Blog : Activism on the Seacoast

Ultra Geothermal Seeks Donations to Benefit Travis Aho Leukemia Fund

By Craig | Jul 22, 2014 | in

To support her brother Travis' battle with Leukemia, Ultra Geothermal owner, Melissa Aho, and the Green Alliance are bringing together local businesses to put on a yard sale for his benefit. The yard sale will take place on July 26 at 358 Route 4 in Barrington, N.H. (just off the the Lee traffic circle) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.Any yard sale appropriate donations - clothing, sports equipment, DVDs, books, etc. - or baked goods are greatly appreciated and can be dropped off at Ultra Geothermal. The event is being co-sponsored by Green Alliance Business Partner, Get It Going.

Travis was diagnosed with Leukemia in December 2013 and has since struggled with the physical and financial burden of the disease. In order to help alleviate some of his financial stress, Melissa organized a large-scale community yard sale. Melissa came up with the idea to use her business and its connection with the Green Alliance to help promote and support the yard sale.

A dedicated advocate for the environment, Travis Aho graduated as an Environmental Studies major and currently works in Florida as a law enforcement officer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to protect the Ocala National Forest.

Ultra Geothermal was one of the first twenty Business Partners to join the Green Alliance, an organization that connects environmentally conscious consumers with local sustainable businesses. The Green Alliance was inspired by Travis’s story and his sister’s efforts to support his battle, and was excited to help out in any way they could.

“I was very excited when Melissa reached out to the Green Alliance for our support," said Green Alliance founder and Director, Sarah Brown. "Our job is to promote our Business Partners to the community, which makes our involvement in the yard sale the perfect way to maximize donations and attendance. I’m glad we can use our resources and connections to support such a good cause.”

In addition to promoting the fundraising event the Green Alliance has brought together its 114 additional business partners to donate items to the yard sale in hopes to strengthen the outcome of the event. Local environmentally-friendly business partners including the Portsmouth Brewery, Prelude and Get it Going are looking forward to this recycling opportunity that benefits a great cause. With the support of all these local businesses the Green Alliance hopes this yard sale will be full of donations to benefit Travis’s cause. Some proceeds will also support the Green Alliance Non-Profit Fund in efforts to keep our communities green.

Clean Energy & American Leadership: A Discussion with NextGen Climate's Tom Steyer

By Katelyn | Nov 3, 2015 | in

NextGen Climate's President Tom Steyer will lead a discussion hosted by NextGen Climate New Hampshire and the University of New Hampshire on the need for American leadership on climate change and clean energy. Climate change is already having an impact on the Granite State's vast and beautiful wildlife, as well as the tourism industry. Meanwhile, the clean energy industry is growing at a fast rate, creating thousands of jobs here in New Hampshire.

For the first time in over 20 years of United Nations negotiations, the 2015 Paris Climate Conference will aim to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate. France will play a leading international role in hosting the conference, and it will be one of the largest international conferences ever held in the country. The conference is expected to attract close to 50,000 participants including 25,000 official delegates from government, intergovernmental organizations, United Nations agencies and non governmental organizations. 

The momentum around climate action is building in anticipation of the upcoming climate negotiations, but the work doesn’t end in Paris. By urging presidential candidates to set a goal of getting America to more than 50% clean energy by 2030, New Hampshire can influence our next president’s plan for how to address climate change—and our economy will reap the benefits of a new, thriving industry.

Critical Vote to Support the Brave Boat Headwaters Preserve

By Katelyn | Oct 29, 2015 | in

On Tuesday, November 3, Kittery residents will have the opportunity to vote on whether or not town land will be protected through the creation of the Brave Boat Headwaters Preserve. A bond question will come before voters to determine if the land will be conserved to provide the community with opportunities for outdoor recreation and nature-based education while safeguarding clean water and vital habitats for wildlife.

In February 2015, the Kittery Land Trust closed a deal on 43 acres of donated woodland and fields off of Bartlett Road in Kittery. This addition of protected land in the town added to the efforts to protect Brave Boat Headwaters, a 150 acre plot of valuable land.

The 150 acre Brave Boat Headwaters Preserve will be an open space for residents and visitors to the area, as it will provide a public place for outdoor recreation. Additionally, the land will allow for nature based education opportunities for area children, as well as adults, and the preserve will protect the scenic views between Brave Boat Harbor and Bartlett Road.

