Sustainability Thrives at Granite Hill Estates with the help of the Senior Green committee.
Granite Hill Estates retirement community in Hallowell and Augusta, Maine has an active group of residents known as the Senior Green Committee, which is dedicated to improving sustainability within their community. Their mission says, “Certified by the state of Maine as an Environmental Leader, Granite Hill Estates is committed to conserving the environmental resources on which its vibrant community life and the wellbeing of future generations depends.”
We talked with committee chair, Maggie Shannon, to learn about the initiatives they are working on, plans for the future and the excitement of being named a Certified Environmental Leader by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Both residents and management are proud to have received this prestigious award but recognize their work is just beginning. Committee members believe education around sustainability is their primary task. They plan to focus instruction on improving waste management through recycling, reducing the use of toxic substances and cutting energy use on campus.
Immediately, they are working to launch several sustainability initiatives:
- Educate – Print interesting recycling facts and tips on how to be green in the weekly newsletter and on the closed circuit TV at Granite Hill Estates
- Highlight Recycling – By placing a bottle recycling bin in the breakfast room, a prominent and convenient location, Senior Green is drawing attention to the importance of recycling. An added benefit is the CLYNK income the committee gets from these refundable bottles and cans through Maine’s successful bottle bill. Proceeds will support Senior Green efforts and local charities of residents’ choosing.
- Expand Recycling – Residents who live in the apartments at Granite Hill and who want to recycle household waste will soon receive an apartment sized recycle bin. Recycles are picked up 3 times weekly at Granite Hill Estates. Providing small recycling bins makes it convenient and their visibility prompts recycling.
- Reduce Toxics by Promoting Eco-Swaps – Senior Green will encourage residents to switch from products packaged in plastic and containing toxic substances for ecofriendly alternatives like laundry detergent strips and dish detergent tablets by handing out samples for residents to try.
- Reduce water use – Through education and helpful tips, the committee aims to reduce water usage. During the months of August and September they will collect baseline data on water consumption on campus in preparation for an October campaign to cut water use across the community. They will publish the results of the campaign and continue to publish monthly results while encouraging improvement.
The residents at Granite Hill aren’t acting alone. Maggie emphasized that the managers of Granite Hill Estates and Northbridge Communities have been extremely supportive of the committee’s efforts and willingly collaborate to make things happen.
The motto of the Granite Hill Estates Senior Green committee is, ‘Reducing our footprint one step at a time’. This committee is proof that the most important part of making a big change is to start, even with small steps.
Learn more about the Northbridge Signature Senior Green Program!
Northbridge is proud to offer a variety of Signature Programs, to learn more click on the links below:
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If you’re considering senior living for yourself or a family member, we hope you’ll visit one of our communities. You’ll find a maintenance-free, activity-filled and engaging lifestyle to help support your wellness goals.
We’re here to answer any of your questions and invite you to download our complimentary guide Choosing the Right Senior Living Community: A Step by Step Guide for Making an Informed Decision. Please contact us if we can provide further information or if you would like to schedule a personalized tour.