OUR CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN IS LIVE!
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We are Mount Desert Island residents, businesses, and towns working together to achieve energy independence by 2030 and make MDI an inspiring epicenter of citizen engagement, sustainability, and economic vitality.
MOUNT DESERT ISLAND HIGH SCHOOL GOES SOLAR! On January 2nd, the Board of Trustees accepted a proposal from Sundog Solar of Searsport to install a flat roof solar array designed to generate as many kilowatt hours as the school uses annually. Under a Power Purchase Agreement, the high school will bear no upfront cost and stands to save a minimum of $220,000-420,000 over 25 years. As an official educational partner of the MDI Regional School System, ACTT worked closely with Principal Matt Haney and the high school ECO team to seek and review bids. The new system will be 3 times the size of the recently installed Tremont Landfill array and is equivalent to power used by 50 homes. Community members have been expressing their excitement about this news through comments on ACTT’s Facebook page. Click here to read what the community has to say about this awesome news.
Get Involved! Join one of our ongoing projects to help create a positive future for MDI by helping us promote clean energy locally and throughout Maine, improve building efficiency, reinvent local food systems, develop climate-friendly transportation, move toward zero waste, reduce single use plastics, and influence public policy.
“‘Joyce Msuya, deputy executive director of UN Environment, said: ‘The science is clear: for all the ambitious climate action we’ve seen, governments need to move faster and with greater urgency. We’re feeding this fire, while the means to extinguish it are within reach.’” Click here to read more.
Small Businesses Can Save 75% on LED Install
ACTT is working with Efficiency Maine to provide qualified Small Businesses on Mount Desert Island the opportunity to upgrade to new LED lighting at a significantly reduced cost.
If you’re a General Service electric customer (Rate Class B-1 as noted on your electric bill) in an eligible town, Efficiency Maine will pay 75% of the total upgrade cost for new LED lighting at your business.
Projects are designed to significantly improve quality of light, reduce lighting maintenance costs, and past participants are saving approximately $100/month or more.
Upgrading lighting at your business is easy! Fill out this online form to signup for your free, no-obligation lighting assessment or click here to learn more.
Save the Date: 2019 ACTT Summit
On February 10, 2019, we'll hold our next great summit at the Mount Desert Island High School
We'll feature the progress that MDI residents, businesses, and towns have been making toward our energy independence and sustainability goals and chart a course together to reach them by 2030.
Positive News! 82% of Adults Support Rebates for People who Purchase Energy-efficient Vehicles or Solar Panels
Click here for full article on Americans' view on Climate Change
Taking Our Bold Vision to the Blaine House
ACTT has taken its bold vision for energy independence by 2030 for MDI to the state of Maine. This Fall, working with local Representative Brian Hubbell and Speaker of the House, Sara Gideon, we planned and led two visioning meetings for crafting a new comprehensive clean energy policy for Maine.
Over 30 state policy leaders and energy experts met at the Blaine House the week after election day to identify the building blocks of such a policy and develop a strategy for educating legislators and encouraging bipartisan support for bills that would remove obstacles and create incentives for new solar, wind, EV, and energy efficiency projects statewide. We’re also gathering stories and documenting the grassroots efforts of over 25 Maine cities and towns who collectively are building a new clean energy economy and creating new jobs. Our goal is to create a larger cohesive voice for positive change.
50 Food Businesses Have Already Taken the Sustainable MDI Pledge!
This spring, owners & staff members of MDI restaurants, cafes, take-outs & catering companies came together with A Climate to Thrive (ACTT) to find effective, practical and economical ways to tackle the growing environmental and health crisis of single-use plastic waste.
We’ve developed a local pledge program to reduce plastic and styrofoam for the upcoming season and get compostable products composted. Food businesses that commit to adopt at least 3 of the 6 sustainable practices in the pledge (as soon as old supplies run out) will get decals to display and will be listed in our publicity campaign.
The pledge is open to any business on or around MDI that sells prepared food - including markets that sell food and/or drinks to go. Click here to see the list or take the pledge.
