Ithaca is going green! The City of Ithaca has approved plans to decarbonize all of its buildings by 2030. This is a huge win for the environment.
An unforeseen consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic is the hand it played in delaying eco-friendly plans at Ithaca College. The financial impacts of the pandemic have forced the college to make drastic cuts in a very short time period, diverting attention away from some sustainability initiatives.
But the college has made its pledge to be sustainable public and has programs and courses to educate its students and foster active roles in the community to make real eco-conscious change. As the presidential search continues, the search committee needs to take the potential president’s stance on the Ithaca Green New Deal into consideration and determine if they will be coming into this position with the intention to further the college’s green plans. With a variety of courses and programs like the Eco-Reps, the college does not need, nor want, a president who will not be an asset to achieving our own goals by 2030. The college has planned to reach carbon neutrality by the same time Ithaca will decarbonize the whole city.
This announcement from the City of Ithaca brings attention back to what the college community is doing actively for the environment. In the past few months there has been a lack of regard for the local environmental issues from the students at the college. With masks discarded everywhere and the lack of ideas for change being pushed through by the student body, it raises questions on when the ball was dropped. When did the students at the college stop caring? There needs to be more individual responsibility when it comes to keeping the college an eco-friendly environment. The college has always been known to be an environmentally–friendly community. That cannot change now. Recently there hasn’t been any real action or care for how we can improve our carbon footprint individually and as an entire community. There are other matters that have held prominent relevance, like the search for the next president, but this should still remain a priority for students and for the administration.