Posts tagged carbon footprint

Everyday Climate Heroes

ST_Lawn-SignIt’s a comic book cliché.  The superhero that hides his true identity (remember mild-mannered Clark Kent?), but is ever ready to right wrongs and help those at risk.  Thankfully, most communities have always had their own quiet heroes working without fanfare to heal problems and seek justice.  At Sustainable Tompkins we are witnessing the emergence of a new breed of hero – a type we are going to need many more of as the impacts of climate disruption escalate and economic disparities widen.

In recent months, we’ve had the honor of being approached by two anonymous donors who share both a deep concern about the growing threat of climate change, and compassion for those in our community struggling with high energy bills.  Our first donor set up a Sustainable Newfield Fund and provided seed money to cover a series of grants from our Finger Lakes Climate Fund to residents of the Town of Newfield.  We made our first award from this gift in October with a $3,457 grant to Second Wind to insulate six cottages they are building for homeless men.  (Full story here.) Read the rest of this entry »

Finger Lakes Climate Fund supported by Cornell conference

LeChase Construction
Our Finger Lakes Climate Fund got a big boost this month when LeChase Construction of Rochester volunteered to offset all of the travel-related emissions from a Cornell conference on energy and university facility management.  This contribution will go a long way toward helping a local family become more energy secure.  Grants from the Finger Lakes Climate Fund are awarded to families below the median income to help them go forward with energy improvements that will save them money and reduce their emissions.  As the summer travel season approaches, we urge everyone to take responsibility for their carbon emissions — and help others in our community while you are at it! Read the rest of this entry »

The Truth About Energy Security

By Gay Nicholson, Ph.D., President of Sustainable Tompkins

The theme of our recent Energy Fair was community energy security. Real energy security.

Most of us associate “energy security” with fossil fuel industry lobbyists who try to convince Americans that we will be more secure if we stop relying on imports of foreign oil and just let them expand drilling offshore or in the rural lands of America.

But is that really a plan that will make us more secure?  Consider this:

Energy efficiency has never polluted the Gulf of Mexico or slimed the shores of Alaska.

Solar panels never gave a child asthma or blew off a mountain top.

Wind turbines have never threatened millions with cancer-causing radiation.

Energy conservation has never polluted drinking water supplies or destroyed a rural landscape.

We’ll never be really secure if we continue to base our economy and our way of life on fossil energy.  We know it’s a tightening noose with constantly rising prices and amplifying environmental damages. Read the rest of this entry »

Energy Fair and Pledge-In for Finger Lakes Energy Challenge

April 6, 2011  –   6:30-9:00 pm
Womens Community Building Auditorium, 100 W. Seneca St., Ithaca, NY

Don’t miss the Energy Fair on April 6 where we’ll explore the math behind eS = mc2 !

True energy security is the result of motivated community cooperation to reduce our dependence on risky fossil fuels.

Every citizen has an important and necessary role in phasing out wasteful energy consumption and investing in efficiency and local self-renewing energy sources.  Energy is tied into almost everything we do.  Together we can make sure our families are secure and our economy resilient.  Together we can transform the energy marketplace and support our growing number of green collar workers.  Sustainable Tompkins and its partners are proud to host you and your family for an evening devoted to community energy security.  Download the Energy Fair poster and share widely! Read the rest of this entry »

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Plant

In a significant step toward meeting its Climate Action Plan goals, Cornell brought its new Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant on line. Before the CHP facility was built, 65,000 tons of coal were being burned each year to provide steam heat for approximately 150 of Cornell’s buildings. By switching fuel sources from coal to natural gas and producing heat and electricity together via the CHP facility, the university has reduced coal usage by 80%, associated carbon emissions by 28%; the facility provides about 85% of the electricity needed for campus. Cornell plans to eliminate coal as an energy source by mid-2011, reducing the university’s carbon footprint by 30%.

Intelligent Green Solutions

Intelligent Green Solutions “identifies, designs, and installs systems that will dramatically slash both the operation cost and carbon footprint.” IGS offers installation of solar thermal energy, photovoltaic energy, small wind systems, and offers project management and consultation.

GrassRoots Festival teams up with Sustainable Tompkins

front-slide-2010Pick up a Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance guide and check out their article on page 45 that describes how they used the Marcellus Challenge and Finger Lakes Climate Fund to reduce the Festival footprint! By using our Carbon Calculator they learned that their shuttle buses emit about 3000 pounds of CO2 over the 4-day weekend. And for just a $32 donation to the Finger Lakes Climate Fund they were able to offset or “cancel out” the shuttle bus emissions. It’s that easy!

Beating the Marcellus Blues

lightbulbEnergy Fair and Pledge-In a Great Success!

Our Marcellus Challenge pledge-in and energy fair on March 3 was just what we needed to counteract a long, snowy winter and a protracted battle over gas drilling.  About 150 people crowded into the auditorium at the Womens Community Building to listen to a series of excellent speakers “connect the dots” on consumer demand for fossil fuels, and talk to local energy experts before taking their pledge.  Lisa Wright of Shaleshock Action Alliance wrote us to say “Thanks for the opportunity to take part in a fabulous and fun event.  The more we reframe our circumstances from victims to empowered citizens, the more effective we will be in controlling our destinies in the face of this daunting challenge from Big Oil and Gas.  This was a great success! Thanks, everyone!!”  We are working now on taking the Marcellus Challenge on the road across our region! Read the rest of this entry »

Save on home energy costs and shrink your carbon footprint – Free Energy Fair March 3

lightbulbMarcellus Challenge: Connecting the Dots – Energy Fair and Pledge-In

When it comes to Marcellus Shale development, it’s important to remember the role that consumer demand for fossil fuels plays in creating the need for drilling and mining. Individuals and families looking to reduce their utility bills or wanting to live more sustainably are invited to attend a free energy workshop on March 3, hosted by Sustainable Tompkins and Shaleshock Action Alliance. Read the rest of this entry »