Oil and Water: Legends of Grassroots Action

By Katelyn | Oct 27, 2015 | in

In the 1970s, Aristotle Onassis of Olympic Oil tried to build a refinery in Durham with a pipeline through Rye to the Isle of Shoals, this would have been the world’s largest oil refinery. A small group lead by Nancy Sandburg, Sharon Meeker, Dudley Dudley, Phyllis Bennett and many others took up the cause to refuse the development. After months of controversy, residents rejected to change Durham zoning laws to allow the 400,000 barrels-per-day oil refinery and tank farm covering 3000 acres of the town.

On November 17 at 6:30 p.m., three of the early activists at the forefront of the fight will share their efforts, strategies and tactics. Nancy Sandberg and Sharon Meeker of Save our Shores, and Dudley Dudley NH Legislative Representative from 1972-1976 will explain how New Hampshire fought the refinery and Virginia Prescott of New Hampshire Public Radio’s “Word of Mouth” will moderate the event. This interactive event will explore how those original strategies are being implemented today in other struggles and community efforts.

The event is co-hosted by the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspire, connect, and support community-based environmental projects throughout New England. NEGEF helps local, often informal, grassroots groups and those too new to qualify for support from the private and community foundations and makes grants directly to these groups.

My Breast Cancer Support Raffle - Win a Scooter from EZ Bikes and Scooters!

By Anne | Oct 21, 2015 | in
Love local scooter and electric bike source, EZ Bike and Scooters of Exeter? You could win one of their beautiful Mio 50 scooters by entering into the My Breast Cancer Support raffle. The drawing for the lucky winner of this $2,500 machine will be on October 31st. That means there’s still time to purchase tickets for a chance to win while donating to an awesome local cause that aids victims of cancer and their families in the greater seacoast area.
My Breast Cancer Support is a local non-profit organization dedicated to aiding the victims and families of breast cancer. Two thousand individuals in New Hampshire and Maine are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. My Breast Cancer Support focuses on mitigating the financial stress that the disease can inflict on families. Scientific research shows that high stress levels can actually interfere with the body’s immune system and have a negative impact on the course of the disease. My Breast Cancer Support’s website sums up this mission as; “we’re here to lend a hand, to ease a patient’s discomfort, and to help take the day-to-day stress out of their lives so they can focus their energy on getting WELL.”

SEAREI Energy Panel this Thursday: Unleashing Solar Power

By Anne | Oct 20, 2015 | in
Read the guest blog below from SEAREI's Doug Bogen. The Seacoast Area Renewable Energy Initiative is a non-profit organization with a mission to “build sustainable communities in the Greater Piscataqua Region through education and projects that promote efficient, renewable energy.”
SEAREI Energy Panel this Thursday: Unleashing Solar Power
Portsmouth – “Unleashing Solar Power in New Hampshire” will be the topic of SEAREI’s next "Energy Share" panel discussion and potluck dinner on Thursday, October 22nd at 6:30 PM at the Portsmouth Women's City Club, 375 Middle St. The public discussion was organized in response to growing concerns that solar power could be constrained from future development in the Granite State due to existing policies and limits imposed on utility support for solar, including a “cap” on net metering connections.

Solar Energy Advocates Call for Net Metering Cap Raise

By Anne | Oct 7, 2015 | in
By Michael McCord
Two local alternative energy business owners are part of a growing chorus pushing the New Hampshire legislature to change the state’s net metering law.  To not expand the legal cap, advocates says, would put a serious economic damper on renewable energy growth in the state.
“The shame in all of this is that the message clearly didn’t get across to the legislature during the last session,” said Andrew Kellar, the founder of, the Stratham-based developer of solar energy projects. Kellar acknowledged that the political fight over the state budget was the top priority but said the lack of action could have consequences. “The inaction could lead to projects potentially evaporating,” he said.
Jack Bingham, the owner of Seacoast Energy in Barrington, has met with local representatives from both political parties to educate and emphasize the importance of increasing the net metering cap.  
“There are a whole host of issues here but the most important one is that neighboring states like Massachusetts, Vermont and New York have a very different posture,” Bingham said. “They don’t have caps or if they do, and they are much hig
her. Vermont pays a feed-in tariff of five to six cents above retail to encourage growth. The cap in New Hampshire stifles alternative energy growth.”
The concept of net metering has caught on nationally and works like this at the basic level: it allows those who generate their own power to sell excessive use to utilities. This billing arrangement allows renewable energy generation systems to spin the electric meter backward when the system is producing more electricity than is being used onsite, thereby exporting electricity to the grid for others to use. The customer receives a credit or payment for the net exported electricity.

