Blog : August 2014

Thank You, Green Families, For Celebrating with us!

By Katie | Aug 28, 2014 | in

The Green Alliance wants to thank the group that turned out in Kittery for the 3rd Annual Green Families Celebration (this year, combined with a Farmer's Market)! The celebration ran in conjunction with the Kittery Farmer's Market and was a great representation of the green community the GA embodies. Both local farmers and GA Business Partners alike set up shop in the parking lot, succeeding in educating families, and making the community a little bit greener. 

This event would not have been possible without the assistance of many people. We would love to acknowledge, first and foremost, Dot Dyer who does a phenomenal job organizing the Kittery Farmer's Market, and was generous enough to allow us to join for the afternoon. Second; our Business Partners who came equipped with fun, educational materials for both kids and adults (and, great activities/giveaways for the kids, too)! We'd also like to acknowledge all of our green families for whom we throw this event. Whether these families were able to attend yesterday or not, they play a crucial role in the improvement of our environment, particularly by raising young, eager environmental stewards. Our children's essay contest, which concluded on Saturday (8/23), proved to us just how great of a future our environment has with these kids! 

Thank you to everyone for your involvement in this celebration--it sure made the 2nd birthday of our Green Families Club a special one. Please keep your eyes peeled for more exciting events!

To learn more about the Green Families Club, click here

The Living History of the Gundalow

By Craig | Aug 27, 2014 | in

By Michael McCord

In their heyday in the late 1700s and 1800s, gundalows were ubiquitous in the Piscataqua River region as an indispensable part of the Seacoast’s diverse economy.

For almost three centuries these flat-bottomed cargo barges were a practical solution to transportation in the maritime regions of Maine and New Hampshire. They were the tractor trailers and railroad freight cars of their day, as they efficiently worked the tides. As the gundalows evolved in style and function (adding sails, decks and even cabins), they became the transportation linchpin of commercial development as they often brought raw materials up river to cotton factories and brick yards and returned with finished products.

Since its founding in 2002, the nonprofit Gundalow Company in Portsmouth has provided thousands of school children and adults the opportunity to explore the unique history of the gundalow. In 2011, the Piscataqua was built at Strawbery Banke, following in the footsteps of the Captain Edward H. Adams built there and launched in 1982. From May through October, the Piscataqua sails the tidal rivers as a floating classroom and passenger vessel, offering lessons that connect the history of yesterday to the environmental imperatives of today.

Mostly unheralded as a floating beast of burden, the last working gundalow traveled the waters until 1920. Barbara Pinto Maurer, the education director at the Gundalow Company, and a hearty crew of dedicated staff and supporters are working to keep the legacy alive. The mission of the Gundalow Company is to protect the Piscataqua Region’s maritime heritage and environment through education and action, and Pinto Maurer believes that mission has never been more critical.

Essay Contest Winners!

By Katie | Aug 27, 2014 | in

Wow! We are blown away by all of the great essays that were sent to us from children all over New England! From composting and recycling, to riding their bikes with their parents to farm stands, to picking up beaches and even adopting a bat, these kids have been busy bettering the environment for all of us.

We had such a tough time choosing a winner that we ultimately landed on 3 winners (all in different age divisions). We would like to extend our congratulations to Nicole Allen, age 11; Eben Desilva, age 10; and Quetzal Frey, age 8 (Quetzal's essay is photographed below)!

Thank you to all who shared their experiences with us. You're all fantastic story tellers and even greater environmental stewards! Keep up the great work!

We will post all of the winning essays in the coming days... and all will be displayed at today's Green Families Celebration and Farmer's Market in Kittery from 4-7 p.m. We hope to have some of our entrants read their essays out loud to inspire more families to go green! 


The Wasps Next Door

By Craig | Aug 26, 2014 | in

Sometimes it starts with a low hum, something dull and distant droning like a lawnmower in the distance; someone in the neighborhood perhaps. Then, at a backyard cookout, a friend sipping on their lemonade can't get away from one. That's when you see it, a wasp's nest the size of a volleyball hanging underneath the porch steps like a paper lantern. This summer Tom Pray, of Ecotech Pest Control in Eliot, Maine, saw a drastic spike in yellow jacket populations that, even with a B.S. in entomology, leaves him stumped as to why there are so many reported nests.

"Last year we had a bumper crop of bald face hornets and yellow jacket nests. We're probably just seeing the result of that," Pray hypothesized. "All those nest sites last year created new queens for this year, so a large number of them survived the winter and now they're creating new nest sites during the summer."

