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June Climate Action Team Cool News


Sierra Club Maine
Portland CAT Window Dressers

The Portland and Buxton Climate Action Teams are co-organizing with Window Dressers to build interior storm windows to help insulate windows, reduce carbon and air pollution, and educate about climate change solutions, and you can help!

Uninsulated windows can allow up to 30% heat loss. Interior storm-window inserts offer energy savings of about 20% and are an inexpensive alternative to window replacement. If you have single pane windows, these can really help. 

The inserts are 2 layers of extra clear plastic tightly wrapped on pine frames with foam weather stripping for a tight fit. They are attractive yet visually unobtrusive. They usually pay for themselves within one heating season in saved fuel costs and the inserts last for at least 10 years.

The Sierra Club’s Portland Climate Action Team (PCAT) is partnering with the West End Neighborhood Association this fall. The Team is seeking volunteers to help with this build. It’s fun, easy, and helps our neighbors and our climate. No experience or tools needed! To volunteer for the Portland build, please contact Elissa Armstrong at Elissa@maine.rr.com

The Window Dressers also has a November event in the Buxton area . This year, due to two very generous grants from the Narragansett Number One Foundation (for Buxton residents) and from the Horizon Foundation, we have a unique opportunity to ensure that cost is not a barrier to anyone in our Community Build. We are able to serve Buxton, Hollis, Limington, Gorham and the surrounding communities to provide window inserts to anyone regardless of ability to pay on a first-come basis until the grant funds are expended.

To learn more about window inserts and to order them for your home, or to sign up to volunteer, please visit http://windowdressers.org/. For more information or to volunteer for a four-hour shift at the Community Build November 11-19 in Gorham, email: BuxtonGorhamWindowDressers@gmail.com.

Window Dressers Community Builds are happening all over the state. Find an event near you and order your window inserts now at  http://WindowDressers.org.


HANOVER BECOMES FIRST NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN TO COMMIT TO 100 PERCENT RENEWABLE ENERGY The town has a goal of transitioning to 100 percent clean and renewable energy by 2050. Read more here.

SOLAR BILL PASSES IN THE HOUSE The pro-solar bill, (LD 1504-“An Act Regarding Solar Energy Farms and Agricultural Businesses”) has been approved the Maine Legislatures, but Gov. LePage has promised to veto it. It’s urgent that the Legislature override the veto. Please contact your legislators today and urge them to support this bill. It will reduce our electric bills, our use of dirty fossil fuels, and our need for major upgrades to our grid, while creating good, clean jobs in Maine.

Find your legislators here

U.S. CITIES, STATES, AND BUSINESSES STEP UP AND VOW TO MEET PARIS CLIMATE COMMITMENTS  A growing coalition vows to uphold the Paris climate accord in their communities. This week, the City of Portland became the first Maine city to pledge to meet the U.S. commitment. Read more here.

Sierra Club Maine


KENNEBUNK : The Kennebunk Energy Alliance Team held a “Hands Across the Sands” event on May 20 at Mother’s Beach. They are now working on getting the town to create and implement a local climate action/sustainability plan.

PORTLAND:  The PCAT has been meeting regularly and planning great things. They are working on the King Middle School project for rooftop solar, planning a “Window Dressers Community Build” in the fall, and promoting the Heat Pump Challenge. PCAT member Allen Armstrong drafted an insert into Portland’s Comprehensive Plan which includes the goal of being carbon neutral by 2040. The new language was adopted. Congrats go to the PCAT!

BANGOR IS SOLARIZING AND SPONSORING BULK PURCHASE DISCOUNTS: On June 27, Greater Bangor Solarize is sponsoring an Open House for residents to see a local home’s solar electric system and heat pump. Join them for some snacks and discussion about solar, heat pumps, and the benefits of participating in Greater Bangor Solarize, a bulk purchasing program that reduces solar costs for participants.

Home and small business owners within a 10-mile radius of Bangor are eligible to participate in the bulk purchase program. Deadline to sign up: Sept 30, 2017. Find out more here.

WISCASSET: The Sun CATs have teamed up with the town to do an interior storm windows community build in the Brunswick area. Marty Fox and Susan Van Alsenoy were at the polls recruiting volunteers and homes for windows. For more information, contact maine.chapter@sierraclub.org.

Sierra Club Maine



Alison Znamierowski is very excited to be joining Sierra Club Maine for the summer as a Climate Action Team organizer. She is currently getting her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of New England, with the hope of utilizing art and other holistic therapies to heal. Alison will be working hard to get in touch with as many CATs as she can to keep us up-to-date on what they are all doing and helping organize our fall conference. We are very glad to have her with us this summer.

Sierra Club Maine


JUNE 27: Movie: The Silent Revolution That’s Moving Across the World to be held at the Frontier Café, 14 Maine St, Brunswick. Learn about Maine’s community solar farms, options for municipal, non-profits, and residential solar systems. Revision Energy will be speaking on solar in Maine and about solar at the legislature level. Co-sponsored by Sierra Club Maine and Revision Energy.

Reserve free tickets here. Networking begins at 6:30pm with film at 7pm followed by a brief discussion.

SEPTEMBER 16:  2017 Maine Grassroots Climate Action Conference is shaping up. Sponsors are stepping forward to help defray the cost, making it that much more affordable for everyone to attend.  The keynote speaker will be activist, educator, author and inspirational speaker George Lakey, co-founder of the Earth Quaker Climate Action Team out of Philadelphia. Workshop sessions will focus on local actions communities and CAT teams can take to transition away from fossil fuels. Check http://www.sierraclub.org/maine/conferences for more information and check back from time to time for updates.


If your CAT is working on a local solution to climate change, please share your story (and a photo or two) with me so I can share with the wider CLIMATE ACTION TEAM community.

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Lyn Sudlow, Editor

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