Mount Desert Island (MDI) is becoming a model of sustainability at a time when bomb cyclones are knocking out power to hundreds of communities across Maine and frequent intense rain and snow storms, shoreline erosion of roads, loss of snow pack on the coast, and increasingly weird swings in temperature affect all of us on MDI and beyond.
A Climate to Thrive (ACTT) is a group of MDI residents, businesses and towns working together to achieve energy independence by 2030, making MDI an epicenter of citizen engagement, sustainability, and economic vitality. We’re working hard on decentralized, local, renewable energy solutions that will reduce carbon emissions and pollution, create new businesses, generate year-round jobs that pay a living wage, and bring our island communities together around the shared goal of preserving our environment.
Just over two years into this project, ACTT has already established itself as a model and resource for local action on climate change. We have gained state-wide recognition and have been approached by other Maine towns looking to start similar initiatives.
We know that local commitment and action truly can make a difference, and we’re asking for your help – your financial support at any level – to accelerate the work on our projects. We want to continue demonstrating that solutions at the grassroots level simultaneously can enhance economic well-being and quality of life. In just two years, ACTT has already:
- Established Eastern Maine’s first community solar farm
- Implemented Solarize MDI - a group purchase initiative – that successfully doubled solar capacity on MDI with 76 new installations
- Distributed thousands of energy-saving LED light bulbs to members of the community
- Launched the Municipal Energy Benchmarking Collaboration is monitoring energy data in 31 public buildings to identify opportunities for improvements
- Launched Weatherize MDI, helping homeowners increase building efficiency
- Launched an initiative to increase Electric Vehicle infrastructure throughout Downeast Maine, partnering with many local towns to install charging stations and holding EV symposiums to further this initiative
- Partnered with Healthy Acadia to launch FarmDrop MDI, a way for community members to purchase local and sustainable produce throughout the winter months
- Held composting workshops and provided discounted composting bins to over 60 families
- Developed a partnership with MDI High School, providing paid summer internships for students and involving young people in hopeful, tangible educational and outreach activities that address climate change locally
We now are fundraising to support the continuation of these projects, along with new projects, including:
- Creating additional community solar farms
- Establishing grid-scale solar
- Reduce single-use plastics
- Partnering with over 30 local restaurants to increase sustainability and decrease waste
With the support of volunteers from all four MDI towns, ACTT has been working hard to make our island an epicenter of citizen engagement, environmental sustainability, and economic vitality. To read more about ACTT’s mission, please visit www.aclimatetothrive.org.
Thank you for your support of energy independence for MDI, and local solutions to climate change.