Signs of Sustainability: It’s time to "Seal the Cracks" again!

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It is that time of year again - every fall and winter we ask you to help us Seal the Cracks in homes across the Finger Lakes Region, doing our part in fighting climate change while helping others in need.


Working together we are making a difference across our region. For every ton of your CO2 emissions that you offset, we will help a lower-income family make their home more energy efficient and take that ton of CO2 back out of the atmosphere. We’ve now given out 29 grants worth $47,283 to offset 2,288 tons of CO2 from our donors’ travel and building emissions. We recently passed the Three Million mark for pounds of CO2 removed from the atmosphere!


It is super easy: go to FingerLakesClimateFund.org and start thinking back over the past year... where did you travel and have you taken responsibility for the carbon emissions from your trips? How about your business or your home? (You can reach zero carbon by offsetting the remaining fossil fuel use in your buildings.)


Given the last IPCC report on global climate change, our efforts toward clean energy democracy and climate justice are imbued with great urgency. Thanks to those who take responsibility for their carbon emissions by offsetting, Sustainable Tompkins continues to help those in need get their homes buttoned up and running on the most efficient equipment available. - heat pumps!


For example, our 24th Climate Fund grant award went to Brandon and Lyla White and their charming daughter Rosemary. The White Family lives in a 70s era home in the Town of Caroline. Like so many houses of that time, it was poorly insulated and still had the same really expensive electric baseboard heat of those ‘cheap energy’ times. They put their $1,291 grant toward the removal of 52 tons of CO2 by having Snug Planet seal and insulate their attic and the cantilever over the basement floor, and toward a new Air Source Heat Pump that is heating AND cooling their home for pennies compared to the shockingly high price of their baseboard heating system and an old-style window air conditioner. Thanks to those who have made offsetting part of their sustainability lifestyle, the Whites got the help they needed to improve their home’s carbon footprint.


A solidarity economy is built right into climate protection when you make a carbon offset with us. Local families enjoy lower energy bills, workers keep working, and we reduce our community’s carbon emissions. By taking responsibility for your carbon emissions from your travel or buildings you can help those in need in our community while supporting a clean energy economy.

Soon, we will be able to report on four more grants we recently gave to households in Cortland, Cayuga, and Tompkins counties. That includes our very first zero carbon retrofit for a lower-income home in the Town of Ithaca which is being converted to heat pumps and solar panels!


We will need your ongoing support and good carbon hygiene to continue helping folks in the Finger Lakes region with more carbon offset grants.


So remember! Offset any travel emissions associated with your Thanksgiving and winter holidays - whether you were the host or the guest! While you’re at it, why not offset any other travel you did in 2018? You’ll have much to celebrate including a smaller carbon footprint and that good feeling from having done the right thing. Plus, you may win a gift card to a great local business if you spin our prize wheel after you make your offset.


At FingerLakesClimateFund.org, it is easy, quick, and affordable to take responsibility for your emissions while helping local families thrive in our community. Let’s Seal the Cracks and offset another 500 tons of emissions together!


This is the latest installment of the Signs of Sustainability series produced by Sustainable Tompkins. For more information about the organization, visit their website at SustainableTompkins.org. Gay Nicholson is the President of Sustainable Tompkins.

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