Blog : August 2011
Join some of the finest restaurants in the Seacoast at Strawberry Banke for the 11th Annual Vintage & Vine on Saturday, September 10th.
Presented in partnership with the New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlets, the festival will pair hundreds of vintners from all over the world with the best in Seacoast fare on the grounds of the near 400-year-old Strawberry Banke.
Live music from Rhythm Method, a silent auction and bonfire will help set the ambiance for the event, whose proceeds will benefit the Museum.
Area chefs will display their signature dishes throughout the Strawberry Banke grounds, with Victory Garden, the Walsh House, the Heritage Garden, the Pitt Tavern, and the Chase House all playing host to their own special demonstrations.
Meanwhile, winery representatives will be on hand to offer samples and tastings, with bottles being made available at a discount for one night only.
Event sponsors and participants include GA Business Partners Pocos Bow Street Cantina, Portsmouth Residence Inn & Harbor Events Center, and Taste of the Seacoast magazine.
Participating restaurants to date include: Anneke Jans, Arrows, Black Trumpet Bistro, Blue Mermaid Island Grill, Brazo, Cafe Mediterraneo, Dolphin Striker, Flatbread Company, Hebert Brothers Seafood, Mombo, Oar House, Radici, Ristorante Massimo, Rudi's Portsmouth, Seaport Fish, Surf Restaurant, The 100 Club, The Carriage House, The Farm Bar & Grille, The Green Monkey, and Wentworth by the Sea Hotel.
Tickets are $45 per person, or $75 when you include a VIP tasting. Memer tickets are available at a discount.
To purchase tickets, go to www.strawberrybanke.org, or call (603) 422-7501.
For more info, click here!
When the Green Alliance announced its Benefactor program, we had no idea who would break the ice. We knew it would someone very generous; someone who supports the Green Alliance's mission of creating the kinds of communities we want for ourselves and our kids; and someone who's in favor in making green buying easy. We just had no idea it would be one of our paying clients!
Linda Tyring is the President of Portsmouth-based TVC Systems, a firm that specializes in helping companies and institutions (including UNH) streamline their energy use through metering and computer-based automation of their client's facilities. Because much of this important work is done behind the scenes, it's often hidden from public sight. But that's not a deterrent to Linda, who has been described as exceptionally humble and down-to-earth, especially for a company president!
The Green Alliance would sincerely like to thank Linda for her support, her generosity, and her friendship over the years.
For more information on Green Alliance's Benefactor program, please visit http://www.greenalliance.biz/become-green-alliance-benefactor
The new issue of Taste of the Seacoast is now hitting the newsstands...and there's a lot of familiar faces in there, if you're a Green Cardholder.
In addition to a great article on Clay Hill Farm Restaurant's partnership with Archer Angus to help provide local food to public school lunch programs in York, Maine, the following restaurants and breweries were recognized by Taste readers in different categories:
Best Bar: Poco's Bow Street Cantina
Best Bar Food: Portsmouth Brewery
Best Bartender: Jay Geigley, Poco's Bow Street Cantina
Best Beer Selection: Portsmouth Brewery
Best Brew Pub: Portsmouth Brewery
Best Crab Cakes: Robert's Maine Grill
Best Deck: Poco's Bow Street Cantina
Best Nightlife Bar: Poco's Bow Street Cantina
It's also worth noting that many GA Business Partners also bagged runner-up status in numerous categories, including Bob's Clam Hut as the runner-up for Best Fried Seafood. And Robert's Maine Grill also scored 8th in the Best Restaurant category.
Congratulations to all the restaurants listed! And don't forget that all the restaurants and breweries listed offer discounts to Green Cardholders, and they've all integrated sustainability into their operations, whether it's supporting local farmers, water conservation, energy efficiency, and much more! So whip out your Green Card, visit these great establishments, and feel great while you're chowing down!
GA Business Partner TMS Architects continues to make green waves -- and headlines!
The Portsmouth-based architectural firm was recently featured in the latest issue of New Hampshire Home magazine, which profiled the myriad energy efficiency measures incorporated into a brand new Southern New Hampshire home.
The "New England style" domicile includes solar panels, energy efficient windows, and a unique hot water heating system. Additionally, the home features a user-friendly control system which allows the owners to monitor heating, cooling, as well as electricity and water usage from their computer!
TMS worked in collaboration with Michael Cebula of the Newburyport-based Cebula Designs, who helped in the home's uniquely comfortable open-concept look and feel.
Click here to read more about TMS's wide and varied contributions to the world of green design.
To read more about the home and TMS's sterling contributions, click here!
By now, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone left unscathed by the country’s long-lingering economic recession.
On the surface, New Hampshire’s solar energy industry would seem the latest victim: Late last month, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) announced that funds for the federal portion of the state’s Solar Water Heating Rebate Program had expired.
In reality, New Hampshire has simply been a victim of its own success.
