Go Green Indianapolis! That is the message from Mayor Ballard’s office over the past couple of months, and now it is time to take stock of how we are doing. Earlier this month, the Circle City was named a Green Community by the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns. Indy officially received its designation last Monday, October 5 French Lick, Indiana.
“One of the goals of my administration is to make Indianapolis one of the most sustainable cities in the Midwest,” said Mayor Greg Ballard. “Since establishing the Office of Sustainability in October 2008, we have been working hard to find new ways for the city to conserve energy and to educate both residents and business owners about the importance of a truly sustainable city and I’m very proud that we have been recognized for those efforts.”
IACT launched the Green Communities Initiative to recognize communities that are implementing cost savings and promoting sustainable, economically competitive quality of life concepts, despite facing budget shortfalls. As an IACT Green Community, Indianapolis will be part of a program designed to expand educational opportunities for municipalities and create a consolidated clearinghouse of data and programs that can be accessed by cities and towns throughout the state.
“We are truly excited to be recognized as an IACT Green Community,” said Kären Haley, Director of the City of Indianapolis Office of Sustainability. “This designation not only recognizes that City government is committed creating a sustainable city, but it also is a testament to our citizens who are doing their part to help make us one of the most sustainable city’s in the Midwest.”
To be recognized as an IACT Green Community, Indianapolis had to demonstrate commitment to sustainability and cost savings in the areas of purchasing, operations, measuring success, and sample projects. The very next day, Tuesday, October 6, Ballard released the sustainability reports that won the Indianapolis community our green designation.
The report shows that in the past year, Indianapolis installed 17 new pedestrian recycling bins, added 89 hybrid vehicles to the city fleet, and implemented 14 miles of bike lanes. It has been one year since Mayor Greg Ballard created the office of sustainability. As he shared the news he had this to say, “We’ve come a long way. We still have a long way to go. We thought it was a good time to provide, a snapshot of the funds and environment.”
In addition, Ballard announced an initiative that will begin in Indianapolis downtown and across the Indianapolis metro area. The city of Indianapolis will award Indianapolis businesses for their efforts toward sustainability.
Indianapolis will soon host its very own Sustainability Awards, designed to recognize both Indianapolis people and Indianapolis businesses for their efforts to make Indy more sustainable. Ballard used the time to call for entries. Find out how to nominate a public or private venture or individual for a Sustainability Award by visiting Mayor Ballard’s website.
Tips for Going Green:
- Use washable towels and cloth napkins in place of paper products
- Wash your clothes in cold water
- Replace Incandescent light bulbs with Compact Fluorescent light bulbs
- Turn off the lights when you leave the house
- Unplug electronics that are not in use
- Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth
- Use the dishwasher instead of washing by hand
And remember the old adage: “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!”