On April 22, 2020 Earth Day celebrated its 50th year of bringing global attention to protecting the environment. However, COVID-19 dominated the news and social distancing sidelined eco-friendly events and gatherings that had been planned to mark the anniversary. Despite the barriers, many found ways to take action digitally to raise awareness around environmental issues.
On a local level, our team reflected on actionable ways we have, and will continue to, support the environment both professionally and personally. These beautiful Maine days remind us how essential our green spaces are. Here are a few to motivate and inspire:
In Our Neighborhoods: You can’t go wrong investing in area businesses. This is especially true for sourcing locally produced food. It is fresher, requires less transportation time, and you can communicate directly with those who raise the meat, catch the seafood, and grow the produce. University of Maine Cooperative Extension has created a virtual map of available local Maine farm products and seafood, with alternative pick-up options.
~ Elise, Associate Broker, Vitalius Real Estate Group
In Our Office: As a company, Vitalius Real Estate Group has invested in a new heat-pump water heaters for the office. We also replaced older and less efficient water heaters that had been in the rest of the building for around 20 years. Heat pumps are extremely energy efficient and have many long-term benefits worth exploring.
In Our Homes: Several of our brokers have reported that, although not easy, they have limited use of plastic and have replaced single-use plastic items with reusable alternatives when they can. For excellent guidance on making those shifts, we recommend GoGo Refill in South Portland to refill everyday household items like dish soap and laundry detergent.
And don’t forget your landscaping! The City of Portland provides an extensive list of approved products compatible with organic lawn care maintenance to eliminate the use of pesticides in our community.
“My boys and I plant a tree every Mother's Day. The boys pick out what we will plant for the year and we find an appropriate spot. Sometimes we choose a fruit tree, sometimes a towering tree, and once or twice we planted an evergreen (or, a future Christmas tree according to the boys). We love to contribute to the beauty that is this amazing Earth!”
~ Jennifer, Office Manager, Vitalius Real Estate Group
We Are Members: There are several local businesses that make recycling super simple. If you do not compost, consider curbside composting with Garbage to Garden, a service that offers a convenient way to recycle food scraps, including meat, dairy, and bones, to be used to renew local soil. For many, CLYNK is the gold-star for recycling beverage containers. With drop-off locations at over 50 participating Hannaford Stores, returning your cans and bottles is easy and you can even opt to donate your funds to local charities.
“We use Garbage To Garden AND we started a worm farm during quarantine.”
~ Chris, Associate Broker, Vitalius Real Estate Group
We Motivate and Guide: Nova Tower, Associate Broker at Vitalius and Co-Chair of the Maine Coast Heritage Trust's Next Wave Advisory Council works with a group that encourages young professionals to get involved in preserving and stewarding Maine's Coastal areas to ensure protection for the ecosystems we love, and also to ensure public access to enjoy those spaces.
We Are Green Resources: Given that many of our clients are seeking environmental-friendly elements in homes, we make sure our team is educated about the desirable green features of our listings, energy efficiency products, services and upgrades available, and City ordinances designed to protect the environment. A local resource we appreciate is Green and Healthy Homes Maine, created and published by The SunriseGuide, which provides expert advice, informative interviews, profiles of high performing Maine homes, and cutting-edge information about both new and tried-and-true technologies for making Maine homes healthy, comfortable, affordable, efficient and sustainable.
We Are A Work In Progress and We Never Stop Striving To Do Better:
“I don't think I'm getting any awards. My contribution is, "We recycle some. And I like trees, even though they make me lose power on my birthday this year."
~ Brit, Principal / Designated Broker, Vitalius Real Estate Group
... with that said, Brit reinforced his giving-back- to-the-community values by creating the Vitalius Giving Program as a way to reinvest in our Greater Portland community through organizations that are meaningful to our group and each agent on our team. Several of these organizations are dedicated to preserving and maintaining our natural resources and environment for all to enjoy. We encourage you to check out the work of Portland Trails, Friends of Lincoln Park, Portland Opportunity Crew,, and Greater Portland Landmarks.
Next year’s Earth Day 2021 theme has been announced: Restore Our Earth.
These beautiful Maine days remind us how essential our green spaces are. We plan to keep doing our part to protect them and we hope you will, too.