Hoosiers Care celebrates 10,000-plus pledges

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Hoosiers Care celebrates 10,000-plus pledges
One simple thing to improve the environment can lead to big savings

Since the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) and its agency partners formed the Hoosiers Care initiative in 2008, almost 11,000 individual pledges to do one simple thing to improve the environment and save money have been collected.

In addition to IDEM, Hoosier Care partners include the Indiana Office of Energy Development, the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.

These agencies work together to encourage Hoosiers to reconsider their activities which may adversely impact the environment.

Since the Hoosiers Care initiative was unveiled at the Indiana State Fair in 2008, 10,660 individuals completed the online pledge. Most recently, 2,305 pledges were collected during the 2011 Indiana State Fair. A daily stage show in the Our Land Pavilion teaches audience members how to improve the environment in a game show format. "Dr. Reese Eikle" is the show's fictional emcee and Hoosiers Care spokesperson.

"It's always wonderful having the opportunity to talk about ways children and adults alike can improve the environment just by making one small change in their daily habits," explained Dr. Eikle. "Something as simple as turning off the water when brushing teeth or unplugging electronics when not in use are easy to do but multiplied by 6.5 million Hoosiers, the savings can really add up."

In the past four years, the Hoosiers Care partnership has expanded its communication tools in keeping up with technological advances. In addition to sending out emails to pledge-takers, the group established a presence on popular social networking websites on Facebook and Twitter. The partners also launched an online social networking site to help individuals and groups connect and discuss Indiana's environmental issues. The Hoosiers Care community can be found at www.HoosiersCare.org and is open to anyone interested in environmental matters. Participants can join in discussions, blog, share videos and photos, learn about events, collaborate and learn from each other.

"There is great value in social network communications," said IDEM Commissioner Thomas Easterly. "The website offers another communications venue for the public to share information about environmental issues that could be important in decision-making processes."

By using social networking sites to supplement its other, more traditional communication tools, including emails, website and listservs, the agencies are reaching additional audiences while enhancing communications and services.

"This site is a valuable way for consumers to learn about saving energy and water, reduce their utility bills, and share new and creative ideas for greater efficiency," said Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor David Stippler.

More detailed information about the Hoosiers Care program can be found at www.HoosiersCare.IN.gov.


News Media contacts:
IDEM: Allison Fore, (317) 232-8500
OUCC: Anthony Swinger, (317) 233-2747