Inspired and passionate people collaborate at the Center for Sustainable Living of Bloomington, Indiana to share how we can care for our Earth and live well, together. Our non-profit has more than 20 years of experience nurturing great ideas like yours, so find your place and do great work with us.

The Center for Sustainable Living is a nonprofit organization that has facilitated and led the development of over 15 ongoing community-based, self-organized, and sustainability-oriented Projects. Over the more than two decades since its founding, CSL has not only stewarded these Projects but has also committed to improving long-term environmental impacts.

CSL has grown alongside a variety of communities within Bloomington by promoting and facilitating access to healthy food for all people, sharing skills and knowledge through public fairs, and promoting the development of a local solidarity economy.

In an effort to demonstrate the risks of a culture of waste and disposable everything, including fashion, CSL has put on the Trashion/Refashion Runway Show for 8 consecutive years to great acclaim. It is also thanks to CSL that Bloomington was designated a Wildlife Habitat City, after CSL members organized the Backyard Wildlife Habitat Stewards class and increased wildlife habitat spaces.

The Center for Sustainable Living has had an exciting 20-plus years already, and we’re looking forward to what the next 20 years has in store for all of us. Without the hard work of legions of volunteers, Bloomington and the surrounding area would be a much less beautiful place. Do join us so we can work to make it truly sustainable in a way it surely is not now. Together, we know that we can shape our futures and be an inspiration for communities around the world.

The Center for Sustainable Living supports 11 different projects.
Find your passion and jump in!

  • food
  • local production
  • renewable energy
  • reuse & repair
  • toolshare
  • transportation
  • urban space
  • waste reduction

Bloomington Community Bike Project

Teaching bicycle repair skills and reshaping our community for sustainable commuting.

About the Project

The Bike Project is a local cooperative that helps get the city of Bloomington moving by recycling bicycles back into the community. Looking for a bike? We sell bikes that volunteers have restored. Have a bike or parts to donate? We’ll accept it! Does your bike just need a little work? Our volunteers can teach you the basics of repair and maintenance. Or are you looking to help people with all of the above? You’ve come to the right place!


Hosting potlucks and encouraging advocacy for sustainable eating with other vegetarians and vegans in your community.

About the Project

BloomingVeg is an all-ages social and advocacy group for vegetarians, vegans, and veggie-lovers alike. BloomingVeg was founded in 2012 to help at the local animal sanctuary, promote and publicize vegan dining options in Bloomington, demonstrate against animal cruelty at circuses, and engage in similar friendly efforts to help others live more compassionately.
Also, because eating is such a social aspect of our lives, we wanted to provide a venue for fun gatherings like potlucks, holiday cookie swaps, Meatless Monday dinners at local restaurants, and more among like-minded people! If you are a long-time vegan or vegetarian, just starting out, or maybe you just like eating vegan food, BloomingVeg has something for you! You’re welcome in our friendly group of compassionate eaters.

Bring Your Bag Bloomington

Encouraging everyone we come across to use reusable shopping bags.

About the Project

We spend time talking one-on-one to people in grocery stores and at various community events, explaining the problems with plastic bags, and distributing free reusable bags. Person by person we are showing how small individual changes can lead to measurable, community-wide improvements! If you’d like to help make simple changes that have huge impacts, then join our efforts to teach and inform.
The original goal of Bring Your Bag Bloomington was to introduce a city ordinance to drastically reduce distribution of single-use plastic bags by implementing a ban and/or fee on bags. After working towards this goal for 18 months, the Indiana Legislature rushed through a bill in March 2016 which banned any local laws controlling plastic bags or any other disposable food containers. This was outrageous, but nevertheless we have continued to encourage everyone we come across to use reusable bags.


Creating something new from what would otherwise be discarded, giving clothes, material, and more a second or third life.

About the Project

Discardia helps you find new life for textiles and other reusable materials, spurring creativity and reducing the flow of these materials to landfills. We’re establishing a hub for creative artisans who are already fashioning items from used materials. If you want to encourage others to see the benefit of creative problem solving by way of example and education, you can help imbue not only a sense of community involvement, but also establish a local identity of creative motion for everyone involved.

Glenn Carter Memorial Toolshare

Sharing tools for all to use from an inspirational friend and community organizer.

About the Project

When local craftsman Glenn Carter passed away, several people in the Bloomington community came together to carry on his work and legacy by making his tools available to all to use.

Habitat Stewards

Establishing wildlife habitats, increasing biodiversity, and beautifying the land anywhere there is a bit of space.

About the Project

Through Habitat Stewards, we take the national Backyard Wildlife Habitat principles and share with others the joy and benefits of growing local native plants, establishing wildlife water and shelter needs, and more. We started by working to certify Bloomington as a Community Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. Today, we still encourage new wildlife habitat developments throughout Bloomington and share what we have learned about our local ecosystem. You can help create wildlife habitats in backyards around our community!

