Blog : Activism on the Seacoast

Kids Eat Right Presentation to Raise Awareness of Hunger in Our Community

By Madelaine | Mar 19, 2014 | in

BY MADELAINE SWYMER
Green Alliance Writer

EXETER — Supporting its community is imperative to Starry Brook Natural Medicine and its team. Patients are given individual attention and offered alternative, holistic approaches to health care. Its focus on quality and understanding of each patient provides a more personalized approach to medicine.

Starry Brook is green certified with the Green Alliance. It utilizes eco-friendly practices such as using natural and organic products, and promoting sustainability. Its knowledgeable mindful staff uses their skills to help their patients and community beyond offering traditional health care through nutritional consultations, acupuncture, yoga therapy, Reiki sessions, dietary supplements, and massage therapy.

In that vein, on April 5, Registered Dietitian Alicia Rossman of Starry Brook will be leading a community lunch and learn discussion to educate community members on the issue of hunger and obesity. Hunger can strike any family. It affects children, individuals, families, and communities alike. Educating community members about hunger can spark positive changes and create support for local food pantries and struggling families. Rossman will educate participants about what they can personally do to help this cause.

Conservation Law Foundation Hosts UNH Watershed Speaker

By Patrick | Mar 17, 2014 | in

The Conservation Law Foundation will be hosting speaker James Houle of the UNH Stormwater Center tonight (March 17) at the Roundabout Diner at the Portsmouth traffic circle.

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear Mr. Houle discuss the importance of stormwater management in controlling nutrient and other pollutant discharges into the Great Bay.

Managing this pollution is something taken very seriously by the Great Bay Piscataqua Waterkeeper program. They aim to preserve the habitats of numerous types of fish, birds and mammals that call the Great Bay home.

Anyone interested in attending should RSVP to Jeff Barnum, Great Bay-Piscataqua Waterkeeper at JBarnum@cfl.org.

To learn more about the Waterkeeper program, click here.

 

Support for Clean Water Outlined in Recent Great Bay Current Newsletter

By Patrick | Mar 17, 2014 | in

The latest edition of Great Bay Currents has been released highlighting news and updates directly from Great Bay-Piscataqua Waterkeeper, Jeff Burnham.

This issue of the newsletter focuses on the importance of strong public support for clean water in the Bay area. A related activist group, Clean Water Advocates for Great Bay, will be holding a meeting at 7 P.M. at the Roundabout Diner in Portsmouth on March 19. The group hopes to build upon a very productive first meeting that was held back in February. Don’t miss your chance to bring your ideas to the table while playing an active role in the protection of our fragile watershed areas.

The newsletter also commends David O’Hearn in this edition’s “Faces of Great Bay” for his love of the Great Bay and its amazing recreational opportunities. A true “Bayman” at heart, O’Hearn has witnessed the detriment of pollution on the ecosystem and recognizes the need to take action.

The Green Alliance brings businesses together

By Sam | Mar 13, 2014 | in

"Hi Sarah. I just wanted to let you know that the Green Alliance is by far the BEST marketing/advertisement investment we have ever made. We just landed another project thanks to you. We will be working with Chinburg Builders for the first time and are very excited!" - Candace Lord, The Green Cocoon.

These are the kinds of messages we love to receive. It reminds us that the work we are doing can not only bring green-minded consumers to green businesses, but connect green businesses together as well!

Blue Ocean Society: Top Contender in Patagonia Crowdrise Challenge

By Madelaine | Mar 11, 2014 | in

BY MARY DEMPSEY
Green Alliance Staff Writer

PORTSMOUTH — Are you passionate about protecting the environment and marine wildlife? Blue Ocean Society presents the perfect opportunity for you to show just how much you care.

The Blue Ocean Society is a Green Alliance Business Partner that recently got involved in an amazing opportunity to raise money for its organization. Patagonia and Moosejaw are offering a challenge on Crowdrise.com, a Web site through which people can donate money, for charities to compete in raising funds. The organization that raises the most funds by noon on March 13 will receive an additional contribution courtesy of Patagonia. The winner with the most donations on Crowdrise will receive a $5,000 donation. Second and third place charities will also get a monetary reward.

