Blog : March 2012

Wake up and smell the carbon!

By Jim Cavan | Mar 20, 2012 | in

Just last week, we bid a solemn adieu to Assistant Director Dave Anderson, who has since taken on a new position as Outreach Coordinator for the Union of Concerned Scientists in Boston.

We miss Dave already, but it's good to know we can still count on him for some great content! Yesterday, Dave passed along a video UCS recently put together featuring coffee lovers who've lent their mugs to help raise awareness about the threat that global climate change poses to coffee crops around the world.

Big thanks to Dave for passing this along. Check it out!


Shawnee Peak's new Summit Express Triple chairlift a reason to ride

By sarah | Mar 19, 2012 | in

Shawnee Peak has just announced that March 24th might very well be the last day of skiing for the season. They are boasting reduced rates on lift tickets and special events such as a barbecue, mattress race and kickball game. As if these reasons alone aren’t enough to make the trip up to Maine for the final ski day, keep in mind the quality riding experience you get at a park that makes the customer experience its top priority.

During the summer of 2010, Shawnee Peak completed $1 million worth of improvements to the parks, one of which was the construction of the Summit Express Triple chairlift. Shawnee Peak wanted to give their customers a faster and more comfortable ride up the mountain and the Summit Express provides this service. With the grand opening in December 2010, the Summit Express Triple reduces ride time up the mountain by around 20%, reducing slow and stop times by an astonishing 50%.

The chairlift features state-of-the-art conveyor loading technology, where riders are loaded onto the chairlift by a moving conveyor belt. Shawnee Peak is the only ski park in Maine with this technology. What’s more, the chairlifts themselves are larger, making for a more pleasant ride.

From technology to affordability, Shawnee Peak continues to offer its customers an exceptional ski and snowboard experience that is hard to beat. Keep the park open for one more weekend by pre-ordering one of their 200 tickets for the weekend, and end the 2011-12 season with a bang.

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EcoMovement goes back to school with new partnership

By sarah | Mar 19, 2012 | in

EcoMovement Consulting and Hauling is well known amongst homeowners and businesses in the seacoast area for their unique composting programs. But now owner Rian Bedard has a new clientele: students.

Thanks to a growing demand by school administrators to have a composting program implemented in their schools, recycling education is about to reach a whole new level. As of the end of February, there were five schools that had partnered with the Portsmouth-based EcoMovement: East Kingston Elementary, Dondero School and New Franklin School in Portsmouth, and Traip Academy and Horace Mitchell Primary School in Kittery, Maine.

Jim Eaves is the principal at East Kingston, a school that already has solar panels installed on its roof. For his part, Eaves, couldn’t be more enthusiastic about getting a composting program at his school, especially when other such attempts – for one reason or another – never quite came to fruition.

“Right now the composting program is focused on the school cafeteria, and it’s already helped significantly reduce our trash,” said Eaves of the new program. “We not only fill fewer trash barrels every day, but the program has allowed us to switch a smaller dumpster.”

Eaves notes that there are even bigger things planned for the program than simply composting the waste collected from lunch every day. One goal is to place small composting bins in each of the classrooms of every grade level.

“The kids eat a snack in their classrooms every day, so that’s another opportunity to reduce waste right there,” he explains.

Shawnee Peak announces last full day of skiing

By Jim Cavan | Mar 19, 2012 | in

The grass might be greening, the flowers blooming, the animals coming early out of hibrination, but up in Bridgton, Maine, Shawnee Peak's pristine slopes are still ripe for riding.

But not for long! The family-owned ski resort has announced that Saturday, March 24th could be the final day of skiing for their 2011-12 season.

In an effort to entice folks to load up their skis and snowboards one more time, the folks at Shawnee are offering all-day lift tickets for just $25 -- a full $12 less than their normal daily rates.

There's just one catch: In order to open their gates and start up the lifts, they need to pre-sell 200 tickets. So rally all your friends and head up north for one more day of winter thrills!

What's more, Shawnee intends to make this one a celebration to remember, with mattress races, a barbecue for season pass holders, and a kickball tournament providing entertainment at the base.