Healthful Food for All Fund

Spreading access to sustainably grown, healthful food.

About the Project

To make fresh, local, healthful food more available to low-income households, the Healthful Food for All Fund has two projects: the Farm to Family Fund and the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Matching Program.

The Farm to Family Fund aims both to make healthful, sustainably produced food more available to low-income households and to support our local, sustainable food system. Every Saturday at the Bloomington Winter Farmers’ Market, the Farm to Family Fund offers to pay farmers half price for food they don’t sell at market. The food is delivered directly to agencies serving those in our community currently experiencing food insecurity – The Rise, The Community Kitchen of Monroe County, and Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard.
The SNAP Matching Program is designed to make the food available at the Winter Market more affordable for SNAP cardholders by matching the SNAP benefit up to $18 per week.


Bringing solar to more places to expand the number of businesses and public buildings powered by the sun.

About the Project

The Solar Indiana Renewable Energy Network (SIREN) formed in 2008 to promote an alternative energy model to reduce dependence on coal. Since then, we have continued to help more and more homes, businesses, churches, governmental buildings, and schools become solar powered. By presenting free, public Going Solar programs, and organizing Solarize group-purchase programs in partnership with city teams around the state, we help overcome barriers to adoption of solar in the Midwest by demonstrating its performance, affordability, and availability. If you want to see our culture move away from fossil fuels as a foundation, embracing the possibility of carbon-neutral energy, then join our efforts right here in southern Indiana.

Solar For All

Purchasing solar power together to expand access to those with limited funds, providing energy independence and economic savings for all.

About the Project

By quickly ramping up photovoltaic (PV) installations in Indiana, we are making solar power financially accessible to those with limited funds through our bulk purchasing and collective subsidizing plan. Together we are increasing energy efficiency, building community, and creating resilience.

The price of solar installations has dropped dramatically in recent years, yet people with fixed or limited income still cannot afford to buy in, and typically do not qualify for the federal renewable energy tax credit. These people are also the most vulnerable to inevitable electric rate increases and have the most to gain from reduced utilities expenses. All households, businesses, and other organizations are eligible to participate and benefit from the bulk purchase discounts we negotiate in a given area, and by buying with us subsidize installations of solar PV systems for people with fixed or limited incomes—providing some energy independence and economic savings for all. Not only do people of all economic positions benefit from our purchasing plan, but along the way volunteers gain skills in home weatherization, solar installation, and roof repair. If you want to learn these skills for possible new employment opportunities and help spread solar access, this is the project for you!

The Overlook

Making and building in a space dedicated to community, art, and sustainability.

About the Project

As the economic and political landscape of Indiana continues to change, it is vital to secure permanent spaces for radical organizing, learning, cooperation, gardening, public events, non-profit efforts, and open discussions. We are a collective of artists, inventors, non-profits, community organizers, and makers creating that space in Bloomington, Indiana.
Many community center buildings are rented rather than owned. We now own a space that we are working to make accessible to the community and sustainable over time. Without the stress of rent hikes, we are better positioned to increase mission-driven programming over time and maximize resources to the community. If you like this can-do attitude and want to work to revitalize our neighborhoods with skills, friendships, and more, then stop by the Overlook.

Winter Farmers Market

Offering fresh food, local produce, and artisan products in the winter months, helping you find your place in the cycle of sustainable agriculture.

About the Project

The Bloomington Winter Farmers Market extends the farmers market season and increases the availability of fresh produce and other local products throughout the four seasons of the year. We encourage direct contact between producer and consumer, leading to a better understanding of local food economy issues. We hope to provide the greatest possible varieties of local foods from working together in a cooperative atmosphere with farmers and artisans in our area. You can support the hard work of these local producers by shopping at our weekly market, and enjoy the music and community-building opportunities along the way. Join us Saturdays to sample what our local vendors offer, such as produce and baked goods, farm-fresh meats and cheeses, hot foods and beverages, craft items, and more.

Dive In Hands-First

There's an event for you, coming right up!

Quarterly Board Meeting

Hosted by The Center for Sustainable Living

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Bloomingfoods East
3220 East Third St, Bloomington

Each quarter, the CSL Board meets to take care of business.

Carpool to Uplands PEAK Grand Opening

Hosted by BloomingVeg

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Uplands PEAK Sanctuary
6444 Freedom Arney Road, Freedom

Join us for a BOLD celebration in Freedom! PEAK moved to Freedom on April 6th. Well, all the beings moved April 6th, the stuff took much longer.

Mending Day

Hosted by Discardia

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Monroe County Public Library
303 E Kirkwood Ave, Bloomington

We supply basic sewing materials and sewing machines, and you bring any project to make or mend!

Mending Day

Hosted by Discardia

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Monroe County Public Library
303 E Kirkwood Ave, Bloomington

We supply basic sewing materials and sewing machines, and you bring any project to make or mend!

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