About Our Projects

People have been changing and improving the Bloomington community for over 20 years through The Center for Sustainable Living, and their reach can be seen through the diversity and breadth of our projects.

The Projects underneath the Center for Sustainable Living are grassroots initiatives that have been proposed by community members and approved by the Board of Directors as projects that align with the mission of the CSL. We consider sustainability broadly, meaning environmental, social, and psychological wellbeing and its sustenance are important to us.

Becoming a Project

The Center for Sustainable Living is looking for your ideas, innovation, and collaborative efforts to further sustainability in the Bloomington community. Is your group looking for more support? Do you want to be a part of a network of similar initiatives? We are looking for mission-driven, community-led projects that creatively and effectively promote ways of life that support both people and the environment.

Fiscal Sponsorship

As a fiscal sponsor, the CSL acts as an “umbrella” organization for its Projects, providing them with administrative support and financial oversight. The Center for Sustainable Living’s legal status as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization extends to its projects through their membership with the CSL.

The Project Agreement

Part of becoming a Project includes the Project Agreement, which outlines the legal, financial, and administrative relationship between CSL and its projects—including training, meetings, representation, reporting, and financial management.

Read the Project Agreement

Apply to Join Us

Interested in becoming a Project of the CSL?
Apply Now

Graduates of CSL

Some Projects grow and reach a point where they wish to become their own 501(c)3 and take on new, exciting things. Other Projects might become part of another movement or organization.

EcoReport (2007)

News program on WFHB, providing coverage of weekly environmental topics.

Check Out EcoReport

Local First Indiana (2009)

Promoted the local economy by showing consumers the importance of local businesses and connecting businesses to each other. Local First became its own 501(c)3 in 2013!

BOGA (2004)

The Bloomington Organic Growers Association was established by graduates of CSL’s Grow Organic Educator Series to continue the work and momentum of the class. BOGA focuses on organic gardening and lawn care education as well as related trips and workshops for participants, and continues to host two plant swaps each year.

Friends of Lake Monroe

This organization works to protect and enhance Lake Monroe and its watershed through science, advocacy, and public involvement: working collaboratively with citizens, government, and business to improve and support lake water quality.

Check Out Friends of Lake Monroe

Healthful Food for All Fund

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.

Check Out Healthful Food for All

Past Projects of CSL

In any organization, projects come and go—CSL is no exception. We have had a number of Projects take part in our collective mission, and we are thankful for the contributions each and every one made to our community.

Simple Living Circle (1998–2003)

This group formed around the idea that we don’t need as many material possessions as we think. They sought the fulfillment and benefits of a simpler way of life, including a reduced impact on the environment.

Food Project (1998–2009+)

This project distributed mostly vegan and vegetarian food from Hoosier Hills Food Bank to low income families. The Food Project was one of CSL’s longest-lasting projects, operating out of Lucille Bertuccio’s basement in the early years. The impact was substantial: In 2007, around 60 people were benefitting from the program each month, and grew to 764 households in 2009.

BloomingHOURS (1999–2001)

Former President and active board member Mike Englert led this initiative to establish a local currency for Bloomington, aiming to encourage more local exchange and support for Bloomington businesses. Ultimately, most of the currency ended up at Bloomingfoods and many of the businesses that accepted BloomingHOURS already provided uniquely local services. However, even if consumers did not change their shopping habits drastically, the idea still penetrated the community to show the importance of our local economy.

Composting Project (1999–2004)

Lucille Bertuccio was a strong supporter of composting, and this project worked with local schools to create and maintain food waste composting in schools.

Wild City Initiative (1999–2005)

This project emphasized the importance of maintaining biodiversity and wildlife habitats in urban spaces and focused on certifying areas as wildlife refuges. The group worked with homeowners, businesses/organizations, and schools. For example, in 2000 the Binford School Project brought 1800 native Indiana trees to plant at the school and reduce the need for mowing.

GoodFoods Group (est. 2000)

This project advocated for labelling foods that are genetically engineered and held teach-ins and workshops to talk about the issue with the community.

