Kroger Just Keeps on Giving

Kudos to long-time Indiana Chamber member Kroger. Recent announcements from the food store/pharmacy/fuel center enteprise include:

Now comes word of an effort in which Cincinnati-based Kroger and Procter & Gamble will team together with Kroger donating a substantial dollar amount to the USO of Indiana. Shoppers can get in on the opportunity to thank U.S. soldiers for their service by virtually "shaking the hand of a hero." The details are at the Honoring Our Heroes web site.

Indiana is fortunate that Kroger (and many other companies) continue to give back and help make our local communities stronger.

Growing Trees … and a Whole Lot More

I had the opportunity in a BizVoice story last year to write about the passion David Forsell brings to his post as leader of Keep Indianapolis Beautiful. One of his passion points is the Youth Tree Team program.

Came across some recent facts about YTT that are worth sharing and demonstrate its success:

More than 350 Indy youth registered to attend trouts and compete for 40 spots on the 2011 Youth Tree Team. Participants took part in obstacle test to assess their willingness to work hard and get their hands dirty.

YTT is a 10-week summer program that employs Indianapolis high school students and young adults to preserve and maintain trees planted through KIB’s NeighborWoods program. The team spends about 20 hours per week watering, mulching, pruning, and staking trees throughout Indianapolis, as well as maintaining greenspaces downtown. 

According to Forsell: “Youth Tree Team allows us to continue to improve the tree canopy in Indianapolis, and keeps us on track for our NeighborWoods goal of planting 100,000 trees in Marion County by 2017. As an organization we have gone from planting 600 trees a year to more than 600 trees a month, all with the help of the Youth Tree Team.”

YTT members are paid an hourly rate and receive a free lunch each workday. Additionally, a variety of planned enrichment activities are scheduled throughout the summer to help members gain valuable life skills that range from leadership experience and team building, to job training and environmental knowledge. Last year’s activities included college campus visits, financial planning and management skills education, panel discussions with green-collar professionals, and outdoor experiences, such as rafting on the White River.

Redirect Your Outdated Directories

Does anyone still use telephone books?

And by use, I mean to actually look up phone numbers – not just prop up a wobbly table or practice your own version of “Mythbusters” Episode 106, when it was demonstrated that it took the force of two tanks to pull apart two interwoven phone books because of the friction between the pages. (That was pretty cool, though, so I don’t blame you for trying to re-create it at home.)

If you do use phone books for finding information, it’s more than likely that they are outdated. There are web sites that are continually updated to include new businesses and updated contact information; whereas the books, once printed, cannot be updated.

So what do you do with piles of old phone books? Instead of letting them clog up the bottom of your hallway closet like mine tend to do, why not participate in a new drive to recycle outdated phone directories?

Most Indiana communities certainly have a way for residents to recycle these directories. 

As part of the AT&T Real Yellow Pages Project ReDirectory phone book recycling program, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc., AT&T and Republic Waste Services & Recycling of Indiana are teaming up in the Indianapolis area to provide opportunities for residents and businesses to recycle old phone books while helping schools.

The seven-week contest encourages 11 Indianapolis schools to collect and recycle outdated phone books, while having the opportunity to earn money based on the number of books collected. Through December 3, 18 locations across the city will accept the phone books. For each ton of phone directories collected, AT&T is contributing $20 to each school (up to 10 tons each). Republic Services is adding an additional $250 to the school that collects the most directories.

For more information, as well as the list of recycling centers accepting the phone books, visit this web site.

Keep Indianapolis Beautiful Helps to Green Capital City

David Forsell of Keep Indianapolis Beautiful explains his passion for his work, as well as how his organization partners with businesses around central Indiana to help keep the area clean. This includes a project that involves 8,500 Eli Lilly staffers helping to clean the Interstate. Forsell is the focus of a BizVoice story in our July/August edition.