It’s that time of year again—the days are long and hot, and the sun’s rays hit everything. How can this help you get your green back? Solar! While it used to be that if you didn’t have a good spot on your property and enough money in the back account you were out of luck, but now even renters can go solar with several community solar options—including a subscription model that requires no up-front costs whatsoever. There is even a brand-new New York State program for low-income residents that provides a subscription to solar energy for free.
Read on to see which of the three ways to go solar may be right for you. Read More
Here at Get Your Green Back Tompkins, we are all about steps. Here are four steps to grow a fruitful garden. Since the summer is upon us, there are some plants that won’t have enough time to grow before harvesting in the fall, but there are still many other options available. Read on to see how easy it can be to grow your green thumb! Read More
Magnolia Ariza-Nieto and Pat Frazier, two gardeners at the Cayuga Meadows Senior Apartments’ Community garden, are just in their first season of growing food, but they have already found a number of benefits. Pat says that when gardening, “the stress goes away”, and “food tastes better if it comes from the garden”.
Magnolia adds: “[Gardening] keeps you excited about coming outside”. Read More
Ithaca’s new bike share program has launched, meaning that there are now over 200 bikes available to the public for rent. Bike Walk Tompkins and the City of Ithaca worked with LimeBike, a for-profit tech mobility company, to bring the dockless bike system to town.
But how does this work? What are the rules of dockless bikes? Read More
Kim Falstick, 64, hasn’t had a car since 2005. Everyday, she takes the TCAT to get where she needs to go. Read More
Surveys show that more than half of Tompkins County residents compost. Composting, which is the managed decomposition of organic matter, is very easy, and there are a number of ways to do it—both at home, even in apartments—and by taking food scraps to drop-off spots around the county. Read More
Patt Dutt, Sharon Kaplan, and Guillermo Metz all have one thing in common. They are three of the many Tompkins County residents who compost—saving money, minimizing waste, and adding important nutrients to their gardens and plants.
Without the Healthy Food for All (HFFA) program, Sierra Robinson and Yayoi might not have been able to afford fresh, local, organic produce for their families. Read More
After graduating from Ithaca College as a journalism major, Kara Cusolito worked on a number of farms, including in Australia and Cape Cod. Now, she owns and operates Plowbreak Farm in Hector, New York, which she and her partner, Aaron Munzer, began in 2011. They rely on a community supported agriculture (CSA) model, which strengthens the relationship between the farmer and the consumer. Read More
Over the course of last summer, Fran, 75, and Don, 89, who are both retired, took advantage of a number of free energy-related programs which have greatly contributed to their home’s comfort, as well as to its safety and lower energy bills. Read More
If you’re interested in saving money on energy bills and doing something good for the environment, energy efficiency is the place to start. Here are four things that you might not have known to help you keep the heat in, the cold out, and the bills low. Read More
Lester Sowell, a manager at Maguire--the largest car dealer in the Ithaca area--had every possible car choice available to him. Lester cares about car design--and is a dapper fellow himself--and had his eye on a sports car as he got closer to retirement age. So, this summer, when he drove home a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, his family was surprised. Read More
Dream about dumping the pump one day and going all-electric? Wondering if you could save money by upgrading to a more fuel-efficient vehicle? Here are four things that are useful to know when considering a switch to a hybrid or all-electric vehicle. Read More
Looking to carpool and improve your ways of transportation in Ithaca, but don’t know where to begin? Look no further - the following tips and programs will help you get started and be part of a network in Tompkins County where over 5,000 people are sharing rides every day. Read More
Meet Tenzin and Wendy - their personal stories and experiences with carpooling (aka "ridesharing") not only show how to save money and time but also how to build relationships.
Tenzin Dolma, a junior at Cornell University, is an avid user of the ridesharing program Zimride for her travels between Ithaca and her home, New York City. Read More
I can’t remember the last time I bought meat from the grocery store. Whereas most hunters learned through a family tradition passed down from generation to generation, myself and many new-age hunters did not grow up in hunting families, and had to learn or seek out help on our own. Through persistence, and a lot of failure, we have learned to enter the woods not merely as visitors, but as active participants in the ecosystem. And we taste the fruit of our labor every night around the dinner table, where the prize of our success afield is shared and enjoyed among family and friends. Read More
One Young Man’s Quest to Make Hunting More Accessible and Inclusive
Chances are that if you hunt, you were born into a hunting family. Local hunter and conservationist, Cosmo Genova, 26, is at the center of efforts to change that equation. Since 2012, Cosmo has been organizing activities to not only guide people through the logistics of hunting in upstate New York but to also cultivate a fascination with their food and where it comes from. His passion is evident in simple the way he talks about it all – the thrill in harvesting his own meat, being an active and aware participant in the ecosystem, and the beliefs that give meaning to his mission. But what he wants people to know more than anything else is that he is not who you think he is. Read More
Susie Monagan, a teacher at Ithaca College and a mother of two teenage sons, is an regular at secondhand stores in Tompkins County. She has been shopping for almost 40 years since she started as a teenager in the late 70s. Back then, the punk aesthetic and vintage style was trending. Funky hats and bowling shirts were easy to come by, and the more beat up the clothing was, the better. As a person who easily got bored of her clothes, Susie found secondhand stores to be wonderful since one can buy “a variety of things to wear and experiment with different looks” in an inexpensive fashion. Read More
Arr, Mateys! Find Yer Treasure on the Reuse Trail!
What do vinyl records, baby clothes, computers, and a vintage mirror have in common? You can find them all locally on the Reuse Trail, a collaboration of 45 stores that sell used goods. This October, join Get Your GreenBack to discover the wealth of goodies at reuse stores across Tompkins County during the Reuse Trail Treasure Hunt. Pick up a game card at any of the 14 participating stores, and play one of two games during October: to “Dip Yer Toe”, simply visit three stores and have them stamp your card; to “Walk The Plank”, solve a puzzle with clues from all 14 stores. Drop your completed game card in the treasure box in a participating store to be entered into a drawing to win $40 to $200 in gift cards. Participation is free and no purchase is necessary; but you can take 10% off a purchase if you find a treasure you want to take home. Read More
Gail Neely has lived in Tompkins County most of her adult life, since she moved to Ithaca from North Carolina in 1989. She left the area briefly, but her love for Tompkins pulled her back. “I believe that home is where the heart resides -- where it endures and where it flourishes”, Gail said. “And for me that is right here in Tompkins County”. So a few years ago she settled down in her current home in Newfield. Although she was interested in going solar to contribute her own “little bit toward the collective goal of moving the world away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy”, she initially thought solar would be beyond her budget. But when she learned about the Go Solar Tompkins program through Get Your GreenBack’s newsletter she decided to give it a try. Gail is now powering her home with panels installed in August by local contractor Renovus Energy, and paying less a month on her loan than she was on her electrical bill. Read More