BloomingVision (2000–2005 & 2015)

BloomingVision gathered input and prepared comments for the Growth Policies Plan for the City of Bloomington, looking at ways to improve urban development, mixed use zoning for more walkable neighborhoods, and more. Lucille Bertuccio and Christine Glaser from the CSL, along with Chris Sturbaum and Dave Rollo from city council, were the main participants in the early 2000s. A second report was created in 2015 by Andrea Avena Koenigsberger, Christine Glaser, Ryan Conway, and Eric Ost.

Natural Building Group (2000–2007)

Led by Jeanne Leimkuhler and Joe Davis, the Natural Building Group’s main achievement was the construction of a straw bale house with Habitat for Humanity. The project partnered with Bloomingfoods and Harmony School, finishing the house in the spring of 2004.

GOES (2000–2016)

The Grow Organic Educators Series was a semester-long course (3 hrs./week) on organic farming which took place at Hilltop Garden. Farmers, professors and other experts were involved and the course had 120+ graduates in the first four years. The project was a partnership with the City of Bloomington through the Free University started by Michael Simons.

GenEthic Alliance (2001)

Worked to build awareness of genetically modified foods.

Green Space Initiative (2001)

Worked on a Natural Resource Inventory for Monroe County and wanted to protect, preserve and restore natural areas.

Tea Party (2002–2004)

Prior to and unaffiliated with the political Tea Party, this journal and CSL project published articles on a variety of topics, taking open submissions and advertising through the CSL newsletters.

Earth Garden (2002–2005)

This was another project to promote wildlife habitats and green spaces in Bloomington. Specifically, Earth Garden wanted to modify the “weed ordinance” and take vegetation out of the city’s trash code, aiming for the city to encourage natural landscaping.
Pedestrian Movement (2003)

Holistic Affordable Housing (2003–2007)

This project aimed to establish low-income eco-apartments in Bloomington using a variety of green techniques and focusing on sustainable living through efforts in energy efficiency and re-use as well as organic agriculture.

B-TOP (2004–2009)

Bloomington Transportation Options for People promoted the transition from cars and other vehicles to public transportation, biking, walking, etc. The group held workshops and hosted speakers on topics related to sustainable transportation.

Young Activist Funding Network (2004–2006)

This project valued the voices of youth and aimed to empower them in their passion for justice issues.

Green Dove Network (2004–2010)

The network provided news and resources related to peace and justice efforts.

Habitat for Sustainability (2004–2006)

This project grew out of the efforts of the Natural Building Group with the goal of providing more sustainable homes for low income residents.

Bloomington Community Wildlife Habitat (2004–2008)

Lucille Bertuccio took the lead on CSL’s mission to turn Bloomington into a certified Community Wildlife Habitat as designated by the National Wildlife Federation. Habitat Stewards then trained volunteers to help complete the individual assessments/certifications. In order to qualify, homes/businesses/churches were required to provide food, water, shelter and a place to raise young for the wildlife in their yard area. The project was successful, officially obtaining the certification in October of 2008.

Bloomington Urban Gardens for Students (2005)

A project partnership with Unitarian Universalist Church and Templeton Elementary to create Plant a Row for the Hungry.

Bloomington Circus Collective (2005–2006)

Held a variety of artistically-driven events and spectacles with a focus on social and environmental justice issues.

Indiana Holistic Health Network (2006–2010)

Provided information and resources regarding holistic services and green lifestyle choices. Co-sponsored the Simply Healthy Fair with the Green Dove Peace Network.

Eco-Link (2007)

Connected members to sustainability-focused events, activities, and resources through weekly email newsletters.

The Luna Moth Art Gallery (2007)

Supported ecological principles through the display of different kinds of art in the lobby of the Caldwell EcoCenter. The art was changed twice a month to showcase various groups and individuals.

The Declaration of Peace (2007)

Advocated for the Comprehensive Peace Plan for Iraq with the goal of ending U.S. involvement in the Iraq war. Planned protests, rallies, and lobbying events.

The Cool Earth Relay (2007)

Organized a relay race to Indianapolis from all over Indiana with the goal of raising awareness and educating people on actions to take in the face of climate change.

