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It’s easy to make a clean, renewable energy choice for your home or business with the Green Power Option from Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL). Simply specify how much of your electricity you’d like to be generated by environmentally friendly sources such as wind and biomass/landfill gas facilities, and a small premium (typically just a few dollars) is added to your monthly payment. It’s about the simplest, most affordable way you can help the earth breathe a little easier.

To learn more and enroll in Green Power Option visit or call us at 317.261.8222.

Keeping K eeping w what’s hat’s h here ere today, today, h here ere ttomorrow. omorrow. P L


Stay Warm, Cool with Proper Insulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

F A M I LY / H O M E / E D U C AT I O N

Sustainable Gifts for the Holidays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

PUBLISHER Lynn Jenkins (317) 769-3456

Independent Meat Markets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

EDITOR Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Pancakes and Syrup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

CONTRIBUTORS: Wendell Fowler Susan Gillie Jesse Kharbanda tom mCain Ryan Puckett Maria Smietana COPY EDITOR Joseph L. Bennett SALES (317) 769-3456 GRAPHIC DESIGN Paul Wilson Design (317) 624-9900 WEB DESIGN Margaret Hsu Stout



Shore-to-Shore Winter Getaways . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

F E AT U R E S •

Book Reviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Green, Greener, Greenest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Green Marketplace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

News Briefs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Publisher’s Letter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

The Hoosier Environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Wendell’s Way . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

The Last Row . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

At the Falls of the Ohio State Park, ancient fossels embedded in the shore give visitors a glimpse of prehistoric times in the land that became Indiana. See page 24 for more Indiana's winter getaways, shore to shore.

PRINTING The Papers Milford, Indiana SUBSCRIPTIONS $18, six issues Indiana Living Green 1730 S. 950 E. Zionsville, IN 46077 CIRCULATION 20,000

INDIANA LIVING GREEN is published bimonthly and is printed on recycled paper with soy-based inks.

© Photo courtesy Outdoor Indiana magazine; Indiana Department of Natural Resources © 2009 by Indiana Living Green, Inc. Reproduction without permission is prohibited.



GREENER GREENEST! Indiana Living Green offers ways for to make a difference.



GREEN 1. Tightly close and seal gaps in doors and windows. 2. Take the extra effort to support, buy and enjoy local meats and other foods. 3. For holiday gifts, shop locally for locally made, earth friendly, sustainable items. Support our advertisers!

GREENER 1. Do an energy audit online or have a professional perform one for your home or business. 2. Learn the real meanings of terms like grass-fed, organic, natural, local, freerange, hormone-free and how they affect both your health and the environment. 3. Take trips to places besides the mall! Take time to enjoy nature whether in a daily walk or a longer getaway.

GREENEST 1. Check your attic insulation to be sure it has sufficient R-value. Add insulation if necessary. 2. Vow to include local foods in each meal every day. 3. For holiday reunions and trips, consider visiting state parks, nature preserves and natural wonders. Indiana is surprisingly full of them. Wherever you go, highlight a bit of nature in your getaway.





Lynn Jenkins, Publisher

Rich choices for sustainable living Along with the very popular morel mushroom story in spring, Jennifer Streisand’s Sunny for Solar story has scored big with our readers. And Indiana’s solar tours in October were well attended. Hoosiers have enjoyed learning that Indiana can be a green energy (and CLEAN energy) state! In this issue are more ideas to help you focus on making sustainable living choices, including information on saving energy, carbon emissions and big bucks, as you make sure your home is well insulated. We look forward to winter with a bit of quiet hibernation since the fall was busy with expos, green fairs and special events including our own Green Scene. I can almost smell the pancakes and syrup on a snowy morning, and look forward to a nature oriented getaway during the holidays, as suggested in our Shore-to-Shore story. For shopping ease, check out our annual Green Gift Guide and make good meat choices at Indiana’s local markets. Two new columnists join us this issue. Wendell Fowler’s Wendell’s Way will be chatting about foods and health, both ours and the earth’s. Jesse Kharbanda will be informing readers about the state of the Hoosier Environment and the issues that relate to it. At Indiana Living Green, we are once again feeling optimistic and hopeful about the economic recovery, and we ask you to thank and support

Two new columnists join us this issue. Wendell Fowler’s Wendell’s Way will be chatting about foods and health, both ours and the earth’s. Jesse Kharbanda will be informing readers about the state of the Hoosier Environment and the issues that relate to it. our advertisers without whom we would not be here. Gratitude, as well, to all those who responded to our plea with subscriptions, which also support ILG’s efforts! And keep in mind that a subscription to ILG also makes a great green gift for the holidays. LY N N J E N K I N S

PLEASE SEND YOUR RANTS&RAVES TO: Fax: (317) 251-8545 Indiana Living Green 1730 S. 950 E., Zionsville, IN. 46077

Indiana Living Green November/December 2009

For all the latest news briefs, calendar of events and other tidbits on sustainable living, visit the Indiana Living Green Web site. 5


Smart selections for kids’ lunches Children’s dietary needs are the same today as they were 20 years ago, but the food many of them eat is not. Products marketed as healthy meals or snacks for children may in fact be low in nutrition and high in undesirable additives.