Pray was recently called to a property not by the homeowner, but by Minute Men Painters, a green painting company in Portsmouth, who couldn't paint the home because three wasp nests were found along the roof line. To combat these pests, Pray has different pieces of equipment and treatments that allow him to remove these stinging insects wherever they may nest.

Homeowners can take some minor precautions themselves by walking their property to check for nests. There are a few different species of yellow jacket, which, along with Bald-faced hornets, are actually classified as wasps. The varying species each have a favorite place to build, which is why many homeowners find nests in the ground, hanging from a tree and hidden in the wall of a house. If a homeowner, or business owner, finds a nest on their property during the summer Pray insists they call him instead of taking matters into their own hands with over-the-counter insecticides.

"People don’t want to go after a nest site like that with a can of Raid, that’s like bringing a knife to a gun fight. You have to be really close when you set that off and they will come after you," he said.

Harbor Eye Care Back to School Sale! 25% off for Students and Teachers!

By Katie | Aug 26, 2014 | in

Going back to school shopping isn't all about notebooks, pencils, and the hippest clothes.... it's about being ready for the school year! No student  nor teacher is fully prepared without an eye exam and the newest eyewear trends! Harbor Eye Care Center recognizes all the hard work both students and teachers do and want to reward them now through September. 

 Harbor Eye Care Center is celebrating the end of summer with a Back to School Sale for all students and faculty (with valid ID)! Visit Harbor Eye Care Center at 161 Deer Street in Portsmouth to receive 25% off all eyeglass purchases! 

GA Members save 20% on any complete perscription eyewear purchase! 


Green Alliance seeks a Freelance Sustainability Certifier!

By Sam | Aug 26, 2014 | in

Did you know that the Green Alliance has a Green Jobs Board? Keep up with who's hiring in the seacoast and feel good about the work you do!

Sometimes we list jobs on the Green Jobs Board, too. This one is for a freelance Sustainability Certifier. Click through to read the job description!

Are you well versed in sustainability and looking for an opportunity to put it to work and get hands on experience? Are you an outgoing, mature person who likes to talk to and meet other people? Do you have a way with words? Are you a graduate student, or recently graduated?

If this sounds like you, then the Green Alliance has the perfect freelance opportunity!

ENH Power Parent Company Ranked #6 by Inc. Magazine

By Craig | Aug 26, 2014 | in

In the latest issue of Inc. magazine, ENH Power's parent company, Provider Power, was ranked #6 in the magazine's 33rd Annual List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies. Provider Power is also ranked number one, in the energy sector.

Provider Power joins the ranks of other well known businesses that first gained exposure as members of the Inc. 500/5,000 list including Timberland, Yelp, Dell, Domino's Pizza and more. The list reflects agruably one of the most important economic groups: the American independent entrepreneur.

“The fact that a New England owned energy company can compete on a national scale is a testament to all our employees,” said Kevin Dean who co-owner of Provider Power. “New England values, honest business practices and putting customers, and employees ahead of gimmicks are the key to our success.”

This is the second consecutive year that Provider Power has been ranked by Inc. magazine. The company ranked 32 on the magazine's 2013 list.

Only 2 Days Away! Join us for the 3rd Annual Green Families Celebration!

By Katie | Aug 25, 2014 | in

This Wednesday the Green Alliance is celebrating the 2nd birthday of the Green Alliance Green Families Club.  Join us this Wednesday, August 27, from 4 – 7 p.m. as the GA hosts a Green Families Celebration and Farmer’s Market. The bash is free and open to the public.

The Green Families Club (GFC) was created in July 2012 in response to market research which revealed the GA’s membership was largely made up of families with young children. The GFC set out with the goal to inspire a young generation of environmentalists, or “future environmentalists” (as the GFC t-shirts proudly boast). The GA now has over 4,000 regular members, and nearly 500 GFC members, with over 115 local business partners.

“After looking more closely at who our members were, we realized that many of them were moms and dads - people who had a very real vested interest in safer, greener, more local products and services,” said GA Director Sarah Brown. “We realized pretty quickly that bringing families together – helping them learn from one another – would be a great way to help bring more attention to the green-certified businesses in the Green Alliance.”

Gundalow Gifts

By Magill | Aug 22, 2014 | in

Visit The Gundalow Company's gift shop for unique gifts including marble coasters, hand painted ornaments, totes and more! The Gunadlow shop has great gifts for all ages that promote local business. Stop by today to check out detailed Gundalow models and comfortable Gundalow logo wear. The shop is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located conveniently on 60 Marcy Street in Portsmouth right by the water.