Worm Composting (2007)

This project worked with Middle Way House to turn food waste into worm castings and compost.

The Oasis Project (2008)

A community garden located on Washington St. behind Stahl Furniture started by IU students who took Peter Bane’s permaculture class in the Collins Living-Learning Center.

Deep Roots Animal Sanctuary (2008–2010)

A sanctuary for wild, domestic, and farm animals. Provided veterinary care and wildlife rehabilitation as well as programs and education for the community. This project aimed to take the facility off the energy grid and use native materials in its construction.

Bloomington Raw (2009)

Hosted a monthly potluck of raw foods, amongst other events.

Transition Town Bloomington (2009)

Interested in climate change, the oil industry, and the economy and “educating the community about localization and resiliency.”

ShareBloomington

This project hosted ShareFest, a sharing economy event, with workshops on building rain barrels, book libraries, and seed libraries; and operated a time bank, speaker events, tool share, and more. The motto was “don’t buy, share something.”

Open Streets Bloomington (2013–17)

For this event, the streets were closed off in downtown Bloomington and a plethora of activities took over––dancing, climbing, sword fighting, and more! The goal of Open Streets was to encourage active pastimes and to make the streets more pedestrian-friendly.

Deep Ecology Education Series (2006)

PeopleTree (2004–2006)

Sycamore Springs Waldorf School (2006–2008)

Garden the City

EcoSolvency Project

“…explores opportunities for starting ecologically sound and profitable local businesses”

Bloomington Sustainable Agriculture Cooperative

“…promotes sustainable agriculture in our community through a local certification that ensures soil community and grower health”

Eco-Warrior

This was a 3-part film project focused on environmental issues in Turkey, India and U.S., specifically movements led by women.

Carbon Xchange (2013)

Reducing carbon impact by connecting consumers who are using less carbon with businesses who are using more.

Trillium (?–2018)

Effort to turn Thomson site property into horticultural park that used sustainable agriculture practices and provided food to the community; looked to Bloomington Peak Oil Task Force Report for food security recommendations

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 supports 10 different projects.
Find your passion and jump in!

BloomingVeg

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.

Recent Posts

8 Great Deals on Vegan Food in Bloomington

Looking for budget-friendly vegan food in Bloomington? Here are a few of our favorite options, if you know of others let us know! Darn Good Soup Bloomington’s favorite soup spot,…

Read
11 Recipes to Take Home for the Holidays

  Not sure what to make for all of the holiday parties you’re attending this year? Try some of these recipes! Let us know what you’re making on Twitter (@bloomingvegIN)…

Read
BloomingVeg 2017 Survey

We are gathering information to determine: what BloomingVeg resources are most used what resources are needed the demand for vegetarian and vegan options at local restaurants and stores. If you…

Read

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.

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!

SIREN

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!

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.

Upcoming Events

Winter Farmers Market
Saturday, December 1
9:00am–12:30pm
Harmony School
909 E 2nd St, Bloomington

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.

more info add to your calendar
Winter Farmers Market
Saturday, December 8
9:00am–12:30pm
Harmony School
909 E 2nd St, Bloomington

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.

more info add to your calendar
Winter Farmers Market
Saturday, December 15
9:00am–12:30pm
Harmony School
909 E 2nd St, Bloomington

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.

more info add to your calendar

Dive In Hands-First

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

Winter Farmers Market

Hosted by Bloomington Winter Farmers Market

Saturday, December 1, 2018
9:00am–12:30pm

Harmony School
909 E 2nd St, Bloomington

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.

Winter Farmers Market

Hosted by Bloomington Winter Farmers Market

Saturday, December 8, 2018
9:00am–12:30pm

Harmony School
909 E 2nd St, Bloomington

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.

Mending Day

Hosted by Discardia

Saturday, December 8, 2018
12:00pm–4:00pm

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!

Winter Farmers Market

Hosted by Bloomington Winter Farmers Market

Saturday, December 15, 2018
9:00am–12:30pm

Harmony School
909 E 2nd St, Bloomington

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.

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