Sustainable Tompkins is a citizen-based organization working towards the long-term well-being of our communities by integrating social equity, economic vitality, ecological stewardship, and shared responsibility.

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Giving is Gorges 2021 – A Success!
Graphic with stats from 2021 Giving is Gorges campaign

Thank you for $8,310 from 84 donors!

Thanks to our amazing fundraisers and all of their outreach, we were able to raise $8,310 across 84 donors! That’s equivalent to over 3 full Climate Fund grants and is a HUGE help in keeping all of our programs running. We’re especially grateful for all of you who pushed us past our 2020 totals and earned us the “Greatest Leap” prizes: $250 for the organization that had the biggest increase in donations from the previous year.

Make sure you’re following us on Facebook and Instagram to keep up-to-date on what we’re doing and the big things we have coming up for the Finger Lakes sustainability scene. We appreciate your participation on ALL fronts!






Give on June 23 For a Chance to Win an Upcycled Lamp

Giving is Gorges is TWO DAYS away! Even though early giving has already started, this year’s main event on June 23rd has something special in store for all Sustainable Tompkins supporters.

Our dear friend Jon Jensen has kindly donated a one-of-a-kind, fully functional upcycled lamp that will be raffled off to ANYONE who donates between 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on the 23rd.

Share our fundraiser ( on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and get an extra entry per platform!

The lamp up for grabs is this wholly unique “Escape Of The 20 Foot Barbie” piece, standing at 23” tall (only 20 feet tall in the Barbie universe). A perfect and useful talking piece, sure to impress dinner guests and children alike.

Donate here on the 23rd for your chance to win!

Giving is Gorges: A Vital Day for Grassroots Organizations

Giving is Gorges 2021 is underway! Even though the main event is June 23, early giving is open now. And the organization with the most raised funds before the 23rd will get an extra $250 from the Giving is Gorges sponsors.

This event is especially crucial to Sustainable Tompkins, as we have always been a grassroots initiative. Our mission is to uplift our community and make life in the Finger Lakes (and beyond!) better for everyone.

For large-scale regional change to continue happening, we need your support so we can continue to train the next generation of climate justice leaders and grow the infrastructure that will facilitate widespread action. Much of our work is often “behind the scenes” and not always easy to convey to the public, but our prolonged Neighborhood Mini-Grant and Finger Lakes Climate Fund programs have visibly enriched the community for over a decade.

New York State and the City of Ithaca have ambitious climate goals that rely on local-level organizations like Sustainable Tompkins to meaningfully enact. Will you join us in holding our officials accountable and engaging our neighbors in the fight?

Yes, I will give today

Signs of Sustainability
TCCPI 2020 Annual Report Released, Part 1

Tompkins Weekly      7-28-21

By Peter Bardaglio

Raging wildfires in the U.S. West. A megadrought in the Southwest, where reservoirs that supply drinking water to Las Vegas and Phoenix are at historic lows. Soaring temperatures in Siberia, Canada and the Pacific Northwest that smash previous records. Disastrous flash floods in Europe, China and Japan. These extreme weather events are all part of the same story: Climate change is accelerating at a pace far faster than any of the computer models projected, and many scientists are worried that runaway climate destabilization is underway.

The current climate news could hardly be more frightening and depressing, all the more reason not to lose sight of the fact that we can still do much to mitigate the worst consequences of climate change. After all, if we can’t stop global warming from hitting 2 degrees C, keeping it under 2.3 or 2.5 is a lot better than 2.7 or 3.

Since the summer of 2008, the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative (TCCPI) — a coalition of community activists, leaders and concerned citizens — has been meeting monthly to discuss and share information about what we can do locally to reduce our carbon footprint and help the county meet its ambitious climate goals.

Read more…

A Visit with T-Burg’s Edible Acres

Tompkins Weekly 7-14-21

By Cathleen and Eric Banford

We recently interviewed Sean Dembrosky and Sasha Kellner-Rogers of Edible Acres, who dare to honor nature, their own well-being and the reality of today’s challenges. Edible Acres is a permaculture nursery and forest farm research space in Trumansburg focused on hardy perennial plants and low- and no-tech solutions.

Dembrosky and Kellner-Rogers start off by addressing today’s challenges directly.

“It feels like each year things are a bit more tenuous around overall food stability,” Dembrosky said. “Watch the southwest, and most of the fruits and vegetables that people rely on are coming from that area, and there’s pretty much no water there. It feels pretty critical for as many people as possible to grow as much food as possible right where we live. We need to work out the kinks on that and how distribution will work, and sharing, abundance, value-add and preservation.”

Read more…
Environmental Consequences of Bitcoin

Tompkins Weekly 6-23-21

By Yvonne Taylor

Bitcoin, or proof of work cryptocurrency, may seem like some distant, data mumbo jumbo that has little impact on those of us living in the Finger Lakes, but we must learn about this issue and act like our very planet depends on what happens with this industry because it does.

What is Bitcoin? Simply put, it’s a form of cryptocurrency that is created as many machines all work to solve the same mathematical equation or puzzle. The first machine to solve the problem wins. The more machines you have working on the same puzzle, the greater the chances you have of profiting.

Here’s the problem: big cryptomining companies like Bitcoin are buying up old or mothballed, inefficient fossil fuel power plants in the Finger Lakes and around New York state and reviving them to fuel their round-the-clock Bitcoin mining machines.

Read more…

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Older Posts

Fracking: What Are We FOR?
Sustainability is a Society of Systems Thinkers
Don’t Thank an Antifracktivist

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Energy and Equity Go Hand in Hand


Extreme income inequality, persistent racism, and increasing climate disruption are undeniable plagues of our time. We are fortunate that many people in Tompkins County are working on these issues. Some are advocates for racial and economic justice, such as creating living-wage jobs, removing barriers to reentry from the prison system, and ensuring affordable housing for all. Many others are involved in initiatives to reduce carbon emissions, such as, stopping gas infrastructure development, switching from fossil fuels to renewable sources, and conserving energy in housing, transportation, food, water, and waste. Read more…

Home Rule and the Greater Good

After hours of discussion at the June 16th county legislative meeting, the vote on the fate of the Old Library ended in a stalemate of 6 in favor of a large apartment complex for seniors (TravisHyde), and 6 in favor of a smaller adaptive reuse condo project (Franklin Properties) which had hundreds of petition supporters and inspired dozens of citizens to show up and speak in favor of the Franklin proposal. Read more…

How to Get Active on Climate? Even More Locally

By Miranda Phillips

With artic ice melting at great speed, and climate disruption happening a hundred years sooner than expected, climate change is promising to be the biggest challenge of the 21st century.  Not often talked about, at least in mainstream media, are the psychological and spiritual aspects of this challenge – among them, fear, guilt, and grief that make it difficult for us to act and act fast. Read more…