The Smuttlabs Train Keeps Rolling!

By Magill | Aug 22, 2014 | in

Tomorrow Smuttynose Brewery will release their new Smuttlabs creation, Schmutzig, it will be available in the Smerch Store at the Towle Farm brewery at 10 a.m.! Schmutzig (6% abv) is a creative mix between hefeweizen yeast and Sterling and Crystal hops. With a hoppy IPA flavor and a delicious Bavarian influence this is a new flavor like nothing before.

Each 375 ml bottle is $6 and the brewery currently has 50 cases for sale. There will be tasters available at the Towle Farm brewery to enjoy before purchasing. The Schmutzig will ship to all Smuttynose markets on Monday August 25. As a 100 barrel batch this new flavor will be arriving at more bars than ever before! Stay tuned for Smuttlabs next release, the Oak-aged Belgian-style Tripel. 

Become a Sustainable NHPTV Member

By Magill | Aug 22, 2014 | in

Help NHPTV make showings of your favorite award winning programs possible and become a sustainable member today! By becoming a NHPTV Sustainer you make a commitment to the tv you love for as low as 5 dollars a month. Payments are flexible and you can stop at any time, but as a sustainble member all of your donations go to the programs by cutting out mailing costs.  As a Sustainer you will support programs including Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, and Windows to the Wild. 

To become a sustaining member click here or call 800-639-8408.


Hookfest 2014

By Sam | Aug 22, 2014 | in

If you didn't make it to Hookfest this year, presented by Redhook Brewery and WXGR-FM, this is just a slice of what you missed:

Open Streets Portsmouth

By Magill | Aug 22, 2014 | in

On Sunday September 14, Open Streets Portsmouth will be transforming a mile of neighborhood streets into a public park for people to walk, bike, stroll, skip, whatever. Seacoast Velokids will have cycling skills for kids at Lafayette playground, plus a Strider bike test area for little kids and a Trek Demo trailer for the adult kids. Seacoast United will have skills clinics and more at Clough Field. And, there will be a few yoga locations along the route.

Nicole Allen, age 11, Goes Green with her Grandma!

By Katie | Aug 22, 2014 | in

We can not get enough of these essay contest submissions! We have another preview for you of some of our great entries! 

This one comes from Nicole Allen, age 11. She has a hilarious anectdote of how an annual week with her Grandmother has taught her to go green! 

We go to the movies, buy popcorn, a soda, and maybe a box of candy. When we’re done, we throw it out, to be carted away to a landfill. But, who cares. These landfills won’t hurt our generation; let the next generation deal with the results of our family activities. Back in the olden days, people didn’t do that; they saved things and reused things. Leftover food! It never happened. Unused objects? Just the thought of buying something then not using it was a shock. If they wanted to do a family activity they wouldn’t just go to the store, but some colorful paper, sparkly stickers and glue and make a scrapbook. They would use things they already had and make things like cornhusk dolls and daisy chains. They were better at being green then us. But we can still try and sometimes, the people who are the greenest will be found in unexpected places. My grandma is one of those people and I figured that out the first time I went to her house. Her house is a place where I'm pretty sure sweating should be a family activity because without any air conditioner it happens a lot in the summer. (And in the winter you should probably bring your footie pajamas because a she rarely turns on the heater.) My sister and I spend a week at her house every summer, just my Grandma, Grandpa, Great Grandma and us, and the experience we have there. . . let’s just say that it doesn’t happen to many people!

Thank you, Nicole for sharing your green experiences with us! The drawing also comes from Nicole, who said her Grandmother drives so infrequently (often opting to ride her bike around town) that seeing her grandmother's car should be a game, comparable to "Punch Buggy". 

People's Climate March

By Amanda | Aug 22, 2014 | in

Join the People's Climate March on September 21 for an all day event to walk through the canyons of Manhattan in the world's largest demonstration yet about climate change. September 23rd Ban Ki-moon has invited world leaders to come to the UN to talk about global warming. With many world leaders attending this summit, the spotlight will no doubt be on New York. This walk offers a chance to show important world leaders that “the people” support the climate movement.

Sierra Club Maine has also arranged for buses to bring people to and from this event. Buses will leave from Pease Tradeport at a $30 roundtrip cost. The Sierra Club Maine asks that people sign up for the buses as soon as possible, to assist them in knowing how many buses are needed. For more information on buses and to reserve your spot, click here.

For more information on the People’s Climate March, click here, or contact Hilary Clark at 207-363-8128 or at