It’s easy being green when we work together

By David Forsell
Indianapolis, IN (October 19, 2008)- Public-private partnerships have defined civic success in Indianapolis for generations. When government, the private sector and nonprofits have worked with common purpose, our city has gotten better, time and again. The movement toward a more sustainable Indianapolis is our next opportunity.

What is sustainability? It is using best practices to create lasting environmental, economic and community vitality. On a policy and program level, sustainable practices include choosing alternative fueled and fuel-efficient vehicles; encouraging energy-efficient buildings; expanding recycling efforts; encouraging walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods, and making progress on air and water quality. On an individual level, it is making choices like planting trees in your yard, winterizing your home, recycling and conserving energy when you can.
Mayor Greg Ballard recently established an Office of Sustainability dedicated to coordinating the sustainability efforts of government, and to work with the private sector.
The office will focus on programs such as expanding and enhancing recycling services, exploring opportunities in green building, and expanding the city’s role in NeighborWoods, a program of Keep Indianapolis Beautiful Inc. to plant 100,000 new trees in our city over the next 10 years. The mayor also created SustainIndy — an initiative to explore and implement sustainability programs and solutions. Working with partners among the city’s Green Commission, KIB and others, SustainIndy’s goal is to ensure positive and measurable sustainability results.
At a time in the political season when the debate is about whether we will be red or blue, let’s focus on being green. Responsible use of resources, clean air and water, and energy efficiency are nonpartisan. We all benefit by being environmentally conscious. And a healthy, green and forward-thinking city will help retain and attract people who will help our city grow and prosper.
Ready to get involved? Visit KIB’s Web site ( to learn how your neighborhood, company or service group can do its part by planting trees, adopting a median, creating a community park or volunteering at a community clean-up.
We can improve and sustain Indianapolis by working in partnership. It’s what has defined our success as a community; and we can do it again.
Related Resources:
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful
Indy Star- It’s easy being green when we work together