Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative
The TCCPI Newsletter

May-June 2013

In This Issue
Featured Article
Cleaner Greener Southern Tier Plan Released
June is Secondhand Saves Month
One Last Thing
Quick Links

Our Supporters
Featured Article

Ruby-Throated Hummigbird



Welcome to the May-June 2013 issue of the TCCPI Newsletter, an electronic update from the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative (TCCPI).
June Garden
Photo Credit: Wrexie Bardaglio

TCCPI is a multisector collaboration seeking to leverage the climate action commitments made by Cornell University, Ithaca College, Tompkins Cortland Community College, Tompkins County, the City of Ithaca, and the Town of Ithaca to mobilize a countywide energy efficiency effort and accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy. Launched in June 2008 and generously supported by the Park Foundation, TCCPI is a project of Second Nature, the lead supporting organization of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).


We are committed to helping Tompkins County achieve a dynamic economy, healthy environment, and resilient community through a focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy. 

Cleaner Greener Southern Tier Sustainability Plan Released


The Tompkins County Legislature, by a vote of 12-1, endorsed at its June 18 meeting the Cleaner Greener Southern Tier Regional Sustainability Plan, a regional, eight-county plan that seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35% over the next 20 years. 


The Cleaner Greener Southern Tier planning team worked with public and private experts, community residents, and business leaders to develop the regional plan and a set of "Top 22" priority projects that will improve the economic and environmental health of our area.

Southern Tier Region   

Led by the Tompkins County Planning Department, Steuben, Schuyler, Tompkins, Chemung, Tioga, Broome, Chenango, and Delaware Counties worked together to create a plan that will guide integrated, sustainable solutions, from state and local investments to regional decision-making. By building on existing plans and programs around the region, the project encouraged greater regional collaboration and action.


The Cleaner Greener Southern Tier Plan establishes 18 goals and outlines a strategy for a future that is economically prosperous, environmentally sound, and socially responsible. This plan is grounded in the strengths and challenges of the Southern Tier and builds upon success stories in the region, supplemented with model programs and best practices that have proven effective elsewhere. 


In June 2012,the Cleaner Greener Southern Tier Plan was awarded $1 million by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to develop a regional sustainability plan. Meetings were held in Corning, Binghamton, and Ithaca to update residents on the plan's numerous action items and to get feedback on short-and long-term priorities.


In partnership with the Southern Tier East and Southern Tier Central Regional Planning Boards, the plan emerged over the next 18 months, with input throughout the region. The next phase of the Cleaner Greener Communities Program will involve competitive funding, with $90 million available over three years for the 10 regions to implement their plans. 

Next TCCPI Meeting:

Friday, June 28, 2013

9 to 11 am

Borg Warner Room

Tompkins County Public Library
101 East Green Street

Ithaca, NY 14850

June is Secondhand Saves Month with Get Your Greenback
By Karim Beers, Campaign Coordinator for Get Your GreenBack Tompkins

What do vinyl records, baby clothes, computers, and a vintage mirror have in common? You can all find them locally at reuse stores.


This Summer Local First Ithaca and Get Your GreenBack Tompkins invite you to discover the wealth of reuse stores in Tompkins County by joining the Secondhand Shopping Treasure Hunt. Secondhand Treasure Hunt Get a card at one of the sixteen participating stores, then visit two more to enter a free raffle to win gift cards and a used sewing machine. Discover good deals on building materials, clothing, outdoor gear, furniture, and sporting equipment--it's all there, if you know where to look.


Secondhand shopping gives you quality goods at very reasonable prices. More of your money stays in the local economy, as most reuse stores are locally owned and source locally. Reuse stores also help rescue resources that might otherwise end up filling our landfills. And better yet, it means we don't have to manufacture new goods--which is very energy and pollution intensive.


Secondhand shopping is good for your pocketbook and good for the planet. Visit or Local First Ithaca for a list of participating stores and more details on the Secondhand Shopping Treasure Hunt.  




Take a step to save money and energy.








One Last Thing

President Obama, in his speech at Georgetown University yesterday, finally made clear that he was done waiting for Congress to act on the mounting evidence that climate change is already well underway. He announced a series of executive actions, none of them needing the approval of Congress, to crack down on carbon pollution from power plants, accelerate the growth of renewable energy, increase energy efficiency for commercial, industrial, and federal buildings, and prepare the nation for the impacts of climate change.

Keystone XL Protest As many have already pointed out, these actions do not go far enough and may very well be too little, too late. Obama still hasn't acknowledged the serious risks posed by fracking and he clearly left himself an out on the Keystone XL pipeline. His decision will depend, to paraphrase one of his White House predecessors, on what the meaning of the word "significantly" is, as in "approval to build the pipeline will only be granted if it does not significantly exacerbate the climate problem."
Still, although long overdue, the president's speech was a bracing call for action and has the potential to shift the dynamics of what has been a very frustrating stalemate. Perhaps the most important point made in his remarks came near the end, when he stressed that the climate challenge "is not just a job for politicians":
Convince those in power to reduce our carbon pollution. Push your own communities to adopt smarter practices. Invest. Divest. Remind folks there's no contradiction between a sound environment and strong economic growth. And remind everyone who represents you at every level of government that sheltering future generations against the ravages of climate change is a prerequisite for your vote. Make yourself heard on this issue. 
"Make yourself heard": this is the essence of democracy. With so much at stake, this is no time to sit on the sidelines. 
Peter Bardaglio
TCCPI Coordinator
Upgrade Upstate

Visit to get a no-cost or reduced-cost energy assessment. Learn which rebates, tax credits, and loans you qualify for to help pay for work. Check out how-to videos for low-cost/no-cost improvements and testimonial videos of Tompkins County residents who have made upgrades. Upgrade Upstate is a program of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County.