By Pamela Fischer
Is it easy being green? The answer is yes, if you make it a key element of what you do.
At BikeMaine, we believe that a bicycle tour that celebrates the beautiful and unique places in Maine should make a conscious effort to minimize its impact on the environment. We know this can be accomplished without sacrificing our commitment to serve participants with an exceptional event.
The Green Team strives to make recycling simple in the BikeMaine Village by erecting highly visible, Zero Hero (brand) recycling tents in convenient locations. In addition, giant bottle-shaped recycling containers are easily recognized for bottle and can recycling, (yes—even though we love our refillable personal water bottles, we know on occasion, that convenience store we ride by has an ice cold beverage that screams our name). These dedicated volunteers roam the camping and dining areas to provide guidance on sorting practices and do the work of managing the waste stream in accordance with the programs of each host community.
Key to BikeMaine’s sustainability DNA is our commitment to composting food waste and related items. By sourcing compostable dinner and flatware for our meals, a big bite is taken out of the waste stream. At breakfast and dinner, sorting stations staffed by cheerful Green Team volunteers stand by, waiting to accept waste materials and route them into the appropriate bins. Everyone knows this job is the most fun of any volunteer position because it’s where one gets to greet folks who are on an amazing bicycle journey and have just consumed some fabulous food. It goes without saying they are a joyful crowd!
Putting on a tour of this size has taught us a lot, and we’ve certainly grown in the past six years; both in the number of riders who spend the week with us, and in our efforts to provide the most sustainable event possible. Bike tours should be an escape from the ordinary: a chance to reconnect with yourself, meet new people, and see old friends. BikeMaine offers the chance to do all that against the backdrop of Maine’s spectacular natural environment, and we think that’s worth preserving in every way we can.