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sos2012Sustainable Tompkins awarded nearly 350 new Signs of Sustainability to individuals, organizations, businesses and governments during their annual celebration, held at the Finger Lakes Wine Center on December 1st. This is the largest number of new Signs of Sustainability cited in one year so far.

Signs of Sustainability recognition this year ran the gamut from large to smaller-scale efforts. For example, in the Food System sector, GleanNY is a new statewide program that encourages farmers to donate their surplus or unmarketable food to organizations in need. In contrast, the Newfield Farmers Market, which opened this year, provided farm fresh local food to area residents on a weekly basis during the summer months.

Of the 345 Signs of Sustainability we recognized this year, 21 were new sustainable enterprises that opened for business and another 11 citations acknowledged new organizations that formed to support sustainability-related efforts in the Finger Lakes region. Sustainable Tompkins noted more than 260 new sustainability activities undertaken or decisions made by ongoing businesses and organizations throughout the community.  

Since 2006, Sustainable Tompkins has coordinated the annual Signs of Sustainability program to recognize and publicly thank local individuals, organizations, businesses and governments for undertaking sustainable actions and decisions. In this way, by showing what is possible - because somebody is already doing it - Sustainable Tompkins helps to foster and escalate the pace of sustainable community development within the Finger Lakes.

The Signs of Sustainability program watches for progress in five key areas: new programs or significant expansions by existing organizations or businesses; new sustainability-related organizations; new sustainable enterprises; milestones; and national-level recognition of local sustainability efforts. Within these key areas, we further organize our “signs” by a number of different sectors ranging from Sustainable Community Development efforts to businesses adopting more Sustainable Operations, from governmental Policy & Planning work to entities supporting those wishing to adopt a more Sustainable Lifestyle.

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