Signs of Sustainability
Stories from around the region

Climate Change Awareness & Action

CCAA was formed to educate others and actively work towards reversing the anthropogenic climate change. The Founding Members of the CCAA came together as an organizing committee putting their minds together to host environmentally charged events in Syracuse, NY. They are also a 350.org local group! Thinking about an electric car? National Drive Electric Week is this week and CCAA is celebrating! Check out the event here.

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Wellspring Forest Farm & School

Wellspring Forest Farm & School has a vision that humanity learns to see the forest as a valuable, productive space, forming relationships based on an intimate way of knowing and rooted in participatory action. Through mentoring students, they transform the eastern temperate forest into a productive and diverse ecosystem for generations to come. Take a class, order some mushrooms, or stay at their fun yurt Air BnB! For more info, visit their website.

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VINES:Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments

VINES is an organization that establishes community gardens, urban agriculture and community green spaces with a focus on empowering community members of all ages and abilities. Programs include:- a community garden program- the Binghamton Urban Farm (BUF)- Grow Binghamton (a summer youth employment program)- the Green Thumb Educational Workshop Series- the Binghamton Farm Share program (Farm Share)- a community garden program – the Binghamton Urban Farm (BUF) – Grow Binghamton (a summer youth employment program) – the Green Thumb Educational Workshop Series – the Binghamton Farm Share program (Farm Share)

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Toxics Targeting

Homes and properties in communities across New York are located on or near toxic sites that can cause health hazards or reduce investment value. Toxic Targeting obtains environmental data from local, state and federal government sources and updates our information on a continuing basis. They provide extensive archival data now withheld from public disclosure. If you are buying a specific home or property, you can order a Toxics Targeting Phase I Environmental Database Report. They will walk you through your detailed report and answer your questions! For more info, visit their website.

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The Solar Home Factory

The Solar Home Factory builds pre-fab solar homes at their factory at 33 Forge Ave in beautiful Geneva, New York. Homes are designed for a low maintenance, low impact, and highly efficient lifestyle. Solar panels power heat pump systems that heat, cool, and insert fresh air. The steel siding, PVC trim, and membrane roofing make for an extremely low maintenance home. For more info, visit https://www.solarhomefactory.com/.

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The Smith Opera House

For more than a century the Smith Opera House has thrived as the center stage of the Finger Lakes, offering quality performing arts and cultural opportunities for area residents and regional visitors. Occupied approximately 250 nights per year with events open to the public, the theatre is an ongoing symbol of historic preservation, non-profit perseverance, and artistic excellence. For more info, visit their facebook page.

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HeatSmart

HeatSmart, a program of Solar Tompkins, is a nonprofit community-based organization focused on promoting the rapid adoption of renewable energy in Tompkins County, NY. They work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Tompkins County by facilitating the adoption of home insulation, sealing, and heat pump technologies for heating and cooling. They provide residents with the information, confidence, and value they need to transition their homes toward zero net carbon emissions, strengthening local markets for renewable energy and energy efficiency. To learn more, and to access HeatSmart designers and installers, visit the NYSERDA website.

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Seneca Towns Engaging People for Solutions (STEPS)

STEPS is a neighborhood health improvement project for southern Seneca County, New York, specifically Covert, Lodi, Ovid and Romulus, with a mission to strengthen families, address challenges that are part of rural life, grow a sustainable regional economy, cultivate leadership, encourage initiative, and foster respect for all. They offer cooking classes, herbalism classes, and all things of the sort! For more info, visit their website.

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HuntGreen LLC

Mover and shaker, Suzanne Hunt, provides expert policy, political, and investment advising on energy, agriculture, transportation, and the environment. Hunt Green helps businesses and investors anticipate and respond to changing markets, technologies, policies, political dynamics, and other risks and opportunities, and work with policymakers to address climate, energy, food, security, and green design challenges. For more info, visit the website.

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Ithaca Children’s Garden

The Ithaca Children’s Garden is an innovative grassroots effort to create exciting, interactive garden-based experiences with children of all ages. Garden programs are intergenerational and open to all! With an endless list of educational programs, exciting events, and fun features, what’s not to love? Stop by! ICG welcomes ALL visitors EVERY day.

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Hotel Skyler

Looking for a place to stay in Syracuse? Choose LEED-Platinum certified – Hotel Skyler! This hotel has lights and heat/cooling systems that shut down when the guests leave the room. It also features geothermal heating and cooling systems, which utilize the steady temperature of the earth. Hotel Skyler also prioritizes incorporating regionally-produced and reclaimed materials and serves sustainably sourced wine, beer, and liquor!

