BAR HARBOR- More than 200 people were at Mount Desert Island High School for a climate to thrives annual summit.
“This is our second annual event at a climate to thrive. We’ve been around for about three years” Joe Blotnick, one of the events organizers told us. “We’ve grown into our vision of becoming a model for sustainability.”
The summit’s keynote speakers were Representative Chloe Maxmin and Matt Prindiville, the Executive Director of UPSTREAM.
“One of the best things communities can do is work together to create throw away free places” Prindiville explained. “What this really means is we work to get the throw away stuff out of our school, out of our cafeterias, and also out of our businesses.”
Other speakers also included the group of freshman from MDI High School that helped encourage surrounding communities to ban plastic bags.
“We created a presentation to purpose two ordinances” the students told me. “One was a single use plastic bag ordinance and the other was a Styrofoam carryout takeout ordinance. We went across the island and presented them both to the towns and at town meetings.”
Because of this group of students, Southwest Harbor and Bar Harbor both passed the ordinances and have bans on both items.
“Elementary school kids, high school kids are some of the most active folks in their community to work on things that are going to get rid of plastic pollution” Prindiville said. “They’re the ones helping to change the norms.”