The $25 tickets are limited, so click here if you want to secure yours right away. Once you've entered your info, the tickets will be available from the will call window, which you can pick up by showing a valid ID.

For more info on Shawnee Peak and discounts available to Green Alliance members, click here!

The March Green Drinks

By sarah | Mar 19, 2012 | in

From too hot trout and lobsters to ticked off moose and flooded out ducks extreme and wacky weather is impacting New Hampshire's fish and wildlife and our economy. Join veteran wildlife biologist Eric Orff on a look at the impacts of climate change on our lives. Eric has been a consultant to the National Wildlife Federation since his retirement from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department in 2007. Eric has four decades of experience as a biologist with this state's fish and wildlife. Learn what you can do to change the future for our grandchildren and wildlife.

Orff was a wildlife biologist with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department from 1976 to his retirement in June of 2007. From 1983 to 2007 he owned and operated a nuisance wildlife control business, part-time, out of his home with his family, called Bat and Wildlife Control Specialists. Hisspecialty was non lethal control of bats. He was frequently called “NH’s batman”.

Greenovations Offers Sustainable Home Design Education Through Public Workshop Series

By Tricia | Mar 19, 2012 | in

For Christopher Ring of Greenovations, building is nothing but natural. Started in May of 2010, Greenovations of York, Maine, offers both the expertise and materials for environmentally friendly construction and remodeling. Ring’s commitment to sustainable building has lead to the ongoing success of Greenovations and provides the basis for which he developed his business model.

As a self-proclaimed tree hugger and practicing environmentalist, Ring believes in the power of environmental advocacy through his field of sustainable design. “One of the greatest ways to promote a greener lifestyle is through the built world,” says Ring.

Greenovations offers training services to architects and installation professionals to enhance sustainability options for contractors. The selection of materials are thoroughly researched and tested to ensure that only the highest quality products are offered. Greenovations public workshop sessions on green home and interior design aim to provide information on the strategies to implement a greener lifestyle through the design process.

On Tuesday, April 10th, Ring, along with local green design expert, Paul Fowler, will be conducting the second part of a two-part workshop series at the York, ME library. The workshop series is free and open to the public. The first session  focused on green home building and design in order to introduce basic design concepts and sustainable building material options. The second session, meanwhile, will offer information on sustainable home interiors and guidance on material selection and health benefits of environmentally friendly design options.

Ring looks forward to the opportunity to share his passion for green building with those who are interested in learning how to live a greener lifestyle. Each session will begin at 7:00 PM and will have ample time for questions and discussion following the presentations. For more information on the workshop series or Greenovations, contact Christopher Ring at (603) 319-8219 or email

GUEST BLOG: Two home improvements to save money, conserve energy, and reduce your carbon footprint

By Jim Cavan | Mar 19, 2012 | in

By Sam Marquit

Investing in green technologies for the home today is one of the fastest growing trends and smartest decisions you as a homeowner can make when looking to update your home. There are a couple of things that many folks don’t even consider, but really should when looking to decrease their carbon footprint and save some money: Installing a tankless water heaters; and radiant roof sheathing. I have installed both of these products in numerous homes throughout the East Hamptons area and the savings the homeowners realized because of it were almost unbelievable.

Radiant Roof Sheathing

Utility bills tend to run the highest in the blazing heat of summer and the frigid cold of winter. Your HVAC systems have to work twice as hard in effort to maintain your home’s temperature in these harsher environments. Although some regions of the country only have one or the other, in the East Hamptons we have the “luxury” of having both. Protecting your home against the changing seasons will definitely save you money in utility costs throughout the year.

Radiant barriers are designed to be installed underneath your roof and reflect the heat of the summer outside of the home, while keeping the heat your furnace is pumping out inside the house during the winter. With the technology built in to absorb heat, both internally and externally, radiant barrier sheathing can withstand just about any temperature Mother Nature can throw at it. Regardless of the season, by installing radiant barrier sheathing in your roof, you can ease some of the burden on both your furnace and central air unit. Not only will this drive down your utility costs, but it will also allow increase the lifespan of your furnace and air conditioning units.

Ski day at Shawnee Peak a big success!