ne bad example is Lunchables. Whether you offer your children one of the meat and cheese combinations, the pizza, the burgers or hot dogs, the Lunchable you are giving your child is laden with salt, high-fructose corn syrup, synthesized fats, food colorings, nitrates and immune-depleting sugar. Kids need 40 natural vitamins a day to grow mentally and physically. They require a variety of fresh, chemicalfree food. Many of today’s processed foods are nutritionally DOA, devoid of their cosmic life force, due to reckless industrial modification. There are some hopeful signs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 200 kids under 18 is avoiding meat and embracing an earth-friendly vegetarian diet. Kids raised vegetarian lower their risk of “diabesity,” cancer, and gastrointestinal problems. They also are more likely to have steadfast immune systems. Devoted parents need to update their nutritional know-how. Time-strapped moms and dads may lament the daily hassle of preparing healthful lunches, but before packing those recyclable brown bags with convenient, pre-packaged foods, consider your choices:

Are they based on convenience or your children’s health needs? It isn’t that hard to pack a healthy lunch. Fill an insulated flask with hearty vegetable and bean soups. Make a garden salad or whole-grain pasta salad with vegetables, walnuts and last night’s chicken breast. Pack a low-cal dressing separately. It’s critical children obtain clean, locally produced protein, vitamins B12 and D-3, iron, zinc, calcium and other nutrients that most people get from meat, eggs and dairy. If they are picky eaters, provide youngsters with a foodbased multi-vitamin-mineral supplement. Your kids love you. Love them back responsibly with “good for you” greeneating behaviors. Make time to prepare wholesome, balanced lunches. At the least, cut back and make one dinner a week vegetarian night in your home. 

Chef Wendell Fowler ( has been a vegan vegetarian for 20 years, prompted by his near-death from terminal viral heart disease. He lost 100 pounds and overcame alcohol, cigarettes and fast food. Death can be rather motivating.




higher levels of nitrogen, fungicides and phosphorous than corn-soybean rotations. Results of the study by Indrajeet Chaubey, associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering, and Bernard Engel, professor and head of agricultural and biological engineering, were published in the early online version of The Journal of Environmental Engineering. For more info:


Kokomo, Ind. — Purdue University’s College of Technology plans to develop an Advanced and Renewable Energy Lab to give students hands-on training in alternative, renewable and sustainable energy technology, reports Purdue and a Reach Higher One Step Up grant from the City of Kokomo will fund the lab. The lab will provide crucial skills to students seeking jobs in advanced and renewable energy and green technology, said Christy Bozic, director of the Purdue College of Technology at Kokomo. It will also assist workers in transitioning to the emerging green economy. “A tremendous opportunity exists in transforming our already-skilled automotive workforce into an energy efficient, green workforce,” Bozic said. “This lab will provide educational and research opportunities that are not available in other areas of the state or the Midwest.”


More corn crops threaten water West Lafayette, Ind. — More of the fertilizers and pesticides used to grow corn would find their way into nearby water sources if ethanol demands lead to planting more acres in corn, according to a Purdue University study. Drovers, a businessfocused news source, reports Purdue’s study of Indiana water sources found that those near fields that practice continuous-corn rotations had


Photo courtesy U.S. Forest Service

Purdue to open energy lab


Indiana Dunes at risk Denver — A recent environment report says the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, which includes the Indiana Dunes State Park, is among 25 American national parks that are in danger because of human-prompted climate change. In National Parks in Peril, the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and the National Resources Defense Council said the parks are at risk because of the loss of snow, ice, water, plant communities and increased downpours and flooding. The loss of snow cover has reduced protection of the eggs laid by the rare Karner blue butterfly, an endangered species. For more info:

For the latest news about green living, visit: Submit your news items with high-resolution images to:

Indiana Living Green November/December 2009


meat markets



Photo courtesy Paul Baumgarten

In tough times, we seek meaning, tradition and plain common sense. Shoppers, tired of walking the length of a football field to buy groceries at big box, stores, are examining their spending habits, choosing with care and turning to local, independently owned food shops, whose owners they trust.

Claus' German Sausage and Meats above and right.


“Local is not a fad; it’s a way of life” says Joe Lazzara, owner of Joe’s Butcher Shop and Fish Market in Carmel. While his store features a full-service butcher shop and fish market, he also sells a full line of food products and gourmet items. In spite of competition from national chains and a tight economic climate, “our business is up since last year” Lazzara says. He attributes his success to “customers who want to shop local and care about where their meat comes from.”

Adam Moody, founder and owner of Moody Butcher Shops in Ladoga, Avon, Zionsville and Carmel, says “service and control of quality of meat” keep customers coming back. “Big grocery stores are only concerned about the bottom-line,” Moody says. “They’re in a race to the bottom. Meat’s a loss leader for them. Our customers understand you have to pay for what you get.” Claus Muth, owner of Claus’ German Sausage and Meats on Indianapolis’ southwest side, finds his

Christine Unversaw at Moody’s Butcher Shop in Zionsville.

Photo courtesy Paul Baumgarten

Photo courtesy Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

business is steady due to a solid base of customers who value quality and service. Experiences of these local grocers reflect the trend nationally. The 2009 National Grocers Association’s Independent Grocers Survey showed retailers have improved their gross margins and their bottom lines. Holiday shoppers will buy traditional food items. Lazzara will offer its own turkeys, raised by farmer Ted Kuck in Ohio. The birds will be processed the week before Thanksgiving. Prime rib and shellfish, along with salmon, smoked by the butcher, are popular Christmastime purchases. Claus’ customers want center-cut hams. Moody’s will offer free-range turkeys raised on a farm near Dayton, Ohio, along with his organic beef, pork and lamb for Christmas. This holiday season, Moody’s will

“Local is not a fad; it’s a way of life,” says Joe Lazzara, owner of Joe's Butcher Shop and Fish Market in Carmel. introduce frozen sweet corn. What makes the product unique is “the quality; we have a much better corn profile here than corn grown in California and Mexico,” says Moody. A pilot project of Moody’s, Indiana farmers and state agricultural and rural development agencies, the corn was grown in southern Tippecanoe County and processed by food service professionals on the Wabash College campus. “What

