Blog : July 2011
This Saturday, the Green Alliance will have a booth at the Newmarket Farmer's Market. From 9am to 1pm, our outstanding intern, Lief, will be there passing out materials, selling shirts, and answering any questions from community members curious about what we do.
This week's market will be held at the Carpenter's Olde English Greenhouse, located at 220 South Maine Street, right across the street from Newmarket High School. Parking will be available at both Carpenter's as well as at the high school.
Local farmers from throughout the region will be on hand selling a plethora of fresh vegetables including garlic, potatoes, Swiss chard, lettuce, Gilfeather turnips, dried beans (both black and Marfax beans). And don't forget to keep your eye out for gourmet mushrooms, artisan cheeses, fresh local meat, bread, pastry, pies, farm fresh eggs, honey, jams & jellies, and much more!
There will also be live entertainment throughout the day. And not just from Lief, who's quite the comedian.
So stop by and say hi this Saturday! We promise we won't bite.
For well over 150 years, Biddeford’s textile mills have helped to define life in this coastal Maine city of 21,000. Today, citizens of all ages are coming together to keep that legacy alive in the form of the Biddeford Mills Museum, a new community-based organization dedicated to “…weaving the threads of the past into the fabric of our futures.”
“Mills started this city in the 1800’s,” according to museum incorporator Scott Joslin of West Branch Construction.
Along with partner Doug Sanford of Eastland Construction & Management, Joslin spent much of the past seven years breathing new life into the historic North Dam Mill as part of a long-term redevelopment project known as the Pepperell Mill Campus. The revitalized four building campus incorporates modern green technologies, including energy efficient hot water boilers to low flow sinks and toilets.
Planning for the Biddeford Mills Museum began during the renovation process.
“We went around with a few of the contractors finding artifacts and decided to preserve them all in one place,” says Joslin.
The last of Biddeford’s textile mills closed its doors in 2009, and many former mill workers still live and work in the community. One goal of the Biddeford Mills Museum is to engage these residents in an effort to preserve the oral history of the region.
“More than 80 people showed up to a Bean Supper we hosted for mill workers in May,” Joslin is pleased to report. “It was like a big reunion.”
Carolyn Gosselin, an English Teacher at Biddeford High School, has been organizing local students to work on projects for the museum.
When energy auditor Paul Button isn’t at home – either working remotely or enjoying a little downtime – he can usually be found helping make the homes of others throughout New Hampshire more energy efficient.
It might not seem like the kind of career conducive to jet-setting. But for two weeks this past spring, Button had an opportunity to take his expertise on the road.
As part of the Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program, the Manchester-based owner of Energy Audits Unlimited was commissioned to spend two weeks in upstate New York and Rochester, Minnesota respectively.
The purpose? To monitor the difference in home energy use both before and after government subsidized retrofits had been put in place.
The program was launched as part of President Obama’s 2009 Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the comprehensive economic stimulus package which also included numerous provisions providing incentives for homeowners and businesses who invest in alternative energy and efficiency measures.
Hundreds of homes throughout the United States – the DOE divides the country into five, distinct climate “zones” – were chosen for the program, which targeted domiciles with poor or non-existent insulation, including many that were built during the 1950s.
While the change of scenery was certainly welcome, the task at hand was something Button never lost sight of.
“The idea of it sounded fun, but after a couple weeks of driving around everywhere, picking up tools, wondering if the tools were going to be ready, it got a little tiresome,” recalls Button. “But I never lost sight of the fact that I was part of a bigger effort. That kept me focused.”
As you may have heard, the country is approaching its debt ceiling, and there's a massive drought gripping much of the country's Southern states. But we at the Green Alliance know just what to do: HAVE A REALLY BIG PARTY ON A BOAT. The party sets sail next Thursday, from 7 - 9:30 on the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company's Thomas Laighton vessel - the Seacoast's premier party ship!
The Children's Museum of NH (conveniently located in historic downtown Dover) is known for their outstanding learning exhibits for kids, and the great time that families experience during their visits. But while the focus of the museum is on young minds, the Children's Museum has instituted an impressive number of sustainability measures to ensure they're protecting the communities they serve!