Jen Kennedy, BOS executive director and co-founder, was delighted to be a part of the challenge. “We were so excited when Crowdrise contacted us to let us know we were one of the selected charities it picked to participate in the challenge.”

Crowdrise hand-picked 20 of their favorite charities to be included in the “Patagonia x Moosejaw Charity Challenge Thing.” Crowdrise is giving away $10,000 to the charities their customers love the most.

Blue Ocean Society is asking the Seacoast community for support with this challenge so that it can continue to protect marine mammals such as the humpback whale. The Blue Ocean Society’s mission is to educate people about the Seacoast’s unique marine environment and to protect its treasured sea life for generations to come. Blue Ocean Society is driven by its desire to turn science into a call to action for ocean protection.

Wild & Scenic Film Festival at The Music Hall

By Madelaine | Mar 11, 2014 | in

ReVision Energy is the lead sponsor in bringing the largest environmental film festival in North America to Portsmouth this spring! The Wild & Scenic Film Festival will consist of a collection of short films that speak to the environmental concerns and celebrations of our planet. This year the festival’s theme is “emPOWERment,” it will have a special focus on the topic of energy. This theme also refers to the positivity and inspiration that the festival embodies and promotes.

Every year filmmakers, celebrities, leading activists, and social innovators from all around the nation are drawn to this festival. It combines high quality cinematography, story-telling, and exquisite filmmaking to ignite inspiration and enthusiasm in the audience. The films will expose shots from beautiful, remote areas of our planet that the audience has never seen before. It will introduce them to rare magnificent animals, and social activists who are working to protect these exotic environments.

Attending this event is an incredible opportunity to learn more about environmental justice, energy concerns, adventure, wildlife and more. These eye-opening films can instill a great sense of wonder and appreciation for our natural world.

Blue Ocean Society: Top Contender in Patagonia Crowdrise Challenge

By Mary | Feb 28, 2014 | in

PORTSMOUTH —  Are you passionate about protecting the environment and marine wildlife? Blue Ocean Society presents the perfect opportunity for you to show just how much you care.

The Blue Ocean Society is a Green Alliance Business Partner that recently got involved in an amazing opportunity to raise money for its organization. Patagonia and Moosejaw are offering a challenge on Crowdrise.com, a Web site through which people can donate money, for charities to compete in raising funds. The organization that raises the most funds by noon on March 13 will receive an additional contribution courtesy of Patagonia. The winner with the most donations on Crowdrise will receive a $5,000 donation. Second and third place charities will also get a monetary reward.  

Redhook Brewery Charity Program Helps Organizations in Need

By Sam | Feb 19, 2014 | in

BY MARY DEMPSEY

Green Alliance Staff Writer

PORTSMOUTH — Last year, the Redhook Ale Brewery created the “10% Tuesday” give-back program to show support for 12 local charities. General Manager Ryan Colwell thought this program was the best way to build closer relationships with neighboring non-profits. Little did he know just how far a positive incentive could go.

Since 1996, Redhook has been a standout restaurant and pub known for brewing only the boldest, most flavorful beers. This American microbrewery has continued to become greener as it has gained allegiance from locals. It is one of three Craft Brew Alliance facilities and occasionally hosts public tours of its facility.

Great Works Chiropractic Renews with Green Alliance

By Sam | Feb 18, 2014 | in

We are pleased to announce that Great Works Chiropractic & Wellness has renewed their partnership with the Green Alliance! For over two years, Great Works has served the seacoast with its holistic healing practices and intimate patient relationships. Dr. Seth has cured hundreds of their ailments and prevented further damage from others, including our very own Jim Cavan. Here's to another year of telling the Great Works story!

Don't forget that Green Alliance members can get their first Chiropractic consultation with Great works for just $49!