Indiana Living Green November/December 2009

mattered to us was to make sure the farmers made a profit,” he said. “We believe people will pay what it takes.” Although customer tastes won’t change much during this holiday season, Joe’s and Moody’s have seen significant shifts in trends in shoppers’ choices in 2009. Lazzara says, “There’s definitely a decline in beef, lamb and high-end seafood, with a pickup in pork and – Continued on page 10


INDEPENDENT MEAT MARKETS FILL TRADITIONAL NICHE Continued from page 9 chicken.” He attributes the shift to the economy, saying beef can be expensive. Customers at Moody’s are favoring freerange chickens. “Beef is going down. People realize it’s unhealthy to eat half a pound of beef a day,” Moody said. Claus’ customers are traditionalists and less inclined to shift tastes. Claus’ German Sausage & Meats is the prototypical “local business.” Claus can trace his family lineage to the beginning of the store in 1913. A native of Germany, with a master’s degree in sausage making, Claus came to the United States 13 years ago to work for his uncle and thenowner of the business, Gerhard Klemm. When Claus bought the business, he changed the name and location, but not


Moody's Butcher Shop's new store in Zionsville.

the products. “Since then, there’s never been a dull moment” say Claus. His success is building on the business’ foundation of high-quality sausages and smoked meats, along with specialty German items. This year he added a line of German wines and beers. Thanksgiving and Christmas are times of tradition, but change is in the air. Shoppers will splurge and buy specialty items such as prime rib, oysters, crab legs and shrimp. Consumers will want lots of feel-good items, such as cakes, cookies and candies. They splurge

and spend and eat too much during the

holidays. Then they’ll start the New Year with resolutions to eat better, live better and make wiser choices. These patterns local grocers observed in 2009 will continue in 2010.

HERE’S A SAMPLER OF LOCALLY OWNED MEAT MARKETS: • The Downtown Farm Stand, Muncie, • Moody’s Butcher Shops, Avon, Ladoga, Zionsville and Carmel, • Claus’ German Sausage & Meats, Indianapolis, • Joe’s Butcher Shop and Fish Market, Carmel, • Harvest Fresh Market & Delicatessen, Carmel, • Baeslers, Terre Haute, • Bloomingfoods, Bloomington, • Georgetown Market, Indianapolis, • Good Earth Natural Food Co., Indianapolis, • Kincaid’s Meat Market, Indianapolis, • Jonah’s Market, Fishers, ©

Susan Gillie is a professional cook and blogs at

Indiana Living Green November/December 2009



brunch dinner OR


RESOURCES: • Burton’s Maplewood Farm • Goose the Market • Greenfield Mills • Indiana Maple Syrup Association • Merry Lea Maple Sugaring Program


As we head into winter, we long for food that comforts us through bitter cold days and nights and allows us an occasional dip into decadence. For me, a couple of pancakes doused in maple syrup and a strip of bacon fill the bill for a weekend breakfast or brunch or a week-night supper. This kind of meal is something special, to be shared with special people. Add a bit of fresh fruit and nutritionists might not object. All things in moderation, right? And, it’s easy to satisfy this menu with Indiana-made, natural products. The state annually produces nearly 10,000 gallons of maple syrup, the perfect topping for another natural Indiana product, Greenfield Mills’ pancake mixes. In business since 1846, Greenfield Mills in Howe operates one of the only hydroelectric mills in the country and is Indiana’s oldest commercial water-powered flour mill. The Rinkel family installed the mill in 1904 to produce its New Rinkel brand of pancake, bread and other mixes, all

made with natural ingredients. A fifth generation of the Rinkel family produces the mixes, which are available on line and at several retail outlets, including Bloomingfoods in Bloomington. A complete list can be found at the Greenfield Mills Web site. Pancakes have lots of names here and abroad. We call them flapjacks and hot cakes, Eastern Europeans call them palatschinke and Germans call them pfannkuchen. Crepes are the French version and the Swedes use their pancakes more like a bowl filled with fruit or soup. What most Americans eat is a leavened version of the traditional Scottish pancake, sometimes called a drop scone. Scottish pancakes do not use a leavening, such as baking powder, but we do. Pancakes can be sweet or savory, mixed with fruit, such as blueberries, or corn and peppers. Sometimes we top them with sour cream, jams or — my favorite — maple syrup. I grew up using Log Cabin, which was


a marked improvement over the corn syrup I first remember on my pancakes. It was not until I was an adult that I discovered the real taste of maple syrup, and now that’s all I use. It takes about 40 gallons of maple sap to make one gallon of syrup. It’s a cold process to gather the sap and a hot and steamy one to turn it into the amber gold we love. Indiana has about 100 maple syrup producers and is home to the National Maple Syrup Festival, held the first two weekends in March at Burton’s Maplewood Farm in Medora in Jackson County. Tim and Angie Burton’s Maplewood Farm produces about 200 gallons of syrup a year, which can be purchased

through an online store and at farmers markets. In northern Indiana, locals turn to the Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center at Goshen College. Each March, the center plays host to about 1,100 elementary students and their parents from the Fort Wayne area for a hands-on maple sugaring experience at the Yoder Sugar Bush in nearby Huntertown. And, just to round out the scene comes bacon, which takes on even more flavor when dipped in the maple syrup. Scott Hutcheson, an author who blogs at, calls bacon the ‘gateway meat,’ as he tells of the aromatic draw it had on his vegetarian wife, years ago.

