SOS Tompkins Weekly

Transportation for Sustainability: Move People, Not Cars

Tompkins Weekly 11-27-19

By Dawn Montayne

Way2Go, a program of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, has a mission to provide information and education that connects people with transportation options and facilitates new community transportation solutions.

Way2Go partners on numerous transportation projects providing education and outreach on mobility challenges and solutions in Tompkins County and beyond. We also share information in person and online through the Way2Go website, which houses an online directory of every transportation service in Tompkins County for local and regional travel, how-to videos, tips and tools and ways to get involved in community initiatives.

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Recycle Furniture for Families in Need

Tompkins Weekly 11-13-19

By Maja Anderson

Neighbor to Neighbor (formerly Love Knows No Bounds) is a small nonprofit organization that helps with furniture redistribution and small home repair programs in Tompkins County and the city of Ithaca.

Our mission is to work with people to meet their needs for a safe, sturdy and functional home when they don’t have the resources to repair or furnish them on their own. We accept and pick up donations of good quality used furniture items and redistribute them to low-income people who need to furnish their homes.

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Tree Crops for Sustainability

Tompkins Weekly 10-23-19

By Serena Lindahl

Community isn’t always just about people. When Steven Woinoski, a young man in his mid-20s with twin babies on the way, decided to move to Ithaca to provide a better environment in which to raise his children, he faced several obstacles.

The first, predictably, was money. Even a decade ago, Tompkins County had one of the highest costs of living in rural New York state. For a blue-collar worker and his wife, a mother who wanted to stay home with her children, the price seemed exorbitant.

In addition, Steve knew he wanted to create a self-sufficient lifestyle and contribute to generations to come. Both required land – expensive land if he wanted to remain in Tompkins County and close to Ithaca.

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What is the Greenest Building?

Tompkins Weekly 10-9-19

By Pat Longoria

When asked to envision the greenest building, the image that most likely comes to mind is a sleek new structure with solar panels and energy-efficient windows, heating and cooling systems and lighting.

Think again. Picture instead a sturdy, old, brick schoolhouse converted into apartments with original, tall windows that let in natural light and high ceilings that encourage air flow or a renovated older farmhouse whose old-growth timbers and wide-plank floors are more durable than wood used in new construction.

Both of these buildings represent significant embodied energy. Embodied energy is all the energy that was originally consumed to produce, transport, and bring together the materials to make a building.

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Kitchen Theatre Implements Green Practices

Tompkins Weekly 9-25-05

By M. Bevin O’Gara

Theatre by its nature is the least green of all art forms: shows are built, they open to the public, and they close only a few short weeks later. Without a lot of time, staff and bandwidth, much of the material that make theatrical design magical ends up in dumpsters.

The Kitchen Theatre Company (KTC) has long been committed to producing high-quality productions while trying to maintain as green a footprint as possible, including the building of our LEED-certified green facility in Ithaca’s West End. And last season, we took a major step in making our methods more efficient and sustainable in terms of production elements by adopting and enacting a new Green Initiative.

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Caroline Project Distributes LEDs

Tompkins Weekly 9-11-19

By Emily Adams

On Saturday, Oct. 5, volunteers with the Brighten Up Caroline project will begin distributing more than 10,000 LED light bulbs to Caroline residents. Their goal? To help Caroline residents use roughly one million fewer kilowatts of electricity and save roughly $125,000 per year, starting immediately!

How is this possible? Every 9W LED light bulb that replaces an old-fashioned 60W incandescent bulb will save 765 to 1,224 kilowatts of energy over the 13-to-22-year lifetime of that new bulb. At today’s electricity rates, that is more than $100 in savings per bulb. If a resident replaces 12 incandescent bulbs that are lit for three or more hours each day, that household will save more than $80 per year. And if volunteers can reach all 1,550 households in Caroline, that adds up to big savings, for residents and the planet as well.

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Sunrise Movement: Young People for Greener World

Tompkins Weekly 8-28-19

By Marisa Lansing

Is Ithaca really as progressive as we think? We have social justice ventures, green space and many sustainability-focused organizations, but are we prepared for the climate emergency? Sunrise Ithaca brought a Green New Deal resolution to the city, which was approved by the Common Council.

Now is the time for our community to come together for climate justice. This is our only chance; science has proven that we’re running out of time.

The Sunrise Movement is a national mobilization of young people, started in 2017, to fight the global threat of climate change. We demand that political leaders of this country put climate justice as number one on their agenda by taking extreme actions such as implementing a bold GND.

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Smithsonian Exhibit Raises Water Awareness

Tompkins Weekly 8-14-19

By Patricia Haines Gooding

In our water-rich region, it is easy to forget that much of the world increasingly faces critical water shortages, threatening whole cultures as well as lives. It is well worth the short trip up to Aurora between Aug. 16 and Sept. 29 for a science-based, comprehensive, graphic reminder from the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street, as the Aurora Historical Society, Aurora Masonic Center and Wells College co-host the multi-media “Water/Ways” exhibit.

Here is evidence that good can still come out of Washington: Museum on Main Street is funded by the U.S. Congress. The Museum Association of New York chose Aurora to be one of only three NYS locales for this extraordinary, comprehensive program.

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Wherefore Art Thou, Sustainability?

Tompkins Weekly 7-24-19

By Thomas Shelley

We have heard of dire predictions for our planet if we, collectively, allow global warming to continue past 2030. The main thrust to prevent climate disaster is greenhouse gas reduction – methane, carbon dioxide, refrigerants. This generally turns into energy use reduction, specifically, cessation of the use of fossil fuels, methane being the worst of all and energy conservation in its many forms – buildings with lower energy requirements and the electrification of transportation, both powered by renewable energy instead of fossil fuels.

Much of what needs to be accomplished needs to be done via policy, funding and action at the international, state and corporate level.

However, we are a global civilization made up of individuals and the decisions we make in our personal lives affect our sum outcome. So, what is the individual to do in what often seems like the face overwhelming odds?

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Why We Need to Get the Lead Out

Tompkins Weekly 7-10-19

By Thomas Shelley

Lead in our environment remains a major source of damaging contamination for people and wildlife. Deposition of lead into the environment is a danger to the health, safety and general welfare of our communities.

The effects of lead on living things have been noted and studied for hundreds of years. Prolonged or repeated exposure to low levels of lead may result in an accumulation in body tissues and exert adverse effects on the blood, nervous systems, heart, endocrine and immune systems, kidneys and reproduction.

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