Go Green

Electric car
In 2014, Acadia National Park partnered with the Department of Energy and the Maine Clean Cities Coalition to introduce several alternative and fuel-efficient vehicles to replace inefficient gasoline-powered vehicles.


You can join the National Park Service in our efforts to go green! Together we can cut emissions and conserve fuel to reduce air pollution and fight climate change. During you visit you can better protect the resources under our stewardship so that future generations can enjoy them.


Before Your Visit

It can be harder to be green when you're traveling. But with a little advance planning there are simple steps you can take to shrink your carbon footprint on the road as well as at home.

  • Before you leave home, turn down your heating/cooling, lower the setting on your water heater, turn lights off or put them on a timer, and use motion sensors on porch lights
  • Drive your most efficient vehicle, carpool, or install solar panels on your camper or RV so you don't have to use a generator as often.
  • Take with you and use your refillable travel mugs and water bottles instead of paying for containers that will be discarded.
  • Pack smart! Think about reusable packages or things that can be reused and won't need to be thrown away.
  • Can you set a 'green goal' for you and your family? How low can you go with your carbon footprint for your visit.

During Your Visit To Acadia


Learn About Acadia

Everyone can join the effort to protect Acadia. Visit our environmental threats page to learn more about the challenges facing Acadia and the management strategies we take help protect Acadia for future generations.


While You Drive

Idling a vehicle truly gets you nowhere: It reduces fuel economy, produces air pollutants, and wastes resources. Idling a car uses a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour, and idling a heavy-duty vehicle uses about one gallon per hour. Researchers estimate that vehicle idling in the United States wastes about six billion gallons of fuel annually. That translates to 60 million tons of CO2 and $22 billion per year.

Modern vehicles do not need to idle. Computerized controls in today's vehicles bring the engine up to operating temperature faster when the vehicle is moving than when it is idling. Even on the coldest day, a typical car engine takes less than five minutes to warm up if the car is moving. It takes almost twice as long if the car is just idling. Contrary to some myths out there, turning your car off and back on again does not use more fuel than idling. Idling can actually increase engine wear and shorten vehicle life.


Efficient driving practices can improve your fuel economy by more than 30 percent. There are a number of tactics you can implement to cut your fuel use and emissions.

  • Drive sensibly: Aggressive driving, including jackrabbit starts, swift acceleration, and hard braking, wastes fuel unnecessarily.
  • Observe the speed limit: Each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed, but fuel economy usually begins to decrease rapidly at speeds higher than 50 mph.
  • Remove excess weight: Don't keep unnecessary items in your vehicle. 
  • Keep your engine properly tuned: Delaying maintenance can impact fuel efficiency.
  • Keep tires properly inflated: Check the sticker inside your glove box or door jamb to find the proper pressure (do not use the maximum pressure printed on the tire sidewall).
  • Remove rooftop boxes and racks when not in use: Increased drag reduces fuel economy.
  • Combine and coordinate trips: Several short trips use more fuel than one multipurpose trip. 

You can cut emissions and fuel use by reducing the number of miles of vehicle travel. Try carpooling or using alternative modes of transportation like the Island Explorer, such as walking, bicycling, and public transit. Many of these options are healthier for you, save money, and make for a more enjoyable trip.


While You Are Out And About

Follow the seven principles of Leave No Trace during your visit. 
  • Know Before You Go
  • Stick to Trails and Camp Overnight Right
  • Trash Your Trash and Pick Up Poop
  • Leave it As You Find It
  • Be Careful With Fire
  • Keep Wildlife Wild
  • Share Our Trails and Manage Your Pet

  • Refuse - consider whether you really need something due to its packaging or climate footpriint. Maybe there's a way to get that item in a way that is more sustainable?
  • Reduce - think about ways you can reduce the amount of trash you may produce, water you may use, or carbon you put into the air
  • Reuse - what can you reuse that will allow you to not add to the trash or carbon footprint of your visit?
  • Recycle - last but not least, if trash must be produced, think about recycling as much of it as you can.


What We're Doing to Go Green

charging station at HQ
Park Headquarters now has four electric vehicle charging stations


Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles

Many alternative fuels and advanced vehicles can significantly reduce emissions, fuel costs, and reliance on petroleum. The NPS has teamed up with Clean Cities to support projects that increase the use of these fuels and technologies in parks.

Across the country, parks are operating buses that run on compressed natural gas, biodiesel, or propane;conventional ranger vehicles are being replaced with fuel-efficient hybrid electric vehicles; and plug-in electric vehicles are being deployed in parks in Alaska, Tennessee, California, Maine and other locations.

Take advantage of the benefits of these fuels and technologies the next time you rent or purchase a vehicle—or maybe even in your existing vehicle. There are now more than 11,000 publicly accessible alternative fueling stations and electric charging stations in the U.S.


What Are Other Parks Doing to Go Green?

Find out more about what other parks are doing to go green using the links below.

Lighthouse along rocky coastline

Climate Change and All National Parks

Learn more about how climate change affects all national parks and the treasures they protect.

Solar panels in front of a hill with vegetation


Learn about how the NPS strives to be a model for sustainable resource management.

Last updated: April 20, 2022

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Bar Harbor, ME 04609


207 288-3338

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