Blog : Activism on the Seacoast

Save the Date: Maine Walk for Peace

By Katelyn | Sep 1, 2015 | in

Peace groups from across New England including Veterans for Peace, Peace Action Maine, and Seacoast Peace Response are organizing a peace walk from Ellsworth, ME to Portsmouth. This march will span most of the Maine coastline beginning in Ellsworth on October 9, and ending in Portsmouth on October 24.

The focus of this two week journey is on militarization of the seas, the impact of the United States military on sea life and climate, and the need to transition from the military to alternative energy production like wind turbines. The organizations hope to bring awareness to the impact the government and military have on our oceans and educate citizens about the overall costs of war.

All are welcome to join for part or the entire walk. Local sponsors are also needed to provide meeting space and overnight accommodations in Portsmouth on the night of October 23.

Great Bay Stewards Hosts Community Suppers at Robert's Maine Grill.

By Rich | Aug 27, 2015 | in

The Great Bay Stewards, a non-profit, hard-working environmental and conservation organization benefiting the Great Bay Estuary, will be hosting two separate community suppers at Robert's Maine Grill, Wednesday, October 7 and Wednesday October 14th. A community supper is a simple way for nonprofits to raise funds quietly, a portion of the proceeds of meals will go directly to help fund the good work the Great Bay Stewards does for the Estuary around us. No conferences, no committments, no speakers, just eat, realx and Robert's Provides GBS with a monetary portion of sales for that evening. So if you're headed out to eat that week - mark the dates!

Robert's Maine Grill
October 7th and October 14th
326 Route 1
Kittery, Maine (in the heart of the Kittery Outlet District, adjacent to Spruce Creek)

The Great Bay Stewards have been working to prevent shoreline erosion, invasive plant growth, and increased nitrogen levels for decades and is still fully committed to protecting Great Bay for plants, animals, and people alike.

Support the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund in the Climate Ride

By Katelyn | Aug 24, 2015 | in

The Climate Ride Northeast is a five day, 390 mile bike ride beginning September 17 in Bar Harbor and ending September 21 in Boston. Climate Ride is a nonprofit organization that organizes events to raise money and awareness for environmental issues across the country.

This summer, the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund has joined the Climate Ride Northeast to raise funds to support the work that grassroots groups are doing. The organization has created a team, the Grassroots Fun(d) Riders, to raise money and will be represented by Bart Westdijk, Program Director at the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund.

The Grassroots Fund supports local efforts to create and maintain healthy, just, safe and environmentally sustainable communities. The organization is able to do this by providing small grants, trainings, and resources to grassroots organizations that are working on issues from local food system development to climate resiliency and land/water conservation to environmental justice projects.

The Grassroots Fund is currently supporting a community investment club in White River Valley, VT where members can invest in projects that matter to them in their own community. Additionally, they are identifying and raising awareness about natural gas leaks in Boston and working with city government and utilities to get them fixed and the organization is working with female inmates at the Rhode Island Adult Correctional Institution to learn agricultural skills through caring for a vegetable garden.

Climate Jam: Concert for Climate Action

By Katelyn | Aug 24, 2015 | in

NextGen Climate is a community organization focused on bringing climate change to the center of discussion in politics. The organization supports candidates and policy makers across the country who take a stand against climate change to prevent climate disasters and create a safe environment for future generations. NextGen was founded in 2013 by Tom Steyer, an investor and philanthropist, and in just a few short years NextGen has made ground breaking progress in advancing climate action in politics.

The New Hampshire chapter invites all to come learn about climate in politics and participate in demanding action on climate change now. The organization will hold a climate action concert on Thursday, August 27 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Henry Law Amphitheater in Dover. This event will feature three local bands, Pardon the Spins, Harsh Armadillo, and Amulus who will provide music for the evening. Speakers Clay Mitchell, an expert in environmental law and energy projects, and Jackie Weatherspoon, a former member of the New Hampshire Legislature, will discuss the importance of climate action.

The Juice Burger food truck from 7th Settlement Brewery will bring local food to the concert and environmental groups from the area will be present to educate concert goers. Don’t forget to stop by the Green Alliance booth at the event!

Click here to learn more about the NextGen Climate Concert.

Public Hearing for Brave Boat Headwaters Preserve

By Katelyn | Aug 19, 2015 | in

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.