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Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming

The Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming strives to make local ecologically-sound farming opportunities and food more accessible to people of all demographics, through an array of educational programs. Their core values include regenerative agriculture, relationship building, equity and justice, land reparations and reconciliation. Check out their workshops, discussion groups, and other events!

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Ehrhart Energy

Looking to invest in a renewable energy solution like a wood pellet stove or boiler? Ehrhart Energy of Trumansburg can help. With the help of NYSERDA incentives through the Renewable Heat NY program, local residents have saved thousands of dollars on wood pellet heating systems purchased at Ehrhart. They also sell wood bricks and offer a biodiesel blend for home heating and auto fuel. 

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Cayuga Waterfront Trail Initiative

Cayuga Waterfront Trail Initiative (CWTI) is a partnership of the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the City of Ithaca. The Cayuga Waterfront Trail is a 5.5-mile, multi-use trail providing an active, non-motorized transportation and recreation way connecting Cayuga Lake’s most popular waterfront destinations. Rent a bike, canoe or kayak to enhance your waterfront experience!

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Camp Earth Connection

Camp Earth Connection is for everyone who seeks fun and inspirational experiences in nature. CEC is a drug and alcohol free facility at Hammond Hill State Park that values diversity and wants to provide a safe space and welcome all types of families. Their facility is designed to have a minimal impact on the surrounding land by using principles and practices such as permaculture, no trace camping, composting toilets, rainwater collection, and minimal motorized traffic. Enjoy camping and outdoor activities in the summer, or women’s retreats coming up in the fall!

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Blue Spoon Farm

Blue Spoon Farm, of Groton, NY, raises goats, sheep, geese, turkey, and chickens on 16 acres of flat open pasture land. They are building a diverse and sustainable farm by……- using permaculture principles and holistic management practices- not using chemical pesticides or fungicides on our vegetables or in animal feeds- buying feeds from local farmers- treating animals humanely- practicing rotational grazing – striving for all of hay to be produced on the farm, or locally, and organically- powering their farm with solar energy!!!!!!

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Agrivoltaic Solutions, LLC

Mowing Solar Farms is a Women-Owned Farm Business offering to keep your solar farm working at optimal performance. With a grazing package, no shade will hinder the performance of your panels – their flock of sheep will maintain a lawn underneath your solar array. In the winter, the flock returns to their home farm in Upstate NY. They also offer discounted lamb to their clients!

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Trailblazers PAC

Trailblazers is a nonpartisan political action committee dedicated to the funding and promotion of rookie candidates committed, first and foremost, to campaign finance transparency! Trailblazers PAC providing resources for local candidates to rebuild ties between voters and their democracy, one “front porch” conversation at a time.They’re currently endorsing candidates for office for 2019. Check ’em out!

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Bath Farmer’s Market

The Bath Farmer’s Market features fresh vegetables, cheese, farm fresh eggs, pastured meats and poultry, local honey, granola, fresh local seafood, just made baked goods, homemade soups, locally roasted coffee, hand spun wool, unique gifts and more! Open YEAR ROUND rain or shine on Saturdays 8:30am – 12:00pm (May – October) 9:00am – 12:00pm (November – April) At Pulteney Square (the Waterfront) in Bath, NY. 

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Ithaca Freeskool

The Ithaca Freeskool is a platform for free classes, discussion groups, skill shares, projects, and events hosted in a non-intimidating, informal, radical, creative, and fun environment. The Freeskool aims to bring people together to equalize the distribution of knowledge and confidence with an emphasis on skills and issues of local importance.

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Headwater Food Hub

Last year, Crooked Carrot was bought by Headwater Food Hub. Headwater Food Hub works collaboratively with a network of regional farmers and food producers to coordinate a Good Food System that delivers top-quality, sustainable foods year-round. For Customer Partners, they provide a one-stop-shop for this area’s best produce, meat, dairy, and value-added goods. For Farmer and Food Producer Partners, they provide a consistent, large, and fair market for their products.

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Wonderful Wheelchairs

Wonderful Wheelchairs repairs and sells power and manual wheelchairs, walkers, and mobility scooters at very reasonable prices. Got an unused wheelchair on your hands? Donate it and receive a tax deduction! Their stock of mobility equipment is collected entirely through donations. Their average reconditioned manual wheelchair costs around $75 for the parts and materials needed for repairs.