Indiana Living Green November/December 2009

“Our family of four eats a wellbalanced diet. Many of our meals are meatless, we eat far more poultry than red meat, and we buy our chicken, beef, and pork from local farmers, including our bacon. My favorite bacon supplier is Chef Chris Eley of Goose the Market in Indianapolis,” he wrote recently. “Chris is to the bacon lover what Jerry Garcia was to the Deadheads. He has made an art out of the practice of bacon making, procuring his meat from Indiana’s finest pork purveyors, and smoking and curing it to perfection.” Goose the Market has a Bacon-of-theMonth Club or you can buy it by the slice. Just remember, all things in moderation, but bring home the bacon. 


Cut energy costs

proper insulation


Before ordering a certain blanket with sleeves to keep warm this winter, you might consider upgrading your home’s insulation — a more effective and very sustainable way to stay toasty. When blanket season is over, you’ll be pleased with the year-round energy savings and a home that is not only warmer in winter, but also cooler in summer. Most homeowners don’t even know how much insulation their homes have, much less how eco-friendly it might be. In fact, unless your home was built in the last 50 years, you may have no insulation behind your walls. Scott Miller, director of sustainability and product affairs for Knauf Insulation in Shelbyville, estimates that 65 percent of existing homes are either under-insulated or not insulated at all. The great thing about insulation is it’s an intrinsically eco-conscious product, since its main function is to reduce energy consumption. The energy saved by insulating an 1,800-square-foot home is five to six times greater than other best practices, such as using compact fluorescent light bulbs or sealing air leaks. The side benefits include a more comfortable, quieter home and lower utility costs. Those are pretty sweet benefits. “Insulation is a relatively inexpensive solution with a relatively fast payback,” Miller adds. “The initial costs are typically recouped in three to seven years, depending on the existing level and how much is added.” Each variety of insulation is assigned an R-value, which measures the thermal resistance per inch and indicates insulating power. In Indiana, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends a rating of R-38 to R-60 for attics and R-13 to R-21 for wall cavities. Bonded Logic’s denim insulation comes in narrow blankets called batts that fit between wall studs. The insulation is made from old denim jeans.

Where to Insulate According the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, you should consider insulating any space in your home where energy could be lost, but the attic is the easiest and most important place to start. “You have to start there,” says Mr. Handyman franchise owner David Sipp. “Putting insulation in the attic is much cheaper and easier than other insulation products.” The Granger-based handyman reminds us that heat rises and that your home will lose it quickly without attic insulation. In the attic, you can go the do-it-yourself route and rent a machine to blow loose-fill insulation across the attic floor. Sipp recommends seven to 10 inches, noting that the insulation will settle over time. Loose-fill insulation includes fiberglass, mineral wool or cellulose, which is typically made of recycled paper. Sustainable loose-fill products are treated with natural fire and fungal retardants. Most retailers offer deals on machine rental when you buy the insulation. A contractor can also install the product and will be more likely to notice potential problems such as existing mold or poor ventilation. The other option for the attic is installing insulation batts. These are bonded, narrow, densely packed blankets, which are unrolled between joists. It’s important to criss-cross the insulation to minimize leaks and provide maximum benefit. The next priority is the home’s exterior walls. If you are one of the unlucky homeowners with little to no insulation, – Continued on page 16

© Photo courtesy Roxul



A contractor installs Roxul’s mineral wool insulation batts.

GENERAL INFORMATION: • U.S. Department of Energy, insulation information: • Insulation Fact Sheet, Oak Ridge National Laboratory • • North American Insulation Manufacturers Association: Great general information about insulation. • Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association,

© Photo courtesy Bonded Logic

Indiana Living Green November/December 2009


© Photos courtesy Knauf

PROPER INSULATION Continued from page 15

TIDBITS: Greenwasher alert — Foam insulation products perform great, but it’s made of petroleum-based materials like polyurethane. Some companies are replacing a percentage of the petroleum-based materials with natural and renewable products like castor oil. Sustainable Tip — Plant shrubs very close to the wall as a form of insulation. Plant the shrubs tightly together to literally create a second wall. This is helpful in reducing effects of cold winds and blistering sun. Give Back — Send in your old jeans to be reused as insulation for a Habitat for Humanity home. Compiled by Ryan Puckett


PRODUCT OPTIONS: Recycled Paper — Cellulose Blown, and Mineral Wool — Batts, Fiberglass — Cellulose Blown or Batts, Denim — Batts, Knauf’s fiberglass insulation batts are installed within the wall cavity. The same product can be used in the attic. this job is tougher, pricier and more timeconsuming. The most sustainable option for existing homes is to blow in loose-fill insulation. That involves removing the exterior siding from the walls to be insulated and puncturing holes between the wall studs and above and below windows. Definitely hire a contractor for this application. If the siding can’t be removed, then the holes are created in the walls from the inside. The holes then must be patched and painted. However, loose-fill may not be the best option for vertical applications, especially in new homes or during major renovations. That’s because it will settle and lose its insulation value over time. Batts are recommended in new construction over loose-fill because they are more efficient. The basement is another place to

consider adding insulation, but it’s not really necessary unless you plan to use the basement as a living space. First, make sure there are no water leaks, and then place batts between wall studs before installing drywall.

