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Carbon Neutral Indiana: A Practical Guide to Climate Optimism


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“In Daniel Poynter’s new book, “Carbon Neutral Indiana, a Practical Guide to Climate Optimism,” he is anything but neutral. Poynter is an enthusiastic advocate... His pragmatic approaches are clever, sometimes funny and very convincing. This book is an essential primer for everyone wishing to implement climatic solutions and help the world avoid a possible devastating environmental tragedy.”

—Mickey Maurer, Chairman of the Board of IBJ Corporation and The National Bank of Indianapolis; former President of the Indiana Economic Development Corp.; former Indiana Secretary of Commerce.

"This book shows how Hoosiers can reduce carbon emissions wherever they have influence. It's well-researched, clearly written, and informative. It's nothing like what I expected. It was a real breath of fresh air."

—Greg Ballard, 48th mayor of Indianapolis; retired Lt. Col. U.S. Marines; awarded the Legion of Merit and other medals; CEO of Five C Consulting; author of Small Unit Leadership and Less Oil or More Caskets: The National Security Argument for Moving Away From Oil.


According to researchers at Yale, over 50% of Indiana residents are “worried” about climate. We at Carbon Neutral Indiana can confirm this observation and add more detail:

Over the past two years we’ve helped 500+ Hoosier households measure their carbon footprints over the phone. Almost all say they feel worried, overwhelmed, and anxious about the issue.

This is particularly acute in young people we’ve engaged, contributing at least in part to a mental health crisis. The rate of suicide among people aged 10 to 24 increased nearly 60% between 2007 and 2018, according to the CDC. People are tired of feeling a lack of control and general despair. They are looking for specific, concrete climate solutions they can implement in their households, organizations, and cities.

About the Book

Project Drawdown is the world’s leading resource for climate solutions. It’s a list of ways to reduce carbon emissions -- ranging from solar and wind to methane digesters and alternative cement -- ranked by efficacy. It lists which solutions will reduce the most carbon per dollar invested.

We started by narrowing down Drawdown solutions relevant to Indiana. Then we identified local NGOs and subject matter experts working on each solution. Finally, we hired a research assistant to interview 100+ Hoosiers who successfully implemented these solutions at the household, organizational, or city level.

The result is over 60 inspiring true stories of Hoosier entrepreneurs reducing carbon emissions.

In addition to these easily digestible stories:

  • Each story includes a how to guide so readers can implement the solution. It includes costs, benefits, and a step by step process to follow.
  • Each chapter has a list of which non-profits are working on the issue, what they can help you achieve, and contact information.
  • Each chapter also has a list of relevant state laws.

The purpose of the book is to inspire, educate, and activate Hoosiers. Imagine a cross between Chicken Soup for the Soul, a directory, and a lot of how to guides.

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More Praise

Dr. F. Ryan Prall MD, Retinologist:

“Instead of doomsday forecasts and constant front-page gloom, we need a vision of a clean, sustainable future. Then we can get inspired, get educated, and do something that moves us toward building something great. For those of us feeling overwhelmed and unsure about the climate crisis, this book will get us off our duff and into the game.”

Kristian Andersen, Co-Founder & Partner, High Alpha venture capital:

“Discussions about climate change have almost exclusively focused on the problem, diminishing the prospect of hope, innovation and practical solutions. This book highlights the stories of entrepreneurs who are driving change and creating a future of lower carbon, economic growth and continued human flourishing.”

Kelly Geckler, Program Manager at Heritage Interactive Services:

"I love Indiana because it’s my home — I grew up here — but we have a poor reputation regarding conservation generally and climate in particular. So I like how the book focuses on all of the positive things being done here. I read the news regularly, but I wasn’t aware of several of these stories. Thank you!!!"

Jim Merritt, President, JWM Consulting Corp.; Indiana State Senator; Indiana Bicentennial Commission:

“A few people are changing how Indiana thinks about climate change. Daniel Poynter is one. [This book] is all about solutions and opportunities. It provides a roadmap that can benefit all Hoosiers.”

Molly O'Donnell, volunteer with Earth Care Bloomington:

"This book is full of good resources and great local stories, one of which is sure to inspire people to take similar actions. Is another town doing something needed or possible in your town; did someone else take on a task, not know if they were capable or whether they'd be successful? We are all important and necessary for this challenge."

Landon Gary Young PhD, Venture Capitalist and Executive Director of Entrepreneurial Programming at Elevate Ventures; Ph.D. Ecological Science and Engineering:

“Daniel makes the science, engineering, and policy approachable by providing both immediate ideas for any community to implement and inspiration for entrepreneurial minds to create new technologies and economic opportunities.”

Colleen Marciel Rosales, Ph.D., Atmospheric and Indoor Air Pollution Chemist with the University of California, Davis:

"I believe that to truly spur action, just inspiration and education are not enough - we must also empower each person and make them feel that their actions are not just one individual action, but a part of a bigger collective. The personal empowerment that people will get from this book will surely spark actions towards solutions within their own communities."

John Mundell, CEO, Mundell & Associates; Global Director, Catholic Church’s climate action platform (Laudato Si Action Platform):

“It’s not often that a book captures the passion and commitment of its author towards their subject, but “Carbon Neutral Indiana: A Practical Guide to Climate Optimism” does just that. Daniel Poynter’s enthusiasm for creative climate action is palpable and infectious, and his efforts to spread the good news of pragmatic solutions offered in Indiana gives us hope for our children and grandchildren. The book begs the question at the end of each chapter – “Can I do this?” My resounding response is: YES!”

John Smillie, Volunteer with Citizens' Climate Lobby and the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County Climate Team:

"Climate change is a daunting and urgent problem that will require action on all levels of society. Often, people want to take action, but they don't know what to do or whom to ask. This book is great because it empowers people to make changes in their own lives and communities by providing straightforward accounts of what their fellow Hoosiers are already doing."

Tyler Kanczuzewski, VP of Sustainability with Inovateus Solar, Sustainability Manager with Logistick, Inc.:

"There are great platforms and innovations to slow down climate change, providing career paths and economic opportunity, and many of them are listed in this book! Enjoy the read, and please share these solutions with others, as it’s going to take all of us working together to restore the planet."

Andrew Gouty, CEO of Science & Magic:

"So much about the climate crisis is presented to us on a seemingly intractable national or global scale. The truth is there are small, concrete things that Hoosiers can do to be a part of climate solutions. It's time that we flip the script on climate from crisis to opportunity, and this book moves us in that direction."

Supplementary Content

The companion website has links to stories, organizations, and bills mentioned in the book as well as video interviews.

Media Coverage

Deb Chubb interviewed the author, Daniel Poynter, about this book on Oct 13, 2022:

30 minute interview. Carbon Neutral Indiana's Practical Guide to Climate Optimism

New book focuses on climate progress in Indiana