At The Highlands, our residents and staff are embracing the “Go Green” lifestyle. Our master-planned cooperative community is professionally maintained and managed for long-term stability. For sustainability, however, we look beyond fiscal and physical stability and being eco-friendly to ways that we can minimize our footprint as a community.
Through collaboration with fellow residents and staff, the Go Green Committee has gone far beyond creating a culture of sustainable action. Here are some of the programs implemented at The Highlands that have already had a quantifiable effect on being ecologically responsible.
• Biodegradable laundry detergent-diverting solvents for more than 5,000 loads
• Green cleaning supplies available to all residents and used in common areas. Fifty percent of residents have elected to use green products impacting more than 200 homes in our community.
• Emphasis on zero-sort recycling with an aggressive Reduce, Reuse, Recycle campaign
• Accomplished 50/50 goal with a simultaneous reduction in total pickup
• LED conversion project
• Grounds care for 100+ acres. ALL weed suppression is 100% organic, ALL mulch is 100% organic, and all clippings and sod are composted, diverted from landfill.
• Exclusive use of Magic Salt. At six tons of volume, significant reduction of chlorides released into the environment and eliminates the use of sand.
• Swimming pool conversion from chlorine to salt water and CO2
• 50% of rooms use less than 1.6gpf toilets
• Domestic solar hot water for both the Maine Lodge and Cadigan Lodge. Solar preheats for boiler.
• Compost of all food waste and other biodegradable materials; With 7 bins that are 200 lbs each, twice a week and an average of 4.3 weeks in a month that equals 6 TONS per MONTH. This is a decrease in waste disposal of 72 TONS per YEAR, 144,000 lbs that isn’t going into landfills each year.
• Recycled kitchen cooking oils. Culinary Department recycles 100% of all cooking oils. With 280 lbs of cooking oil recycled per week, that equals 7 tons per year.
• Conversion of all single use food and drink containers and utensils to 100% compostable materials. Over 40,000 meals are served each year on one-time use utensils and all are 100% compostable.
Our Go Green committee has identified several initiatives to continue improving sustainability. Efforts include:
• Increasing access to technology to reduce paper use and potentially save more than 500,000 copies per year
• Providing on-site paper shredding
• Facilitating responsible disposal of medications
• Distributing reusable bags and recycling information
• Including green tips in the Highlighter weekly newsletter
• Designing collection process for electronic waste
• Gathering signatures from 80% of residents and staff to commit to being an environmental leader community
• Achieving Environmental Leader Certification from Maine’s Department Of Environmental Protection
Our Go Green efforts have made the news with articles featured on www.wecompostit.com and in the Times Record.
© The Highlands 2015