Saturday, February 23, 2008

6 tips to reduce your carbon emissions before your vacation

After receiving the Environmental Leadership Certificate last November, we've been on the lookout for ways to save electricity, fuel oil and water but didn't spend a whole lot of time thinking of ways to save on gas. Because the grocery store here is less than 2 miles away, it isn't a big deal for us to stop on the way home from a doctor's appointment or other 'day out' and pick up what we need.

Heck, my friend Jacqueline (of Jacqueline's Tea Room fame) and I walk to the grocery store almost every afternoon. So, I don't spend a whole lot of time thinking about driving.

Tonight I got to thinking of ways to save on carbon emissions in preparation for vacation travel this year. Lots of people, ourselves included, haven't bought into the whole carbon offsets idea where you buy your way out of actually DOING anything to offset your actual carbon emissions.

So, on our website I have a page showing what we've done in the past year to earn the Environmental Leadership Certificate and I added a section on how to 'offset' vacation travel.

I hope you'll take a look and try at least one of the options. Personally, I only drive about once/week. If I can't walk to wherever it is I want to go, I seriously consider if I really need to go there. I just realized I've had my car for 5 years this summer and it has 30,000 miles on it. Total.

Obviously, not everyone lives in the situation I do where I can walk to work (10 feet) and to shopping (a couple of hundred feet) and to the post office, church, library and pretty much anything else I want. But there are ways we can all get healthier, lose weight, feel better and save a little corner of the planet at the same time. Hope you'll read the webpage and we'll get to talk about it when we see you this year!

If you're in the area at the end of March and into April, we hope you'll take the opportunity to tour a LEED certified house in Freeport. Tours will be held Wednesday- Sunday and different speakers will be on hand during the week to explain how the house was constructed and other aspects of LEED certification.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Retiring to Maine

OK, I'll admit it, I thought about retiring to Maine before I moved here. Figured buying a business here would get me 4 hours closer to the beach (from Vermont, where we lived) and that much closer to the place I've wanted to live since 1973.

I came here on a vacation in the summer of 1973 to the 50th anniversary party of the grandparents of the guy I was dating. We spent one day at Popham Beach and was sure this was where I wanted to live. And this was back in the days before the Clean Water Act, when the Androscoggin River was world famous for catching fire from the chemicals being dumped into it.

Still...the ocean was where I wanted to live and because I can't stand the humidity, I will happily live on the coast up north.

Which brings me to retiring in Maine. I hope this is where I'll retire, although there are grumblings from the better half that Charleston (SC) is the ONLY place to live. Obviously, the Clean Water Act did its job. The Androscoggin (and all Maine rivers) are no longer national scandals. The air is clean, the water is much cleaner and work continues to make it more so.

Maine leads in many areas of being ecologically aware and friendly. (And we're keeping up our end of the bargain at the Inn, getting the Environmental Leadership Certificate in Hospitality last November.) Projects are under way across the state to harness the energy of the tides to create electricity, to use solar and wind power electricity generation and many other 'green' energy solutions are in the works. Retiring in Maine does not mean retiring from thinking and doing, it means being a part of the ever-changing political, economic and social scene of this country.

If you've had the dream to retire in Maine, I hope you'll check the retirement page I've created with a list of retirement options in Maine. Most of the retirement communities I listed are active, vibrant social settings. If you think of retirement community as an 'old folks' home' you could probably get a better perspective by reading some of the websites I list. But, if you're adamant that you want a multi-generational community, I've also listed a realtor's name on the page. Jim is a friend of ours and, if i can talk the other half into staying here Maine, Jim will be our go-to guy when we start looking for our next home. (In case you're wondering...that won't be for another 7 years at least!)