By sarah | Mar 16, 2012 | in

Last Friday at Shawnee Peak, Green Alliance members and businesses partners enjoyed a beautiful day of skiing for only $9.25, as well as an apres ski party with live music and giveways hosted by 92.5 The River.

Some of the giveways included 2 tickets to see the Avett Brothers, an estate planning consultation package (valued at over $500!), and several gift certificates to Portsmouth, NH restaurants. To stay informed about upcoming Green Alliance events, check out our events page, or join the Green Alliance for our monthly member-exclusive mailings!

From left to right: Green Alliance Glam Squad, Daria and Auden; Elise Weeks from Pixels and Pulp; Sarah Brown, Director at the GA; and Becky Holt, Assistant Director at the GA.


Meet our new Assistant Director!

By sarah | Mar 14, 2012 | in


Meet our new Assistant Director, Becky Holt!

Becky combines her background in Fine Arts and Marketing with her current pursuit of an MBA in Sustainability, to provide a creative and dynamic approach to green outreach. Becky's commitment to sustainability stems from her love of the ocean and growing up on the seacoast, as well as seeing the positive impact that local businesses can have in their communities. She is optimistic that business will be a driving force in the change toward a more sustainable future.

When not at the GA, Becky still keeps her hand in the art world as a Sustainability Consultant and Curator for the Portsmouth Museum of Art. In her free time Becky enjoys spending time with friends, hiking, surfing, and painting in her studio at The Button Factory.

Move means bigger space, more opportunities for Greenovations

By Jim Cavan | Mar 14, 2012 | in

Everyone knows what it’s like to need a change of scenery. Sometimes, even a successful business can benefit from a move onward and upward.

Two years after launching Greenovations – a catch all store chock full of environmentally-friendly home improvement products –  owner Christopher Ring recognized that a different, bigger space was becoming more and more of a necessity.

To that end, the store plans to move out of its current Bowl-A-Rama Plaza digs, and into a larger space just off Route 1 in York, Maine at the end of this month.

“There were a lot of things I wanted to do with the space that I just couldn’t,” says Ring, who also cited the new store’s abundant natural sunlight as a real draw. “Now I’ll have a lot more room to work with, and that should open up a lot more opportunities.”

Opportunities for new, cutting edge green products, certainly. But also an opportunity to expand on his store’s growing commitment to green, do-it-yourself education.

In particular, Ring plans to set up a 10-by-5-foot mini-display that will highlight a “smart wall” system encompassing a number of Greenovations-sourced insulation and other products.

“We want it to be a kind of educational display piece on how to build a green home stud-to-wall,” explains Ring, who says he’s looked forward to building such a model since opening the Portsmouth store. “We’ll have each layer peel back to people can see what a truly efficient home entails in terms of the envelope.”

Along with the new smart wall model, Ring says he hopes to use the new space as an educational launching pad of sorts, and aims to foster long-lasting relationships with community members and local businesses alike.

“I’ve spent countless hours over the years connecting with people, creating circles, so I want to eventually get to a point where the store can feature a tight-knit group of resources,” exclaims Ring. “I’ve been out to the sites, I know how they build – what their ethics and efforts towards sustainability are. Why not try and turn that into a resource?”

Atlantic Green Energy offers weatherization certifications

By Jim Cavan | Mar 14, 2012 | in

With the price of oil already beginning its upward climb, Americans everywhere are -- quite understandably -- looking for ways to cut back on their energy use. Increasingly, these efforts include having a comprehensive energy audit conducted on their home or business.

With the weatherization industry growing by the day, sector jobs becoming more and more bountiful, installer certification has never been more valuable.

To that end, Atlantic Green Energy, in conjunction with Lakes Region Community College, will be conducting a hands-on ETP Weatherization Installer courseat their Seabrook headquarters. What's more, they're offering the course at the discounted rate of $700.

The course includes BPI "Air Leakage Control Installer" certification -- also offered at a discount -- for $300.

Whether you're a contractor, crew member, or energy audtior, AGE's hands-on installer training can help you get out in front of one of the countries fastest growing industries.

After 28 years in the construction industry, George Hurley and Jack Haritas launched Atlantic Green Energy in 2009 with the aim of providing everything from small-scale green retrofitting materials to full Solar (PV) projects, Solar Thermal systems and much more.

