Volunteering for Get Your GreenBack to distribute 10,000 bags with energy-saving info and stuff throughout the county

Get Your GreenBack?

Get Your GreenBack Tompkins is a community-initiated and community-supported campaign that works collaboratively to help people and organizations take key steps in the areas of food, transportation, waste and building energy that simultaneously reduce our community’s carbon emissions, save money and create a socially just local economy.

In 2014, we registered over 42,000 energy- and money-saving steps that community members had taken (see here for an archive of our first website where these steps were tracked). Since then we've been focused on helping more and more people take high-impact steps by offering personalized energy advising, and promoting collaborative solutions with local businesses, non-profits, and active and caring residents.

Get Your GreenBack is housed at, and fiscally sponsored by, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County.

Who is behind gygb?

Get Your GreenBack is coordinated by Karim Beers; Erica Herman leads its energy education and outreach efforts. The initiative is also supported by a group of indispensable interns, Energy Navigator volunteers, and guided by a stellar Steering Committee:

  • Kimberly Anderson, Sustainability Engagement Manager, Cornell University Office of Sustainability

  • Peter Bardaglio, Coordinator, Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative (TCCPI)

  • Ron Booker, professor of Neurobiology at Cornell University

  • Kirby Edmonds, Senior Fellow, Dorothy Cotton Institute; Leader, Building Bridges Initiative

  • Rebecca Evans, Campus Sustainability Director, Ithaca College

  • Dannielle Harrington, Energy Services Director, Tompkins Community Action

  • Kenneth Schlather, Executive Director, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County

  • Irene Weiser, Town Board of Caroline

The campaign over the years has counted on the support of over 1000 volunteers, and close to 100 businesses and organizations. It is supported financially by the Park Foundation, NYSERDA, NYSEG, CCE-Tompkins, as well as the contributions of Coalition Members and generous individuals.


Please help sustain our work by donating today.

Why Four Areas?

Transportation, food, energy, and waste are the four biggest areas of our carbon footprint. 

Average American carbon footprint is 21 tons. Source: UCS, 2012

Average American carbon footprint is 21 tons. Source: UCS, 2012

GYGB has looked at the most important things we can do in each area that helps us reduce our environmental impact, and save money at the same time. 

Energy & Equity Go Hand-in-Hand

Social and economic injustice and extreme climate disruption are outcomes of the same inequitable and wasteful economic system, which treats people, especially people of color and those with limited material resources, and our living environment, as disposable. When advocates for environmental protection and champions for the elimination of poverty and racism work together to change the system that is trashing poor people and the planet, we will be able to create a strong, community-oriented local economy that works for all.

Read a working paper on this topic by Anne Rhodes, Elan Shapiro, Gay Nicholson, and Karim Beers, members of the Energy-Equity Collective Impact Working Group of the Building Bridges Initiative


Write us at info@getyourgreenbacktompkins.org. Come down to the office at 615 Willow Ave, Ithaca. You can also call us at (607) 272-2292. Or find us on Facebook:


We have a fun, informative monthly e-newsletter that is produced by our interns. Check out an archive with some highlighted issues. Or sign up here and join the other almost 1,300 people who enjoy the monthly stories, community announcements, and tips to save energy and money.