Below are a list of local efforts happening in and around Tompkins County to promote sustainability. Whether through news, products, or services, these organizations and companies have been recognized as leaders in promoting green awareness.

 Sustainable Finger Lakes

This is a map of the sustainability and democracy movement in the Finger Lakes Region. Use this map to discover how people are working to relocalize the economy, make our system of governance more just and democratic, and protect our land, air, and water for future generations. Add what you are working on. Plug in where you can make a difference. Spread the word and share with others!

Environmental Management Council of Tompkins County

The Environmental Management Council (EMC) is Tompkins County’s official citizen advisory board on local environmental issues. Serving as a link between County government and the public, the EMC advises the County Legislature, educates citizens, and works as a liaison between community stakeholders on matters affecting the preservation, development, and use of the natural features and conditions of the County that have a bearing on environmental quality.

TC Workers’ Center

The Tompkins County Workers’ Center, formerly the Living Wage Coalition, was founded in 1995. Today, the Workers’ Center is made up of hundreds of individuals and over fifty organizations (unions, religious and community groups, etc).

The mission of the Tompkins County Workers’ Center is to stand up with all people treated unfairly at work or faced with critical poverty, racial, housing, health care or other social and economic issues. We will support, advocate for, and seek to empower each other to create a more just community and world.

Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute

The Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute offers two certification courses each year, apprentice programs, and classes on a wide range of topics like mushrooms, tree pruning, and urban design. Operating on 160+ acres alongside Cayuga Nature Center, we work to engage the community in connecting people to nature through stewardship.

Ithaca Carshare

Ithaca Carshare offers 24/7 access to a fleet of fuel efficient vehicles without the worry or expense of car ownership. With dozens of vehicles located throughout Ithaca, members can easily walk or take a TCAT bus to any of our locations. An electronic keyfob system and online reservation manager allows quick and easy access to the entire fleet. Whether you want to plan out trips up to a year in advance, or need a car immediately, a reservation can be made in under a minute by phone or online at any time of day.  In 2010, we launched our organizational memberships with the ability to sign up multiple drivers on a single account with a monthly itemized bill.

Home Green Home

Home Green Home offers a wide array of earth friendly goods and necessities for the home.  Their staff carefully selects alternatives that are healthier for you & the planet, while performing as well as or better than their conventional counterparts.  They carry furnishing & mattresses, bedding, bath items, tools for composting, reusables, and yoga & meditation gear.   Home Green Home is located on the Commons in downtown Ithaca.

Snug Planet

Snug Planet is a company of experienced home energy pros. We’re also your neighbors. We respect your time, your house, and the community we share. We use the best available tools and techniques to make buildings more efficient and comfortable. We explain what we do and why, and we’ll guide you through the process. Just imagine: Coming home to an snug house on a cold winter’s night. Your home.

Green Resource Hub

The Green Resource Hub grew out of one of the initial working groups of Sustainable Tompkins, and has become an affiliated nonprofit corporation. The Hub’s mission is to expand the regional marketplace for sustainable living through business support, consumer education, and workforce development. Their latest program is the Sustainable Enterprise Network for all organizations interested in greening their operations, learning from each other, and reaching new customers with their products and services for sustainable living. They also offer an online directory of green businesses and a regional green events calendar.

Cayuga Sustainability Council

The Cayuga Sustainability Council was organized by Sustainable Tompkins to provide an ongoing venue for local nonprofits and citizens’ groups to update each other on local sustainability initiatives, and discuss issues related to the search for sustainability and social justice. Membership is open to any group interested in collaborating on these themes. The Council meets quarterly under the guidance of a rotating leadership team. Contact if you are interested in attending Council meetings.


SewGreen is a community not-for-profit program that promotes sustainability through the creative reuse of fabric, fiber, and fashion, as well as responsible consumerism and a rediscovery of self-reliant skills. We offer community gatherings, free and open to all, where sewing and needlecraft enthusiasts can share ideas and advice. We are planning low-cost sewing classes that will be easily accessed by community members of all ages and skill levels.