A public hearing will be held on Monday, August 24 at 7 p.m. at the Kittery Town Hall to decide whether a bond for Brave Boat Headwaters Preserve will appear on the November ballot. The town is being asked to contribute $350,000 toward a $2 million project through a $275,000 bond and $75,000 appropriation from the Open Space Fund.

The 150 acre Brave Boat Headwaters Preserve will be a valuable 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.

The preservation of Brave Boat Headwaters is crucial for the protection of rare and endangered wildlife habitats in the area and will ensure the quality of the water flowing into Brave Boat Harbor.

The Kittery Land Trust asks for the help of its members and supporters to make sure Brave Boat Headwaters is protected. Attend the public hearing on August 24 or write to the Town Councilors in support of Brave Boat Headwaters to keep this area protected for future generations to enjoy.

Click here for more information on Brave Boat Headwaters and the Kittery Land Trust.

Making a Beautiful Difference in New Hampshire

By Katelyn | Aug 18, 2015 | in

By Michael McCord

Founded in 1983, New Hampshire the Beautiful is a private, non-profit charitable trust that has left a vital imprint on every town and city in the state.

NHtB has made a mark by developing comprehensive programs that address litter issues, recycling challenges, environmental awareness and education. To be more precise, the colorful recycling bins and roadside blue liter bags seen everywhere in the state have direct roots to NHtB. The educational efforts that have engaged school children and the help to cities and towns to streamline and maximize their recycling capabilities are also due to the efforts of NHtB.

And, while New Hampshire The Beautiful may not be well known to the public at large, municipalities and large parts of business, nonprofit and educational communities in the state are very familiar with and often times reliant upon the organization’s good work. Since its founding, NhtB has given out more than $2 million in grants, explains John Dumais, NHtB chair and President of the New Hampshire Grocer’s Association.

The grants have helped established recycling programs, signage, and recycling program technical assistance. Cities and towns can also apply for funding to assist with the purchase of recycling equipment. This includes monies to purchase curbside collection bins, balers, crushers, roll-off containers and other equipment that will help a community achieve higher diversion rates.

21 Puppies Want to Go Home!

By Rich | Aug 10, 2015 | in

One of our favorite business partners, Mary’s Dogs of Northwood NH, specializes in placing mixed breed dogs (aka mutts, the most delightful breed of dog in my opinion) into their new forever homes. Mary currently has 21 dogs up for adoption including – puppies. Not much makes the heart feel more warm and generous than helping find a new home for a puppy. Try to resist. Babe. Barbie. Raven. Brody....21 Puppies want to go home!

If you are looking for a new family companion, check out Mary’s dogs GA profile, website, or facebook and peruse the stupendous selection of pups ready and available to adopt today! Mary’s dogs are healthy, happy, vaccinated, and ready to go. Mary puts it so well:

“Our dogs are good old fashioned, follow-you-to-the-moon-and-back, loveable mutts. They’re “a mix of a mix and mix”. You’ll be adopting a one of a kind, mixed breed wonder. We’ve got them in all shapes and sizes. If you want to know the truth, we’ve loved every dog we’ve rescued. We’re sure you’ll love them too. A rescue dog is a great dog, plain and simple. If you love them, they’ll love you right back. And remember, when you rescue a dog, you save two lives: the one you bring home and the one who takes their place in our rescue."

Redhook Brewery hosts Seacoast Salutes, Military Appreciation Day and Fundraiser

By Anne | Jul 23, 2015 | in
 
Redhook Brewery in conjunction with Service Credit Union will be hosting Seacoast Salutes, a military appreciation day and fundraising event, on Sunday July 26th, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  This day-long festival will be held on the Redhook Brewery grounds to celebrate and honor the dedication and sacrifice of military personnel and their families. 
 
The day will start will an opening ceremony hosted by local radio personality, Greg Kretschmar, from WHEB’s “Greg and the Morning Buzz”. Four local musical acts; Evan Goodrow, Black Agnes, Badwolf and Gretchen and the Pickpockets, will be performing throughout the day in addition to intermittent skateboard and BMX exhibitions courtesy of Rye Airfield. This headlining entertainment will be punctuated with sports activities, children’s games, and raffles. Barbecue will be available from Foster’s Clambake and Catering.
 
