Beautifying our neighborhood

August 1, 2017 - 12:00am -- Living City

Beautifying our neighborhood
How one business shares its love for creation with its community

By John and Julie Mundell, Indiana

Our environmental consulting business is located in a small community called Irvington, on the east side of Indianapolis. It is an older part of the city that is reviving through the commitment of residents and local small businesses.

For us it has been important to be the best of neighbors, since our commercial building is within a residential neighborhood, with special zoning that allows us to operate there. We try to consider how our business impacts on their quality of life, environment and climate needs.

A few years ago, we sat down and purposefully put together a plan to help not only our property become more environmentally friendly, but also our community’s area. We were the first business to join a new green initiative with the motto, “Love Where You Live,” and we committed to increasing our level of recycling and reuse, reducing our energy consumption with high-efficiency lighting, and making our urban area more inviting to bees, birds and wildlife.

Since then we have planted several hundred new plants and flowers around our property. One year, we distributed flowers to 400 of our nearest neighbors so that they could also improve the quality of their own homes and help the bees. Walking around the neighborhood during our time off, we could visually see the impact.

As a response to Pope Francis’ challenges to care for the environment, we have planted 15 new large trees on our property, and have had employees volunteer to green the city with planting trees along the main streets and public gathering places. Last year, we supported the beginning of a local composting company run by a young couple. And our reuse program has offered another small business free packing materials and cardboard shipping boxes, which has helped them as they began.

What is the result of all of these activities? For us, it is the feeling we get when we know that we have done everything we can to make the world a more beautiful place, one in which God’s presence is reflected by what can be seen and felt in our surroundings.

We have received many beautiful notes from our neighbors over this time. Here’s the most recent: “Your property is so beautiful! Every day, as I walk around it, it gives me such a sense of peace. Thank you!”