Sat, Jun 15th, 2024


Climate friendly skies offered by Sustainable Tompkins and Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport

In keeping with its innovative new Sustainable Master Plan and its goal to work towards eventual carbon neutrality, the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport is teaming with Sustainable Tompkins to make the Finger Lakes Climate Fund available at the airport.

Air travelers can use the airport-provided computer in the passenger departure lounge, or two additional stations in the airport installed by Sustainable Tompkins, to calculate the carbon footprint of their journeys and make secure credit card payments to the Finger Lakes Climate Fund. Carbon offsets are relatively inexpensive and tax deductible. It costs less than $4 to offset a roundtrip to Detroit and about $20 to fly to California and back.

Airport manager Robert Nicholas noted “this holiday season, when our passengers take to the sky, they can easily and quickly protect our climate by helping others reduce their fossil carbon use.” Nicholas recently accepted the top award for the 2011 Airports Going Green conference in Chicago. The award recognizes outstanding leadership in pursuit of sustainability within the aviation industry.

Donations to the Finger Lakes Climate Fund are redistributed to local modest-income families to help pay for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements to their homes. The net effect is to zero out or “offset” the carbon associated with an individual flight. The site also includes a calculator for any automobile travel in the trip. Sustainable Tompkins launched the climate fund in 2010 and has already made two energy improvement grants to local households.

“Humans are warming our climate faster than ever, and we are entering a dangerous era of climate shift. We’re hoping that folks coming through the Ithaca airport will want to take responsibility for the global warming impacts of their travel,” said Gay Nicholson, President of Sustainable Tompkins. “Donations to our local climate fund also benefit our community by employing green collar workers, and buffering recipients of our grants from high energy prices.”

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