Blog : February 2013

Come Check Out the NOFA-NH Winter Conference This Saturday

By sarah | Feb 28, 2013 | in

Get ready for the start of garden season this Saturday by going to the Nofa-NH Winter Conference at Laconia Middle School in Laconia!  

New Hampshire's largest agricultural education event of the year will have over 50 workshops to help educate farmers of all levels and interests.  The workshops will focus on numerous agricultural skills including farming, gardening, land care, herbs, food production, and farm planning!  Then for lunch enjoy a spectacular potluck lunch featuring some of the freshest organic and local foods from Nofa's members.  Furthermore the Green Market Fair will give you a great chance to learn about environmental and organic programs throughout New Hampshire, as well as give you the opportunity to shop from local farms, eco-friendly businesses, and local exhibitors!  Also, while your perusing the conference come checkout the Green Alliance's booth as well for some great info or just to say hi.

If your interested in getting more involved with Nofa remember that we at the Green Alliance have a special co-membership program with Nofa.  You can learn more about that here.

For more information on the upcoming Nofa-NH Winter Conference please contact Jo Russavage, Conference Coordinator at (508) 330-1034 or click here.

 

Little Tree to host Open House in March

By Jim Cavan | Feb 27, 2013 | in

It’s been a steady trend and steadfast fact of American life for decades now, though one that remains no less daunting: While families are doubtless working harder – often with both parents the breadwinners – they’re also increasingly demanding that their child’s daily care include more in the way of genuine education.

During his State of the Union Address on February 12th, President Obama highlighted this very issue, citing studies showing that “fewer than three in 10 four-year-olds are enrolled in a high-quality preschool program,” owing to a lack of both resources and access the country over.

It’s a conundrum Little Tree Education hopes to address when the self-described “Montessori-based infant, toddler, and pre-school” officially opens its doors to the public later this spring.

On March 9th and 16th (from 9am to 1pm), Little Tree will play host to a pair of Open House events aimed at giving local families a first hand look into a model of progressive early childhood education more than five years in the making.

As a full-time professional – and mother of two – Little Tree Owner Sarah Greenshields has long maintained an interest in striking the best possible balance between professional commitments on the one hand, and how to assure her own charges were receiving the best, most nurturing supervision possible on the other.

“Raising children is the hardest job there is,” says Greenshields. “We understand that challenge posed to modern families and the high educational expectations and time expectations they have. Which is why we want them to have the highest quality care possible, so they know they’re children are being taken care of and learning.”

Greenshields was first introduced to the Little Tree model while living in Bozeman, Montana a few years back – before her family decided to move back East. It was here that Greenshields first met Callie Glanzer, who had founded Little Tree’s flagship location in 2007.

Green Alliance hosts Learning Series starting with the Health and Environment Seminar

By webmeadow | Feb 27, 2013 | in

In the depths of the cold winter months between shoveling the mounds of snow and racing to catch the last of sunlight at 4pm, our bodies are not always in top form. As we dread the threat of impending colds, flus, and other winter-time sicknesses, we often overlook the connections that our health has to our environment.

In the first installment of the Green Alliance Citizens Learning Series, community members are invited to join the discussion on health and the environment featuring the collaboration of presentations from health-oriented Business Partners of the Green Alliance. From natural health experts to doctors to fitness professionals, the Health & Environment Seminar offers a wide range of topics and tips to engage people in the most prevalent health issues.

“It is important to continue to establish the Green Alliance as an effective resource for the community to learn about local, green businesses,” says Green Alliance Founder and Director, Sarah Brown. “The way the Green Citizens Learning Seminars are organized they not only provide the educational component but they also offer attendees and presenters a chance to socialize and network.”

The presentations will lead with Dr. Angela Lambert of Ancient Traditions Natural Medicine as she addresses dietary health issues and imparts her expertise on how to balance nutrition with health. As a naturopathic doctor, Dr. Angela integrates both education and participation in her practice, emphasizing the importance of patients being informed and involved in the healing process.

Dr. Angela describes the role of education in her practice, “The word ‘doctor’ in Latin, ‘Docere’, means teacher. The idea is to teach people how to pay attention to their own bodies, to listen to and make their own lives healthy.”

