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.

June 17, 2020

Community Gardens Shows Sustainability in Action

Tompkins Weekly 6-17-20

By Marty Hiller

Sustainability has two main components: planning for the future and resilience in times of crisis. The recent history of the Ithaca Community Gardens demonstrates both.

Our all-volunteer organization manages Ithaca’s largest and oldest community garden, on 2.1 acres of city-owned land in the heart of the Market District. We provide growing space to more than 150 mainly low-income households and community groups each year.

Plot fees are waived for our lowest-income gardeners, and we donate more than 700 pounds of produce a year through the Friendship Donations Network (FDN.)

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May 27, 2020

EPA Non-Enforcement Policy Causes Ripple Effects

Tompkins Weekly 5-27-20

By Rebecca Newberry

On March 26, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a policy that set new guidelines for large polluters to monitor themselves for an undetermined period of time during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The memo stated the EPA would not issue fines for violations of certain air, water and hazardous-waste-reporting requirements. The policy cites the decision as a response to COVID-19. 

The order states that companies should self-report if they break the law but won’t face any consequences by doing so. 

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May 14, 2020

After COVID-19, Climate Solutions

Tompkins Weekly 5-13-20

By Miranda Phillips

U.S. mayors tell us that their new “normal” after COVID-19 will include climate measures. I’m heartened to hear this, especially because well-designed climate solutions can significantly boost our ailing economy. And COVID-19 actually has a number of lessons that we’d do well to remember when taking climate action:

First, we underestimate risk. When COVID-19 first appeared in other countries, we were slow to act, not seeing the great risk to ourselves. The same holds true for climate change: A majority of Americans say that climate change is happening, that it’s man-made and concerning, but they also believe climate change is distant, affecting other species, people in other countries and future generations.

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