First and foremost, the Children's Museum has partnered with fellow Green Alliance Business Partner Earthtec Outfitters to take plastic recycling to a new level! Earthtec has provided the Museum with several eye-catching recycling containers for plastic bottles, and all plastic collected will be upcycled into fabric for shirts or other wearable items the Museum's staff can use.
The Museum has also made judicious use of natural light and ventilation. When the Museum renovated a former amory for its current location, they used the opportunity to drastically increase the natural sunlight and fresh air ventilating throughout the facility. A four-sided clerestory with automated windows was added to the top of the building; a glass addition was added to the back of the facility, and previously boarded-up windows were uncovered and fitted with new energy-efficient windows. As a result, the Museum is now a bright, inviting, "open space" concept with windows that can be opened any time to cool the temperatures during Summer, and warm things up during cooler moths with passive solar heat.
Additionally, the Museum creatively uses recycled and recyclable materials whenever possible. For example, an abundance of recycled and repurposed materials was used during construction, including:
Come join the Children’s Museum on August 10th as they host their Teddy Bear Clinic to make sure all furry friends are in their best shape! Parents are asked to bring their children and their favorite stuffed animal to fully register the animals, perform health check-ups, spread the word about healthy eating and exercise and perform minor surgery of those who are in need of a quick repair. Volunteer health professionals will be in attendance from event sponsor Portsmouth Regional Hospital to ensure the animal friends have the best available check-up possible.
This event will be held from 10am to noon and hopes to aid children in becoming less afraid of visiting the doctor. Children will be involved in every step of the clinic, acting as a parent figure to their furry friend. At the end of the clinic, each animal will receive a certificate of good health to bring home with them!
A tea party will follow from noon to 12:30pm for both children and their animal friends with lots of organic food from Stonyfield Farm and Fiddlehead Farms Marketplace! All activities are included with paid admission to the museum, $8 adults and children, $7 seniors, and free to museum members.
By Jim Cavan
If you’re like me, the recently released report from the Natural Resource Defense Council, which ranked New Hampshire the 19th most toxic state in the country, didn’t exactly sit well. In fact, it was downright frightening.
With a love of the outdoors rivaled by few, Granite Staters have long taken pride in and protected their state’s pristine beauty, top notch outdoor recreation, and vibrant, healthy lifestyles. And though that pride remains, our inclusion in the NRDC’s top 20 emissions-producing states should be enough to at least temper our self image and give us a much-needed moment of pause.
More importantly, however, it should serve as a reminder that New Hampshire’s growing green sector – as with that on the national level – should neither be abandoned nor taken for granted.
First, a little insight into the study itself. As pointed out in Joey Cresta’s outstanding coverage in Sunday’s Portsmouth Herald, the electricity sector emitted more than 2.5 million pounds of toxins in 2009. Even more alarming, New Hampshire leads the country in the percentage of toxic emissions coming exclusively from electric plants, at a whopping 96%
While PSNH’s Merrimack Station accounts for 90% of those emissions, the Seacoast didn’t exactly escape unsullied: The Newington Station, Schiller Station, and Newington Power station all ended up in the top four for power plant polluters in the state.
The good news is that the Merrimack Station is on schedule for a $430 million series of upgrades intended to lower the plant’s emissions by up to 80%. The bad news is we have a long way to go before we’re in the same neighborhood as Maine, who accounted for six – that’s right, six – pounds of harmful chemical emissions in the same year, good for third lowest in the country.
Like many companies in the greens sector, Jenaly Technology Group’s commitments to sustainability can often fly under the radar. In this sense, you could say the Portsmouth-based IT firm would just assume let their work speak for itself.
But once you start looking at exactly what they provide for their clients and how, the true scope of Jenaly’s green efforts start coming into clearer focus.
Take The Rubber Group (TRG), a Somersworth manufacturing company specializing in rubber parts and components for the medical, transportation, and process control industries. While the quarter century-old company has long maintained a commitment to environmental responsibility – in 2005 they were awarded the Pollution Prevention Award from Governor John Lynch – they also knew they could be doing more to reduce their significant energy use.
Enter Jenaly, whom TRG had commissioned after becoming dissatisfied with their previous IT firm.