Comparison Shopping Eco-friendly product options for all applications are plentiful. Perhaps most common is fiberglass, which consists of two primary ingredients: silica sand and recycled glass. “You can create 3,500 miles of fiber from one beer bottle,” says Miller. In his estimation, 2,700 recycled bottles can help insulate the average home. While the manufacturing of fiberglass insulation is fairly energy-intensive, the embodied energy from product procurement to retail shelf is recovered in a mere 14 days. Knauf is also using a bio-based binder that contains no formaldehyde for its batts. The binder is 70 percent less energy-intensive than petroleum-based binders and eliminates volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, from the process. Another common insulation material is mineral wool. Roxul Inc. amps the sustainability index with its mineral wool product. Only two materials are used, basalt rock and slag, which is a manufacturing byproduct that would otherwise be landfill-bound. Forty percent of this product is made of slag, and the product is a natural fire retardant and water repellent.

Roxul makes a prototype for green manufacturing with zero percent waste. The company also captures and reuses water and heat during manufacturing. Embodied energy created is recovered in about three weeks. If you like Neil Diamond’s Forever in Blue Jeans, you’ll love recycled denim insulation. The product is made of scraps of cotton from the manufacture of denim, the world’s most widely produced textile. The scraps make up about 85 percent and are blended with olefin fiber, then heated in a thermal bonding oven at “a temperature you would use to make dinner,” says Sean Desmond of Bonded Logic Inc. Afterwards, the product is treated with borate solution, a naturally occurring powder mineral that acts as a fire retardant and helps prevent growth of microbials. Choosing the most sustainable insulation option involves a lot of number crunching and inserting your opinion of which recycled materials you like best. The latter decision might depend on your preference for adult beverages, hip huggers, renewable resources or yesterday’s newspaper.  RESOURCES: • The federal government is offering a tax credit of 30 percent, up to $1,500.* • The State of Indiana is also offering a tax deduction up to $1,000.* • Indiana Weatherization Assistance Program, * Tax credit is on cost of materials only, not installation.

Ryan Puckett is a freelance writer and communications specialist focusing on all things pertaining to sustainability including green living, conservation, environmental issues and healthy living. He and his family live in Broad Ripple. Contact him at

November/December 2009



kids, adults FOR ALL THE



On your gift list...

Indiana Living Green staff scoured the state for some of the best and most sustainable green gifts for the holidays. Here’s the sampler: Bird Feeder Droll Yankees’ bird feeder is easy to clean with just a twist of the wrist. The Onyx Clever Clean features a twistand-release base, which allows for a clean, fresh fill each time new seed is placed in the feeder. A clean feeder reduces the opportunity for mold toxins, which are harmful to our featured friends. The Onyx Clever Clean feeders come in 12-, 18- and 24-inch lengths and two styles, one for sunflower/mixed seed and one for nyjer seed. Price: $39.99 to $59.99, depending on the size. Available at Backyard Birds, 2374 E. 54th St., Indianapolis,


(317) 255-7333,, other retailers and

Bowl This lidded bowl (upper left) was handcrafted by artisans working with the Women’s Multi-purpose Cooperative in Baguio City, the Philip-pines. Using an innovative process, the women turn old newspapers into new and beautiful products by wrapping the paper into coils and forming them into spiraled building blocks. These building blocks are then joined together with thread or glue to make this bowl and lid. The pieces are then starched to make them firm and shiny. This is ideal as a decorative

Spicy Orange Peel, Mocha Latte, Spicy Sweet Cake and Reindeer Poop, a blend of pines. Price: $12.95, or three for $33 at Herbal Art, 9943 Allisonville Road, Fishers, (317) 418-8227,

Children’s Toy

piece or for holding dry items, such as candy. Price: $20 at Global Gifts, 446 Massachusetts Ave., (317) 423-3138; 1468 W. 86th St., (317) 879-9090 in Indianapolis, and 122 N. Walnut St., Bloomington, (812) 336-7402,

Candle Herbal Art’s natural soy candles are exclusively hand-poured and use original, trademarked fragrance blends. The Soy Lite candles are high quality, non-toxic, biodegradable and environmentally safe, made with Indiana soy in Indiana. They are clean-burning and produce little to no soot. Soy Lite candles have an excellent hot and cold fragrance and clean up easily with just soap and water. No dyes or color additives are ever used. The wicks are completely lead-free and are heavily scented with cosmetic-grade, alcohol-free fragrance and essential oils. Available only for the holidays in Dandelions & Sweet Grass, Sweet Lavender, Cilantro, Natural Bay Leaf, Winter Mint, Spicy Vanilla Stalk,

No pedaling, no pushing, just a threepoint ride through the neighborhood for the kids. The winner of the 2004 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award and the National Parenting Center 2004 Seal of Approval, TRIKKE T5’s allaluminum construction weighs about 15 pounds. It has a quickrelease, folding system that is sized perfectly for kids at least 7 and older, up to 120 pounds in weight. The high-tech polished frame, colorful foot platforms, handgrips, wheels and windscreen are super durable. The three-point stance and excellent dual-hand brakes increase stability and control. Price: $120 to $140 from Larry Grider, Indianapolis, (317) 298-3167,,

Indiana Living Green November/December 2009

– Continued on page 20


HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE Continued from page 19

Fanny Bag Indiana-made Pax4u bags are hand cut from old coats, skirts, jackets, pants and jeans. Bags include special features from the original material, which may be a pocket or decorative zipper. The company also designs custom bags. Solo Convertible Bags have a front divided pocket and two large inside pockets. They all can be worn around your hips, or converted by simply adjusting the length of the strap, to be worn as a messenger bag. There’s also a Mini Solo with Maxus’s logo and buckle. The Classic Solo fastens with Velcro, making an extremely comfortable bag that is lightweight and provides excellent lumbar support. Price: $69 and up at

