Sunday, April 15, 2012

SUNY Cortland Sustainability Week 2012

Lots of great talks and films for this year’s Sustainability Week.  Some highlights include the positive film YERT - Your Environmental Road Trip, which follows a group of young people as they travel the 50 states sharing positive solutions.

Don’t miss Cortland County’s Earth Day Festival (Sunday, April 22) a great family learning event “the Cortland Blooms Festival” at the Cortland County Office Building.  Free workshops, music by Colleen Kattau and Some Guys, local BBQ sandwiches, local farmers market, CSA sign-up, a kids corner, and more!

Monday April 16th
“Swaying Instability”
An art Exhibit by Scott Oldfield exploring the dialog between human life and the natural world
Open all week at the Beard Building on Main St.

CHE 125 - Chemistry and the Environment Student Presentations 1:50 to 2:40 pm Van Hoesen B0140 (Open to Campus Community)
Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing Hazardous Waste Sites in New York State Nuclear Energy / Nuclear Wastes

Saving Civilization: The Global Fight Against Devastating Climate Change”
Keynote Address 7:30 9:00 pm Sperry Center, Room 105
Dr. Steven Leibo, Professor of Modern International History & Politics at the Sage Colleges.

Green Rep: Swap Shop
7:30 – 9:00 pm
Corey Union Function Room
Join the Cortland Green Reps to help reduce our impact on the environment by recycling and re-using clothing.

Tuesday April 17th

STARS: Tracking SUNY Cortland’s Progress Towards Sustainability
12:00 – 1:00 pm The Colloquium Faculty Lounge (Old Main)
Nasrin Parvizi, Associate Vice President, Facilities Management
Tim Slack, Director of the Physical Plant
Doug Roll, Physical Plant Energy Manager 

Showing of “Green Fire: Aldo Leopold And A Land Ethic For Our Time”
1:40 – 3:00 pm The Colloquium Faculty Lounge (Old Main)
A documentary film highlighting why many consider Leopold to be the “father of the modern environmental movement” and illustrates his continuing influence on projects that connect people and land at the local level.

Showing of “YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip”
7:30 – 9:30 pm Sperry Center, Room 204
Called to action by a planet in peril, three friends hit the road - traveling with hope, humor, and all of their garbage - to explore every state in America in search of the extraordinary innovators and citizens who are tackling humanity's greatest environmental crises.

Wednesday April 18th

Wellness Wednesday Farmer’s Market
11:00 am – 2:00 pm Neubig Hall
Enjoy offerings from local vendors and learn more about the food and other products available from Cortland County farms and businesses. Bring cash and you can purchase: vegetables, seedlings for planting, aquaponics, baked goods, personal care and cleaning products, and photography.
Sponsored by the Student Affairs Sustainability Committee with assistance from ASC.

CHE 125 - Chemistry and the Environment Student Presentations 
1:50 to 2:40 pm Van Hoesen B0140 (Open to Campus Community)
Global Warming / Climate Change

Transformations Concurrent Session II
3:00 – 4:00 pm Sperry Center, Room 205
Moderator and Faculty Mentor: Kathy Russell, Professor and Chair, Philosophy
Hydrofracking around NY Waterways
David Colletti, Professional Writing
Wind Power: An Alternative Side to the Hydrofracking Debate
Kelly Caulfield, Adolescence Education - Spanish
Hydrofracking is Unethical
Allison Drasser, Childhood Education

Sport and Sustainability
3:00 – 4:00 pm Bowers Hall, Room 140
Dylan Gioia, Sport Management Sarah Schmidt Zipp, Instructor, Sport Management 

Thursday April 19th

Alumni House Cleanup Day
Lynn Parks ’68 SUNY Cortland Alumni House on Tompkins Street
9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Students and alumni are invited to stop in for a tour of the house and to help with projects such as spreading mulch, improving brickwork, general yard cleanup, and cleaning and caring for antiques, windows, drapery, and woodwork. Stay as long as you wish. All help is appreciated!