“Jenaly had been on our radar screen, but we were more than happy to make the switch” recalls Joe Snook, Customer Service Manager at TRG. “They’re definitely responsive, and service-wise they’re far more proactive as far as when issues pop up or whenever it’s time to upgrade our systems.”
Like many businesses, TRG had been using tapes to back up their data. Enter Jenaly, who transitioned the company over to a tapeless Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) system, thereby eliminating the mercury and other toxic chemicals contained in the tapes. Instead of being stored on mediums which are inherently unreliable – over time, the tapes often breakdown and can be rendered useless almost without warning – the data is now contained on an on-site appliance and remote data centers. The result is a system that is not only more reliable, but far more environmentally sustainable as well.
In an effort to support local agriculture, maximize environmental protection, and promote human health and wellness, the Green Alliance is partnering with the Northeast Organic Farming Association’s New Hampshire chapter (NOFA-NH), which supports organic and sustainable agriculture, family-scale farming and homesteading both rural and urban, agricultural justice, and related issues in New Hampshire.
The partnership consists of, discounted services for each membership base, co-membership deals for the public, and co-promotion of the two organizations’ services. The joint membership costs $50, with subscribers receiving a 12-month membership in the Green Alliance, and Basic Membership in NOFA-NH through the remainder of 2011. The co-membership will entitle the public to discounts at over 90 businesses in Eastern New England, as well as discounts on NOFA-NH’s events and bulk orders, all while supporting sustainable businesses and local, organic agriculture.
“By increasing awareness about NOFA-NH to the Green Alliance’s commercial and citizen communities, we can increase demand for local, organic food, and create additional jobs in New Hampshire’s agricultural industry,” said Sarah Brown, Executive Director of the Green Alliance. “At a time when far too much of our food is trucked in from thousand miles away, we want to highlight the enormous benefits of buying from local, organic farmers who produce top notch produce and meats while protecting our natural resources.”
Through this partnership, the Green Alliance and NOFA-NH can more effectively publicize the important role played by New Hampshire’s organic farmers to the state’s economy and its citizens’ nutrition. It will also help connect organic farms to communities across the state, and to restaurants wishing to integrate organic food into their menus.
Come join ReVision Energy as they host the Green Eggs breakfast on August 10th! This monthly breakfast brings people together in a forum organization and features a speaker to discuss different green topics and this month’s discussion will highlight green buildings. This event is full of information so don’t miss out on this opportunity.
Many people hear bits and pieces of information about solar energy leading to green buildings, but this breakfast is a chance to become informed about the topic from an expert! Solar energy is a perfect fit for renovating or building as it greatly reduces ones energy usage. Daniel Clapp, Revison Energy NH Branch Manager will inform on how to even create your own energy to power this new and upcoming technology!
Clapp graduated with a BS in Environmental Conservation and is also a 2011 Leadership Seacoast Alumni. With certifications across the board in Solar Thermal Installer, Ground Source Heat Pump installer and many more, he is sure to answer any questions that may come across your mind. Breakfast will take place from 7:30-8 followed by a 45 minute presentation and 15 question session. Attendance is $10 for members and $15 for non members.
Many know the Green Alliance for our community co-op, designed to bring green businesses and sustainability-minded consumers together.
Somewhat lesser known, however, is how the GA businesses themselves have used our organizations to foster unique partnerships and barters – barters which benefit both parties and help foster a greater sense of community within our ranks.
Take ZESstudio and Visions Kitchens. While the two companies – the former an all-purpose graphic design firm; the latter a green-focused kitchen design company – might seem to fall on different ends of the business spectrum, they do have one important thing in common: the desire to grow.
ZES owner Zach Smith and Visions principle designer Nathan Johnson were put in touch by GA Director Sarah Brown, after Johnson mentioned he was looking for an overhaul of his company’s website. Smith, who had previously done work for GA Business Partners Colonial Stoneworks and Green Maids, was more than eager to help.
He was also eager to get going on a full-on kitchen rennovation. With that, the two consumated a good-old fashioned barter -- with a green twist.