Diversifying the naturopathic platform and discussing the natural remedies and tips to combat postpartum depression, Dr. Robyn Giard of Starry Brook Natural Medicine, will offer insight for woman to understand the challenges that are presented after child birth. Through her integrated approach to natural medicine, Dr. Giard specializes in family health practices and woman’s health. Her presentation will cover information that highlights some of the lifestyle choices that aid a healthy, happy pregnancy and child birth.

30-day Spring Cleanse - Ayurveda, Diet, Nutrition and Herbal Medicine

By webmeadow | Feb 25, 2013 | in

Do you want to feel lighter and more inspired from day to day? Do you want more energy and to feel more connected to community? This years Spring Cleanse is designed to educate those who wish to learn about healthy, safe cleansing, fasting and fresh food and botanical options that support our overall health and organ systems. This 30-day workshop series is open to everyone who wishes to learn and anyone who wishes to participate, in any way, in the eleventh annual Karma Cleanse.

Green Lotus is offering 2 different classes in April to help you begin "Spring Cleaning" on a more personal level.  Each class is $75 ($65 for students or yoga instructors) but only $100 if you register for both!

April 3-24, Wednesdays, 7:15-8:45pm
with Lona

Join in a 30-day program to cleanse the body and the mind! This fasting experience will no only be focusing on deepening your yoga practice, but how to feel lighter and more inspired post new years' resolution. These 30 days will prepare, those who participate, for their annual Karma Cleanse at the end of April where they fast for three days (fasting options will be reviewed in this course) to raise money for Share Our Strength.

April 7, 14, 21, Sundays, 11-1pm
with Betty Moylan

The Green Lotus Ayurvedic Spring Cleanse is a 3 week digestive rejuvenation program designed to detoxify fat soluble chemicals, toxins and impurities that store in the fat cells, as well as an opportunity to release old emotions that can weigh you down. This cleanse can be undertaken while you work and go about your everyday activities.

Spring is the perfect time to clear the body and mind of imbalances and impurities accumulated over the winter months. The transition from winter to spring gives us this opportunity to rejuvenate and revitalize from the inside out. The body is naturally burning fat in the spring and we can reset our ability to metabolize fat as a normal source of calm, stable and detoxifying fuel. Just as we spring clean our homes, we also need to spring clean our body, which is our temple housing the soul. We will meet in 3 sessions to discuss the 3 major phases of the cleanse, to get support, make individual modifications and answer any questions that you have.

If you are interested in either of these courses (or maybe both), Click Here to register!

For more information on Green Lotus, Click Here!

To see more details about these and more green events, Check the GA events calendar!

Green Lotus Yoga Studio: Did you know?

By sarah | Feb 25, 2013 | in

The term “Green Business” is usually linked with companies that manufacture solar panels, those that produce biofuel, those that work toward eliminating waste, or any organization involved with alternative energy and renewable resources. Green business, however, covers a much wider array of subjects than one might think.

Did you know, for instance, that your local yoga studio could qualify as a green business? Green Lotus Yoga Studio of Dover, NH, a proud partner of Green Alliance, is one of these businesses. Within their Sustainability Report Card, which is a document compiled by the GA themselves documenting the steps the company has taken toward sustainability, Green Lotus has an extensive list of green initiatives.

This list has in fact allowed Green Lotus to hold the title of the greenest yoga studio on the Seacoast and qualify as a “Blossom” business within the Green Alliance family, with a sustainability score of 8.24 out of 10. A “blossom,” according to Green Alliance, is a business that “has taken substantial steps to fully offer sustainable goods/services and is practicing an impressive number of green business techniques. Blossoming partners are acting as leaders and trailblazers in sustainability for other Green Alliance partners and Seacoast businesses in general."

Green Alliance compiles these scores for each of their over 100 business partners, allowing consumers and businesses alike to learn from the sustainable practices of others and improve on the actions they take in their day to day activities.  These Report Cards include an extensive list of questions on topics such as where the business discards its waste, what type of fuel its vehicles run on, how much its employees are encouraged to bike or take public transport to work, and so on, all with the goal of sparking each business to consider sustainability in everything they do.

