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The Clearinghouse of River Valley Resources – Madison Indiana

The Clearinghouse of River Valley Resources – Madison Indiana

Just a block off Main St. in Madison, Indiana is a 1950 building that once housed a car dealership. You can’t buy a car there anymore but if you’re unemployed or underemployed, you can get an enormous variety of help. It’s called the Clearinghouse and it has provided a path to a good, satisfying job for a great many people over the years. The Clearinghouse is a child of River Valley Resources, which since 1990 has sought to develop a trained and competitive workforce in the 12 county area of southeast and central Indiana. The non-profit has impacted the lives…
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Eleutherian College: A Sustainable Heritage

Eleutherian College: A Sustainable Heritage

A sustainable future will require green building practices for new buildings. But better yet, instead of a new building, repurpose an old. And if that old building drips with history, so much the better. For both those reasons, Eleutherian College in Lancaster, Indiana is worthy of notice. Rev. Thomas Craven, an ardent abolitionist from Ohio, had a dream of a school where blacks and whites, men and women could attend classes together. He spoke of this dream on a visit to the Neil’s Creek Abolitionist Baptist Church which immediately set about making the dream a reality. Local citizens joined the…
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Energy Conservation Journey of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis

Energy Conservation Journey of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis

Our energy conservation journey began in 2000 when the Center for Congregations in Indianapolis offered to pay half of the cost ($500) of doing an energy audit of our church buildings.  We received a comprehensive report outlining how we could reduce our energy use.  The report covered the standard energy audit areas – lights, furnaces and air conditioners, refrigerators, and temperatures over several weeks time.  This audit did not cover insulation and infiltration. As a result of the audit, we seriously began tracking our utility usage.  We have a comprehensive spread sheet that includes the utility consumption and cost by…
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Venture Out: Southeast Indiana Business Incubator

Venture Out: Southeast Indiana Business Incubator

Spend a dollar at a big box national chain store and the money leaves the area, but buy local and that money stays at home. Profits from a national chain go to stock holders in distant locations, but local profits go to individuals nearby causing that dollar to circular more quickly. A strong local economy is a key to a sustainable future. Recognizing this fact, the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce formed Venture Out Business Center in 1996. It provides an affordable space for entrepreneurs seeking to start new businesses. In addition to a place to operate, Venture Out offers…
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Fort Wayne Farmers Market: Buy Local, Buy Fresh

Fort Wayne Farmers Market: Buy Local, Buy Fresh

In October 2012, Ft. Wayne’s Farmers Market (FWFM) began as one of the few year round, producer only farmers markets in Northeast Indiana, running just one Saturday a month.  With great success early on, the market then moved to two weekends a month shortly after its inception.  In four short years, our vendors have become more sustainable and growers have learned how to produce even in the harshest winter months.  Beginning in October 2016, we will be open EVERY Saturday; rain or shine, cold or stifling hot!   Even in the harsh Indiana’s winter, our growers have overcome obstacles and have…
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