In spite of the heat, Waterline Alternative Energy's Dockside Party (hosted by Isles of Shoals Steampship Company) saw all hands -- and a few legendary skates -- on deck last night.
Waterline raised over $2000 for Waypoint Adventure, an organization dedicated to helping children and adults with developmental disabilities participate in outdoor activities (including kayaking, rock climbing, and ropes courses).
The money was raised through a silent auction, in which golf passes from fellow GA Business Partner Sagamore Golf Club, Ski passes from Cranmore Mountain, a silver necklace from the Monili Company, surf lessons from Cinamon Rainbows, a gift card from Papa Wheelies, and a photo of the Boston Garden autographed by the Bruins Alumni Team were all sold off.
In addition, legendary Bruins center "Nifty" Rick Middleton was on hand signing autographs and pictures for cruise-goers.
Needless to say, we here at the GA are thrilled with what Waterline was able to achieve with this, the third GA Dockside Part of the summer. And we can't thank Isles of Shoals enough for donating their famed Thomas Laighton to help bring the Seacoast's growing green community even closer together!
Dockside Party series continues tonight with Waterline Alternative Energies, Waypoint Adventure, and RICK MIDDLETON!!
The Green Alliance Dockside Parties offer business partners the opportunity of hosting their own party and selecting a nonprofit organization they wish to support. The parties happen on a number of Wednesdays from June through August aboard an Isles of Shoals Steamship, another partnering business of the Green Alliance. This year will be the second year of GA Dockside Parties and Waterline Alternative Energies will be kicking the summer off with their private boat party on Wednesday, July 20th.
If you're on Route 1 in Portsmouth, drop by the Green Alliance's favorite sustainable apparel store, Earthtec Outfitters, located on West Rd (just behind the Market Basket Plaza). Just in are the short and long sleeve Butterfly Tees, in three great color schemes, made from recycled polyester here in the US. In three solid colors they have the Magnolia Jane Dress and the girls Capri. Also in: soft fleece baby blankets.
They're now offering Sherpani handbags, a company that not only uses natural fibers and recycled materials, but also offers the type of bags women love: stylish and functional! And newly arrived are Havaianas sandals at 25% off, a great price while the weather is still hot. So, why not pair that dress with a handbag and flip flops!
Best of all, it's 10% off everything in the store when you flash your Green Card! And if you're not yet a Green Card member (or need to renew), you can buy a new Green Card or renew your existing one at the store, and get a "swag bag" with over $100 worth of great gifts, and have the discount applied on the spot!
So celebrate the beautiful Summer weather that's settled in with a Sherpani bag that will have your girlfriends drooling, and a great tee, dress, capris, or polo from Earthtec and step out in style!
Arts In Reach, a local organization that provides mentoring through the arts to teenage girls in the Greater Seacoast of New Hampshire received a special gift from community members and Cardea Center for well-being in Greenland this week. Cardea held its annual Client Appreciation Day, a “Day of Pampering” and “Paying It Forward” last Friday. Over $1000 was raised for Arts In Reach, which will provide materials and transportation for upcoming programs for local girls aged 13-17. In exchange for a suggested donation, Cardea’s clients and community members were treated to a complimentary visit, mini spa services from local salons Acorn Organic Salon, Livwell Day Spa, and Organic Bonita, as well as chair massages, personal training, authentic Latin dance instruction, healthy organic treats and handmade truffles from Portsmouth chocolatier Byrne & Carlson, as well as many other surprises. It was a day of locally-owned and wellness-minded businesses collaborating to promote the mutual goal of flourishing health and vibrant wellness, a theme central to both Cardea and Arts In Reach.
Several girls from Arts In Reach presented their original poetry to an open-air audience, and recent drawings and paintings were displayed throughout Cardea’s offices. “The day was everything we envisioned”, says Dr. Kimberly Higney, Director of Cardea center for well-being. “Our intent was to provide a day of celebration and transformation for clients and new friends, and to introduce as many new people as possible to Arts In Reach. It was inspiring to see such a passionate response to AIR, such a well-run, important and impactful organization”, says Higney. “We hope to make an even bigger impact for AIR next year”.
Written by: Cora Paradiso, Client Wellness Coordinator