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Crystal City Creative Spaces

Crystal City | Creative Spaces is an exciting new “community-supported” property development company in Syracuse, New York. In short, this unique for profit (REIT) focuses on the adaptive re-use of older, ex-industrial properties in the greater Downtown area, creating adequate, affordable and efficient space for Syracuse’s “Creative Class”,“Greening” buildings, vacant lots and public spaces, jelping neighborhoods become more resilient, safe and community friendly; and creating new openings for economic development through Arts & Cultural activity.

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CNY Land Trust

CNY Land Trust, working in Onondaga and Oswego Counties, acquires land either by donation or purchase and keeps it in its natural state. These lands may contain wetlands, ponds, streams, grasslands, forests, hills and all of the other wonderful natural landforms that abound in Central New York. CNY Land Trust owns all of its preserves, and cares for the land forever for community benefit. All of the preserves are open, free of charge, for hiking, photography and nature study from sunrise to sunset every day of the year.

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Gadabout

Gadabout is a nonprofit transportation service for older and disabled residents of Tompkins County. Gadabout also provides ADA Complementary Paratransit, specialized, door-to-door transportation service for people who are not able to ride the fixed-route transit system because of a disability. To be eligible you must be disabled or be 60 or older.

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Farmer Ground Flour

Looking for quality whole-grain flour? Want to support local business? Look no further! Farmer Ground Flour is made from grain grown in the Finger Lakes region, through a series of beautiful pink granite millstones, designed to keep the nutritional integrity of the grain intact. In Ithaca, you can purchase FGF at Greenstar, Hometown Markets, Ithaca Coffee Co., The Piggery, and Wegman’s.

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Gourdlandia

Gourdlandia is the leader of the Farm-to-Bedside-Table movement, where lamps are grown organically, from seed to shining LED bulb! Pop into their store in EcoVillage, or take a class with them to learn about the process of growing gourds and turning them into lamps and other functional art! Groups of 6 or more get a $5 discount per person!

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Finger Lakes Bee Club

The Finger Lakes Bee Club is a community of over 100 beekeepers at all levels of experience and expertise whose purpose is to share knowledge and appreciation of honeybees, to improve the craftsmanship of its members, and to provide opportunities for friendship and conviviality among members and their families. Beekeeping speakers, workshops and programs are sponsored throughout the year! They meet on the 3rd Sunday of the month @ 2pm. Don’t bee shy and pop by! The Finger Lakes Bee Club is open to the public.

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Lake Tunnel Solar Village

How does NO electric or heating bills sound? Lake Tunnel Solar Village features 20 homes from Solar Home Factory, built to be solid, light, warm, and with integrated renewable energy. You can live just steps from the water and walk to fine dining and entertainment downtown. 2 bedroom Lake Access Townhomes start at $167,000. You might even be eligible for a $10,000 Federal Tax Credit!

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Double E Forest Farm

Located in Willseyville, NY, Double E Forest Farm produces shiitake and oyster mushrooms on hardwood logs. The wood used is selected and cut from over 70 wooded acres using sustainable forestry practices. All mushrooms are cultivated using natural and organic methods. Mushrooms, ramps and fiddlesticks are sold by CSA through Full Plate Farm Collective and direct order.

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Democratic Women of the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes

Democratic Women of the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes is an independent, grassroots organization dedicated to bringing more Democratic women into the political process. They actively recruit women to become engaged in their communities and to run for office and connect potential candidates with their appropriate Boards of Elections and political committees. They also offer training and community programs! Check out their website, where they identify all women running on the Democratic line in any race in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions of New York State in the current election cycle.

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musicofnature.com

Lang Elliott has documented the sights and sounds of the Finger Lakes for several decades, and shares these gifts on his website and online store. Photos, videos, and recordings cover a full range of the birds, insects, amphibians, mammals, and even the winds and waters of our region. Get the app, Pure Nature (free at the app store!) or head to the website to listen to 3D Binaural Soundscapes and have the sounds of the Finger Lakes at your fingers anytime!

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Natural Upcycling

Natural Upcycling collects organic waste and food waste and turns it into a renewable resource – such as electricity or natural gas – through a process called anaerobic digestion. Developed for a wide range of organizations generating high volumes of food waste, such as hospitals, food manufacturers and processors, hotels, universities, long-term care institutions and hospitality providers, their WasteMaster conversion system re-purposes food and organic waste as reusable resources, on site, without adding anything during the process.

