The Age of the Human and Shifts in Thought

The Anthropocene is here (if you are like me and didnt know that much, click the link to watch some great TED talks). This global phase is felt locally and has garnered action, paricularly from local Monroe County churches, who continue to reflect their concern for the environment.

 St. Thomas Lutheran (ELCA) is one of these, celebrating a month long push. Season of Creation takes place throughout September at St. Thomas. Themes of this month permeate the church’s liturgy, education, advocacy, and community outreach. Many of the tools used comes from church web resources. A book recommended is titled Season of Creation.

A part of the past week’s service included adult education looking at the creation story in Genesis through the lens of the Anthropocene. In addition, phone calls to the Governor were urged by members who also belong to the Indiana Forest Alliance

Efforts like these are now common locally. In fact, there are many other houses of worship who are similarly engaged in environmental and sustainability initiatives, making Monroe County a green haven in Indiana.


Time is Runing out on Solar in Indiana

With net metering being altered at the end of this calendar year, many in Monroe County are taking the opportunity to learn more about solar power on their homes and places of worship. Already, Trinity Episcopal, Unitarian Universalist Bloomington, Friends Meeting Bloomington, and Columbus Unitarian are expanding their solar arrays ahead of the deadline. These places of worship are saving up to 10% on installation costs through a program called Solarize Bloomington Phase 2. This program is run by the City of Bloomington and SIREN.

There is an upcoming informational session this Tuesday, August 22 at 7pm invite Bloomington Council Chambers in the Showers Building downtown Bloomington. This is an informational session for those interested in taking advantage of this timely opportunity. 

If you Have questions, please contact the City of Bloomington or SIREN.

Time is Running Out to Save up to 10% on Solar

If you have thought about solar energy for your home, business, or pergola, time is running out for you to save up to 10%! This program is called Solarize Bloomington Phase 2.

Monroe County residents will need to take part in an informational session which will take place this Thursday, August 17 at 7:00pm at the Ellettsville Public Library. If you can not make this session, there are only two more before the September 15th deadline! 

This program is run by the City of Bloomington and SIREN.

Green Parking Garage

Great picture of the Monroe County Employee parking garage at this morning’s farmers market. You can see the solar panels on the roof soaking up the sun, and the living wall on the right of the building is looking colorful! Just another example of the green efforts of County Government!

Where Local Politicians Stand on Environmental Issues

Early Voting Begins In Iowa For Presidential ElectionWith 2016 elections less than a week away, this is your look at how local races treat environmental issues. Below you’ll find candidates in categories by the seat they seek. While we understand that early voting has been strong in Monroe County, we want to ensure that local candidates stances on environmental issues are well known.

There is a Referendum Question on hunting and we recommend you listen to the October 21st taping of Noon Edition before you step into the voting booth.

Happy voting!

Ahead of the Food Curve

local-farms-local-foodIn an ongoing look at sustainability assets in Monroe County, there is one business that has helped shape the way we grow, eat, and learn about food: Bloomingfoods.

Food policy so often focuses on access. In fact, you need only to look at the recent focus on food deserts. There is even a map dedicated to showing how far away a certain residence is to a source of food, and this is important.

But in Monroe County residents have been spoiled by access to good food provided by  Bloomingfoods. Started in 1979, they were incubated by residents who sought food they couldn’t obtain elsewhere. Over the years they have grown throughout Monroe County and have offered local food producers access to a growing market, and in return residents found an increasingly local array of produce. Bloomingfoods also promotes local sustainability through print and online publications and support of local non-profits.

Bloomingfood’s most recent contribution has been to help our region prepare for a seachange in the way we think about groceries in Monroe County. As Bloominfoods expanded throughout the county, new businesses have come to Bloomington to reach households increasingly interested in sustainable agriculture and knowing more about the food they are feeding their families. This has in turn put positive pressure on growers and the evidence can be seen in the produce section of Bloomingfoods, Lucky’s, Kroger, and soon others. The crowds at the Bloomington Farmer’s Market also show this positive pressure. The end result is that interest and consequently knowledge of sustainability is growing in Monroe County.

Members of the Monroe County Environmental Commission composed this post. Their charge includes “educating the community and engaging residents and businesses in supporting initiatives which will help ensure a healthier and more economically viable future for the County.” The public is welcome to attend these meetings the second Wednesday of every month at 5:30pm.