Earth Week Sandwich Seminar
12:00 – 1:00 pm Jacobus Lounge (Brockway Hall)
“Eating Sustainably at SUNY Cortland and Across the County”
Michelle Brackin, Assistant Executive Director of Auxiliary Services Corporation
Beth Klein, Professor Childhood / Early Childhood Education
Christine Applegate, Cortland County Local Agricultural Promotions Subcommittee Co-chair
*** Free refreshments will be provided on a first come - first serve basis. ***

Foxey Brown and The Rise Of Natural Resource Conservation In NY State
Charles Yaple, Professor Emeritus, Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies Department
1:40 – 2:40 pm Bowers Hall, Room 140

Hoxie Gorge: An Outdoor Classroom for Sustainability
4:00 to 6:00 pm
A tour of the 169-acre Hoxie Gorge Nature Preserve guided by two faculty from the Biology and Geology departments. Following an overview of ongoing research, the discussion will focus on carbon sequestration; biomimicry, and nutrient cycling.
(Note: You must sign up in advance by contacting the Center for Environmental and Outdoor Education at 607- 753-5488 or emailing

Energy and Sustainability Talk
7:30 – 9:00 pm Sperry Center, Room 204
“Utility Scale Wind Power: Separating Fact from Fiction”
Brice Smith, Associate Professor and Chair of Physics

Friday April 20th

Alumni House Cleanup Day
Lynn Parks ’68 SUNY Cortland Alumni House on Tompkins Street
9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Students and alumni are invited to stop in for a tour of the house and to help with projects such as spreading mulch, improving brickwork, general yard cleanup, and cleaning and caring for antiques, windows, drapery, and woodwork. Stay as long as you wish. All help is appreciated!

4th Annual Outdoor Gear Sale and Fender Blender: Bike Your Own Smoothie SUNY Cortland Recreation Association 1:00 – 5:00 pm
Community Bike Shop Building next to the Lusk Field House

CHE 125 - Chemistry and the Environment Student Presentations 1:50 to 2:40 pm Van Hoesen B0140 (Open to Campus Community)
Pollution of the Oceans Alternatives to gasoline-powered cars Environmental impacts of food production

Sunday April 22nd (Earth Day)

Community Bike Project Bike-A-Thon: Ride for Earth Pride!
10:00 am Registration / 10:30 am Ride begins
Community Bike Shop Building next to the Lusk Field House
Contact for details

Cortland Blooms 
11:00 am – 3:00 pm Cortland County Gymnasium (46 Greenbush St)
Interactive student and family festival featuring exhibits on topics such as recycling, composting, backyard gardening, and renewable energy.
Sponsored by Sustainable Cortland, the Cortland County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Local Agricultural Promotion Committee.

Earth Day Clean-up at the Lime Hollow Center for Environment & Culture 1:00 – 4:00 pm Lime Hollow Visitor Center, 338 McLean Rd
Help prepare trails for the spring and summer season. Projects include wetland restoration, invasive plant removal, and tree planting.
All Events Are Free and Open to the Public!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Buying Local: Keep it up!

Homer,  NY
I've written many times about buying local.  I've listed benefits of buying local (see this), and I've suggested items to buy and places to go to support local producers and growers. The good news is, it seems that people are trying to shop local.  This article, "Independent Businesses Report Strong Holiday Sales", provided results from a survey of 1,768 Independent Businesses that found that holiday sales were up 6.7 % on average for independent retailers (overall sales were up only 4.1 %).  In addition,  independent retailers surveyed reported that public awareness of the benefits of supporting locally owned businesses had increased in the last year, and communities with active "Buy Local" campaigns operated by a local business organization had higher local sales.  Here the Cortland Downtown Partnership has a Buy Local campaign and the Cortland County Chamber of Commerce ran a Holiday "Buy Local" assistance program this past season.

A friend posted a link to "Why Shop Local?" on their FaceBook page, and I thought it was worth repeating:

Cortland, NY
"When you buy from a small local business you are not paying for a third vacation home for some CEO.  You are paying for dance lessons; you are buying a little-league uniform.  You are putting food on a family's table and sending a student to college.  You are helping the American Dream come true for somebody in our community.  Somebody you probably know.  Shop local!"

Let's keep up the good work!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sustainable Cortland Events

Sustainable Cortland has planned a winter reading discussion series "Soup and Sustenance".  The first event is this Thursday (January 26) from 6:00-7:30 at the Beard Building (9 Main Street) in downtown Cortland.  The January book choice is "Folks This Ain't Normal" by Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms, Inc.   Joel has been described as "America's Most Influential Farmer". Books are available at a discount from Mando Books in downtown Cortland.

