Earth Day Progress ReportApril 20th, 2012 at 10:48 pm by Eric Halvorson under Eric Halvorson's Blog
Our state has done some good things to improve our standing in environmental progress. But, we tend to rank toward the bottom whenever anyone compares Indiana’s air and water quality to what they find in other states.
David Forsell, the President of KIBI — Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. — said Indianapolis has done “a wonderful job addressing its water issues, in particular.” He said improvements promoted by the city will make our water a lot cleaner in ten years.
CLEAN UP CHALLENGES
Renee Sweany, co-founder of Green Piece Indy, noted the water quality challenges, statewide. “We are up to almost 1,000 rivers, lakes and streams that have some form of pollution that is toxic to human beings and other creatures,” she told me.
Green Piece Indy was created, as its web site says, to “handpick only the simplest, best tips and present them as easy-to-digest pieces of eco-friendly information, delivered straight to your inbox.” It’s a newsletter with tips for living a greener lifestyle.
With such passion for her mission, Sweany also speaks on behalf of the Hoosier Environmental Council. That’s where she encourages like-minded Hoosiers to get involved. “Unless our representatives are hearing from us as individuals, they won’t be making decisions that most represent what we want for the environment.”
KIBI’s David Forsell told me Indianapolis could be recycling more. Unfortunately, costs get in the way. However, he says the city is making progress in the quality of its air and water. “Indianapolis is definitely doing better than we’ve been.”
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Forsell said, last year, KIBI and its friends planted more than 6,000 trees in Indianapolis. And, they’re not tiny saplings. He told me they’re 6, 8, 10 feet tall. They help clean the air, clean the water – and growing trees “helps communities grow social bonds.” Urban forestry also produces economic benefits.
Making a difference doesn’t mean you have to work up a sweat or get your hands dirty. Renee Sweany says “our small steps can have a big impact on the planet.”
Two of her favorite new ideas require changing habits with straws and with styrofoam.
If you’re ready for bigger projects, KIBI wants to hear from you. Forsell says it can help you with neighborhood clean-ups from now through October.
In spite of the city’s progress, his organization will “probably never quite be out of business on that – which is too bad.”
You can learn more from Forsell and Sweany on Sunday morning. They’re guests on my occasional radio show which appears on My107.9 and WZPL. The program will air at 7 o’clock that morning — and at various times on 1430-AM.