The environment can be confusing — trust us, we know.
We hear from you all the time with questions on a wide variety of topics, from energy policy to waste and recycling. Sometimes we can respond in a short email or phone call, but other times answering your question requires additional reporting.
After racking our brains for a way to address your questions fully and fairly, we decided to launch an entirely new series in which we research complex environmental questions submitted by our readers.
Here’s how the Scrub Hub will work, and how you can participate:
The short answer
Welcome to the Scrub Hub!
If you’re dying to understand how recycling facilities sort their materials or why exactly people keep talking about net metering, ask us! We’ll find out for you.
To send in a question, go to IndyStar.com/ScrubHub. Or fill out our Google Form below. If you choose to share your name, you can even get a shout-out in our story if we decide to answer your question.
The long answer
We get questions from readers like you all the time — which is no surprise, considering environmental issues are often scientifically complex and hard to understand. We want you to know that we hear you and we’re listening.
That’s why IndyStar environmental reporters Sarah Bowman and London Gibson are now launching a question-and-answer series called The Scrub Hub. Named for our Facebook group called The Scrub, this will be the Hub where you get answers and we break stuff down.
Intrigued? Have a question of your own? Let us know! We’ve created a Google Form, where you can submit your questions and, if you choose, let us know a little more about you such as your first name and where you’re from. We like to be able to say that “Sarah from Indianapolis asked…” or “London from Indianapolis wants to know…” to help us get to know our community and readers a bit better.
We’ve already received more than 20 questions, ranging from “Is the water in Indy safe to drink?” to “Where does our garbage go after it’s picked up from the curb?” — and we are getting to work finding the answers for you.
We’re planning to answer two reader questions each a month, once every other week. And they will take a format similar to this story: question at the top, a short answer if you only have time for a quick skim, and then a long answer that dives into the topic a bit more if you want to get down into the details.
These answers will range from explainers on how something works (like drainage tiles, coming soon) to a blurb on how to do something (such as shopping in bulk, stay tuned). We are also hoping to bring you some graphics and charts or even some videos with these stories, too, if that helps explain the topic — we will take any opportunity we can to get out in nature or conduct an experiment a la Bill Nye the Science Guy.
And speaking of Bill, we plan to consult the experts on these topics, too. We will reach out to scientists, researchers, organizations, etc. — basically anyone who can help us track down the most up-to-date and comprehensive information.
We want to know what interests you, what excites you, or even what confuses you. We are hoping this is an opportunity to engage with our readers and to start some conversations. Environmental issues touch almost every aspect of our lives: the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat. How we get to work, how we turn on the lights, how we recreate in our free time. Everything.
Overall, we hope The Scrub Hub will give us direct access to understanding the issues that matter most to you, so that we can continue to serve you with our future reporting.
You can go to IndyStar.com/ScrubHub to submit your questions.
Connect with IndyStar’s environmental reporters: Join The Scrub on Facebook.
IndyStar’s environmental reporting project is made possible through the generous support of the nonprofit Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust.