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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. 

Thanks to over 85 supporters who contributed over $8,700 during our A Climate to Thrive 2018 Crowdfunding Campaign helping us surpass our goal of $8,000!

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. 


Sustainable MDI Food Business Pledge

43 Businesses Have Already Taken the Pledge!  Click here to see the list.

This April 25th, 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. To see or take the pledge, click here.  

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

ACTT Electric Vehicle Symposium: The Future is Here, is a Success!

Over 50 people local residents came to learn about the lower ecological footprint of EVs on Saturday, June 2 at the Moore Community Center in Ellsworth. The event featured a panel of speakers  including  Michael Stoddard of Efficiency Maine,  Ben Lake of the Greater Portland Council of Governments, Sue Ely of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, and Gordon Beck of ACTT.  The panel and breakout sessions were about all things EV as panelists took questions from the audience. It was designed to engage and inspire the community in this new generation of cleaner, more efficient, and overall lower cost transportation. 

Afterwards, participants got to talk with EV owners and see and sit inside a number of popular EVs including the Tesla Model 3, Tesla X SUV, the Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf, and more.

 Thanks for your support!

Thanks for your support!

Weatherize MDI provides all Mount Desert Island homeowners with a:

  • Free energy consultation
  • 10% discount on air sealing, insulation, and heat pumps
  • Up to $2,500 in rebates on air sealing & insulation and $750 rebates on heat pumps

Weatherize MDI contracts must be signed by May 31, 2018, so call 207-991-3936 now or click below for a free consult.


Doubling Solar Capacity in 2018 and 2019 through Large Scale Solar

Our volunteer team is investigating suitable sites on MDI that will support a large solar PV array with minimal impact on the environment, the community, and scenery. Large-scale solar will increase our energy security, reduce the export of energy dollars off-island, and support our local economy. Join us.

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MDI is Moving Away From
Single-use Plastic Bags


Many Southwest Harbor residents came out to their town meeting on May 7 to support four eighth grade Pemetic School students who shared their research and concerns about plastic waste and called on the community to increase sustainable practices and consider a single-use plastic bag ordinance.  The students have since been invited to and have given their presentation to the Town Selectman of Mount Desert and Tremont - inviting them to join in an island-wide effort. 

ACTT is providing educational support to a new local group of residents that are proposing ordinances in Bar Harbor and Southwest Harbor. 14 mostly coastal Maine towns have passed ordinances to ban or reduce single-use plastic bags and/or polystyrene in the past 2 years.  

Want to help? Email Christy Seed

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. 


Ecopsychology and Spiritual Ecology: Changing Perspectives, Engaging Hearts, and Inspiring Action

John Craigo and Dennis Kiley, both A Climate To Thrive (ACTT) board members, explored how targeting the ways people think, feel, and relate is essential to catalyzing meaningful environmental action. Their engaging workshop, entitled "Ecopsychology and Spiritual Ecology: Changing Perspectives, Engaging Hearts, and Inspiring Action", dealtthe need to engage the minds and hearts of our community to best realize success.  Dennis and John will drawn on the insights of ecopsychology and spiritual ecology to share a path for doing this.

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.



Many MDI businesses are working hard to reduce fossil fuel use, add solar energy, eliminate disposable plastics, and/or use local and sustainably grown food. Read about what Peekytoe Provisions, Galyn’s Restaurant, Old Dog Baking Company, West Street Cafe, Thrive Juice Bar and more businesses are doing ...


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.

  • Solarize MDI - Celebrating our success in November!
  • 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)