Mirror Chris Knipstine “Friday Night Out” was inspired by the plastic ‘50s bowler lady who was once on top of a trophy. She was cut off her pedestal and combined with other recycled materials to create a fun, Friday game night theme, with a ‘50s feel. The artist used black and white stained glass squares to mimic tile flooring popular in that era, and added to it old game pieces from Sorry, dominoes, Scrabble picked up in antique stores and her family’s stash. All bottle caps were recovered from Kenya and Uganda by the artist’s daughter. The majority of the glass used is scrap purchased from local stained glass artists. The piece measures 13- by 21-inches. Price: $235 at Wandering Turtle Art and Gift Gallery, 116 W. 6th St., Suite 110, Bloomington, (812) 330-1990,


Garden Tools Made by Seymour Manufacturing Co. Inc., Structron brand tools are among the most rugged you can buy for landscaping projects. They are built with the heaviest-duty construction, industrial and commercial applications in mind. Features include thicker steel shovel heads, rear-rolled steps, PermaGrip steel connectors, forged tool heads and thick-walled,

yellow, solid fiberglass handle cores with ProGrip foam. Price: $34 to $37 at Sullivan Hardware & Garden, 6955 N. Keystone Ave., (317) 2559230, 4838 N. Pennsylvania St., (317) 924-5040 in Indianapolis, and 60 W. Jackson St., Cicero, (317) 9844652, and other retailers.

Local Food Subscribe or join a communitysupported agriculture, or CSA, program and receive a basket or box of produce, flowers, fruits, eggs, milk, herbs, meats or other locally grown, seasonal products, from spring into fall. The food is delivered to one’s home or there is a central pick-up location. You’ll also build a relationship with the farmer and know where your food comes from and how it has been grown. A terrific family gift. Price: $150 on up. Visit for a complete listing. – Continued on page 22

November/December 2009


HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE Continued from page 19

Tongs Kentucky Spring wooden tongs are made for one hand. Using only secondary-use lumber, which is left over from other uses from trees grown nearby in managed forests in Appalachia. The spring action comes from the wood itself after having been hand steamed and bent. The Kentucky-made tongs are available in wild cherry, sugar maple, white oak or black walnut. Price: $18 at Artifacts Gallery, 6327 Guilford Ave., Indianapolis, (317) 255-1178,

Rain Barrel Rain barrels help reduce storm water runoff and your water bill. The water collected in Green Way Supply’s 60-gallon barrel can be used in gardening, car washing and pool topping. Link up two or three rain barrels and save up to 180 gallons of rainwater. These are made from recycled olive shipping containers. Price: $149 at Green Way Supply, 620 N. Delaware St., Indianapolis, (317) 822-8505,

Silk Scarf Indiana artist Sally Ryan has been working with fiber since 1978. She hand dyes and paints these beautiful silk scarves and shawls, which are available in a variety of textures and colors. Price: $54 to $120 at Artifacts Gallery, 6327 Guilford Ave., Indianapolis, (317) 255-1178,


Water Bottle Step up in style and quality and away from plastic with SIGG reusable water bottles for kids and adults. These bottles are 100-percent safe with no leaching materials. They are durable, leak-proof, dishwasher safe and suitable for all beverages juices, energy drinks and more. Many styles to choose from, so you can be stylish and sustainable at the same time. Price: $18 and up at Whole Foods, other retailers and




Happy Holidays

Worm Composter Turn kitchen scraps into a terrific, sustainable soil additive. Fill this sturdy Sunleaves Wormtopia with hard-working red worms and kitchen waste or yard scraps and you’ll get a liquid fertilizer and organic additive for your garden soil, containers and house plants. Wormtopia measures 16-by 16- by 24-inches and has four trays and a receptacle. As the worms do their work, the composter yields and dispenses “worm tea,” a liquid version of vermicompost that is great for fertilizing house plants or the garden. A silk-screened lid includes instructions, tips and other materials necessary to begin. Worms are sold separately. Price: $139 at Worms Way, 7850 Ind. 37, Bloomington, (800) 598-8158,

Writing Journal With the words “Miles to go…” and the entire globe outlined by hand embossing, these writing journals do nothing but inspire! All the paper is made by hand from recycled cotton, making it 100 percent tree-free. The leather used is cruelty-free, acquired from naturally dead cows in India. Handmade Expressions is a sourcing partner for socially responsible and eco-friendly products. The journal measures 5- by 7-inches and has approximately 72 blank pages. The paper insert is replaceable. Price: $25.95 at November/December 2009


Indy’s premier downtown 1230 S. Meridian St. garden center Indianapolis 317-624-9344



Shelf ice forms along the edge of Lake Michigan at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. © Photo courtesy National Park Service

If your image of a winter getaway includes a shoreline, Indiana has two unique spots. In the middle of Indiana, we forget — or maybe never were mindful of — the rich diversity and natural beauty that define our state’s northern and southern borders. In both cases, large bodies of water break along shores, shaping a culture of shipping, fishing and recreation. Those who like northern climes can trek to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, a natural wonder that took centuries to create, yet changes daily as winds resculpt the sands. To the south, we have the Falls of the Ohio and massive deposits of fossils from prehistoric times. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Visitor Center, 1420 Muson Road, Porter (219) 926-7561


The southern shore of Lake Michigan is actually home to two parks. The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, managed by the National Park Service, encompasses 15,000 acres, including the 2,182 acres of the Indiana Dunes State Park, which is managed by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. The lakeshore runs 25 miles, forming the northern boundaries of Lake, LaPorte and Porter counties, with Michigan City on the east and Gary on the West. In winter you can traipse through sandy beaches while bank swallows flit about you. Shelf ice forms along the shore, but it is not safe for exploration because its thickness is inconsistent. Because of the delicate nature of the dunes, you always should observe posted signs. Winter is the season of snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, hiking, exploring plants and observing wildlife. Besides the beaches and dunes, you’ll find bogs, wetlands and 1,800 acres of forests. The

