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On the Green Road: Island of Sustainability

2008 June 11

About the author: While Karen Reshkin of our Chicago office enjoys her vacation, she’s sending along environmentally relevant thoughts and pictures.

On Monhegan Island, Maine, everyone is quite aware of sustainability. They need to balance out the vastly different summer and winter populations. Only about sixty people live there year round. They’re very serious about water conservation, since they have well water and must be careful not to exceed its withdrawal capacity. They are similarly careful about energy conservation, since there is one fuel-powered generator station on the island. No street lights. To preserve the forested areas from erosion, no mountain bikes nor trail strollers are allowed. No one seems unhappy with this more limited way of life. The year-rounders understand that this is the way to preserve their way of life.

houses along the rocky coast of Monhegan Island

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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One Response leave one →
  1. aditya permalink
    June 12, 2008

    I completely agree that construction techniques have a major role to play in sustainability issues. One initiative that we at Mahindra lifespaces have implemented is the use of green materials like High energy efficient, Low U glass, Flyash bricks, Low VOC paints and CFC free refrigerants. It would be great to know about construction practices used on your island. I would like to get your views on sustainability in our corporate blog (

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