Earth Day is a time to be thankful for the world we live in and all that is wonderful and wild about it. In Maine we are blessed with glades Pines, thickets of fir, forests, mountains, rivers, lakes, valleys and one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. People from around the globe flock to our beautiful state each year to catch a glimpse of the rocky coast of Acadia, the spikey spine of Katahdin, the untamed wilderness of the North Maine Woods, and to catch a powder day on the slopes of Sunday River or Sugarloaf in the western mountains.
For many of us, we take all the natural beauty and treasures in Maine for granted. Hey, it happens, we’re busy in our day-to-day lives and the things beyond our sight can often be forgotten until a drive to the coast or mountains reminds us of just how lucky we are to live in this state, and on a higher level, to be alive. Earth Day is a subtle reminder that what we take for granted in the Pine Tree State is only here because men and women through the years have fought to keep it this way in the legislative halls, the picket lines, and through the unsung heroics of picking up litter on the side of the highway.
This Earth Day I encourage you to be kind to the earth, take a walk through the woods or along the coast: look at the sky, breathe in the trees and marvel at the natural world around you. If you’re feeling extra green pick up some litter or plant a tree (unless you’re in northern Maine) and when you get home and you’re ready to reward yourself with a cold one make sure you pick a local brewery to quench your thirst.
Not only is Maine renowned for it’s natural beauty but we also have some delicious beer and fantastic breweries scattered across the state many of which I have written about before. Choosing to go to the tasting room at your local brewery, or buying a four-pack of local beer can have huge impacts not only on the local economy and health of small businesses, but it also reduces your carbon footprint on Earth Day (and every day)! The closer to home your beer comes from the smaller the carbon footprint it takes to brew, ferment, package, and ship to us compared to buying beer from a large domestic brewery located in California.
If you’re looking for more reasons to feel good about buying local beer think about these other benefits: it’s fresher than the beer that was canned or bottled and then shipped across the country to sit in the grocery store, and local breweries in Maine engage in extremely sustainable practices that include:
- Using renewable energy to power their brewing operations.
- Reusing or recycling ingredients, giving spent grain to local farms.
- Giving back to environmental organizations both here in Maine and across the country.
Maine Beer Company is a member of the 1% for the Planet organization and donates 1% of their gross annual sales to different environmental organizations every month as well as partnering with local groups such as the Freeport Conservation Trust and Maine Audubon. Bissell Brothers Brewery brews “Preserve and Protect,” an IPA that gives back to the Friends of Baxter State Park and Orono Brewing Company brews “Bog Monster,” a DIPA that donates to the Orono Bog Boardwalk.
So after your finish your walk, or “plog” (check out Aislinn’s blog for more information on this) grab a cold one from one of Maine’s delicious breweries and feel good about your green choices on Earth Day. And always, don’t litter and please recycle!