While Atlantic Green Energy prides itself on offering systems and materials squarely at the cutting edge of their newfound industry, just as impressive is the store’s dynamic and diverse educational component. With courses and training in Weatherization, Auditing and Solar Installation. Atlantic Green Energy is helping provide solutions for tomorrow’s challenges by educating and training the next generation of green technicians.

For more information, please contact Atlantic Green Energy by calling (603)-474-2550.

Great Cloth Diaper Change

By sarah | Mar 14, 2012 | in

The Great Cloth Diaper Change is a grass roots effort to get the word out about cloth diapers and how they have changed over the last few years and how we can save our environment.

Join us on April 21st, 2012 as we attempt to break the world record for the most cloth diapers changed at one time!

This world record attempt is a great way to show the world how many people are already choosing and using reusable cloth diapers successfully. But there are still a lot of people who don’t know about cloth diapers.

Green Earth Baby Works (GEBW) is an online cloth diaper retailer -- the only cloth diaper service in New Hampshire – servicing the state’s Seacoast and greater Manchester regions. Offering a wide range of products, accessories, and services, GEBW is helping to spread the word about clean and sustainable alternatives to generic baby products.


Ultra Geothermal Home Show Ticket Giveaway!

By sarah | Mar 14, 2012 | in

Ultra Geothermal Inc. is involved in the 19th annual Greater Concord & Lakes Region Home Show being held on Saturday, March, 24th. The show will start at 10am and go untill 6pm on Saturday night and continue on Sunday, March 25th going from 10am -5pm.

  Ultra Geothermal is generous enough to offer up 13 pairs of free tickets (a $12 value) to the the home show,awarded to the first Green Alliance members to RSVP to Becky at

The Green Alliance will also be giving away 2 pairs of tickets to the Seacoast Home and Garden Show in Durham, NH at the Whittemore Arena. There will be over 200 booths present involving home and garden products as well as vendors from the GA community.


Read Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance's Green Story!

By Jim Cavan | Mar 13, 2012 | in

Every business that joins the Green Alliance goes through a rigorous Sustainability Evaluation. Made up of 30 questions, the Evaluation takes into account everything from the company's recycling policy to water conservation efforts, committment to sourcing local, and community involvement.

Recently, Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance was put under the green microscope, so to speak. You wouldn't think that an insurance company could be green, but PAI's Evaluation and resulting Report Card prove that Jon Merwin's firm is one as dedicated to local investment as they are to reducing their own carbon footprint:

All told, Portsmouth Atlantic insures over 1,500 clients throughout the Seacoast, Maine and Massachusetts region. But while their first few years have indeed been a success, their real goal is to be the greenest insurance agency in the state. To that end, the firm has been using a paperless agency management system since 2005.

They also use 100% recycled paper, paper towels, and toilet paper, biodegradable plastic bags, as well as making use of 7th Generation cleaning products. They recycle extensively -- including all printer and toner cartridges -- and email upwards of 95% of their quotes to their customers.

Moreover, Merwin has integrated sustainability into his agency’s operations by implementing a paperless management system, using green cleaning products, recycling extensively, and using soy-based ink for the relatively little material his agency prints. He even just purchased bamboo desks for his Portsmouth office...

Click here to check out PAI's page and to read their Evaluation, Report Card, and the rest of their Green Story!

Call for Art Proposals - Portsmouth Sustainability Fair and 2012 Whaleback Environmental Film & Art Festival

By sarah | Mar 13, 2012 | in

 The Whaleback Environmental Film & Art Festival is a film festival and temporary, public environmental art exhibition held annually in Portsmouth, NH in conjunction with the Portsmouth Sustainability Fair. Artworks will be displayed during the weekend of May 11-13.

An application is available to submit your art to the festival. If selected, your piece will be displayed in one of four proposed locations for artwork installation:

1. Corner of Market Street (where the ant and moose were located)
2. Grassy area where City Hall exits onto Junkins Avenue
3. Park across the street from City Hall, near corner of Junkins and South Street
4. Other sites will be considered pending applicant proposals and subject to review by the Portsmouth Department of Public Works.