The event is predicted to be the largest military appreciation day of its kind in New England with 3,000 anticipated guests.  Proceeds raised will benefit the New Hampshire Military Assistance Foundation as well as the New Hampshire Air National Guard’s Chaplains Emergency Relief Fund. Admission is free for active duty military and their immediate families. Tickets are $15 for the general public. Veterans will enjoy a reduced admission price of $10. Tickets can be purchased either the day of the event or online at www.SeacoastSalutes.com.
 

The Art of Reuse

By John | Jul 20, 2015 | in

The Post Land-fill 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 obselete. It was founded by the creators of the UNH Trash 2 Treasure program, which helps students across the country combat waste on their college campuses.

On October 11, PLAN will host The Art of Reuse, an evening of art, hors d'oeuvres and community to celebrate the burgeoning reuse movement. The evening will feature both local and nationally recognized artists who incorporate found objects, materials, or messages about consumption and waste in their work. The event will include an open bar sponsored by the Smuttynose Brewing Company.

Up-cycle Through TerraCycle

By John | Jul 13, 2015 | in

Josh Denton is a guest blogger who is very active in environmental causes in Portsmouth, as well as a member of the Green Alliance.

By Josh Denton

As individuals, businesses, and communities, we do not have to wait for the City Council to act to make Portsmouth more sustainable. In addition to reusing shopping bags, recycling, or composting, consider up-cycling unwanted products to make them anew again.

Between the Port City's single-stream recycling and Mr. Fox's composting, my monthly trash bag mostly consists of the single-use, thin-filmed, plastic packaging byproducts that often mistakenly contaminate our recycling stream. To landfill less of this solid waste, I recently started up-cycling my large quantities of discarded energy bar wrappers through TerraCycle.

TerraCycle collects post-consumer waste, ranging from diaper packaging, to office supplies, to cigarette butts, and repurposes it into innovative products via different collection programs called Brigades. You simply sign up for a Brigade at http://www.terracycle.com/en-US, mail your unwanted items using free downloadable shipping labels, and then earn points towards repurposed products or charitable gifts.

Calling For Climate Change

By Sam Lane | Jul 7, 2015 | in

On July 30 at 5:30 p.m., the city of Portsmouth, its community members, local businesses and the Green Alliance are calling for a day of action against climate change. The event will take place right in the heart of the city, in Market Square at the North Church. Participants gathered will draw attention to the immediate need for action against climate change across the globe. By taking the necessary steps, the community can make a concentrated effort toward successfully reaching a solution to the issue through education.

Those participating can also call their Senator, issue a press statement, submit an LTE, use #MaketheCall on social media or be vocal at local events to help spread awareness.

The day of action will further support the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), which is intended to be the greatest action our country has taken toward extinguishing climate change. The CPP will help decrease the effects of climate change, protect public health and encourage the development of clean energy. Although this plan will soon be put into action, further support is needed to maximize its success and to help keep it alive in public forums.

2015 Recycler of the Year Loudon Veteran Goes Above and Beyond for Recycling Success

By John | Jul 6, 2015 | in

By John Brescia

MANCHESTER- Every year, the Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA) presents one recipient the Recycler of the Year award, in honor of Sami Izzo, a late member who was both known and loved by the organization for her contributions to recycling and waste management. The NRRA is an organization working throughout New England to provide information and assistance in waste reduction and recycling. It also serves to bring organizations and responsible businesses together to achieve each other's green goals.

According to the NRRA, “this award is given to an individual who best combines the qualities of commitment, leadership, and enthusiasm in developing and sustaining an environmentally and financially sound solid waste management program.” On Monday, June 8th, Steve Bennett, manager of the Loudon, N.H transfer station, was honored with the award at the NRRA’s 34th Annual Northeast Recycling Conference and Expo at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester.

Redhook Brewery x Metal Wave eCycle 'fest 2015

By Anne | Jun 30, 2015 | in

The fast pace of technological change coupled with the short lifespan of modern consumer goods leaves many of us with obsolete electronics. The components of these products often contain hazardous contaminants such as lead, cadmium, mercury and brominated flame retardants which pose a great deal of risk to human health and the environment when this material is sent to landfills. It’s paramount that as citizens of the world, we consume, but especially dispose of, our consumer goods responsibly.

