Butler University’s Center for Urban Ecology has been awarded a $10,000 SustainIndy Community Grant to continue and expand Make Change, a neighborhood-based currency program that generates “credit” for doing good for the environment.

Through Make Change, each hour of activity a person does is worth $10 in aluminum coins specially created for this program. Coins can be redeemed at locations including The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the Good Earth, and Broad Ripple Brew Pub.

changeThe program is currently operating in the Mid-North and Midtown neighborhoods of Indianapolis. The expansion to the Near East Side and Fountain Square will further promote positive environmental, social, and economic activities in a broader range of communities. The businesses participating in the program in those neighborhoods have not been selected yet.

“We are thrilled that the city’s Office of Sustainability and McKinney Family Foundation chose to recognize and support the expansion of Make Change,” said McKenzie Beverage, Butler’s Sustainability Coordinator.

For more information about the program, visit makechangeindy.com.

Activities that are eligible for currency are:

Worth 15 minutes ($2.50 credit):
-Take a clean water pledge at http://www.clearchoicescleanwater.org
-Replace an incandescent light bulb in your home with a more environmentally friendly bulb.
-Document your trip on one of the bike trails in Indianapolis.
-Donate to Indy Upcycle, 6358 N. Guilford Ave., which sells art and craft materials at pay-as-you-wish pricing.

Worth one hour ($10 credit):
-Participate in the bike share program.
-Have an energy assessment done on your home.
-Plant a garden/native plants (one hour for every 10 square feet).

Worth two hours ($20 credit):
-Plant a tree.
-Start a chicken coop.
-Create a composting system.
-Install a rain barrel.
-Bike to work.

Businesses currently accepting the currency include:
Unleavened Bread Café
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Freewheelin’ Community Bikes
Fall Creek Gardens
Duos Kitchen
KI Ecocenter
Indy Upcycle
Good Earth Natural Foods
Broad Ripple Brew Pub
CUE Farm

This is the first year for the SustainIndy Community Grants. The Make Change program was one of three chosen to receive funding.

“Make Change is wonderful,” said Becky Hostetter, one of the owners of Duos, which operates Duos Kitchen at 2960 North Meridian Street and Duos @ Eskenazi Health at the Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital near downtown. “It’s an excellent way to keep track and see how people are making efforts to help the environment. It makes our business feel connected to our community—and I hope our community connected to us because we’re participants.”

Hostetter said Duos typically receives about $100 worth of Make Change coins each month.


Media contact:
Marc Allan