“Because it was from a federally funded grant with a fixed value, it was suppose to run out of funds,” notes Fred Greenhalgh, New Hampshire Sales Representative for ReVision Energy, a regional company specializing in solar technology. “And because the grant monies were used up, the state, being so impressed with how popular with the program is, has really stepped up.”
While the federal grant’s expiration will mean less cash back per system, the program’s remaining state funds have been recalibrated to actually increase the average rebate from $900 to $1500, in the process covering at least a portion of the losses incurred by the loss of federal monies.
Additionally, buyers can still take advantage of a 30% federal tax credit, applied to the customer’s tax return at the end of the fiscal year.
Rebate levels are expected to fall by about $150 per system once the program budget is depleted to below $100,000, or total participation reaches 400 applicants, whichever comes first.
It's a bit hard to know where to begin as far as Hurricane Irene goes. First, in the Green Alliance's core coverage area - southern Maine, New Hampshire, and northeastern Massachusetts - we actually got off easy: there are indeed widespread power outages, probably a good amount of tree damage (more on that in a moment), washed out roads, and damages to private property. But the general feeling is that the storm spared the Seacoast from its full wrath, and for that we're thankful.
And if you do have tree damage, please consider contacting one of the fine contractors in the Green Alliance who do tree work, inlcuding Cornerstone Tree Care and Suntree. It should be noted that I have not spoken with either company, and they could be up to their neck in work. But if you're a Green Alliance member you can save money by doing business with either company, and regardless of green cards, you know that you're dealing with honest, responsible men who care about their community.
But while we were sapred the worst, our neighbors in western New Engalnd took a huge hit. Irene was, for all intents and purposes, Western New England's Hurricane Katrina (or, more locally, western New England's version of the Mother's Day Flood of 2006, which many residents of NH & MA won't soon forget). Vermont suffered what their governor referred to as the worst flooding since 1927. The pictures and video to come out of central and southern Vermont are extraordinary, and have even found their way to CNN. The damage includes a few fatalities (including but not limited to a woman from Eastern Europe working at a mountain resort over the Summer, and a water treatment plant supervisor who had gone to check on the town's water supply), numerous riverside towns being completely inundated with water, and heartbreaking video of some of Vermont's iconic covered bridges being washed away in the raging floodwaters.
Melissa Aho, owner of GA Business Partner Ultra Geothermal, doesn't pay utility bills. How does that sound as you start thinking about ordering oil for the winter? Besides the few dollars per month she pays to PSNH for the privilege of being hooked up to the grid -which she doesn't draw any net power from- she pays nothing to heat, power, or cool her home or office.
For those of you who like numbers and know a thing or two about building design, her house has a 1.5 air exchange and .007 infiltration rate. That's 4 times the standard of an Energy Star rated home. For those who don't spend much time on construction sites or doing blower door tests on your homes, her house is tighter than a drum. So much so that all she needs to heat it and cool it is the geothermal system her company installed.
As for electricity, she had another GA Business Partner, Waterline Alternative Energies, install a solar voltaic array at her house big enough to run her meter backwards during most days. She stores up more than enough power credits with PSNH to buy the few kW she needs during the short, cloudy days of winter.
Our office just received some tips from MJ Shoer of Jenaly IT on how to protect your computers and systems from the effects of Hurricane Irene, which has the potential to be one of the highest-impact hurricanes to hit the East Coast in decades. We'd like to share these tips with you as a courtesy (see below).
1. Prepare For a Power Outage: It is highly likely that you will lose power during this storm. As a result, we are strongly recommending that all non-essential equipment be powered down. All personal computers, printers, copiers, phone systems, scanners, etc. should be powered off and unplugged from the wall outlets for the weekend. All your servers are protected by battery backup power (UPS), however, it is highly likely that you may endure a power outage that will outlast the ability of your battery backups to keep your systems up and running. This will result in the UPS properly shutting down your servers when battery power runs low. If you are in an area that is known for power outages or spiking during storms like this, we also recommend you consider shutting down your servers as well, to ensure maximum safety. Obviously if you power down your servers, you may lose the ability to send and receive e-mail during this time, so you want to evaluate what the impact of not having e-mail during this time may be. For those of our clients that subscribe to our RADAR-Lite 30 Day E-mail Archive or our RADAR Unlimited E-mail Archive, you will always have the ability to send and receive throughout the storm using the Cloud hosted RADAR servers at https://jenaly-radar.reflexion.net. All your users will need is their VSA E-mail Security username and password. Anyone who does not know this information may request it be re-sent to them. All Jenaly clients will have e-mail protection throughout the storm as all mail will be held for delivery to any server that may drop offline during the storm, either planned or unplanned. You may rest assured you will not lose any e-mail.