Coca-Cola teams up with the Ocean Conservatory to Combat Marine Plastic

By Anne | Oct 6, 2015 | in
The Ocean Conservancy, a non-profit dedicated to protecting and preserving the ocean, is seeking to tackle the problem of marine plastic pollution once and for all with the help of Coca-Cola.
The problem itself is vast, with 8 million metric tons of plastic having “leaked” into the ocean to date. The non-profit recently released a report serving as a “call to arms” for industry officials, politicians and citizens collaborate in preventing any more plastic from meeting ocean water. The report identified five countries as the main culprits contributing to the volume of marine plastic, including; China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Favorite Foods Continues to Lead ‘Green’ by Example

By Anne | Oct 6, 2015 | in
By Rich Collins
SOMERSWORTH -  For the past 27 years, Favorite Foods, a New Hampshire based food distribution company, made it its mission to provide superior quality food distribution and service to their clients, typically independent restaurants, in New Hampshire, Maine, and central and northern Massachusetts. Family owned and operated by son Kelly, father Chris Barstow, and mother Petra Barstow both have always held a strong belief that Favorite Foods could run both profitably and efficiently, with a company-wide focus to improve its overall environmental footprint.
Favorite Foods has had many green successes to date, including a massive 572 Panel, 140 kW Solar installation, and the Barstow family is focused on continuously lessening their impact on the environment, increasing energy efficiencies and continuing their mission to maintain a sustainable business. Locally, Favorite Foods has had a longtime relationship with the Green Alliance, a union of local, sustainable businesses and members working to unite the green community.
The company’s latest ‘green’ effort was prompted not only by its continuous drive to improve efficiencies, but also by the realities of the significant energy use involved in large-scale refrigeration. 

Climate Reality Project "Know Tomorrow" Event at UNH

By Anne | Sep 23, 2015 | in
The Climate Reality Project is a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to shifting awareness of climate change into urgent action in order to accelerate the global shift to clean energy and a healthier planet. The organization’s ultimate goal is to attain net zero carbon emissions worldwide through culturally shifting from fossil fuel use to chiefly clean renewables. A brainchild of Nobel Laureate, former U.S. VP, and environmental advocate behind the Academy Award winning film “An Inconvenient Truth”, Al Gore, this organization seeks to create both awareness and a call to action.

NextGen Climate Presents "Local Everything" at Throwback Brewery

By Anne | Sep 22, 2015 | in
A core philosophical pillar behind the Green Alliance is that buying locally is ultimately more sustainable for the economy, environment and community. Spending hard earned wages and salaries locally, patronizing small businesses and most influentially, small farms, makes a huge impact on reducing environmental footprint. According to GRACE Communications Foundation, “conventional food is estimated to travel typically between 1,500 and 3,000 miles to reach the consumer”. Buying food locally, dramatically reduces fossil fuel use in transport – a chief perpetrator of climate change. 
In light of the direct impact of daily consumer food choices on climate change, our friends at NextGen Climate cordially invite the greater community to attend their “Local Everything” event at Throwback Brewery on October 11th from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm.  This event will explore the relationship between climate change, local food production, and sustainability, and will culminate in an exciting and engaging panel discussion on the topic at hand. The panel will be comprised of local experts on farming, business, policy, and education focusing on how climate change and our agriculture system are inherently connected, and what we, as consumers and voters, can do to alleviate the impacts agriculture has on climate and vice versa. This panel will include special guest Lorraine S. Merrill, Commissioner of the NH Dept. of Agriculture.
In addition to being a hub for the green community and collaborative sustainability discussion, there will also be beer specials sponsored by NextGen, and provided by Throwback Brewery (local) ! Time has also been allotted both before and after the discussion for tabling and networking. It will be an outdoor event, rain or shine, with a large tent in case of the former.

Art of Reuse to Benefit the Post-Landfill Action Network

By Katelyn | Sep 22, 2015 | in

Join the Post-Landfill Action Network for an evening benefit of art, hors d'oeuvres, and community as they celebrate reuse. The Art of Reuse will feature local and nationally recognized artists who incorporate found objects, recycled materials, or messages about consumption and waste into their work.

The Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN) is a New Hampshire-based nonprofit working with student leaders across the country to build a world where landfills and incinerators are obsolete. The organization was founded by the creators of the UNH Trash 2 Treasure program, which helps students combat waste on their college campuses.

In 2011, University of New Hampshire students created Trash 2 Treasure after noticing mounds of perfectly useable items from spring move out, only to see them reappear when students moved back in that fall.

To end the cycle of waste, they collected items discarded by students in the spring, cleaned and organized those items over the summer, and sold them to students moving back to campus in the fall.

Cleaner Beaches Thanks to Blue Ocean Society

By Katelyn | Sep 21, 2015 | in

On Saturday, September 19, volunteers from across the seacoast hit the beach with Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation for the New Hampshire Coastal Cleanup.

