Posts tagged ithaca

Ithaca Premiere of ‘This Changes Everything’ will be Capstone for ‘Seal the Cracks’ Campaign

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What if confronting the climate crisis is the best chance we’ll get to build a better world?

Sustainable Tompkins is partnering with Cinemapolis to support the October 24-30 Seal the Cracks campaign of the Finger Lakes Climate Fund by hosting the Ithaca premiere of This Changes Everything by Avi Lewis, based on Naomi Klein’s 2014 best-selling book of the same name.

Filmed over 211 shoot days in nine countries and five continents over four years, This Changes Everything is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change.

Seating is limited for the one-time screening of this film that explores how we must change our world to deal with the climate crisis.  We suggest you buy your tickets in advance HERE.

We also urge you to put the finishing touches on your carbon diet by offsetting the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from your air and auto travel and building energy use through the Finger Lakes Climate Fund.   Read the rest of this entry »

How Would You Spend a Carbon Tax? Join us at Science Cabaret!

Tuesday, October 27, 7:00 pm, SCIENCE CABARET, Coltivare

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WHAT IF NEW YORK PASSED A CARBON TAX?  Community Leaders Role Play the Future

MC:  Mark Sarvary

Host: Gay Nicholson, Sustainable Tompkins and the Seal the Cracks campaign

Premise:  NYS has passed a carbon tax after much debate.  It is one of the most aggressive and visionary in North America.  Each county will receive from the State a share of the collected tax after 60% of the tax is redistributed to low and moderate-income households to compensate them for higher fossil carbon energy prices.

In a stunning political compromise, the Cuomo administration agreed to forego collecting any of the carbon tax for use at the state level.  All of the 40% remaining refunds is to go to the counties to be used locally to both meet the State climate goal of 80% emission reductions by 2050 and to pay for any adaptation response needed by local communities. Read the rest of this entry »

Home Rule and the Greater Good

After hours of discussion at the June 16th county legislative meeting, the vote on the fate of the Old Library ended in a stalemate of 6 in favor of a large apartment complex for seniors (TravisHyde), and 6 in favor of a smaller adaptive reuse condo project (Franklin Properties) which had hundreds of petition supporters and inspired dozens of citizens to show up and speak in favor of the Franklin proposal. Read the rest of this entry »

2015 People’s Choice ‘Signs of Sustainability’ Awards Presented

Kitty Gifford of Sustainable Tompkins shares the details of awards presented to Melissa Kemp, Brice Smith, Phoebe Brown, and Irene Weiser for sustainability leadership by individuals. (Photo credit: Craig Tucker)

Kitty Gifford of Sustainable Tompkins shares the details of awards presented to Melissa Kemp, Brice Smith, Phoebe Brown, and Irene Weiser for sustainability leadership by individuals. (Photo credit: Craig Tucker)

According to a recent poll, Ithaca’s most popular “power couple” is Melissa Kemp and Brice Smith. Renewable power, that is.

Melissa and Brice won 4th place as a couple in the Individual category of the 2015 People’s Choice ‘Signs of Sustainability’ poll for their work in promoting our transition to clean renewable energy. They tied with Phoebe Brown for her community development work with Building Bridges and Irene Weiser for her leadership on opposing the repowering of the Cayuga coal plant.

Nonagenarian Martha Ferger of Dryden came in 3rd place for her advocacy for social justice and climate action (including getting arrested protesting gas storage under Seneca Lake). Dan Flerlage, a local teacher and mentor for the Youth Farm Project, tied for second place with Joe Wilson, a leader in the fight against installation of a gas pipeline in Dryden.

Nick Goldsmith, the Sustainability Coordinator for both the City and Town of Ithaca won the honor of 1st place for individual effort. As the host of countless meetings for the City and Town comprehensive plans, Nick is one of the more visible practitioners of sustainability in our community. Read the rest of this entry »

Neighborhood Mini-Grants Fundraising Campaign Launched

Youth Roots photo 1, 2014The Board and staff of Sustainable Tompkins invite you to join us in building a more sustainable community – one small project at a time.

We are thrilled to announce our new campaign for our wonderful Neighborhood Mini-Grants Program. Since 2008, the Neighborhood Mini-grants program has awarded more than $55,000 to support 140+ innovative, grassroots projects throughout Tompkins County. Our goal is to support and stimulate resident-based, “bottom-up” initiatives that improve the quality of life of residents by building capacity, resilience, and leadership through collaborative projects.