I Heart Estuaries

By Mary | Feb 12, 2014 | in

In honor of Valentine’s Day this upcoming Friday, Great Bay Stewards, a Green Alliance business partner, is hosting a campaign to raise money for local estuaries. The Board of Trustees at GBS would appreciate your help with their “I Heart Estuaries” campaign which will call upon Congress to give back to estuaries instead of cutting federal funding. Great Bay Stewards is hoping that the “I Heart Estuaries” proposal will stop the government from cutting funds for the National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERR). Great Bay Stewards and Green Alliance urge you to contribute to this great cause which will not only save wildlife, but prevent the destruction of estuaries. Help us “keep the door open” for further research that will in turn benefit the estuaries of our future. Here’s what you need to do:

First, send three emails using this template letter, to tell your local congressmen:

Local Geothermal and Solar Companies Collaborate for Super-Efficient Homes

By Sam | Feb 11, 2014 | in

Geothermal HVAC energy systems are increasingly breaking into the home construction mainstream. According to a Wall Street Journal article published in 2013, net-zero homes are on the rise, and some building companies are even making geothermal systems a staple of their building practices. Two New England businesses, Ultra Geothermal and ReVision Energy, are already successfully bringing that dream to the East Coast.

If you're an eco-conscious consumer or homeowner, a low- or no-carbon footprint home may be seen as a luxury investment, reserved for the wealthy. While it's true that a geothermal HVAC system is an investment up front, the eventual savings more than make up for it, while also increasing the value of your home. One thing that isn't widely known is that homeowners also don't have to completely replace their current HVAC system; Barrington N.H.'s Ultra Geothermal can meet you in the middle.

Think of it like a hybrid car. A hybrid will run on electricity or biofuel until the power needed to run the engine exceeds what the electric motor can handle. Ultra Geothermal can install a partial geothermal system alongside your Energy Star or other compatible furnace that functions the same way. If you don’t have a newer furnace, such as a forced hot water baseboard furnace, Ultra Geothermal can come up with a plan to integrate ducting into the home. And when it’s finished, you also end up with central A/C.

The GiG Team Participates in Penguin Plunge

By Madelaine | Feb 4, 2014 | in

This past Sunday, GA business partner Get it Going participated in the 15th Annual Penguin Plunge at Hampton Beach. In case you’re not familiar with this event, it is a fundraiser for the Special Olympics New Hampshire. Participants who raise $350 or more before the event earn the privilege of taking “The Plunge.” The act of "The Plunge” involves running into the Atlantic Ocean during the heart of winter.

This prospect attracts many volunteers to raise money for the Special Olympics NH. On the day of the event, hundreds of people attended to participate in a parade, costume contest, and of course, The Plunge. Teams warmed up in heated tents on the beach as they awaited their turns to plunge into the ocean with their respective "wave." There were three waves of teams who plunged into the water together, each group seven minutes apart. Volunteers waited on the shore to provide them with towels when they got out of the water. Jill Spring, co-owner of GiG, described the experience as a fun and exciting adrenaline rush.

The anticipation of plunging into the freezing water was a big factor in the overall experience. GiG’s team had been signed up to take part in the Plunge since before Christmas, and the thought of plunging into the ocean on some of our colder winter days had them feeling anxious. Luckily, the weather was not too frigid on Sunday, and the GiG team was happy to have this experience and celebrate the funds raised for a great cause.

TVC Systems Cuts Carbon Emissions by 19.8 Million Metric Tons

By Jenn | Jan 30, 2014 | in

This year the Environmental Protection Agency recognized TVC, a local control and information systems integration company, for their efforts to cut down on carbon emissions through the study, design, installation, and maintenance of co-generation and tri-generation, or CHP systems. The systems include steam boilers, turbines, combustion turbines, and reciprocating engines in combination that produce both heat and electricity. CHP systems reduce air pollution and greenhouse gasses because they require less fuel and provide high quality electricity and thermal energy on site which eliminate the need for transmission lines that reduce efficiency.

The EPA award is part of the Combined Heat and Power Partnership which recognizes CHP companies for their efforts to reduce greenhouse gases. TVC has completed 22 CHP projects in total and last year’s projects alone helped to avoid 1,230,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. This is the equivalent amount of carbon that 168,639 homes use annually for electricity!
TVC also specializes in Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Systems which allows for easy monitoring of all their combined electricity and heating systems. The SCADA systems which TVC designs allows the user to monitor and adjust energy usage in real time.

To learn more about TVC Systems, click here. To become a member of the Green Alliance, click here.
 

