Signs of Sustainability

We have a long way to go, but we're making progress. Here are some signs that we are moving towards sustainability.

April 25, 2016

Celebrate Bike Month with Two-Wheel Travel

Tompkins Weekly      4-25-16

By Jonathan Maddison

May is National Bike Month, and residents of Tompkins County are invited to celebrate biking as an economical, healthy, convenient, and environmentally sound way to get around and an excellent tool for recreation and enjoyment of our region’s scenic beauty. People of all ages can get involved in Tompkins County’s growing bike movement.

Streets Alive!, on Sunday, May 1, in downtown Ithaca, will open 1.5 miles of streets for people walking, biking and rolling. The street is closed to cars and open to people. Streets Alive! sets the foundation for building a movement for better biking and walking every day.

The event route runs along Cayuga Street from Boynton Middle School all the way to Court Street and down to GIAC.

At GIAC you’ll have a chance to see programs like the GIAC Navigators, GIAC Jumpers and Beats Alive. CULTURA will be hosting Cinco de Mayo performances and food from diverse Latin American cultures. Other highlights that you can find along the route are Dancing in the Streets, Ryan Zawel & Haiti Horns (a brass marching band), and a youth Bike Rodeo and Helmet Giveaway hosted by Ithaca Youth Bureau. Margot Brinn, who’s come out to almost every Streets Alive! since the first one in 2012, says, “It is such a relief to have my grandchildren on the street and not feel afraid for them.”

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April 20, 2016

Compost Fair is Educational, Entertaining

Tompkins Weekly          4-18-16

By George Cook

As the world is waking up to the benefits of sustainable living, people are redefining abundance. Instead of basing happiness on consumption, this new perspective embraces contribution. Much of this new awareness comes from understanding the impact of consumption on a healthy environment. For example, it can take 500 years for soil to build up an inch of topsoil, rich with microorganisms and nutrients. Our consumer lifestyles are causing the earth to lose five times more soil than is being made. In contrast, composting contributes to soils, reduces garbage in landfills and returns organic carbon and nutrients to the environment.

There are many ways that we can all participate in sustainable living. One of the easiest and most beneficial is composting. It’s a simple practice that requires minimal investment. Instead of wasting the biological nutrients by putting them in a landfill, composting turns them into valuable soil that benefits your garden and the planet. The practice can remove atmospheric carbon through soil carbon sequestration, directly through carbon in compost and indirectly through enhanced plant growth. The benefits are two-fold: rebuilding soil at the same time as helping to mitigate climate change. Composting is a great way to make a personal, local contribution to sustainable living.

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April 11, 2016

Dish Truck Meets GreenStar

Tompkins Weekly      4-11-16

By Joey Diana Gates

Cayuga Compost, a local commercial composting facility, and Tompkins County Solid Waste both recently announced that, as of April 1, they would no longer accept plates, dishes, cups or utensils, no matter what material they are made from: paper, corn-based plastics, or other so-called “compostable” materials.

It’s no Aprils Fools joke; what many thought were compostable products are actually made of biodegradable materials, which is a different process, and do not break down into garden-quality compost, even under optimal composting conditions such as Cayuga Compost provides.

After reading the Signs of Sustainability article on Dish Truck, two GreenStar Natural Foods Market employees, Joy Mathews and Amanda Hersey, saw the natural pairing of the Dish Truck team’s efforts to create a durable dish service with their work to keep GreenStar’s waste stream and compost stream separate.

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