Some of the steps that Green Lotus has taken toward sustainability are:

Becky Holt: Artist, Museum Curator, Student, and Sustainability Advocate

By webmeadow | Feb 25, 2013 | in

The Green Alliance's very own assisstant director, Becky Holt was featured on Antioch University's website. 

Becky Holt’s work and interests range widely across the fields of sustainability, art, and business. A student in the MBA in Sustainability program at Antioch University New England, she’s been assistant director of the Green Alliance (GA) since February 2012. She is also a sustainability consultant and curator for the Portsmouth Museum of Art (soon to be the New Museum of Art), in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. And she’s an artist.

The alliance’s mission is to help make businesses in the New Hampshire Seacoast region more profitable and to encourage them in sustainable business practices. Becky’s job is to provide its business partners with the tools and support to grow, through the GA promotional model. She is also expanding the organization’s social media presence, internal operations, graphic design department, and, most important to her, external partnerships.

For the Portsmouth Museum of Art, Becky helps bridge the sustainability and museum operations. She’s interested in using the language of sustainability in the museum’s branding and in supporting artists who are working with environmental themes.

She herself is just such an artist. As an oil painter, she started out exploring human impact on the environment. Lately, though, she has been enthralled by the landscapes of New Hampshire’s seacoast as subjects for her large-scale works. Her studio is in Portsmouth’s Button Factory, a former button-manufacturing building that has hosted artist and craftsperson studios for more than twenty-five years.

Seacoast Women's Week Conference to feature Bill Buckley of Gateway

By sarah | Feb 25, 2013 | in

Female empowerment, identity, and wellness are just a few of the subjects to be covered at this year’s Seacoast Women’s Week Conference, taking place on March 9th from 8:30am to 1:30pm at 100 Campus Drive, Portsmouth, NH. The Conference is sponsored by the New England Holistic Health Association.

Several members of the New England Holistic Health Association will be presenting lectures at the event covering topics such as “The Beauty of Aging,” “Female Empowerment through the Ancient Art of Belly Dance,” and “Finding and Nurturing your Identity as a Woman and Caregiver.”

Bill Buckley, founder of Gateway Taiji, Qigong, and Yoga in Portsmouth, will also be presenting a lecture entitled “Qigong for Energy and Balance” during the event’s closing from 1:00 to 1:30 pm.

Seacoast Women's Week (SWW) is an all volunteer effort celebrating International Women's Day, celebrated annually on March 8th, by acknowledging women in our communities. These women juggle home, professional and personal lives for the good of their families and communities. They volunteer to ensure that our civic, social service and religious organizations are there when needed, and they take pride in their heritage and diversity and make choices that define who they are. Seacoast Women's Week encourages women to "take time off" from home, the office and care-giving to relax and learn in an atmosphere of collegiality and support.

Proceeds from SWW will go to benefit Womenaid of Greater Portsmouth, a local organization dedicated toward helping those families who have suffered overwhelming financial loss in recent years.

Investing for a Sustainable Future: A Campus Conversation on Investment & Divestment

By webmeadow | Feb 25, 2013 | in

DURHAM, N.H. – Sustainable investing at the University of New Hampshire will be the focus of a campus conversation Monday, March 4, 2013, from 7-9 p.m. in Huddleston Ballroom.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the event is free and open to the public.

Coordinated by UNH’s Discovery Program and NH Listens, the conversation on investment and divestment is designed to give the university community an opportunity to become informed and explore issues related to the sustainable investment of the UNH endowment portfolio.

A discussion guide with a variety of background materials on the topic will be available here several days before the event.

NH Listens, the civic engagement initiative of UNH’s Carsey Institute, engages citizens in decision making and public problem solving. The group does not take a stand on specific issues but rather works to create and sustain a fair process for public engagement and action.

UNH Student Org to Co-Sponsor Socially Responsible Career Fair This Spring

By sarah | Feb 25, 2013 | in

Net Impact UNH began in the fall of 2011 with just a handful of students and one common vision: to mobilize a new generation to pursue careers which place emphasis on the triple bottom line; people, planet, and profit.

This socially responsible student org is just one chapter of the international organization that is Net Impact. The chapter network exists to empower student and professional leaders to act locally, yet connect globally on the world’s toughest social and environmental problems.

