April 2017 Newsletter                  

On Saturday, April 8th, come learn about what the future of transportation will look like with presentations, tours and demos of electric vehicles past, present and future. Between rapidly emerging technologies and innovation, the way we travel is poised for massive disruption. Few sectors will be impacted as much as electric vehicles (EV’s). Global sales of EV’s rose by 41% in 2016, and estimates are that 35% of vehicles on the road by 2030 will be electric. With so much change underway, there are a lot of questions and uncertainty. Three Island organizations are teaming up to host an Electric Vehicle Symposium to provide education and answers.

From 10 a.m. – 11 a.m., the public can view and engage with electric vehicles in attendance, as well as take tours of the Auto Museum and their two antique electric vehicles from the early 1900s. Featured speakers will begin at 11 a.m. Raney Bench, director of the Seal Cove Auto Museum, will begin by discussing the history of EV’s. Ken Colburn, MDI-based energy consultant and former regulator, will give a talk about the future of electrification. Finally, Barry Woods, Director of Electric Vehicle Innovation for ReVision Energy, will give the keynote presentation examining the status of EV’s locally and nationally.

Press Conference to Launch Solarize MDI on Friday, April 14

Come meet representatives of ReVision Energy and ACTT at the Bar Harbor Community Farm at 115 Gilbert Farm Road and see a live demo of solar energy powering the barn, a greenhouse, a heat pump, and an electric vehicle on Friday, April 14 at 11 a.m.
Solar energy has never been more affordable. The goal of Solarize MDI is to increase adoption of small-scale solar electricity at homes and businesses through a competitive-tiered pricing structure. Savings for all participants increase as more home and business owners sign installation contracts before July 15, 2017. 

In effect, the more participants, the bigger the available discount, with potential average household installation savings of $1,500 in addition to a 30% federal tax credit. With net-energy billing, which allows for an equal exchange of kilowatt hour credit accrual with Emera Maine, solar means long-term locked in energy savings with an average return on investment of 7-10% percent.
Sign-Up for Solarize MDI Now

Solar projects will be designed and installed by ReVision Energy, LLC of Liberty, and will be scheduled for installation beginning this spring. Discounted energy improvement options such as Efficiency Maine's $750 instant rebate on heat pump water heaters will also be looked at. Upcoming events for Solarize MDI include Friday morning coffee hours, solar open houses, and in-depth presentations. 

ACTT's LED Give-Away Was a Success!

It was a Bright Idea! Thanks to 21 volunteers, ACTT distributed more than 2,000 light bulbs to residents of Mount Desert Island last weekend. As 2,000 light bulbs are being screwed into sockets across the Island folks will be thinking about our mission to reduce energy use and what that means for their pocket book and for the environment. 

According to Efficiency Maine statistics, replacing 2,000 incandescent bulbs with LEDs saves the community $20,000 a year and reduces carbon emissions by 175,000 lbs annually.  This is a beginning.  What would happen if we replaced all bulbs on MDI with LEDs?  How about getting all the towns to agree to LED street lights?  
Job and Business Opportunities

Part of ACTT's mission is to create a thriving green economy!

With the new Solarize MDI project, Revision Energy is currently looking to expand it's sales and install team.  Summer internships for college students are also available.  Please visit Revision Energy for more information about career opportunities.

Our composting project needs a social entrepreneur to franchise with Garbage to Gardens to establish a composting collection business on MDI. 

This exciting opportunity could provide full-time employment for one motivated individual.  For more information, contact Glenon Friedmann, 479-2181.

Positive News on Climate Change

Read what people all across the nation and all over the world are doing to offset the effects of climate change. Frequent our website section often:  Progress on Climate Change Action - Positive News!
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April 13:  ACTT Composting Presentation & Bin Orders

Come learn how to start and manage a backyard compost pile, at the Jesup Library on Thursday, April 13 at 7:00 p.m.  Find out about worm farming in the schools and gain insight into the benefits of composting as a waste reducing strategy for Mount Desert Island; and a rich, soil-building resource.  ACTT has assembled a team of local farmers, educators and gardeners to share their know-how and experience.   Rose Avenia and Steve Gabel-Richards will talk about their projects on the farm and in the schools.  

Attendees can sign-up to purchase The Earth Machine™, the world's most successful backyard composting bin for 1/2 price ($55) at the event. Early bird orders must be placed by April 28 ($60 thereafter) for delivery in early June.
Order Your Compost Bin Now

Results of MDI Zero Waste Home Survey

Thanks to those of you who completed our MDI Zero Waste Home Survey last month.  Only 34 people completed the survey through our newsletter, website, Facebook page & Bar Harbor Barter & Swap, so it is a small sample and seems to represent the most committed recyclers, composters and re-users on MDI.  We got lots of support for all of our zero waste goals and some excellent suggestions that will help us achieve them.