It’s a wonderful program and with your help, we can continue to help local residents build a more resilient and connected community!  Sustainable Tompkins is working with the good folks at GiveGab to raise funds to support the Mini-Grants Program in 2015.  Please visit our Campaign Page today to see some of the cool projects from our most recent batch of applications that you can help support. Read the rest of this entry »

New Headquarters for Sustainable Tompkins at 309 N. Aurora St.

309 N AuroraAfter 5 wonderful years at 109 S. Albany, Sustainable Tompkins has relocated its headquarters to the lovely historic house at 309 N. Aurora.  Because of strong growth in the green energy sector, our landlord at Taitem Engineering needed their building back to house new employees.  A planned relocation to the new Finger Lakes Reuse Center was substantially delayed, and through the kindness of member Stu Staniford, we were able to temporarily set up our office at his building at 317 N. Aurora for the fall.

We could not be happier to have found a permanent downtown location in the red house between United Way and the William Henry Miller Inn.  Our office suite has its own entrance at the rear of the building, and we have enough room to once again share our office with the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative.

Our move was made possible by the devoted efforts of our dear friends Nick Vaczek, Bob and Tracy Duckett, and Hurf and Melissa Sheldon who brought their trucks and tools and willing hands to help us move our gear out of our two previous office locations.  In early January, Finger Lakes Reuse will bring the rest of our furniture out of storage and we’ll get settled in completely.  We’re looking forward to hosting our colleagues, volunteers, and members in the coming year!

Join us to watch “Disruption” on September 7 at 6:45 pm

Sustainable Tompkins is hosting a free public screening of “Disruption” — a new, fast-paced cinematic journey through the wild world of climate change: the science, the politics, the solutions, and the stories that define this crisis at this pivotal point in human history.

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The movie is about an hour long, and after we will discuss the upcoming People’s Climate March in NYC on September 21, and what’s percolating on the climate and energy front in Tompkins County this fall.

If you’ve been thinking about doing more, NOW is the time!  There are so many initiatives underway, but they will need many more of us helping if we are to be successful and get them done in a timely way.  Come discover what you can do or, come share what you are doing!  Bring your friends and family and help them get engaged in this movement.

Watch the trailer here.  You can register to attend here.  Or just show up!  The event will start at 6:45 pm at the Sustainability Center at 111. N. Albany St – at the intersection with State St.

Salon series on “The Climate, the Market, and the Commons” well received

April 17 Gay and speakers

Sustainable Tompkins has concluded its well-attended series of spring salon discussions on “The Climate, the Market, and the Commons.” The salons featured guest speakers and group discussions that addressed the role of business, government, and the citizenry in dealing with climate change.  The salons were held at the Sustainability Center and attracted crowds of 65-85 people.  After initial presentations by guest respondents, the attendees moved through sets of discussion questions related to the evening’s topic.

The first salon in our series addressed the question of “Why are we stuck in climate denial?,” exploring the hurdles of even beginning to address the issue in a meaningful way.  The second salon, “Can business and technology save us?,” contrasted reasons for optimism for a “bright green” technological shift with evidence for a likely economic and ecological system collapse before a transition to clean energy can be completed. “Will government intervene?”, the third salon, brought together representatives from local, state, and federal government to discuss the public sector’s role in addressing climate change. And the last salon took up the question “Is it Up to the People?” with a focus on the clear need for leadership from the grassroots to help shift the market and push government to protect the commons.

You can view videos or listen to podcasts of the salons in the ‘The Climate, the Market, and the Commons’ series:

  • Why Are We Stuck in Climate Denial?    video / podcast – April 17, 2014
  • The Market and the Climate.     video podcast  – May 11, 2014
  • Will Government Intervene?    video podcast – June 5, 2014
  • Is it Up to the People? video / podcast – June 19, 2014

Many thanks to our video sponsors (Home Green Home and PPM Homes) and to Crooked Carrot Farm and Ithaca Bakery for catering donations. Thanks also to the Park Foundation, the guest conversants, the volunteers who worked hard to make the evenings run smoothly, our members, and all of the people who contributed to make the Salons possible.


‘Talk of the Town’ Radio with Sustainable Tompkins

Local radio host Juliana Garcia invited ST’s President Gay Nicholson and Board Chair Tom Shelley to join her on February 15 for her weekly ‘Talk of the Town’ show on WVBR.  Listen here to check out our wide-ranging conversation about living more sustainably.

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 »