We’re working out group discounts for compostable products and for pick-up by the high-heat industrial composting services that plant-based compostable plastics require.
Please consider joining us and help us spread the word! For more info, contact Jill Higgins, ACTT Co-Coordinator
Southwest Harbor Passes Ban on Single-use Plastic and Polystyrene Food Containers
During a special town meeting on November 13, Southwest Harbor residents voted to ban single-use plastic bags and polystyrene food containers, making their town the first on MDI to do away with single-use plastic.
75 votes were cast in favor of the bag ordinance, with only 4 in opposition. Similarly, the styrofoam ordinance passed 73-4. The bag ordinance states that no stores “shall provide or sell a Single-Use Carryout Bag to a customer at a checkout stand, cash register, point-of-sale or other point of departure for the purpose of transporting any goods or merchandise out of the establishment” but may make reusable or paper bags available. The polystyrene ordinance bans the sale of Styrofoam to-go containers, including foam plates and coffee cups.
A big thanks to Ella Izenour, Caroline Musson, Charlotte Partin, and Logan Wilbur, the four young women behind the Southwest Harbor Plastic Project. These students were integral in educating local voters and getting the ordinances passed. They even received a standing ovation at the end of the special town meeting.
Similar ordinances in Bar Harbor, Mount Desert and Tremont will hopefully follow!
You can learn more about reducing single-use plastics on MDI here.
For Saving Energy - Weatherize MDI Survey Results Are In
Thanks to the 34 islanders who completed our online evaluation. Just over 100 islanders expressed an interest in our first Weatherize MDI program, and 80 people received a free home energy audit by New England Energy Consulting. Over 86% of the survey respondents who received a proposal agreed or strongly agreed that the recommendations were well suited to their home. 71% felt the pricing was reasonable. 20 contracts were signed during the program last spring. Of those who had work done, 55% were very satisfied, and the other 45% were satisfied. "Consultation was great and price was very reasonable."
We found that getting people to invest money in energy efficiency, which will bring long-term savings, was more difficult than getting people to go with solar for electricity, despite the great rebates from Efficiency Maine and payback periods for air sealing of 1-2 years. Some suggestions for expanding the program in future years were to ..."Work through community organizations such as churches and others to help facilitate introductions and get momentum with friends, family and neighbors." and "Include more local contractors in the work. It seems that if we are working with MDI trades and employing MDI residents, we might see more people reached." If you are interested in weatherizing your home in the future, please add your name to this list so we can contact you.
The Grassroots Fund is providing an opportunity for an ACTT volunteer to to attend the 2018 RootSkills Conference in Worcester, MA on December 7-8. A funded scholarship is available to anyone who is involved with ACTT. To apply, please contact Haley Saxe, our Community Organizer.
The RootSkills Conference provides participants with the opportunity to connect with other grassroots organizers and take part in workshops and interactive sessions that are focused on helping organizers create solutions to environmental and social justice issues.
Local Couple Offers $25,000 Challenge Pledge to A Climate to Thrive
A local couple who grew up on MDI have made a five-year, $25,000 matching pledge to A Climate to Thrive which would be the largest tax-deductible gift in our 20-month existence. "We enthusiastically support the mission of ACTT and envision its expansion to communities across the State."
Our projects featured above and below ...
will create jobs, preserve the beauty of this island, and establish MDI as a resource and leader for communities around the world.
Maine Energy Visioning Project
Municipal Energy Benchmarking
Expanding Electric Vehicle Infrastructure
Winter FarmDrop with Healthy Acadia
Youth Community Catalysts with MDI Schools
Plastics in the Ocean Education
Best Sustainable Business Practices
Do you enjoy passionate discussions about clean energy, local food systems, zero waste, public policy, new transportation? Get involved in one of our exciting projects that arose from our six committees. Join us to help create the future that you envision for your family, your grandchildren, and future generations.
ON CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION is happening everyday!
CLICK HERE OR ON THE ITEMS BELOW TO READ all ABOUT it!
“I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.” - Thomas Edison (1931)
Thanks to the following organizations for their generous support.