Interpretive Center at Falls of the Ohio State Park takes visitors back in time. © Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Dunes has more than 1,400 species of plants within its boundaries, including 90 that are threatened or endangered. The native plant diversity ranks seventh among national parks. Along with the natural history comes a peek at social history with a visit to an 1830s French Canadian homestead or a working farm that dates to the early 1900s in the park. The Chellberg Farm represents a typical 1890 through 1910 Swedish and Northwestern Indiana farmstead. The brick farmhouse was built in 1885 as a replacement for an earlier wood-framed house that was destroyed by fire in December of 1884. The bricks for the new house came from a brickyard in nearby Porter. In the 1980s the National Park Service restored the farm-

Rose Wind Farm Bed & Breakfast 7670 Chapel Hill Road, Starlight (812) 923-0762 RESOURCES: • Clark-Floyd Counties Convention and Tourism Bureau, • Greater Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau,

house to its turn of the 20th century appearance, except for the dining room, which had been modified by the Chellbergs in the 1920s. The lakeshore has served as an inspiration to many, including Chicago poet Carl Sandburg and artist Frank V. Dudley. Renowned Chicago landscape architect Jens Jensen declared there was no place in the country “where this wild beauty lies so close to great industrial communities…It is the only landscape of its kind within reach of the millions that need its softening influence for the restoration of their souls and the balance of their minds.”

Overnight There are several hotels and motels in the area, including Songbird Prairie Bed & Breakfast in Valparaiso, which has garnered several awards, including Best in the Midwest, 2009 Top 10 Romantic Inns and Top 25 Best Undiscovered Incredibly Romantic Inns. Each room is named for a winged creature, so you might stay in a robin, bluebird or cardinal suite. Check the Web site for specials, reservations, rates and other info.

Although fossil collecting is prohibited, visitors can explore and discover many different types of these bits of ancient creatures and plants that cling to a prehistoric sea bottom. You also can fish, hike, bird watch and participate in other outdoor activities. Nearby is the George Rogers Clark Homesite, a seven-acre tract at Clark’s Point, named because of the curve in the Ohio that provided Clark with long view down river. Every October, the homesite is the scene of the Lewis and Clark Festival with dozens of historic displays, such as blacksmithing, forging and weaving. There also are reenactments and artillery demonstrations. At the Interpretive Center, you can wander from the Devonian and Ice ages, peek at the native people who lived in the area 10,000 years ago, learn about Europeans’ exploration and settlements and observe wildlife. The River Observation Room has a scale model of the

Falls of the Ohio State Park 201 W. Riverside Dr., Clarksville (I-65, Exit 0) (812) 280-9970

The Falls of the Ohio State Park, located on the banks of the Ohio River in Clarksville, holds one of the largest, naturally exposed, 386-million-year-old Devonian fossil beds in the world.

Indiana Living Green November/December 2009

entire falls area, including Portland and McAlpine Locks and Dams. For about 1.5 miles between the Interpretive Center and the Clark Homesite, you can trek the Levee Trail, a newly built greenway that follows the historic, 1940s pathway along the Ohio River levee. The Falls of the Ohio Web site has many lesson plans and other education materials designed for teachers and families.

Overnight Twenty minutes from the Falls is Rose Wind Farm Bed & Breakfast, nestled in the nobs of southern Indiana in Starlight. Guests get their own two-bedroom private cottage on the 118-acre sustainable farm, where bird feeders are kept filled for guests to enjoy. There’s also a hot tub and outdoor fireplace. The inn provides firewood and ingredients for s’mores. The location makes this a wonderful private, peaceful place to spend time and relax. Well-known, award-winning author Maggie Oster operates the B&B and Rose Wind Farm & Gardens. The organic food on the menu comes from the gardens or area farmers. Shower gel, shampoos and other personal care products come from bulk dispensers rather than little bottles, which add to landfills. 

Songbird Prairie Bed & Breakfast 174 North 600 West, Valparaiso (219) 759-4274 RESOURCES: • Northern Indiana, • Duneland, • LaPorte County Visitor & Convention Bureau, • Porter County Convention, Recreation & Visitor Commission, • Lake County Convention & Visitors Bureau, • Indiana Dunes State Park,



Public transit a necessity, not luxury For Hoosiers dealing with asthma, it isn’t much comfort to know that Indiana’s major population areas get F grades for air quality from the American Lung Association. The grades tie directly to our heavily auto-dependent culture. ndiana’s auto-dependent culture also makes getting around challenging for those who can’t afford cars or who shun them as part of a sustainable lifestyle. The lack of a cohesive public transit system means Hoosiers either contribute to poor air quality or wait endlessly for a bus, if there’s a bus at all. Better public transit would enable us to tackle our state’s persistent air quality problem, and it would give Hoosiers more affordable transportation options. We also need it to create more livable, vibrant, sustainable communities.


Economy stunts transit While we undoubtedly are making strides in some areas of environmental sustainability, Hoosiers over the years have made public transit a low funding priority. Indiana spends 30 times more on state and federal highways than it does to support city and county roads. With our excellent highway systems, it raises the question of why these thoroughfares continue to be a top priority when other modes of transportation go lacking. IndyGo, the state's biggest local transit agency, has a bus fleet half the

size of those in comparable cities. Transit funding is suffering further, resulting in fewer runs and route elimination. These cuts unleash a vicious cycle of declining public support, which leads to lower ridership and more service cuts.

