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We are Mount Desert Island residents, businesses, and municipalities working to achieve energy independence by 2030.

First interns experience a "sense of community and civic engagement."

Involving youth in our work is key to realizing our bold vision and two MDI high school students pioneered a new ACTT Internship program this summer.  According to the students, the highlights of this internship were unexpected - both agreed that we felt a sense of community and civic engagement that we hadn’t encountered before in school. Each led a unique project and both helped expand our lighting efficiency project. Under the guidance of Lyn Gatz, a high school teacher and mentor for the project, Ellie and Emily distributed over 1,000 LED bulbs to mostly lower income residents through the Eden Baptist, Tremont Congregational, and Bar Harbor Congregational churches, as well as Meals on Wheels, and the Bar Harbor Food Pantry. 

Both interns held 1:1 conversations with local residents about their thoughts on climate change and it was was most rewarding to hear the older generation’s support for what the interns were doing. With a grant from the Fisher Charitable Foundation, we plan to expand the program to four internships next summer. 

Ellie Bridgers (left), now a senior says the internship "pushed me to go outside my comfort zone and practice communication skills." She gained a greater sense of responsibility having had to rely on self-motivation for the quality of her work. Ellie surveyed 30 MDI restaurants about composting food waste. Although only 25% of respondents do compost, she learned about the many obstacles restaurants face as there is no good system for collecting food waste on MDI. Portland's Garbage to Gardens is seeking an entrepreneur on MDI to franchise their successful curbside pick up program. Click here to see Ellie's informative LED Lighting Fact Sheet.

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Emily McCarthy (right), who is now attending Acadia University in Nova Scotia majoring in Nutrition with a minor in Environmental Science, focused on the impact of our food choices on the environment and climate change. Click here to view Emily's colorful infographic What is the Carbon Footprint of Your Food Choices?  Emily’s highlight was interacting with community members and getting as many people educated and LED bulbs into the hands of community members in such a short amount of time.

 

Our Solarize MDI Campaign Just Doubled Solar Capacity on MDI! 

In April when we launched our Solarize MDI campaign with our partner ReVision Energy, Mount Desert Island had a total installed capacity of 646 kW of solar photovoltaics - representing incremental growth over a few decades.  By our deadline of August 15, just four months later, we had secured 76 solar installation contracts with homeowners, businesses, and one municipality totaling 643 kW.  This represents a doubling of the total solar capacity on the island!  And we saved 76 customers over $160,000 on solar installs. Thanks to ReVision, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, our dedicated ACTT Volunteers, the MDIslander and everyone else who helped make the Solarize MDI the most successful Solarize program in Maine!

Local Couple Offers $25,000 Challenge Pledge to A Climate to Thrive

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A local couple who grew up on MDI have made a five-year, $25,000 matching pledge to A Climate to Thrive (ACTT), which would be the largest tax-deductible gift in our 19-month existence. "We enthusiastically support the mission of ACTT and envision its expansion to communities across the State and beyond," they said.

However, to qualify the pledge each year, ACTT needs several donors to contribute gifts of $1,000 or more to match their $5,000 annual gift. We're doubling solar energy on MDI this year and have plans to double it again next year. Will you consider investing in our vision of energy independence for MDI by 2030?         Learn more or Donate  Thanks!

The knock of climate change on the door of human existence grows stronger.

A lot can happen in 18 months. In January, 2016 we wrote an editorial to the MDIslander. Johannah was five months pregnant. A Climate to Thrive (ACTT), MDI’s initiative working towards energy independence, was about to hold our launch event. We were fairly well-rested human beings with very little grey hair and ample free time - exploring the emotional nuances involved in deciding to bring a baby into today’s world.

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Today we have a thirteen month-old daughter, more grey hairs, a lot less free time, and an overabundance of love in our lives. And just over a year after its launch, ACTT has established Eastern Maine's first community solar farm, launched the "Solarize MDI" group purchase initiative, distributed thousands of energy-saving LED light bulbs, initiated a Municipal Energy Benchmarking Collaboration, facilitated composting workshops and a Ride Share Program and established the first (of many) island EV charging stations. We are already becoming a model for local action on climate change.  Read more.  

Volunteers! Help us Thrive!

Our work continues to depend heavily on committed active volunteers and private donors.  If you think you might like to do some volunteer work to help MDI become energy independent and environmentally sustainable by 2030 (or if you are already an ACTT volunteer), please give us a call at 207-266-5590 or email me.  I’d love to talk with you about what you have to offer and what you love to do. We  can help you find the right volunteer role for you, that will be just as good for you as for ACTT’s mission.
 
Some of the projects we need help with are organizing the Winter Farmers’ Market; plastic bag and polystyrene packaging bans; working with towns on municipal building efficiency; climate change education in the schools and community; teaching and promoting composting and gardening; promoting bike trails and electric vehicles; working with island businesses to become designated “Sustainable Businesses Leaders”; posting flyers on a regular basis; and of course, fundraising!  We’re interested in exciting, creative ideas for fundraising, like big name concerts, film festivals, and other fun community events.  And if you have your own ideas for sustainability projects you’d like to lead, we’d love to help you get the word out and find supporters through out 1000+ email list, Facebook page, and website. Together, we can achieve energy independence by 2030.  Let’s talk! 

A Climate to Thrive (ACTT) was started by Mount Desert Island residents who believe that moving our island towards energy independence will also lead to a thriving economy. We are committed to efforts that build MDI's local economy and make this island a leader in practices and policies that reduce our carbon footprint. Our projects, such as the ones featured above, will create jobs, preserve the beauty of this island and establish MDI as a resource and leader for communities around the world.

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 joe@aclimatetothrive.org to find out how you can help us reduce our carbon footprint on Mount Desert Island.

Over 30 people attended an Open Houses in Seal Cove to see solar first hand and learn more about the Solarize MDI bulk purchasing program.

Over 30 people attended an Open Houses in Seal Cove to see solar first hand and learn more about the Solarize MDI bulk purchasing program.

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Check Out the Solar Potential of Your home

ONLINE SOLAR ASSESSMENT 

Click above to view the solar potential of your home or business on MDI. The above solar assessment web app was developed by COA student Wade Lyman based on simulations of annual solar incidence, including the effects of intermittent shading from adjacent topography, structures and trees throughout the year. This allowed for relatively precise, high resolution estimations of solar technology performance on every roof. It serves only as a first step in evaluating your site.

Click photo to see daily/monthly solar energy production and environmental contributions at the Bar Harbor Community Solar Farm

Click photo to see daily/monthly solar energy production and environmental contributions at the Bar Harbor Community Solar Farm

Host Ron Beard discusses ACTT's vision of “energy independence by 2030" with Gary Friedmann, Chair, ACTT Advisory Board, and Joe Blotnick, ACTT Coordinator.  Anna Demeo, COA's Director of Energy Education and Management, calls in from the roof of Skip's Auto in Southwest Harbor while helping students install new solar panels. May 12, 2017

Many thanks to these supporters and hundreds of individuals and businesses on MDI who make the work of A Climate to Thrive possible