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Wild Things Sanctuary

Wild Things Sanctuary helps native wildlife by rescuing and rehabilitating debilitated and orphaned/displaced animals until they are ready for release back into the wild. They currently specialize in native bat care, however they are happy to advise on any wildlife situation. Came across an injured animal? All hope is not lost! Their website provides contact info for plenty of wildlife sanctuaries in the Finger Lakes region, and info on what to do until help arrives.

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Weaver Wind Energy

Weaver Wind Energy’s mission is to create the world’s best small wind systems and related products. They prioritize using methods that are respectful of the natural environment as much as possible, and business practices that are based on cooperation, not competition. We admire their commitment to our community, as they offer opportunities for students of all ages and even New York State politicians to learn about their work. Check them out!

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EcoVillage at Ithaca

Looking for a new place to live? Want to be a part of a sustainable community? EcoVillage at Ithaca is part of a growing global movement for a more sustainable human culture. Comprising an intentional community and a non-profit educational organization, the project is developing an alternative model for suburban living which provides a satisfying, healthy, socially rich lifestyle, while minimizing ecological impacts.

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Tiny Timber LLC

Tiny Timber LLC provides affordable housing alternatives using natural, sustainable building materials and methods to create homes that fit in today’s world. Earlier this year, Tiny Timber went tiny! They now specialize in making affordable modular “tiny-houses” to fill the gap in middle-income housing in Ithaca. They are also an EnergyStar Partner and a living-wage employer. We applaud their commitment to their founding principles and to community wellbeing!

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Snug Planet

By air sealing, insulating and installing high-efficiency heating systems, Snug Planet is saving Tompkins County residents thousands of dollars on fuel and electricity, dollars that remain in our local community. Snug Planet uses the most environmentally-friendly products available and follows the highest building science practices. During your comprehensive home energy assessment, Snug will listen to your concerns, perform thorough testing and inspection, and develop solutions that target your specific issues. The results will have you living more comfortably and with lower utility bills.

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Paradise Energy Solutions

Paradise Energy Solutions is a family-owned, full service solar installation company with a vision, “To help people be good stewards of God’s abundant resources.” Though based in Himrod, NY, they provide turnkey grid-tied solar installations all throughout the mid-Atlantic region for businesses, farmers and homeowners. Employees are trained by Solar Energy International (SEI), an industry-leading training program, and several team members are certified professionals with the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Their website provides info on state-specific grants, tax incentives, and SRECs that make switching to solar even more affordable.

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Anabel’s Grocery

Anabel’s Grocery provides nutritious, affordable food for all Cornell students through a student-run grocery store and offers educational programs that create a fun, inclusive, empowering community around quality food, food choices, wellness, and positive social change. They also feature a CSA pick-up site for Full Plate Farm Collective. For more info, visit their website.

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Ability in Bloom

Ability in Bloom is a dynamic, horticulture-based social enterprise of Challenge Workforce Solutions. Through a partnership with Take Your Pick Flower Farm, they provide jobs within their CSA for a committed group of adults and teenagers with disabilities and other barriers to employment. They provide an opportunity to cultivate work skills and self-reliance. For more info, visit their website.

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Alternatives Federal Credit Union

With a mission build wealth and create economic opportunity for underserved people and communities, AFCU is helping fight systemic inequalities. Stop in to apply for a loan, open a checking account, or participate in some of their community programs, such as “Coffee Talk”, the peer mentoring business circle, or “Money Matters”, the financial workshop. To learn more, visit their website.

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Alliance for a Green Economy

With the goal of a prosperous, safe, and healthy New York, AGREE works for safe, affordable energy and the development of a green economy in New York State. By promoting a transition to a carbon-free and nuclear-free future and educating the public about energy alternatives, they work to revitalize the economy and safeguard human health and the environment. To learn more about their work, visit their website.

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2 Kids Goat Farm

2 Kids Goat Farm milks their goats and cows daily to produce a variety of fresh and aged cheeses from their rich creamy milk, alternating between goat and cow milk depending on the time of year, to make sure everyone gets a break. They also make their own goat milk soaps, lotions, and lip balms and support the local economy by selling products to local retailers and restaurants. For more info, visit their website.

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Bicycle Maps for Ithaca and Tompkins County

Did you know that there is a full-color road map of the City of Ithaca and Tompkins County offered to the public for free? The map highlights bike lanes, trails and bike boulevards for safer city cycling, current road conditions for biking, as well as points of interest (swimming areas, farmers’ markets, hospitals, waterfalls, bike repair locations, parks, visitor’s centers, etc.).

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