Environmental Solutions 2022

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2022 ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS A Special Advertising Section of the Bangor Daily News | Friday, April 22, 2022


ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • April 22, 2022



ll of the news about the climate crisis and the impact our way of life is having on our only planet can be very overwhelming. It can feel like you don’t have control over the large-scale damage happening to the earth. One way to combat these feelings is to see what small changes you can make in your day-to-day life to make a difference. Here are some simple but impactful changes you can make to reduce waste, be more sustainable and help our amazing world be a cleaner and safer place for future generations.


There are so many ways we can reduce the waste that we send to landfills. Plastic pollution has become a huge issue. It impacts our air quality, our oceans and the planet overall. Luckily, we can make a difference. One opportunity to reduce plastic consumption drastically is when you go to the grocery store. Try to buy bulk or

package-free. Many stores have bulk sections where you can fill your own containers. Look up zero waste brands and replace your plastic products as you use them up bit by bit. Also, keeping bulk flours and pantry items in your house to make things from scratch can reduce the plastic waste you accumulate from processed, packaged foods. Bring your own reusable containers and bags when you go to the store. Keep them in your car so you have them on hand. When you do have to buy packaging try to reuse or recycle properly when you can. Food waste is a globally pervasive problem that can have devastating effects on the environment and waste valuable finite resources. Food can’t break down in landfills because it can’t get enough air when buried with other non-perishable trash. First, you can buy only what you need. You can make sure to use what you buy. Put perishable food items like fruit and vegetables in plain sight where you will remember them. Finally, for the inevitable time when food goes bad or is unused try composting. You can do this in your backyard, on a patio or even in your house inexpensively. You can then use that compost to grow your own food, and use what you grow to reduce the demand on the agricultural industry. Finally, at risk of sounding cliche, remember the R’s: reduce, reuse, repair and recycle — with an emphasis on

reduce and reuse. It is important to reduce our consumption and only buy what we need. Have a reusable water bottle to refill as opposed to plastic water bottles. Reuse items in different ways when possible. Put a bouquet in that old spaghetti sauce jar or turn that milk jug into a bird feeder. If a shirt gets a hole in it, teach yourself to repair it instead of tossing it or cut it up for rags.

efficient when you get the recommended regular maintenance. Heat pumps are a great way to reduce the need for oil to heat your home in the winter. If your hot water system is run by oil make sure to use cold water when doing laundry (it is better for your clothes as well). Use cold water when you can in as many situations as you can. Get your house better insulated to reduce loss of heat in the winter.



In addition to reducing your waste, it can be very helpful to the environment to reduce your energy usage. One common way to do this is to decrease the amount of electricity you use. Turn off lights when you leave the room. Only wash clothes when they are dirty. Hang clothes to dry. Replace old appliances with new energy efficient ones. Make sure the dishwasher is full before you run it. Unplug things you aren’t using. There are so many ways to reduce our electricity intake — and it can help your wallet as well. One very precious finite resource that we often take for granted is water. There are many ways to reduce our water usage. You could take shorter or less frequent showers. You could collect rainwater for watering your garden. Make sure to not leave the water running when you brush your teeth or hand wash dishes. If there are cups of unfinished water around the house use them to water your indoor plants. How can we reduce our reliance on fossil fuels in our day to day lives? We could try to walk or bike instead of drive. We could carpool or take buses or trains. Try not to leave your car running when you aren’t driving. Your car will also be more fuel

There are so many other changes we can be making in our lives to make a positive change on the environment. You can sign petitions for policy changes at the state and federal level. You can donate to valid causes supporting conservation and reducing impacts of climate change. You can advocate for change at your place of work or in your community. There are websites where you can offset your carbon footprint by supporting climate initiatives. Reducing your meat and dairy consumption can help offset the negative impacts of the animal agriculture industry. It can even be as simple as sharing ideas with loved ones. All of these seem small but if everyone did just a few of these small changes it would have an immeasurable impact on the planet. These are just some of the things we can do as individuals to help make the earth a healthier, happier place to be. Many of these are not just easy but can actually shave some dollars off your monthly expenses. Many of these will also improve your quality of life. They might not immediately solve the problems our world is facing but it can feel good to know you are contributing in a positive way and leaving the world a better place than when you entered it.

ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • April 22, 2022




educe, reuse, recycle is a mantra for many people. It’s difficult to imagine that just 50 years ago awareness of the state of the environment was not part of the collective consciousness. An emerging public consciousness about the planet began amid environmental issues like increased air pollution and massive consumption of fossil fuels in the 1960s. The bestselling book “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson also raised public concern for living organisms and the links between pollution and public health. The push for environmental reform gained even more momentum on April 22, 1970, when the first Earth Day was celebrated. ThenSenator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin put Earth Day on the national stage following a large oil spill that struck off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif. Before this disaster, recycling was not a word in the popular lexicon. But when the disaster struck, people began to reason that changes would have to be made to save the planet. Since the first Earth Day a little more than 50 years ago, many strides have been made in the environmental movement. This grassroots initiative gave rise to the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. Environmental awareness has become much more mainstream and is a less polarizing issue than it was in the 1970s, although there are still debates about

the reality of climate change and other risk factors. Public demand for environmental safeguards grew in the second half of the twentieth century, and those demands have grown stronger in recent years. Legislation is continually evolving to protect the air, land and water. Sustainability has joined the buzzwords of the movement, and most industries now have a vested interest in changes that can minimize risk to human health and the environment. Mitigating or avoiding environmental effects, proper waste disposal, reduction in water discharge, and emphasis on reducing, reusing and recycling have become important components of environmental wellness. And people are being educated at earlier stages on the importance of environmental mindfulness. For example, core subjects of the environmental movement are increasingly covered in elementary schools. Twenty million people turned out for the first Earth Day in the United States. Today, more than 190 countries are engaged and more than one billion individuals are mobilized for action every Earth Day, advises the Earth Day Network. There is still work to be done, but great progress has been made since 1970.



ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • April 22, 2022

World Fish Migration Day participants form a “Happy Fish” during an event in the Netherlands. © Waddenvereniging



ave you heard about World Fish Migration Day? It happens every two years, and it’s a chance to celebrate migratory fish—and the connected, healthy rivers they depend on. Migratory fish make up a crucial link in the food chain, and they help keep our rivers healthy and productive. Free-flowing rivers and their fish also sustain the people, economies, and cultures of communities around the world. More than 100 million people get their primary source of protein from freshwater fisheries. Today, most migratory fish species are severely threatened. Man-made obstacles like dams, weirs, sluices, and culverts are some of the primary threats. Barriers disrupt the natural timing and flow of rivers and prevent or delay fish from reaching critical spawning habitat, accessing food sources, avoiding floods or droughts, and finding cool waters during increasingly frequent warming events. In 2020, the Living Planet Index Report showed that globally there has been a 75 percent decline in migratory fish populations just since the 1970s. Developed places like Europe have experienced more than a 90 percent decline. A decade ago, I met Herman Wanningen, a scientist in the Netherlands who

was looking to connect scientists and practitioners working to improve the world’s free-flowing rivers. He had an idea for a global day of action that celebrates river restoration. He called it “World Fish Migration Day,” and he imagined it as an opportunity to highlight rivers, fish, and the communities that depend on them on a grand scale, but through local perspectives. We started talking, and The Nature Conservancy agreed to provide some seed funding to launch this effort. Since those humble beginnings, World Fish Migration Day has grown leaps and bounds, becoming a beloved biennial event featuring local river restoration celebrations around the world. The first World Fish Migration Day in 2014 involved 273 events in 53 countries. By 2018, there were 570 events in 63 countries engaging over 200,000 people! This year, World Fish Migration Day will take place on Saturday, May 21. In the weeks leading up to it, hundreds of familyfriendly events are taking place around the world—including our own celebration on May 21 right here in Augusta (visit tinyurl. com/wfmd2022 for details). Other Maine events include a festival on the Royal River

Joshua Royte returns alewives to a restored Maine stream. © TNC in Yarmouth, unique Fish Flags made for the restoration of fish to the Sebasticook River in Benton Falls, and a new restoration to show off at China Lake in Vassalboro. Visit worldfishmigrationday.org and explore the map to find events near you! By building our shared appreciation and understanding of the importance of

migratory fish to our ecosystems, our economies, and our communities, we can create momentum to restore and protect our vital waterways, here in Maine and around the world. Together, we can influence decision makers, leaders, and communities to create healthier rivers full of fish. Here’s to a happy World Fish Migration Day!

ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • April 22, 2022


World Fish Migration Day With Us!

Games Crafts Face Painting

Saturday, May 21, 2022 Noon – 4:00 p.m. Bicentennial Park, Augusta RSVP: tinyurl.com/wfmd2022

Bring the whole family for an afternoon of fun! Enjoy lots of free family activities, learn from our fish migration experts, even sign up to be a community science project volunteer. Light refreshments will be provided.



ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • April 22, 2022



limate change poses a significant threat to future generations. Rising sea levels and food shortages are just two of the climate-related issues future generations may be forced to confront. But it’s not just tomorrow’s generations that will be forced to deal with the consequences of climate change. Climate change is often described and discussed in ways to suggest its effects are not already being felt. Though many of the more overwhelming side effects of climate change have yet to be felt, the Environmental Defense Fund cites various developments as evidence that climate change is already affecting daily life. · Brewing issues: For beer lovers, there’s nothing more refreshing than a cold pint. However, the EDF notes that many breweries have already been dealt a blow by heavy rains related to climate change, while others have had to confront the effects of drought head-on. Heavy rains have damaged barley crops, while drought is adversely affecting hops. Barley and hops are vital to creating beer, and the inability to grow and harvest these crops could continue to affect brewers. · Higher grocery prices: In 2018, a heat wave in northern Europe devastated wheat fields, leading to a surge in wheat prices in both Europe and the United States and projections that future wheat harvests could fall far short of expectations. Surging wheat prices means trips to the grocery store have been and may continue to be more costly. That’s an ever tougher pill to swallow when considering data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the BLS, grocery costs in

the fall of 2021 increased by more than 5 percent compared to a year earlier. The COVID-19 pandemic had a lot to do with that, but the ripple effects of climate change played a role as well. · Loss of a safety net: The EDF notes that insurance industry assessments indicate that few private flood insurance policies are now available to coastal homeowners. That’s likely because the average number of annual flood events has increased in many coastal areas as sea levels rise due to climate change. For example, data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration indicates that the number of flood events per year in Boston increased dramatically between 2010 and 2020 compared to the period between 1990 and 2009. If that trend continues, coastal homeowners who have already lost access to the safety net provided by flood insurance may need to reconsider where they want to live or accept that the ancillary costs of staying where they are going to increase even further. · Loss of access to water: The World Preservation Foundation notes that onethird of the world’s major lakes and rivers are drying up. That has already affected groundwater wells for three billion people, or nearly 40 percent of the global population. As more lakes and rivers dry up, even more people across the globe could be forced to confront a lack of access to water. Climate change has already begun to affect people’s lives. Those effects could only become more widespread and severe if action to curtail and reverse climate change is not taken.

ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • April 22, 2022


25 YEARS OF SERVICE TO THE PEOPLE OF MAINE The University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center delivers research innovation that creates jobs, grows Maine’s economy and fights climate change COURTESY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MAINE ADVANCED STRUCTURES AND COMPOSITES CENTER


he Advanced Structures and Composites Center is dedicated to driving research innovation in Green Energy and Materials (GEM), to create a more sustainable world while bolstering economic development in Maine and beyond. Our research leverages Maine’s largest natural resources, such as our abundant forests and offshore wind, to address climate change and create Maine-based jobs while preparing our workforce for 21st century, well-paying jobs. For over 25 years, we have provided hands-on learning experiences to more than 2,600 students; served over 600 industrial and government clients, including 150 Maine companies; formed 14 spinoff companies; received more than 40 national and international

awards; and conducted research that has resulted in over 120 patents. We are currently designing a state-of-theart 90,000-square-foot research factory and workforce training facility, to be completed in 2025. The Green Engineering and Materials (GEM) Factory of the Future will usher in a new era of sustainable manufacturing in the Northeast and drive global demand for products developed here in Maine with local forest materials. The Facility will provide immersive training opportunities to students and workers in manufacturing technologies and operations, improving the competitiveness and lifetime earning potential of Maine’s workforce. The Center continues to lead the nation in developing economical solutions to harness offshore wind to address energy supply and cost for Mainers. The Gulf of Maine has 156 GW of