Even though 70% of the respondents already compost their food & yard waste, half of the respondents said that composting workshops would help them to compost more and better, and half were interested in the half price compost bins we’re selling this spring.  38% would be interested in a service that picks up scraps and yard waste curbside for a fee and returns finished compost.  33% are interested in having shared neighborhood or apartment complex compost heaps.  And 19% would like the help of a volunteer to help set up their compost heap or bin, demonstrate, & answer questions.
People shared many, many ways that they reduce and re-use, and a whopping 94% of respondents recycle all the materials that can be recycled at the transfer stations.  Everyone was eager for more information on how to recycle everything else that can be recycled and share as many resources as possible for re-use.  We’ll do some more research and post specific information on our website as soon as we can about local opportunities to reduce, re-use and recycle.

Concerning Zero Waste policy issues, 82% of respondents said they would support a ban on single-use plastic shopping bags in their town, but at least one person said they think a surcharge for bags like they have in Portland makes more sense.  Several people expressed support for the idea of having reusable bags available to borrow at stores for people who forget to bring bags or paper bags available to buy for a small fee.

Almost as many (80%) would support a ban on sales of single use packaged water on MDI if there were plenty of water bottle refill stations at local businesses and in the park and very affordable re-usable bottles were widely available.  One person commented that there would need to be a way to confirm that the refill stations are cleaned regularly, are sanitary and have continually replaced filters, and suggested that vendors/businesses could sponsor stations, have their logos displayed and be responsible for upkeep and confirmation. 

Great Zero Waste suggestions included better signage & 24-hour recycling options at transfer stations, Pay As You Throw fees, compost pick-up, clean-out week for whole of MDI like Mount Desert has, easier access to Hazardous Waste Drop off (not at Common Grounds weekend), no single waste bins without recycling bins in public spaces, getting supermarkets to go back to wrapping meat and fish in paper rather than plastic, more drop off locations for donations of stuff, repair cafes, and encouraging people to grow food in any way they can.

You can see the survey results here. To read comments, click on the blue “comments” links. The ACTT Zero Waste Committee will make good use of the suggestions from this survey and we'll keep you posted on how you can support these initiatives.  If you want to join us, committee meetings and contacts are always listed on the ACTT website

Upcoming Events
Calendar View

Apr 4  Transportation Committee
Deering Common, 2nd Floor, COA, Bar Harbor 6:00 -7:00 p.m.
April 4  Community Kitchen Input
Strauss Room in Turrets, COA, 6:00 pm
Apr 6  Public Policy Committee

Community School, Rt.3 & Rt 102, Somesville 5-6:30 p.m.
April 8  Electric Vehicle Symposium

Seal Cove Auto Museum,               1414 Tremont Rd   Seal Cove, ME
Apr 12  Food Systems Committee
Jesup Library, Bar Harbor, 5:30 - 7 p.m.
Apr 13  ACTT Home Composting Presentation and Compost Bin Orders
Jesup Library, Bar Harbor, 7:00 p.m.
Apr 22  March for ScienceWashington DC, Orono and Portland, ME
Apr 23  Zero Waste Committee
Deering Common,COA Bar Harbor, 3-5 p.m.
Apr 26  Alternative Energy Committee
7 Pine St., Bar Harbor, 6-7:30 p.m.
Apr 29  Friends of Acadia Roadside Cleanup Day

8:30 - 11:30 am; Join our ACTT Zero Waste Cleanup Team here.
Apr 29  People's Climate March

Bar Harbor Public Green, 1 - 3 p.m.; Augusta 10-1; Bus to DC from Portland

MDI Youth Promote Sustainability

MDI high school recently started a new environmental club called the ECo Team (Environmental Concerns Team), made up of both staff and students who were concerned about the lack of student-led sustainability initiatives at the school.  “The school is a huge consumer on the island, so if we can make any changes here it would have a major impact, not to mention spreading sustainable practices and ideas to all the students and their families,” noted one participant.  

Since it’s inception in February, the ECo Team has taken on a number of projects, including improving the paper and bottle recycling at the school, partnering with ACTT to distribute LED bulbs during school lunch, and working with the Design Thinking class to create systems and PR that support the complete transition of plastic to metal silverware in the cafeteria.  Future goals include diverting food waste through composting, working with school and town staff to improve heating and insulation systems, and building awareness at the school and beyond about environmental issues! To join, c
ontact ACTT Advisory Board member and MDI Teacher, Ruth Poland 

April 4: COA's Community Kitchen Input

COA is developing a plan for a community kitchen at Beech Hill Farm for preserving food from summer harvest. The primary goal of the kitchen is to increase farm food going to the COA's dining hall throughout the winter.  However, we're hoping to create a space that can serve the wider community as well. 

We need input on how this space could best suit community needs. What equipment might we need? What kind of storage might be of use? Might you be interested in workshops? 

Please e-mail Anna Davis to RSVP or with any thoughts and ideas if you can't make it and invite others.

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