Compelling Stories About Business Partners His Legacy, Cavan to Bid GA Farewell

By Herb | Jan 28, 2014 | in

PORTSMOUTH — Jim Cavan, wordsmith extraordinaire, the Green Alliance’s outgoing director of communications, started a story titled “Pest Control, Naturally” this way:

“Chances are we’ve all had the experience: It’s the first truly warm day of the year — early April, let’s say — and you’ve just gotten back from an unseasonably balmy walk in the woods. You come through the front door, take off your shoes, head to the kitchen to start preparing the night’s dinner, and happen from the corner of your eye upon a trail of slowly moving black specks on the counter.

“Carpenter ants. Dozens of them — and that’s just in plain view. Here in New England, ant infestation constitutes one of the most common pest problems, affecting some tens of thousands of households in New Hampshire alone and causing millions of dollars of damage nationwide.

“Enter Tom Pray, founder of the Eliot-based Ecotech Pest Control and a degreed entomologist with over 25 years of experience in the field. Settling on the trade as much for the science as sheer insect fascination, Pray launched Ecotech in 2000 with the aim of helping homeowner’s beat back pest problems not through hard-hitting chemicals, but rather by managing the environment responsible for fostering that very infestation.”

The story, written to promote Green Alliance Business Partner Ecotech Pest Control, appeared during spring and early summer 2013 in several media outlets, including the Exeter and Portsmouth Patch local-news Web sites; The Green Energy Times; Foster’s Daily Democrat; and Coastal Home Magazine.

Pray was pleased, to say the least, not only because Cavan wrote a story good enough to be published in several media outlets, but also because of the time of year when Cavan reached out to him, representing a conspicuously diligent, professional, and nuanced manner by which to serve a Business Partner.

12th Annual NOFA-NH Winter Conference

By Mary | Jan 28, 2014 | in

 

Tar Sands Exposed: UNH Student Environmental Action Coalition to Host Tour Stop

By Madelaine | Jan 28, 2014 | in

The UNH Student Environmental Action Coalition will be speaking about the current, highly controversial, tar sands issue that is affecting us locally and people internationally. In New England, the issue of tar sands is on the rise because of the looming possibility of the reversal of the Portland-Montreal pipeline with intentions to pump tar sands from Canada to Maine.

Canadian tar sands are currently the biggest tar sand threat to our environment. Tar sands are made up of heavy crude oil mixed with sand, bitumen, and clay. In order to extract the oil, enough natural gas must generate heat and steam to melt the oil out of the sand. Up to five barrels of water are required to obtain one barrel of oil. Tar sands oil produces three times the greenhouse gas emissions of conventionally produced oil.

This presentation will go more in depth about the nature of tar sands. Coalition members will speak about their personal experiences from travelling along the Portland-Montreal pipeline. They will expose the audience to the truth about how tar sands are threatening our ecosystems, cultural heritage, and health.

Award-winning photographer Garth Lenz will be sharing photographs that he has captured during the past several years of the destruction this issue has caused.

This will be a great opportunity to become aware of the current threats to our environment, and learn what you can do to help stop them. The event will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 28, in the MUB theatre at University of New Hampshire. 

To learn more about this event, click here.

6th Annual Yoga Mala Fundraiser

By Madelaine | Jan 23, 2014 | in

Zev Yoga not only supports sustainable choices for the environment, but also for the individual and community. Zev Yoga’s practices are designed to produce internal heat in the body to purify sweat and detoxify muscles and organs, thus sustaining the body. Owner Jonas Amberger also offers his studio space to the community. It is frequently used for gatherings, educational events, and workshops.

Zev Yoga will have a team participating in this year’s 6th annual Yoga Mala Fundraiser. Expected to attend will be approximately 200 yogis from more than 20 studios. The Yoga Mala is a three-hour class of 108 sun salutes. Sun salutes are a series of yoga moves often performed in the morning as a way to start the day off. Synchronization is a very important aspect of sun salutes. The more your breath and motions are in sequence, the more benefits you can reap from the practice.

