Portland becoming lead sustainable city.
PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — A report from the Natural Resources Council of Maine released Tuesday recognized the efforts of 50 people and organizations across Portland that promote sustainability.
The report highlighted six areas where these efforts are succeeding: local food, waste reduction, eco-friendly transportation, energy saving, water quality, and sustainability resources.
Advocacy Director of the NRCM Pete Didisheim said local efforts have proven more effective than political efforts.
“People want to be part of the solution. We’ve just been inspired with enough different people and organizations that we decided we should document this. This is important, this deserves attention,” said Didisheim.
Didisheim said one area where Portland has excelled is buying local foods and supporting local producers. He said there is also a huge spike in civilians and non-farmers growing their own food. Even Portland Public Schools is contributing: 40 percent of its food is purchased from local suppliers, according to the report.
“That’s great for the health of Mainers, it’s great for the health of our economy, and for our local agriculture and people really are interested in knowing where their food comes from,” said Didisheim.
He said people in Portland are composting more, too.
General Manager of “We Compost It!” Brett Richardson said that people feel better knowing that their scraps are not going to waste.
“It’s a natural thing that folks feel good about when they see that those food scraps become compost like this. To have two people or three companies working on it — that’s a great sign. Our goal is to grow the pie, not fight over small pieces of it,” said Richardson.
The NRCM plans to send the report to environmental rating organizations in order to get Portland recognized nationally, among the likes of San Francisco, Austin, Texas, and Portland, Oregon.
“What we’re hoping with this report is to create more momentum in this direction, which clearly is good for the city, for the quality of life of its people, and for the environment.”