Please feel free to join us even if you haven't had a chance to read all the books, as there will certainly be interesting discussions, and of course great soup and homemade bread!  RSVP is not necessary, but would be helpful for planning.  Please email to let us know if you are planning on coming.  Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Have a Sustainable Holiday!

Courtesy of Jeannine Gettis

Remember to think "local" and "sustainable" this holiday season.

By buying local:
More of your money stays in our community
You support the development of local jobs
You reduce environmental impact
You are rewarded with better service!
You invest in our community (encourages new local businesses!)
You help build local economic resilience

Don't forget about locally made products like soaps and green cleaning supplies from Lime Hollow Naturals and lotions and shampoo from Cold Brook Farm. Great gift ideas of locally grown food or locally made products are also available in the area at shops like Oh My Goodness Health Food Store in Homer.  Or, how about some gift certificates to local services (like Hearts Content Healing and Pure and Simple Yoga)?

For more ways to help support your local businesses this season, check out the Cortland Historic Downtown Partnership newsletter for special events and ideas.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cortland County Sustainable Living Tour 10/8/11

Twin Oaks Dairy Tracking Solar PV System
Uttech Property
Please join us for the first annual Cortland County Sustainable Living Tour on October 8, 2011.  The day includes two tours.  Tour highlights will include: Straw bale and earth-berm construction, solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, geothermal, sustainable gardening, passive solar, LEED Silver building standards, and energy retrofits.

For more info please go to:  or contact Beth Klein (607-753-5682)

TOUR 1: Businesses and Organizations
10:15-11:00 Cortland YWCA, Cortland  - solar PV system
11:30-12:30 SUNY Cortland Professional Studies Building, Cortland – Meets LEED Silver standards, geothermal heating and cooling, and more
1:00-2:00 Lime Hollow Center for Environment and Culture Visitor Center, Cortland – Geothermal, solar PV system, and other green building techniques.
Tour 2: Farms and Homes
9:15-10:00  Twin Oaks Dairy, Truxton – tracking ground mount solar panels
Klein garden and Solar PV system
10:30 – 11:30 – Klein home, Solon  - ground mount solar PV system, solar thermal hot water system, on-demand hot water, wood stove, root cellar.  Jon Wood of Cortland and owner of  Green Sun Solar  will be on hand to talk about his solar thermal installation here.
12:00 – 1:30 –  Northland Sheep Dairy, Freetown/Marathon
Karl and Jan North Home: Earth-berm construction and passive solar, and more.
Donn Hewes and MaryRose Livingston Home: Straw bale construction, passive Solar, and more.
2:00-3:00 – Uttech home, Lapeer – Solar PV, solar thermal hot water, wood stove and more
Uttech Solar PV controllers

Friday, September 16, 2011

Moving Cortland Week Sept. 18-24!

Lots of great sustainability events planned for "Moving Cortland" Week Sept. 18-24! Our community's role in the world-wide Moving Planet event  - A Day to Move Beyond Fossil Fuels!

Events include: hiking trips, energy films (End of Suburbia and Escape from Suburbia, Gasland and Split Estate) incentives to ride the bus, walk and bike around Cortland, and lots more!

Healthy Now and Way2Go Cortland, two grant programs affiliated with Seven Valleys Health Coalition, and the Cortland County sustainability group have planned a weeklong event from September 18 - 24 to promote locally produced food & products and healthier, more sustainable transportation options.

"Moving Cortland: A Week to Move Beyond Fossil Fuels" will focus on walking, bicycling, riding the bus and eating/buying local products.

Activities include:

1. A bingo-type card where individuals will be able to choose various activities (hike a trail, ride the bus, attend a farmers market, attend an energy presentation, etc.) and will get a stamp when the activity is completed. When they get "bingo" they will be able to enter their card into a drawing for prizes donated by local merchants and organizations

2. "Get Caught Moving" - we will have spotters during that week looking for those who display a Moving Cortland armband. They will receive a coupon good for produce at a farmers market in the county.

3. There will be volunteers who will be available on a reservation basis to act as a "Bus Buddy" for people who need help navigating the public transit system.

For more information and to find out where to pickup/drop-off bingo cards and armbands, go to Seven Valleys Health Coalition

Check out the bingo game card for specifics on events, available at locations throughout Cortland or download from: Moving Cortland Bingo Card