While Net Impact UNH’s presence has thus far been a short one, it has certainly been a powerful one on UNH campus. It has already put on a multitude of events advocating socially responsible initiatives and addressing topics such as fair trade, micro-consignment, climate change, social entrepreneurship, and more.

The organization further promotes sustainable career paths by each summer supporting The Carsey Institute in giving students a number of socially innovative internships with a variety of companies—and with a stipend, at that.

This spring, Net Impact UNH is co-sponsoring yet another innovative event—the university’s first ever Careers With Impact Fair. This event is designed to help connect talented, motivated students who seek to build work experience and careers “with impact” with New England area companies which focus on sustainable business practices.

The event is also co-sponsored by UNH’s Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics (formerly known as the Whittemore School), and New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility.

Beyond networking opportunities for students and employers, the Careers With Impact Fair is an opportunity for businesses to educate and inspire students about careers that make an impact. UNH is a nationally recognized leader in sustainability, receiving a STARS Gold rating in 2011, and attracts students who seek to capitalize on this focus.

Robert's Maine Grill Open House

By sarah | Feb 25, 2013 | in

On Monday, March 11, come to an open house at Robert’s Maine Grill in Kittery! The gathering takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. and will include hors d’oeuvres, non-alcoholic beverages and a cash bar.

If you have yet to set foot in Robert’s, this is the perfect chance to finally experience its updated Maine cuisine, raw bar, local drafts, beautiful setting and classic architecture.

Robert’s menu incorporates local farm-to-table ingredients. For example, Chef Brandon Blethen sources locally grown organic German Butterball potatoes from Grand Isle, Maine, offering rich flavor and versatility that has been all the rage among customers ever since.

Other creative items on the menu include Steamers in Allagash White Beer, Lobster Sliders with Buttermilk Biscuit, Pan Seared Cod with Littlenecks and a Moxie Bourbon Barbeque Burger. While Robert’s stays true to its Maine roots, these items are not generally what you will find in your grandparent’s Maine seafood restaurant.

Dealership hosting wildlife

By webmeadow | Feb 22, 2013 | in

 

The W.I.L.D. Center will be bringing a host of animals including alligators and kangaroos as well as free hot dogs to Bournival Jeep on February the 23 from 10 am until 4pm that night. Wildlife encounters will be bringing the array of animals free of charge for all visitors of the dealership all day. Refreshments will also be provided.

The Wildlife Inspired Living Discovery (W.I.L.D.) Center and Zoological Park of New England is a non-profit organization based in Rochester, NH that provides environmental and biodiversity education and conservation advocacy. The mission of The W.I.L.D. Center is to connect children and adults with animals and nature while demonstrating and inspiring responsible stewardship of our planet’s global biodiversity.

For more information about the W.I.L.D Center, Click Here!

 

For more information for this and other green events check the, GA events calendar!

Motivating Change: Climate Counts seeks to put consumers in the drivers seat

By Jim Cavan | Feb 22, 2013 | in

That the digital age has helped democratize the availability of information is an idea as accepted as gravity. Searching and sleuthing are today as routine as showering or eating, rendering informed decisions – be they in the voting booth or checkout line – as easy for the individual as they are bracing to the powers that be.

Still, such ease of informational access isn’t without its pitfalls, a reality that few at the forefront of green issues understand better than Mike Bellamente. As the Executive Director of Climate Counts, a nonprofit organization housed within the Sustainability Institute at the University of New Hampshire, Bellamente has spearheaded efforts to bring citizens and high profile companies together, in the hopes that improved information on both sides can elicit substantive action on the issue of climate change.

The brainchild of Stonyfield Farm chairman and co-Founder Gary Hirshberg, Climate Counts was launched in 2007 with the idea of providing consumers a transparent look – by way of a comprehensive report card – into what the world’s biggest brands are doing to curb their carbon footprint. Using a 100-point score sheet, Climate Counts levies a set of 22 criteria and four resulting categories – “stuck,” “starting,” “striding,” and “soaring” – to measure a company’s environmental progress.