Since 2010, local e-cyler, MetalWave, has been serving businesses in New England and beyond with transparent, domestic, and cost-effective end-of-life recycling services for a variety of e-waste.

Green Alliance and Kittery Community Market to Host Collaborative Families Celebration

By John | Jun 30, 2015 | in

KITTERY, Maine - This year, the Kittery Community Market has been revamped and is better than ever with the addition of new venders and sponsors. The Kittery Community Market is a weekly outdoor farmers market for local farmers, food producers, fishermen, artisans, and citizens and will be held every Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm until October 4th.

One new sponsor is the Green Alliance, a union of local and regional businesses that have sustainable initiatives at the core of their business model, and consumer members looking to shop with eco-friendly businesses. While the Green Alliance will be present at several markets this summer, the highlight is the August 23 Green Families Club Celebration and Farmers Market.

The Green Alliance and Kittery Community Market will host a collaborative day of fun for families featuring the traditional farmers market vendors as well as new family friendly vendors. The celebration will include activities and a scavenger hunt, electric scooters and bikes from EZ Bikes, animals visiting from the York Center for Wildlife, and cake to celebrate the 3rd birthday of the Green Families Club.

As a sponsor, the Green Alliance, along with its Business Partners, Aucella, Kennebunk Savings Bank, and WXGR 103.5, will have booths in the market on the last Sunday of every month, in addition to the Green Families Club Celebration on August 23.

Local Golf Course Engages in Groundbreaking Stormwater Management Lessening Environmental Impact To Great Bay

By Rich | Jun 25, 2015 | in

NORTH HAMPTON - A joint conservation effort between Sagamore-Hampton Golf, the NH Department of Environmental Services, and UNH has put one NH golf company at the forefront of conservation of Great Bay.

Though it appears at times as no more than a mere trickle of water, Cornelius Brook is a small stream that flows quietly through the Sagamore-Hampton Golf course. Its significance lies in the fact that its ultimate destination is New Hampshire’s Great Bay, which has been succumbing to pollution pressures in recent times. The Great Bay is one of the most important estuaries in the country, and named as one of 28 US EPA, Estuaries of National Significance.

Cornelius Brook is perhaps no more important than any of the numerous tributaries that feed into the Bay, but thanks to a new joint project that is underway, the water that flows into the Brook will be that much cleaner and free of dangerous fertilizers as it enters the larger Winnicut River on its way toward Great Bay and ultimately the Atlantic ocean.

According to the NH DES website, seven rivers in total carry pollution from 42 New Hampshire and 10 Maine communities into the Great Bay watershed, which comprises of 1,023 square miles. A 2013 State of Estuaries report shows the Bay is in trouble, resulting in 12 of 16 environmental indicators with negative or cautionary trends.

Quite simply, the healthier the small feeder streams are, the healthier the Bay itself will be, and Sagamore-Hampton Golf is leading the way in pollution control both setting an example of business stewardship and hopefully a trend in how all land owners surrounding the Bay can assist in this fragile ecosystem’s recovery.

Kittery Community Market and the Green Alliance Support Buying Local

By John | Jun 17, 2015 | in

Attending a farmers market is the perfect way to give back to a community; buying local to support local. And as this movement grows, the popularity and versatility of farmers markets grows with it. But while the farmers market may appear to be a relatively new trend, it has actually existed in various shapes and forms throughout history. From medieval Europe to feudal Japan to colonial America and into the modern day, local citizens from surrounding towns have gathered in an economic center for a market day, to buy and sell food and other goods to and from one another.

The Kittery Community Market is one such gathering, a weekly outdoor farmers market for local farmers, food producers, fishermen, artisans, and citizens in collaboration with the Kittery Maine Improvement Foundation, a nonprofit incorporated in the State of Maine. The market will be held every Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm until October 4th. Their goal is to provide local artisan’s work, agricultural products, and healthy, fresh, locally-prepared foods to residents of Kittery and surrounding areas and tourists to southern Maine and Portsmouth, and to encourage commerce, entertainment and trade.

The Portsmouth-based Green Alliance, a union of local and regional businesses that have sustainable initiatives at the core of their business model, and consumer members looking to make smarter, eco-friendly purchasing options, will be a co-sponsor of the market.