Blue Ocean Society is a non-profit organization, based in Portsmouth, working to protect marine animals in the Gulf of Maine through research, conservation, and education to both adults and students. Blue Ocean Society organizes the New Hampshire Coastal Cleanup in conjunction with the International Coastal Cleanup now in its 30th year.

This year’s cleanup was conducted at sites along the New Hampshire coastline, where volunteers collected trash which as recorded and the data used to implement city and state projects to reduce waste on New Hampshire beaches. 

As part of the NH Coastal Cleanup, Blue Ocean Society also held a school cleanup on Septmeber 18 for students to participate in the 30th Annual International Day of Cleanup. Students from Portsmouth, Nottingham, and Milton gathered on Rye and Hampston beaches to help beautify the New Hampshire coast. Fifth and sixth graders from Nottingham picked up 35 pounds of debris, including 12,130 cigarette butts from Hampton Beach. On the second day, employees from Waste Management and volunteers cleaned North Hampton State Park and removed 25 pounds of debris. 

Last year the event was successful with more than 1,120 volunteers cleaning 26 miles of New Hampshire’s coastlines and waterways. Volunteers collected 2,207 pounds of trash and the most common item collected was cigarette butts, of which more than 25,000 were collected.

Lace Up Your Sneakers to Support the Great Bay Stewards

By Katelyn | Sep 21, 2015 | in

Get outdoors and enjoy all that fall in New England has to offer at the Great Bay 5K! The Great Bay 5K is a popular race in the seacoast area and boasts a fast pace, mostly downhill course. This race serves as an annual fundraiser for the Great Bay Stewards to support their research and education programs.

Registration is only $25 until October 21, and not only includes one race, but a race within the race, costume contest, and post-race treats and massages. Click here to register today and get a free shirt if you register before September 24!

This year, the Green Alliance is sponsoring a prize for a lucky runner of the Great Bay 5K. While the fastest runners are usually the ones to take home the trophy, we want to thank everyone for running and raising money to support the Great Bay Stewards; therefore, the GA environmental gift basket will go to a randomly drawn runner in the bottom tier of overall finishers.

Harvest Moon Gala to Benefit Rett's Roost

By Katelyn | Sep 15, 2015 | in

Join the Green Alliance at the Harvest Moon Gala to benefit our newest Business partner Rett's Roost, a non-profit sanctuary for families with children battling cancer.

Attendees will enjoy a four-course meal rife with local fare, including beer from Smuttynose and Great Rhythm Brewing Cos., wine from Andrew Bevan Wines and meat from Kittery-based Maine Meat (MEat). Additionally, Rett’s Roost will be auctioning off a slew of items—a list that includes everything from locally made goods and services to an all-inclusive African Safari—to help raise money for future retreats and programming.

Durham Celebrates National Drive Electric Week with New Charging Station

By Anne | Sep 15, 2015 | in
The town of Durham Energy Committee has been actively working to reduce energy use across the town, directly in municipal operations and indirectly through facilitating sustainable and efficient personal decisions for citizens. As a function of these efforts, and with the financial support of the NH Department of Environmental Services, the University of New Hampshire and the Durham Town Council, the Energy Committee is please to announce the installation of two dedicated Level 2 EV charging parking spots in the Pettee Brook Municipal Lot, Pettee Brook Lane, Durham, NH 03824. 
The installation and opening of the charging station comes just in time for National Drive Electric week. In 2011, National Plug-In started to celebrate, encourage and raise awareness for electric vehicle use. Since this first one-day celebration, the movement has expanded to an entire week-long campaign taking place in over 100 cities nationwide; National Drive Electric Week. The charging station will be available for public use after the ribbon cutting ceremony this Saturday at 1 p.m.. Although there is already an electric car charging station in Durham at the public library, it is only available to library patrons. Gas powered vehicles are one of the largest sources of emissions and fossil fuel consumption that consumers have direct control over. The Energy Committee hopes that in making charging stations more available, they can encourage the widespread use of more efficient vehicles.

Back to School Coastal Cleanup for Students

By Katelyn | Sep 9, 2015 | in

It may be approaching September, but some New Hampshire students are still heading for the beach. Students from all over the state will gather at Hampton Beach, Rye Harbor State Park, Wallis Sands State Park, and North Beach in Hampton on September 18th to participate in the New Hampshire Coastal Cleanup.

Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation coordinated the cleanup and is still seeking schools to participate. Students will pick up trash on the beach and record their findings on data cards for further study by Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation and the Ocean Conservancy as part of their efforts to learn more about marine pollution, both locally and internationally.

