“Signs of Sustainability” 2009 Awards – Part V

(view more articles in SOS Tompkins Weekly)

By Christina Orlandini and Marian Brown

This is the last of our series in which Sustainable Tompkins introduces you to “Signs of Sustainability” in the category of new sustainability programs or activities by existing businesses or organizations.

Sustainable Community Development

Alternatives Federal Credit Union offered a holiday market for its business members to sell crafts and products.

Comet Skateboards commissioned local artists to creatively alter skateboards. Sale of one skateboard, decorated by local preschoolers, funded art supplies for the school. 

The Dryden Community Center Café is a hub for community conversation and activity. The “Kids at the Café” program offered fun ways to reuse items.

Amy Cochran devised the “No Drive” Food Drive in which participants were restricted from using personal motorized vehicles to travel between stores to purchase food items to donate to Loaves & Fishes.

The Ithaca Alternative Gift Fair expanded to support more than 50 organizations, offering extended sale hours and web sales.

The Roots and Shoots homeschool group created reusable cloth shopping bags from recycled fabric for Immaculate Conception Food Pantry participants.

SewGreen piloted a summer apprenticeship and jobs program in which teens learned about sewing, reuse, and workplace responsibilities. 

The SufferJets roller derby team shared the proceeds of home games with local non-profits, including Foodnet Meals on Wheels, Ithaca Family Reading Partnership, Books Thru Bars, Ithaca Skate Park, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Recycle Ithaca’s Bicycles.    

Sales of TCAT’s Summer Fun Youth bus passes benefited the Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes to help patients with transportation costs. 

Tompkins County Red Cross opened the Homeless Services Friendship Center & Shelter, offering homeless adults emergency shelter and permanent beds, kitchen and shower facilities, and telephones and computer access to search for jobs and apartments.

The Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency voted for sales tax abatement on energy efficiency projects for small business and landlords.

The Whole Community Project unveiled its Healthy Passport initiative to encourage kids to be physically active and interact with their community.

Sustainable Enterprise

Alternatives Federal Credit Union offers special discounts on loans for green home renovations, solar panel installations, and hybrid vehicle purchases. 

Ehrhart Propane offers biodiesel to replace #2 fuel oil and runs its fleet on propane to reduce emissions. 

Experience! The Finger Lakes offers a Sustainability Tour to those who want to learn what makes Ithaca one of the Top 100 Green Places to live.

Ithaca Guitar Works offers musicians: Wheatware™ guitar picks made from compostable bioplastics. 

Local First Ithaca was certified as a member network of BALLE, the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies. 

Shari Landsman, EcoBroker at RE/MAX in Motion, earned the National Association of Realtors Green Designation.    

SewGreen opened its “Rescued for Reuse” store to sell fabric, yarn, and sewing machines; proceeds benefit SewGreen’s youth programs. 

Sustainable Operations

Acme Pest Control earned the QualityPro designation for its Integrated Pest Management services.

Angelo Dry Cleaners packages cleaned clothing in biodegradable plastic garment bags.

The Ithaca Journal uses a print format that trims newsprint consumption by 50 tons a year, prints on 30% recycled paper with soy-based ink, and recycles aluminum printing plates.

NYS DEC selected La Tourelle Resort to participate in the GreenLeaf Eco-Rating pilot program to measure resource conservation, recycling and composting, and use of environmentally safe cleaning products.

Sheldrake Point Vineyard received the 2009 Lake-Friendly Farm award from the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network for its sustainable farming practices.  

Wink’s Body Shop uses environmentally-friendly waterborne basecoats.


Andree Petroleum is the first local retailer offering biodiesel to the public.

The City of Ithaca Engineering Office installed bike lanes on some city streets and is experimenting with “sharrows” to support cycling on streets too narrow for separate bike lanes.

Cornell University’s entry remains in the Progressive Automotive X Prize competition to design a vehicle that exceeds 100 miles per gallon. 

Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Way2Go program supports community members in transportation choices that promote individual, community and environmental wellbeing.

Dominos Pizza delivers pizzas in its logo-branded SmartCar. 

Ithaca Dispatch includes a Toyota Prius in its taxi fleet. 

The Tompkins County Alternative Fuels Consortium attracted a supplier for B20 biodiesel. 

The Tompkins County Legislature approved a “Green Fleet” policy. 

Pritchard Automotive is the first upstate NY dealership for the Wheego Whip electric vehicle.

These entries are excerpted from the complete list of Signs of Sustainability 2009 citations that can be viewed at: www.sustainabletompkins.org

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