Responsible Travel and Alternative Transportation
Purchase wind certificates or “greentags” to help offset emissions from automobile or auto travel from such organizations as Wind Current, Native Energy, Renewable Choice Energy. Some of these sites have calculators allowing you to calculate CO2 production from a trip.
Better World Club offers free carbon offsets on two domestic flights or one international flight booked through its travel agency. Nonmembers can purchase offsets ($11 for domestic flight, $22 for international one)
Trees for the Future offers a “Cool Car Certificate” that plants 300 trees for $30 – to offset the estimated lifetime emissions from one vehicle). They have a Trees for Travel program to offset air travel.
Two car-sharing programs (www.sipcar.com and www.flexcar.com) offer vehicles in a growing number of U.S. cities (including Boston). These programs encourage people to forego personal vehicle ownership – and simply pick up a shared car whenever they have the need. Car-sharing eliminates the high costs of personal car ownership and benefits the environment. Cars can be borrowed by the hour or day: see their sites for more details.
Better World Club provides a travel booking system that incorporates a carbon offset program – to help account for your CO2 emissions in air and car travel.
Maine residents can find information on carpooling, vanpooling and other green commuting resources at GoMaine Commuter Connections.
If you need to do a longer drive (like cross-country), consider acting as a driver for someone whose vehicle needs cross-country transport. Participating in a drive-away service can save mileage on your own vehicle and save on carbon emissions.
Downeaster Passenger Rail Service, 1-800-USA-RAIL
Daily round-trips between Boston and Portland with Maine stops in Wells and Saco (and seasonally in Old Orchard Beach). The Amtrak Downeaster allows a limited number of bikes (loaded/unloaded in Portland or Wells) for a $5 charge. Folding bikes can be taken on or off the train at any stop.
Bus Services to and within Maine
Concord Coach , 800—639-3317
Service to: Bangor, Bath, Belfast, Brunswick, Camden/Rockport, Damariscotta, Lincolnville, Orono, Portland, Rockland, Searsport, Waldoboro, Wiscasset. Concord Coach will stow unboxed bikes in the baggage area if space allows.
Greyhound Bus Lines, 800-231-2222
Service to: Augusta, Bangor, Bath, Belfast, Brunswick, Camden, Damariscotta, Ellsworth, Lewiston, Lincolnville, Orono, Portland, Rockland, Searsport, Waldoboro, Waterville, Wiscasset
Vermont Transit, 800-451-3292
Service to: Augusta, Bangor, Bar Harbor, Brunswick, Lewiston, Old Orchard Beach, Portland, Waterville
Greener Rental Car Choices
Three of the major rental car companies with fleets in Maine have committed to a customer carbon offset program (run in cooperation with TerraPass and other measures to reduce environmental impacts. For more information, contact Enterprise, National or Alamo.
As of May 2008, only one of the six major rental car companies in Maine offers hybrid cars, and they offer no guarantee of availability. Your best chance of getting a hybrid is with Enterprise, though, which has about a dozen hybrids within its statewide fleet. A 2007 survey by priceline.com found that 72 percent of respondents would like rental car companies to offer hybrids and would pay extra to rent them. Clearly the market has not yet responded to consumer sentiment. Please inquire about the status of hybrids when you make reservations and – if none are available – choose the most fuel-efficient class of vehicle that will meet your needs.
Bicycle Rental Facilities in Maine (by town)
- Alfred: Coast, Inc., 324-8747
- Auburn: Rainbow Bicycles, 784-7576
- Augusta: Auclair Cycle & Ski, 1-800-734-7171
- Bangor: Ski Rack Sports, 800-698-6474
- Bar Harbor: Acadia Bike & Canoe, 288-9605
- Bar Harbor Bike Shop, 288-3886
- Cadillac Mountain Sports, 288-4532
- Ellsworth: Bar Harbor Bike Shop, 667-3886
- Greenville: Northwoods Outfitters, 695-3288
- Hallowell: Kennebec Bike & Ski, 621-4900
- Kennebunkport: Cape-Able Bike Shop, 967-4382
- Parsonsfield: Back Country Excursions, 625-8189
- Peaks Island: Brad's ReCycled Bike Shop, 766-2628
- Portland: Gorham Bike & Ski, 773-1700
- Rockport/Camden: Maine Sport, 236-7120
(List courtesy of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine)