• Sustainable Tourism

  • Acadia National Park is our region's crown jewel. Our business community employs a strategy of responsible tourism that will protect Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island’s natural beauty and resources for future generations.

    Local nonprofit A Climate to Thrive (ACTT), formed in 2016, focuses on the goal of energy independence for Mount Desert Island by 2030. In 2019, ACTT helped Mount Desert Island High School install a rooftop solar array to provide 100% of the electrical demand for the high school. Organizers continue to drive change in food systems, solid waste, building efficiency, transportation, and especially in the shaping of public policy. 

    Here are some initiatives that ACTT has launched to protect our community and ways that you can help keep Bar Harbor beautiful during your stay.

  • A Climate to Thrive’s Sustainable MDI business pledge. As of June 2020, 85 dining and lodging businesses have taken the pledge to make their businesses more sustainable in all ways, including significantly reducing their waste of energy and materials. Be on the lookout for businesses with the Sustainable MDI seal (above) on their doors or windows.


  • Suggestions for sustainable practices to reduce waste and energy during your visit


    Use your refillable water bottle at these water fountains and refill stations

    • Acadia National Park:  Sand Beach parking area, Jordan Pond House, Sieur de Monts Spring, Cadillac Mountain Summit, and Echo Lake. Most picnic areas have water fountains.

    • Bar Harbor: Ballfield by the public restrooms - Park Street

    • Northeast Harbor: Marina Visitor Center, Clifton Dock, Seal Harbor (fountain by the beach)

    • Southwest Harbor: Mt. Desert Spring Water, Saint Dreux’s coffee and ice cream shop outside seating area (10 stage filter. Available 24 hours free of charge.)


    Bring Your Own Bags

    All four towns on Mount Desert Island have passed ordinances to ban single-use plastic carryout bags and polystyrene (styrofoam) cups and containers through the efforts of local middle school students and community volunteers. Despite the pandemic, as of July 20, 2020, you can still bring your reusable bags to the Southwest Harbor Food Mart, A&B Naturals, Pine Tree Market, John Edwards Market, and the Ellsworth Shaws. At the Hannaford stores, you can ask to have your purchases put back into your cart without bags so you can bag them yourself in your car or request paper bags.   


    Use Public Transportation

    During normal circumstances, Acadia National Park is proud to provide the FREE Island Explorer Buses to reduce your carbon footprint, pollution, and traffic and parking hassles. The service has been suspended for the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic. 


    Drive Your Electric Vehicle (EV)

    Learn where A Climate to Thrive’s free EV charging stations are located by clicking here. The map below shows charging station locations according to PlugShare.com as of July 15, 2020.

  • Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Bar Harbor Maine and Mount Desert Island.
  • Don't have an electric vehicle of your own? Rent a low-speed EV from Acadia GEM and make your tour of Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park emissions-free!


    Thank you for helping us preserve the natural beauty of Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park, and Mount Desert Island!