Indianapolis Scores a Touchdown from “1st & Green”

About a year ago, we wrote about SustainIndy, an innovative program to make Indianapolis a leader in innovative “green” technology for public buildings, and make existing facilities in Indianapolis more sustainable and environmentally-friendly.

One of the SustainIndy initiatives established in conjunction with the Super Bowl XLVI Indianapolis Host Committee was the 2012 Super Bowl 1st and Green Environmental Challenge, which, in addition to the goal of planting 2012 new trees on the near east side of Indy before the big game, challenged us all to become active participants in offsetting carbon emissions and saving water. Now that the Super Bowl is almost here, we thought we’d update you on how well the program worked.

The primary goal of 1st & Green, which officially ended today, was to encourage individuals, households, businesses, and civic, government and nonprofit groups to find ways to reduce their carbon “footprint” and water usage to help offset the increases related to the game and the influx of visitors.

The results show just how well we Hoosiers can pull together to achieve, and surpass, a worthwhile goal. To date, the program has:

  • Offset 1,358,571 pounds of carbon
  • Saved 2,307,314 gallons of water

Additionally, we are pleased to report that the “2012 Trees by 2012″ program surpassed its goal. Although final numbers have yet to be published, we can report that the 2,012th tree was planted on October 6th, bringing the total to 32,868 new trees planted throughout Indy since 2006.

Unfortunately, the Colts had a disappointing season, and won’t have the dream opportunity of home field advantage in Super Bowl XLVI. But no matter who ends up playing in the game, the big winner is Indianapolis itself. The revitalization of the downtown area has been, in our opinion, an outstanding success. New hotels, restaurants, retail businesses, the revamped Convention Center, covered walkways and tunnels that connect them all, and more, have helped turn Indy into a world-class tourist and convention destination.

Our congratulations go out to Mayor Ballard, civic leaders, and the entire Super Bowl Host Committee for the successful completion of this Herculean task. You have taken advantage of this great opportunity to turn Indianapolis into a true 21st Century city.

To paraphrase the 80’s Pop hit by Timbuk3: “Our future’s so bright, we’ve gotta wear shades.”

Tomorrow, we will begin a special series of articles about the many activities surrounding the event with information about getting around town, dealing with downtown traffic, and parking during the festivities, which officially begin on January 27th.

For information about how you can get involved by making your home more environmentally-friendly, call (317) 639-1111, or visit