Every year in early October, NESEA organizes a Green Buildings Open House (GBOH) to help people show off their sustainably powered homes. This year will be the second year that the Green Alliance's own Petersen Engineering will show off their office in Portsmouth that they completely retrofitted to be significantly easier to heat. All buildings on the GBOH are great examples of sustainable construction or remodeling, but because they designed the retrofit themselves and oversaw it step-by-step, Petersen can really walk you through the process in detail from start to finish. They have pictures, blueprints, and even examples of the specialized screws they used on the exterior. One of the cool things about Petersen's retrofit is that it had to pass code for historical buildings in Portsmouth. They were able to slash their energy bills while maintaining the historical aesthetic of the building, inside and out.
Another GA Business Partner, ReVision Energy, has installed several projects --solar voltaic, solar hot water, and more-- that will be featured in the GBOH, and it's only been a few months since they had a grand opening for their first New Hampshire office in Exeter! You can see a list of all buildings in the GBOH and information about them at www.nesea.org/greenbuildings
There’s many types of yoga: Hatha Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, and more. But Jonas “Zev” Amberger, co-owner of Zev Yoga Studios, may have just come up with a new form of yoga: pro bono Yoga.
The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire is hosting a Consignment Sale of children’s clothing and gear on September 10 and 11 at 881 Central Avenue in Dover.
Most people leave the recycling up to the Department of Public Works, but owner of Earthtec Outfitters Dennis Randall takes matters into his own hands by weaving those discarded plastic bottles into clothing – and that green innovation hasn’t gone unnoticed.
The Portsmouth-headquartered company was recently recognized during Greenerpalooza IV at the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavillion with the 2011 Greenerpalooza Award.
Earthtec is the third organization to receive the award, which is given to a New Hampshire-based person, organization or initiative that promotes green efforts throughout the Granite State and works tirelessly to ensure that New Hampshire maintains its position as a state that celebrates sustainability.
The Portsmouth store is one of two outlet stores – the other located in North Conway. Beyond their unique and stylish array of clothing made from recycled plastic bottles, the businesses also sell high-quality garments and apparel from a number of well-known outerwear brands.
But Randall’s aspirations go beyond simply offering environmentally sensitive products. He encourages employees to contribute to their local communities by volunteering for non-profits such as Crossroads or Zero-Waste Portsmouth.
“This concept is broader than just this one product line; it’s about creating a community of like-minded folks who see the value of a product that gives that extra for the environment.”
Want to dress in green? Green Alliance members enjoy a 10% discount off of all Earthtec merchandise. Not a member yet? Join up at Earthtec and receive a swag bag full of $100 worth of gifts.
On October 22nd, the Green Sneakers Project will undertake a massive canvassing campaign. Affiliated with Cool Communities, the project is a door-to-door neighborhood campaign that aims to motivate local, personal actions that address the global challenge of climate change and deteriorating air quality. The project will recruit and train intergenerational teams of local volunteers in eight communities who will bring weatherization and energy efficiency technologies, information and opportunities to reduce residential energy use directly to the doorsteps of at least 2000 Maine households. It is great to see a grass-roots movement that is so passionate about making a transition to a more sustainable lifestyle and having their neighbors do it too!
Building Performance Institute has offered to train to more than 150 volunteers who will talk to and educate their neighbors. Homeowners will be given a Green Sneakers reusable grocery bag at the door containing information and resources like CFL bulbs, home weatherization case studies, energy saving tips, contact information to local energy service companies and state and federal incentive programs, as well as a coupon book filled with Green Sneaker Cash that can be used at participating businesses. Volunteers will connect interested homeowners to energy auditors and contractors and will also offer free basic energy walkthrough audits to identify the “low hanging fruit” and offer advice. This is truly a great opportunity for those in the "green scene" to get out their and network or spread their business!
The New Hampshire Carbon Action Alliance is hosting a conference on climate change and its impact on Seacoast NH. Entitled Climate Change & New Hampshire’s Seacoast, the event is planned to occur on Thursday November 17, 2011 at the Portsmouth Harbor Events & Conference Center, a LEED certified building. The Green Alliance will help promote the event throughout the Seacoast as we hope to bring the issue of climate change to the forefront of the people's and politicians' minds.
Global climate change is well underway and its effects are already being felt in the form of droughts, severe storms, and food scarcity. Although New Hampshire has a relatively small coastline of 18 miles, it will still feel the effects of warmer temperatures, rising sea levels, and severe storms. Not only will climate change affect our environment, it will affect our economy and our health.
Relying on current research by University of New Hampshire climate scientists, Climate Change & New Hampshire’s Seacoast provides a unique opportunity to see how climate change disruption affects New Hampshire’s seacoast environment in a professional and well-informed setting.
On Wednesday August 24th, Gentiques will be hosting an event that combines recycling and all sorts of fun! Entitled Crafternoon Delight, the event is the first of a monthly series where attendees will get to utilize their creativity. Each event will have a guided craft project that consists of transforming donated recylced items into new, everyday items.
This series is a great example of a local business reusing, reducing, and recycling. The events are designed to be accesible to those with packed schedules. Designated to occur within a lunchbreak time frame, the event will provide delicious snacks and a special spritzer in addition to the craft project.