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 24, 2017

Earth Day 2017

Tompkins Weekly       4-24-17

By Joey Diana Gates

Every spring is different and unfolds in its own time and in its own way. It is the time when the cold and the warmth engage in a tug of war for ruling the weather. Much like the political climate we are currently living in, where the struggles to control and save our social safety nets play out in heated debate. In times such as this, movements like the environmental one grow and swell in ranks as many are shaken out of complacency and propelled into the streets to safeguard our ecosystems and climate. It is in this vein that we, nationally and as a community here, observe and celebrate Earth Day this year.

On the traditional Earth Day of Saturday, April 22, many events are happening throughout the community, while the National Earth Day Network hosts the March for Science in Washington, D.C. Locally, the following weekend, on Saturday, April 29, under the sponsorship of Sustainable Tompkins, we will have a day full of events to help us find our voices, lift them up and join the chorus in pursuit of a more sustainable life through policy change and action. Ithaca’s March for Climate, Jobs and Justice will be one of 250 across the U.S. in association with the People’s Climate Movement.

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April 11, 2017

Get Down to Earth with Master Composters

Tompkins Weekly        4-10-17

By Lisbet Rattenborg and Shweta Dharlwal

With the help of worms, leaves, microscopic organisms and a little care, anyone can learn to turn food scraps and lawn waste into high quality garden soil.

That’s the guiding philosophy behind this year’s Compost Fair, presented by Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Master Composters. While 3,400 rubber ducks bob down the Cascadilla Gorge Trail as part of the 4-H Duck Race, an equal quantity of compost worms will be wiggling around waiting to be adopted by members of the public at this year’s Compost Fair. Worm bins, Earth Machines, DIY compost bins, and Japanese bokashi fermentation are just a few of the compost techniques that will be demonstrated at Cooperative Extension from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 23. The fair will be largely organized by Master Composter volunteers, people from all backgrounds who are committed to building community composting skills.

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March 27, 2017

HeatSmart Shares Benefits of Fossil-free Heating, Cooling

Tompkins Weekly        3-27-17

By Jonathan Comstock

Residents across Tompkins County are discovering that they can make their homes more comfortable year round while simultaneously doing their part to reduce the world-wide-waste, pollution, and climate change impacts associated with fossil fuel based energy use.

How is this accomplished? Through electric heat pump systems. Heat pumps use electricity to move heat from one place to another, and are used for heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. Heat pump systems may sound confusing, but that’s where HeatSmart, a program of Solar Tompkins, plays a role in helping homeowners sort through the many choices available for home energy efficiency improvements.

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