Pennies fund transit We can and must make efforts to shore up funding of our transit systems. Investments in transit need not hurt our pocketbooks in this challenging economy. Dallas and Denver have made major expansions in their systems with transit-dedicated penny sales taxes. As we approach the next session of the Indiana General Assembly, consider sending an e-mail to your state representative and senator. Urge them to support a strong bill to fund public transit. Your legislators will take notice if they hear from you. Hoosiers deserve a cleaner, healthier community, and if we make the extra effort, we can make that vision a reality.  • Find your legislator: • Learn more about transit:

Jesse Kharbanda, executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council, contributes this column to each issue of ILG. 26


BOOK REVIEWS FARMfood: Green Living With Chef Daniel Orr, 2009, Indiana University Press, $29.95, paperback

Indiana Harvest: A Collection of Recipes from the Students of Ivy Tech Community College, complied by Thom England, Northstar Media LLC, 2009, $9.95, paperback Thom England, a leader in the local Slow Food movement and a teacher in Ivy Tech’s culinary arts program, was inspired by his students to put this great little cookbook together. If you like Indiana cuisine with a fresh twist, this is the book for you. “In class, we often talk about how eating fresh, local and seasonal foods produces the best flavors. We look at what Alice Waters did on the West Coast, taking French cuisine and using local ingredients instead of importing foods from halfway around the world,” England writes in the introduction. Ivy Tech students could submit up to three recipes they created to reflect the regions of the country they were studying, such as Tex-Mex, California or New England. The book is divided by courses, from appetizers to desserts. Many include savory Midwestern foods, such as persimmon, lake perch, apples, corn, tomatoes and pumpkin. Paging through the book inspires one to head to the kitchen.

Daniel Orr’s FARMfood is as much a celebration of his homecoming as it is of the food he serves in his FARMbloomington restaurant. Orr, who left Indiana after high school, sharpened his culinary skills while traveling through Europe, Mexico and Central and South America. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, he served as executive chef at some of the world’s finest restaurants. These experiences inform his recipes, which put a gourmet edge to everyday ingredients. The book, which includes vegan, vegetarian and meat recipes, is divided by the day’s meals. He shares his secret spices and offers tips guaranteed to earn the home cook praise. The book is illustrated with Orr’s beautiful photos. “This book is meant to inspire food lovers to support local farmers and craftsmen. My hope is to share a light and breezy way of cooking that is both approachable and satisfying,” Orr writes in the introduction. He includes a glossary and index to make our hunt for a good recipe quick and easy. BY JO ELLEN MEYERS SHARP

BY JO ELLEN MEYERS SHARP Indiana Living Green November/December 2009





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Indiana Living Green November/December 2009


Greener Gratitude On our farm, Thanksgiving is a major holiday. Eating and gratitude both come easily to us. After all, we practice a profession that on good days is an act of blind faith and on bad days, feels more like an exercise in recklessness. Back in our city-dwelling days, we settled for fresh turkeys from one of the butcher shops in town and rounded out the meal with grocery store produce and semi-homemade pies. Organic food was a fringe industry back then, and no one talked about carbon footprints and locavore diets. Now, we practically need to meet our turkey in person before we’re willing to put it on the table. At the very least, we’re on a first-name basis with the farmer, who this very minute is growing it for us, sans hormones, antibiotics and confinement, less than 15 miles from our kitchen. The bird will be delivered, plucked and cleaned, with only days having passed between its last gobble and its grand emergence from our oven. Gone, too, are the days when I could sneak hand-cut apple chunks and a generous cup of cinnamon sugar into a frozen piecrust and call it a proper holiday dessert. The hubby, now a seasoned provider of farmer’s market baked goods, makes the crusts from scratch, with flour that has so many organic certifications attached to it that it might as well have a pedigree. We’re almost as demanding about our garlic-cheddar mashed potatoes, a warm and creamy work of art that my hubby whips to near-perfection while the turkey is waiting to be carved. The potatoes and the cheddar will start out a few miles further from us than the turkey, but we’ll still know the farmers who produced them. Not so the cranberries. Cranberries, it turns out, require more of a compro-


mise than other parts of Thanksgiving dinner. It’s hard to grow the crunchy little fruits in these parts, or even any parts near here. So, short of damming up the creek and making our own berry bog, I have to buy them from far away, sometimes from a gal named Ocean Spray. Unlike my turkey farmer, I’ve never met her, although I must say she’s got a great name. I entertained the thought of doing without one year, but quickly came to my senses. I’d sooner dispense with the turkey than imagine my holiday meal without the sweet-tart ecstasy of homemade cranberry sauce. I finally made peace with the little berries’ large carbon footprint by declaring them honorary Hoosiers. After all, I reasoned, it’s not my fault that our best


national holiday was started by people who happened to land on the East Coast. While our standards around the Thanksgiving meal are rather narrow, we’re happy to say the same is not true when it comes to gathering folks around the table to help us eat it. Some of our guests leave large carbon footprints, while others wander over from right next door. We’re pretty sure none of them started out chemical-free, though many are trying hard to end up that way. Some have come in the door pickled and left sauced, but never without a designated driver. And as far as we know, none has ever left hungry. Then again, anyone crazy enough to admit it might end up wearing a pie, organic cinnamon sugar and all. 

Maria Smietana, is a refugee from the corporate world who now writes and grows organic produce on her mini-farm in Boone County.

November/December 2009 - Indiana Living Green  

Hoosier's Guide to a Sustainable Lifestyle

November/December 2009 - Indiana Living Green  

Hoosier's Guide to a Sustainable Lifestyle