Contact NH Representatives About Wind Energy Bill Today

By Mary | Jan 21, 2014 | in

Tomorrow the New Hampshire House of Reps is likely to vote on HB 580, a bill which would halt all wind energy development in NH. The Former NH Department of Resources and Economic Development Commissioner George Bald stated:


"Policy decisions like a moratorium can have consequences to the state’s reputation as a business-friendly place and can directly affect projects that have a major economic benefit for the state...A recent study by economist Ross Gittell (now chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire) and Matthew Magnusson shows that just one 30-megawatt wind project would bring nearly $56 million in economic development to surrounding cities and towns, and create nearly 100 construction jobs and more than a dozen post-construction jobs.”

Green Maids Focuses on Improving Health with Safe and Eco-Friendly Cleaning Service

By Sam | Jan 20, 2014 | in

You see the labels in the supermarkets: toxic, poisonous, hazardous. All things that end up on countertops or poured down the drain, and these chemicals can put the health of you, your family, and your local ecosystem in danger. But is it possible to clean your house effectively without these hazardous chemicals? Green Maids is a cleaning service based in York Harbor, ME, that is making strides towards greener cleaning practices on a daily basis.

Large name-brand cleaning products can be corrosive and damaging to humans and animals. Organicconsumers.org reports that these chemicals can cause both acute and chronic symptoms, ranging from respiratory irritation, headaches, and allergies to even contributing to the development of cancer. In addition, chemical cleaners that are washed down the drain often do not break down organically and end up in our water supply, affecting our drinking water and aquatic wildlife.

Owner John O'Brien is committed to providing a kid, pet, and earth-friendly cleaning service with Green Maids.

“Dust, pet dander and things like that can aggravate allergies; I cannot stress enough the importance of a clean home when it comes to good health,” said O'Brien. “Keeping up with your home or cleaning it in a professional manner will really help to keep it maintained to improve the overall health of your family.”

O'Brien says that chemicals like 2-butoxyethanol, phosphate and ammonia, chemicals commonly found in traditional cleaning products, are linked to conditions like allergies, asthma, liver and kidney damage, blood disorders, and more. Green Maids uses products that employ the natural cleaning properties of fruits and vegetables. If the maids leave your home smelling like lemon or orange, you'll know it's not a chemically synthesized scent – the actual oils and peels of these fruits are in their cleaning supplies.

Two Firms’ Natural Alliance Promotes Dogs’ Health, Safety and Happiness

By Herb | Jan 20, 2014 | in

Two local companies that are dedicated to bettering dogs’ lives are collaborating in ways that benefit each firm, and by doing so, they are furthering the causes to which they strive to assist.

The Natural Dog and Holistic Cat in Portsmouth has created a synergistic alliance with Deerfield-based Mary’s Dogs Rescue & Adoption, improving the health, well-being, safety, and happiness of rescued dogs and generating good will and business for a leading-edge pet supply store.

Dawn Price, a registered dietician and pet food industry expert, with her husband, Jeff, opened The Natural Dog, Inc. in Newburyport in 2005 and The Natural Dog and Holistic Cat in 2013, which is also helping Mary’s Dogs. Both stores are committed to providing the most healthy, all-natural, organic, green and responsibly manufactured pet foods and supplies out there. The Natural Dog stands as a beacon of what’s possible when nutrition, sustainability, and good old-fashioned localism stand at the fore of a business’s ethics.

Both Dawn and Jeff Price pride themselves on meticulously researching the best products for their customers’ pets. For them, quality trumps popularity, every time, which is why they work with companies that are either local, family-owned, or do a handful of things well.

Today, both locations boast a bevy of green, all-natural products, including bamboo and hemp collars, lead-free bowls, beds and toys made from recycled materials, premium cat and dog foods (including the Seacoast’s largest selection of raw foods), natural shampoos, biodegradable waste bags, beds, snacks, biscuits, herbal and whole food supplements, flower essences and more.

Mary’s Dogs Rescue & Adoption has a strong reputation for saving dogs stranded in shelters, looking for the right match between dog and owner, and following up the placement with expert advice to new owners to ensure the match is a lasting one. But if a match is not a good one — and sometimes they’re not, said Mary Doane, owner of Mary’s Dogs — the search will start anew for the right match. As it turns out, almost 100 percent of the dogs Mary’s Dogs rescue eventually end up in the right house.