Thirty-fourth Annual NRRA Conference: Working Together to Keep New Hampshire Clean

By John | Jun 17, 2015 | in

By John Brescia

MANCHESTER - New Hampshire residents are proud of the place they come from and the natural beauty it holds, but steps must constantly be taken to preserve that reputation. Thankfully, organizations throughout New Hampshire are working to make sure the Granite State remains a clean, scenic place for both residents and visitors.

On Monday, June 8, environmental groups from around New Hampshire and New England held the thirty-fourth Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA) Conference in Manchester to share information, honor members, and advance environmental causes. The NRRA is an organization active throughout New England dedicated to providing information and assistance in waste reduction and recycling. It also serves to bring together other organizations and responsible businesses who can work together to achieve each other's green goals.

At the conference, held at the Radisson Hotel, the NRRA and other participating businesses and organizations provided guests with information about their activities throughout the region and upcoming events. Representatives from each group set up displays in the exhibit hall to distribute materials and discuss environmental initiatives they either currently have in place or plan to start in the future.

Preventing Cross-Contamination on the Seacoast

By John | Jun 15, 2015 | in

Josh Denton is a guest blogger who is very active in environmental causes in Portsmouth, as well as a member of the Green Alliance.

By Josh Denton

The education campaign surrounding the plastic bag ordinance successfully raised awareness of the collective harms from such single-use convenience items. Everyone shops, so attempting behavioral change led to a spirited debate, consumers reconsidering their shopping habits, and as a plastic bag alternative, Market Basket offering reused cardboard boxes.

The residents that worked since 2012 on this initiative are understandably disappointed City Councilors did not take positions and vote on their ordinance. The City Council’s letter of support to the State House delegation is welcomed, but going to the State House was always Plan B if Councilor Lown’s motion for a First Reading was voted down due to a desire for more specific enabling legislation. Not bringing that motion forward is a missed leadership opportunity and years may pass before the next legislative session enacts a more specific statute.

Great Bay Stewards signs on for another year with the GA!

By Rich | Jun 11, 2015 | in

The Green Alliance is pleased to provide our friends at Great Bay Stewards another great year of our sustainable media services. Having partnered on numerous articles and projects over the years, we are happy to continue working with them to better promote the health of our local treasure that is the Great Bay.

The Great Bay Stewards has grown to become one of the region's most steadfast and hard-working environmental and conservation organizations on the Seacoast, and just last year hosted the first annual Great Bay estuary Race – a 10 Mile competitive paddling competition for kayakers and canoeists. The stewards have also been involved with the organization of the Great Bay 5K Road Race and the “Art of Great Bay Show,” a local art showing which has been running annually for over a decade.

The organization itself demonstrates strong commitments to research, supporting projects that focus on issues relating to sedimentation, excess nitrogen loads, habitat loss, and many other problems that contribute to the overall health of the Great Bay Estuary.

For more information, check out the Great Bay Stewards page and look forward to some exciting new developments coming up soon at the Great Bay Discovery Center. Located directly on the bay at 89 Depot Road in Greenland, NH, the Discovery Center offers a glimpse into the importance of the Estuary system.

Remember that as a GA member, you are entitled to a 10% discount on a Great Bay Stewards membership! More information here.

Preventing Cross-Contamination on the Seacoast

By John | Jun 1, 2015 | in

Josh Denton is a guest blogger who is very active in environmental causes in Portsmouth, as well as a member of the Green Alliance.

By Josh Denton

With beach season upon us, now is the time for the City Council to enact the single-use, carry-out, plastic bag ordinance to address the actual collective harm done to more than just our scenic coastline by plastic shopping bag litter. The ordinance also addresses the much ballyhooed perceived health harm from reusable bag cross-contamination.

Cross-contamination occurs everywhere from salads to shared toothpaste tubes. A potential health risk occurs when disease causing microorganisms transfer from uncooked meats to other foods that are consumed uncooked. The plastic bag ordinance’s special food safety provision prevents this type of cross-contamination in reusable bags by allowing continued use of plastic meat, fruit, and vegetable bags.

Much of the cross-contamination hype stems from selective reporting, such as the Union Leader’s May 9 article titled ‘Grocery totes a health threat?’ The article cites the 2010 ‘Assessment of the Potential for Cross Contamination of Food Products by Reusable Shopping Bags’ study that found 97 percent of tote bag owners, heading into two California and one Arizona grocery stores, did not regularly wash their totes.