offshore wind capacity within 50 miles of the coast, one of the best offshore wind resources in the world. Wind speeds are strongest and most consistent in the winter when Maine’s energy use is at its peak. Coupled with electrification of homes and transportation, just 3% of this resource is enough to heat every home and drive every car in Maine. In 2013, UMaine successfully demonstrated a floating concrete hull technology called VolturnUS, designed specifically to access Maine’s abundant offshore wind resource while surviving the harsh conditions in the Gulf of Maine. Following that successful deployment, the team of 40 researchers, representing the largest university-based floating offshore wind research team in the country, attracted more than $150 million in investment to deploy an 11-megawatt single-turbine floating offshore

wind demonstration project. The Center is creating new opportunities for Maine’s forest economy. In partnership with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, researchers are developing forest-based, sustainable feedstocks for use in large-scale 3D printers to transform manufacturing. These sustainable, highperformance materials cost less and are printed at hundreds of pounds per hour, using the world’s largest polymer 3D printer. The Center was awarded 3 Guinness World Records for the world’s largest polymer 3D printer, the world’s largest 3D printed boat, and the world’s largest 3D printed object. To learn more about the exciting work at the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center and how you can be involved, please contact: Meghan Collins, Communications Manager at mc@maine.edu.

“Imagine a future where arrays of printers, working in tandem printing with materials sourced from Maine’s forests, can produce boats — even houses — in days. The goal is to serve as a catalyst for Maine’s economy, working alongside industry partners to drive new product development, with paid internships for students to work on projects that will lead transformational change in Maine’s manufacturing, transportation, and clean energy industries.” — Dr. Habib Dagher, Executive Director, Advanced Structures and Composites Center


ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • April 22, 2022



hen we think about climate change, we tend to think about carbon emissions poisoning the skies and plastic bottles choking the ocean. But one of the most significant sources of climate-changing pollution is food waste, which we can each have a hand in changing. American food waste contributes to 8% of all greenhouse gasses, which, to put into perspective, outpaces the entire airline industry in terms of pollution. What’s more, food waste costs the average American family $1,866 per year; that’s a lot of money to leave on the table. Food waste is dangerous because of the sheer waste of water and other natural resources to

produce it in the first place. But worse, when food ends up in landfills, it creates methane, which traps heat in the atmosphere 25 times more efficiently than carbon dioxide, making methane a profoundly serious problem. So, how do we pitch in to put a big dent in methane emissions? One way is to start composting at home to keep methane-emitting food waste out of our landfills. Composting is a brilliant way to turn your food scraps into rich, usable soil that can replace chemical fertilizers. The best part? Composting significantly reduces methane emissions, which is a win-win for everyone.

Anyone can compost anywhere, making this an easy solution to a disturbing problem. Here are a few great tips for getting the whole family started.


You can purchase portable compost bins and tumblers for under $100, which are especially handy if you don’t have a lot of yard space. Add your food scraps to the drum and give it a crank to turn the contents over. In time, the material inside will break down into rich soil that you can add to your potted plants and garden beds. One attractive benefit to this style of compost bin is that you can keep out wild animals and pests.


If you have a lot of outdoor space, you can create a bare earth compost pile — a designated spot where you drop your food scraps. One typical style of bare earth compost piles among backyard gardeners is to secure three wooden pallets together to make walls. Once you have the space ready, layer leaves, dry hay, food scraps and manure if you have it, and repeat. Turning over this type of compost pile can take some serious elbow grease, but the environmental benefit may outweigh the occasional workout.


Most plant-based foods consumed in the home are safe to compost. You can also compost plenty of yard waste like grass clippings, twigs and fall leaves. But there are some things you might want to avoid. • Meat, bones and other animal-based foods can attract pests, including rodents, which may be challenging to get rid of once they establish residence in or near the compost. • Sawdust may contain machine oils or other chemicals that can be toxic to your gardens. • Weeds, particularly invasive plant species, can quickly and easily spread seeds in your compost, which can ruin your garden beds. • Non-organic fruits and vegetables from the grocery store can contain pesticides, herbicides and fungicides that are not only terrible for the earth but not great for your health either. • Black walnut leaves cannot be composted as they contain a toxin called juglone. Do not place your compost near black walnut trees. Composting is an excellent way to teach your children how the food we eat directly impacts the earth we live on. By getting the whole family involved in composting, you can save money, lower your carbon footprint and develop a more meaningful approach to food.