Climate Justice in the Time of Corona

Offset your carbon emissions to help low-income community members make their homes climate smart. Let’s not leave anybody behind in the clean energy transition!

A fundraising campaign for Sustainable Tompkins

About the Finger Lakes Climate Fund

Since 2010, the Finger Lakes Climate Fund has awarded over $80,000 to help over 50 families in our beloved Finger Lakes to afford installation of heat pumps, insulation, and air-sealing in their homes. Renewable energy can be pretty expensive but, thanks to carbon offsetters in our community, we can help low income families lead the way in the transition off of fossil fuels! 


Through our carbon calculator, individuals, businesses, and organizations can take responsibility for and offset carbon emissions from their heating/cooling, air travel, car/fleet trips, and more. These monies accumulate in grants that we distribute directly to folks who are in need of energy upgrades that help reduce energy bills, while making their homes healthier and more comfortable. With Covid-19 impacts, healthy indoor air quality is needed now more than ever. Join us in helping these families get off of harmful fossil fuels and lead the way into our greener, healthier future. We love working with our community partners to make local offsetting an embedded part of our culture. 








We need your help...

We are fundraising $2,500 with this Giving is Gorges campaign - the maximum grant of offset dollars we can give to a low-income family towards their new heat pump system. This offsets 100 tons of CO2 (pollution) that they’d otherwise be putting into the atmosphere (and sometimes the projects are taking out over 300 tons of CO2! 

Meet a Climate Fund Winner

Nicole from Lansing!

We awarded our 34th Climate Fund Grant to a local Lansing family. Nicole is a grad student studying education and her husband is a teacher in the Ithaca City School District. Four years ago, they moved back to the area to their in-laws home, but in the wake of expecting a newborn son, they knew it was time to buy a home of their own. They quickly decided on an old farmhouse that was just right. However, the heating system was not so! Many young, first-time homebuyers find themselves in similar situations with our older housing stock. 


Their main heating source, a wood pellet stove, wasn’t enough to accommodate their heating needs, especially when welcoming a newborn into their life. Additionally it was super expensive! After looking into all funding options available and connecting with HeatSmart Tompkins, they partnered with Halco to install an air source heat pump system. Ultimately, the Climate Fund filled the funding gap to make this affordable for them. Not only are their energy bills cut in half, but they are also finally comfortable in their home! This is important, now more than ever, as the COVID-19 pandemic keeps us home-bound. It’s also important that we’re helping the younger generations, as they continue to increasingly be more at risk in the face of climate change. Thanks to community-raised carbon offset dollars and additional support with our HeatSmart grant, Nicole’s family was awarded $4,155 to afford the cost of the project.

Hear from Nicole herself!


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About the Organization

Since 2004, Sustainable Tompkins has been at the frontier of finding more sustainable ways of living and working.

Projects and programs have focused on energy efficiency, climate protection, green purchasing, sustainable community development, green collar jobs, sustainable enterprise, greening heath care, and economic/ecological justice.

Our office, your home room for all things Sustainable in Tompkins County, is at 309 N. Aurora St. in Ithaca.