Nike, Toshiba, Canon, Hewlett-Packard – Climate Counts has scored them all, lending more than a modicum of transparency to traditionally secretive sectors. Eschewing the kneejerk combativeness he sees as poisoning the national debate on climate change, Bellamente embraces instead a strategy of mutual cooperation, one where due credit is as crucial as effective critique.

“With how political the climate change debate has become, we’ve found that the more productive way to drive change is by showcasing some of the big name brands that are truly ahead of the curve on sustainability,” says Bellamente. “We believe it’s necessary to develop tools that help consumers vote with their dollar and reward the companies that are doing their part.”

NH Surfrider Foundation - Rise Above Plastic Events

By webmeadow | Feb 22, 2013 | in

Our Plastic Oceans on March 5th (7pm) at the Levenson Community Room in The Portsmouth Library

Stiv Wilson knows plastic. The communication and policy director for the 5 Gyres Institute, an organization focused on research and communication about plastic marine pollution, has sailed the seven seas in search of the ubiquitous stuff, and he has seen it everywhere. Join the NH Surfrider Foundation and Blue Ocean Society for Stiv's story and presentation about his encounters with plastic marine pollution, and get ready to be inspired to Rise Above Plastics! Presentation at 7pm, to be followed by beverages downtown.

Rise Above Plastics on March 7th (3pm) at Local Coalition Meeting

An invitation-only event designed for community leaders and activists interested in and supportive of plastic reduction tactics for the city of Portsmouth. We will discuss the Rise Above Plastics campaign strategy and the short and long-term goals of the campaign. Stiv Wilson of the 5 Gyres Institute will be present to facilitate this community discussion aimed at pulling together resources, ideas, and momentum for a continued push for plastic reduction in Portsmouth.

"Bag It" Movie Screening on March 7th (7pm) at The Gas Light Co.

Want to know what all the fuss is about surrounding single-use plastics? Come see this for yourself in this award-winning documentary that takes you on the voyage through our plastic-fanstastic world in order for you to decide for yourself if your life is too plastic. Hosted by NH Surfrider Foundation and The Gundalow Company. Best of Festival Jury Award--Blue Ocean Film Festival, Audience Award Best Documentary--Ashland Film Festival, Best Environmental Sustainability Award--Reel Earth Festival, Audience Award Best Film--Telluride Mountainfilm Festival, Audience Award Best Film--Waimea Ocean Film Festival, Best Documentary Feature--Topanga Canyon Film Festival, Audience Choice Award Best Film--Princeton Environmental Film Festival (and many more!)

For more information about this and other green events, check the GA events calendar!

Beer Week Events at The Portsmouth Brewery

By webmeadow | Feb 22, 2013 | in

It's Beer Week time again! Portsmouth's bars, restaurants and breweries will be hosting an smorgasbord of special events from February 23-March 4.

Being the first brewery in Portsmouth since 1950, The Portsmouth Brewery always gets a little extra excited when Portsmouth Beer Week comes back around. A lot has happened in the Seacoast beer scene since they opened in 1991, which means there's a lot to celebrate. Back then, no one even brewed an IPA...

Since they don't sell beer off premise, all of their events are happening at the pub, which gives them a great chance to change things up a bit.

If you ever wanted to step behind the glass and see their brewery up close, this is your chance! You can take a brewery tour everyday at 3pm for the entire duration of beer week. As always, the tours are free and all tour-goers get a coupon for a half-priced sampler paddle!

They also announced a Portsmouth Brewery Tap Takeover! It will last all week and it's happening right in the bar. That's right, this is the one of the rare times when they offer ten house-brewed beers direct from their own serving tanks. No guest taps for them in the bar this week!

The rest of the Beer Week schedule is a bit different than in past years. Instead of releasing one beer at the end of the week; they are releasing four different collaboration brews coming out over two days. The beers will be available on tap all day, but each collaborating brewer will join Tyler in the Jimmy LaPanza Lounge from 6pm-8pm to meet, greet and share samples of one of their own beers, as well as their collaboration brew. There will also be Chef Todd-created food pairings for each beer. Check 'em out:

For more information on this and other green events, check the GA events calendar!

For more information about The Portsmouth Brewey, Click Here!

We hope you will join us in celebrating Portsmouth Beer Week 2013. There's a lot going on, so come on out and grab a pint.

See you at the pub!