready for Old Man Winter?

You know it’s coming: That first frigid morning when you discover your car is covered in ice. Old Man Winter has reared his ugly head once again to wreak havoc on your car and your ride to work. 

Well, I’ve got one thing to say about that: Let’s be ready for him this year!

Owning a repair shop for over 30 years, I have spent many harsh winters coaxing a dead ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.

 

 

AtlantiCast Episode 17

On this week’s AtlantiCast, it’s National Men’s Health Month, so check out important health tips for you or the men in your life, learn about groundbreaking research into breast cancer treatment that could mean an end to chemotherapy for some patients, meet a local sports hero who’s living his baseball dreams thanks to Goryeb Children’s Hospital and much ...

Letters to TAPinto Roxbury

A Problem and a Solution

July 17, 2018

Greetings, residents of Roxbury Township.  Let me begin by thanking you for the opportunity to serve as the high school principal for the past 15 years.  It has been an honor and a pleasure to do so.

As I “walk into the sunset,” I’d like to bring an important issue to your attention.  It is a significant issue that will plague the district for years to come if ...

Warsaw of Ledgewood Makes St. Lawrence Dean's List

July 2, 2018

CANTON, NY - Nolan Warsaw of Ledgewood has been selected for inclusion on St. Lawrence University's Dean's List for academic achievement during the Spring 2018 semester.

Warsaw is a member of the Class of 2021. Warsaw attended Roxbury High School.

To be eligible for the Dean's List, a student must have completed at least four courses and have an academic average of 3.6 based on ...

Two From Roxbury Graduate From Roger Williams

BRISTOL, RI - The following local residents were among the 1,127 students who received their degrees in May as part of the Class of 2018

Paul Bohrer of Succasunna N, with a B.A. in Public Health

Samuel Sherwood of Succasunna NJ (07876), with a B.S. in Finance

Fleming Chosen to Represent RHS at Annual NJ HOBY Seminar

ROXBURY, NJ - Roxbury High School sophomore Allison Fleming from Succasunna represented Roxbury High School at this year’s annual NJ Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) Leadership Seminar.

Fleming spent three days in June at Kean University with more than 300 other sophomores from around the state.

Founded in 1958, HOBY’s mission is to inspire and develop our global ...

Press Releases

Roxbury BOYS & GIRLS INVITED TO FREE SUMMER ADVENTURE NIGHTS

July 13, 2018

Events Will Include STEM, Shooting sports, games and More!

_____________________________

STANHOPE, NJ – July 5, 2018– Time for the whole family to experience adventure this summer!  Have some free summer evenings and ready for a summer evening of family fun?!  Families are invited to attend any of four Family Adventure Nights at Camp Wheeler or Watchung Day Camp at no ...

Take the 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey

How often do you read TAPinto?  Have you downloaded the TAPinto APP?  These are a few of the questions for readers in our 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey.

We want to hear from you!

The survey will take less than five minutes to complete and will help TAPinto better serve you. 

Take the 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey.

Thank you.  We appreciate your support and ...