This is no ordinary day at the beach. Before heading out to the cleanup, students will learn about the environmental problems related to marine debris, including the dangers to marine mammals, fish, and birds from entanglement or ingestion. Through their participation in the cleanup, students will have a hands-on experience with scientific data collection. Their tally sheets will contribute important data to ongoing research concerning the worldwide sources of marine debris. Ultimately, the trash that these students collect will help us to learn how we can prevent more from showing up in its place.

Join the Blue Ocean Society at the 30th Annual NH Coastal Cleanup

By Katelyn | Sep 9, 2015 | in

The Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation will participate in the 30th annual International Coastal Cleanup, on Saturday, September 19, 2015. The cleanup will be conducted at approximately 25 sites along the New Hampshire coast and Great Bay, and volunteers are needed to assist from roughly 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Blue Ocean Society, based in Portsmouth, has been coordinating the New Hampshire Coastal Cleanup since 2005 and strives to spread awareness about the marine environment and the importance of proper trash disposal. During the cleanup, each piece of trash collected is recorded, and the data is used to implement city and state projects to lessen waste on our beaches.

Last year’s cleanup in New Hampshire was a great success, with more than 1,120 volunteers coming together to clean 26 miles of New Hampshire’s coastlines and waterways. Volunteers collected 37,085 pieces of debris, which amounted to 2,207 pounds of trash. The number one item collected was cigarette butts, of which more than 25,000 were collected. Blue Ocean Society hopes that this year’s cleanup will involve more volunteers to create the most successful New Hampshire cleanup yet.

Green Jobs: Ready to work with the Green Alliance on Media issues that Matter?

By Rich | Sep 8, 2015 | in


Work with the Seacoast's Sustainability Superstars! If you are into media, organized, slef directed and able to juggle many balls on deadlines - we want you! Must be able to maintain an editorial calendar flawlessly to ensure all deadlines are met continously, be able to write, edit and pitch stories, manage freelance writers and keep media contacts in check. 



Job Description

Position Title – Green Alliance Director of Media/Media Manager, $12 /hr, Part Time (32 hrs week, M-TH only!) 


The purpose of the Director of Media is to edit freelance and staff stories, and write journalistic stories, for our Business Partners (BPs) while also helping grow the Green Alliance brand through media contacts. As Director of Media, you will be responsible for helping generating compelling, accurate, and engaging copy (typically in the range of 300-1200 words) for a variety of outlets, including online blogs, newspapers, magazines, and social media. Additionally, the Director of Media acts as direct support to the Director and Assistant Director to manage the daily operational and administrative tasks of the business. The right candidate would be able to multitask and is extremely well organized. Also, the Director of Media manages story assignments, publications and contacts with local/regional publishers and editors.

We do not write press releases. We produce publish-ready stories that mimic in both quality and approach the style and focus of the publications themselves – newspapers, magazines, online journals, blogs, and the like. As Director of Media, you will be working closely with the Green Alliance’s Director, Assistant Director, Senior Editor, Marketing Assistant and Community and Member Manager, interns, freelance writers, and over 100 business owners, each of whom possesses their own unique personality, demands, and expectations.

Rett's Roost To Be Sanctuary for Cancer Families

By Katelyn | Sep 2, 2015 | in

The goal of Rett’s Roost is, at its core, a simple one: to be a sanctuary—a source of rest, respite and repose—for families with children fighting cancer.

After a wildly successful inaugural retreat, held two weeks ago in Western Massachusetts, the young organization is setting its sights on a trio of events closer to their Seacoast roots.

First up: another retreat at Shilo Farm and Eco B&B in Eliot, Maine, slated for the weekend of September 11. The second “Roost” will include many of the hallmarks of the first: home-cooked meals, creative activities for kids, educational workshops, games and—perhaps most important of all—a chance for families to share and connect with one another in a relaxing, peaceful setting.

Shilo Farm will once again be at the fore on September 27, when Rett’s Roost will host their Harvest Moon Gala dinner, the organization’s first official fundraiser.

With the purchase of a $75 ticket ($60 for Green Alliance members), attendees will enjoy a four-course meal rife with local fare, including beer from Smuttynose and Great Rhythm Brewing Cos., wine from Andrew Bevan Wines and meat from Kittery-based Maine Meat (MEat).

Additionally, Rett’s Roost will be auctioning off a slew of items—a list that includes everything from locally made goods and services to an all-inclusive African Safari—to help raise money for future retreats and programming.

“While we hope Rett’s Roost will reach families all over the country, we want it to be an organization that values its local roots,” says Deana Cavan, the organization’s Executive Director. “That’s why the Gala is such a big deal for us. We love our local community, and want it to be an integral part of who we are and what we do.”