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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. 

Get Involved!  Join one of our ongoing projects to help create a positive future for MDI by helping us promote clean energy, improve efficiency, reinvent local food systems, develop climate-friendly transportation, move toward zero waste, and influence public policy. 


Envisioning a Clean Energy Future for Maine

Last week, at the original suggestion of local Representative Brian Hubbell, ACTT convened a Visioning Meeting in Northeast Harbor with Maine Speaker of the House, Sara Gideon, and a group of 18 energy experts and policy leaders. The purpose of the meeting was to consider taking ACTT's bold vision for a renewable energy future statewide.

We will be working together with these and other stakeholders toward a common energy vision for the State of Maine and to lay the framework for comprehensive energy legislation to be introduced in January 2019.

The two major actions that emerged from the meeting were ...

  1. Defining a Maine Energy Vision and Mission and the building blocks to get there. 

  2. Cataloging Maine Communities Working on Renewable Energy to share their vision, successes, and obstacles with all legislators.

Parting with Plastic: 
Three More Chances to See an Awesome Teen Presentation and Plastic Ocean Film

Forty-five people came out for the first Parting with Plastic program at the Northeast Harbor Library.  We got great feedback about it and had a good community discussion. Come and join the conversation that includes ...

• Presentation by the four Southwest Harbor teens who formed MDI Plastic Project
• Award-winning Documentary Film: A Plastic Ocean (22 min condensed version)
• Discussion about the citizen ordinance initiatives underway in all four MDI towns


Saturday, October 13, Reel Pizza, Bar Harbor, 2 p.m.-3pm
Tuesday, October 16, Jesup Memorial LIbrary, 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Wednesday, October 17, Southwest Harbor Library, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.


Our New Community Organizer/Environmental Advocate

A big welcome goes out to Haley Saxe who we have brought on as our third part-time staff member. Haley is a graduate of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BA in Biology and minor in Marine Science. She enjoys spending time in nature, and has an special interest in conservation practices and the marine ecosystem.

Haley has been involved in research with Allied Whale at College of the Atlantic, and has worked on ecotourism vessels on both the West Coast and East Coast. Haley is excited to join ACTT and begin working to ensure future generations have the opportunity to appreciate our vibrant island and the surrounding waters. As a Community Organizer/Environmental Advocate, Haley will be helping with outreach, organizing the next January Summit, and supporting the growing volunteer-led efforts around solar energy, LED lighting, and reducing single-use plastics.


48 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  207-664-4040

Mount Desert Island – A Small Place with Some Big Environmental Goals

ACTT was featured in the Portland Press Herald. This column by Marina Schauffler appeared in her Sea Change column on March 11, 2018

The A Climate to Thrive group, formed in part to make the island energy-independent by 2030, is thriving. Mount Desert Island is a long way from the corridors of power, and what’s happening in Augusta and Washington holds scant promise of fostering a healthier environment or economy. So a growing number of MDI residents are taking matters into their own hands. Two years ago, they formed A Climate to Thrive (ACTT), seeking to help MDI “become an epicenter of citizen engagement, environmental sustainability and economic vitality.” A big part of that vision is to make MDI energy-independent – relying solely on local, renewable power – by 2030. 

This ambitious goal generated skepticism at first but more people are coming around, particularly after the group’s recent Summit drew upwards of 250 people to partake in 14 different workshops. 


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.

2018 ACTT Summit: Powering Our Future in January was an inspiration for over 280 participants!

Led by over 20 knowledgeable presenters who are taking charge of our energy future and leading climate change action, we shared success stories, confronted challenges, and left feeling hopeful! Josh Castonguay, VP of Innovation for Green Mountain Power, kicked off ACTT Summit with a compelling case for moving away from large, centralized, fossil fuel and nuclear power plants to decentralized power that places renewable energy production close to the customer.


Convening Changemakers

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 new 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.

Contact us at to find out how you can help us or click here to see how you can reduce your carbon footprint.

“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)