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THE ITHACAN

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Your donation will support The Ithacan's student journalists in their effort to keep the Ithaca College and wider Ithaca community informed. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Editorial: Sustainable infrastructure is a necessity

Editorial%3A+Sustainable+infrastructure+is+a+necessity
Ananya Gambhiraopet

In a community that prides itself for its forwardthinking approaches to sustainability, renewable energy sources must be a priority. The City of Ithaca recently announced that the first bloc of buildings to switch to electric energy sources are either already electrified or being electrified as part of the Ithaca Green New Deal. Notable buildings around town from Gimme! Coffee to the First Baptist Church are being electrified as part of this initiative. While some of the buildings are only being partially electrified, this first bloc of buildings signifies a commitment to a more sustainable Ithaca. 

In 2019, the Ithaca Green New Deal was launched with four main goals: achieving carbon neutrality by 2030, reducing historical inequities through sustainability initiatives, reducing emissions from city vehicles by 50% by 2025 and powering the city’s energy with 100% renewable electricity by 2025. These goals may appear lofty, especially given the short time frames. However, partnerships with organizations like BlocPower and NYSEG are enabling change through initiatives like the first group of electrified buildings

At Ithaca College, there is also a commitment to creating more sustainable infrastructure. Four of the most recently built buildings on campus are certified as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The LEED certification takes into consideration climate change, human health, water resources, biodiversity, green economy and community/natural resources, requiring a great deal of intention when it comes to sustainability. Furthermore, the college was recently recognized by the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership for its investment in renewable energy for the past five years. 

It is important that these sustainability initiatives at the college continue to expand as infrastructure is built and updated. While the accessibility and function of buildings at the college are important, the environmental impact of infrastructure is also something that must be continuously taken into consideration.

Ithaca’s dedication to creating a more sustainable city is vital. Initiatives like the Ithaca Green New Deal are important, but it is the action that follows that really matters. The City of Ithaca, as well as Ithaca College, must continue increasing the use of renewable energy and incorporate sustainability into all decisionmaking.

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