Blog : February 2015

To Have and Have Not: Renewable Energy Policies Face Opposition in the New Hampshire House and Senate

By Ken | Feb 27, 2015 | in

By Craig Robert Brown

CONCORD - A series of amended bills that would repeal the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), statute RSA 362-F, are going before the New Hampshire House and Senate.

On February 5, the Republican led committee voted to amend HB-208 presented by State Rep. Richard Barry, R-Merrimack, who originally brought the same concept to the table in 2011 and again in 2012. The amendment would keep New Hampshire in RGGI, but would rebate all RGGI auction proceeds to ratepayers instead of using part of the rebates, as it currently does, to invest in low-income and municipal energy efficiency projects.

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, one of the original 10 northeast states participating in RGGI, pulled his state from the pact in 2011.

The first vote before the House was held on February 18, which resulted in a decision to stay in RGGI with a 201-154 vote to stop investing any of the funding in energy efficiency. The bill will still go before the Senate, where it could pass, before being presented to the governor.

Celebrating Ten Wild Years

By Corey | Feb 26, 2015 | in

New Hampshire Public Television is celebrating ten years and seasons of Windows to the Wild, an outdoor series that follows adventurer Willem Lange as he hikes, paddles and explores New England's wild. An avid outdoorsman, Lange has worked as a ranch hand, Adirondack guide, and director of the Dartmouth Outward Bound Center. Lange offers insights into the history, ecology and special character of each place visited, giving viewers quiet moments to reflect on the beauty and splendor of the natural world. Windows to the Wild takes viewers outdoors and to New England's best natural places, in hopes to exemplify how the beauty of nature can be seen just outside a window. Whether it's canoeing down the Connecticut, taking on Acadia's Great Head Trail, or traveling to the waterfalls of the White Mountains, Lange transports viewers into his world of the great outdoors. 

On Wednesday March 4 at 7:30 PM, the Windows to the Wild 10th Anniversary Special will have clips from Lange's adventures over the years and much more. Not only will this television event celebrate 10 years of adventures with Lange, but it is also celebrates Lange's 80th birthday! NHPTV is also giving viewers the opportunity to bid on a chance to join Lange and the Windows to the Wild producers on a hike. NHPTV members will recieve Lange's new book Words from the Wild, with stories inspired by Windows to the Wild adventures, a special 2-DVD set of eight favorite shows, and a trademark hiking bandana through a one-time donation to the program. 

NHPTV is New Hampshire’s only statewide, locally owned television network. NHPTV is dedicated to broadcasting programs that engage minds, connect communities, and celebrates the region that entertains and educates. They offer a wide range of environmentally-themed programming, while emphasizing commitment to supporting local economy. NHPTV has also instituted a comprehensive recycling program, showing their support of sustainability both on and off the screen.

Yoga Gets a New Twist with Broga

By Corey | Feb 26, 2015 | in

GateWay Taiji Qigong and Yoga hosts workshop on the latest trend in fitness– yoga geared toward men.

PORTSMOUTH - There's a new trend gaining popularity in the yoga community that has men emerging from their mancaves and stretching their way into yoga studios. Known as Broga, this class offers a unique and innovative type of yoga designed to engage men through a challenging set of routines that combine traditional yoga postures with strengthening exercises. The result is a workout that improves flexibility, builds muscle, reduces the risk of injury, relieves stress and improves balance.

One local yoga studio that has picked up on this growing trend is GateWay Taiji Qigong and Yoga center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Focused on taiji and qigong, in addition to yoga, GateWay has been a center for practicing and teaching the martial arts and energy work since 2012. Its large studio provides a spacious, sunlit, inviting environment for daily classes and special seminars. Gateway founder Bill Buckley creates a welcoming, non-judgmental and fun atmosphere where people of all ages and fitness levels can explore, get fit and connect with other like-minded seekers. Buckley hopes that incorporating the Broga workout will open his studio space to a wider range of students, especially men who don't often participate in yoga.

“Many men avoid yoga because they don’t have the natural flexibility most women have. Traditional yoga classes often highlight this weakness, leading to frustration,” says Buckley.

Meet a Green Alliance Business: NHSolarGarden

By Corey | Feb 26, 2015 | in

What: Demand for locally-sourced solar power has grown and NHSolarGarden, one of the first companies to promote group net metering, offers a solution that makes solar affordable for everyone. Founded by Andrew Kellar, NHSolarGarden matches group members interested in purchasing solar power with land and property owners who act as hosts for solar arrays. NHSolarGarden develops a solar array to power one location, the host site, which shares its excess power with another location, like a residence, business or school, through existing utilities like NH Electric Coop, Unitil and Eversource Energy (formerly PSNH). Groups made up of individuals also receive a host's excess energy when they join NHSolarGarden. Members get bi-annual Solar Rebates, equivalent to one cent per kWh off their current electric rate; essentially incurring no upfront costs to invest in local solar and in fact, saving money off their regular electric bill. NHSolarGarden customers keep their same electric bill and enter into long-term plans with fixed-rate programs and never have to worry about rate changes.

By joining NHSolarGarden, group members support the development of clean, local power while bringing economic benefits to local farmers and landowners who lease their land for solar installations. NHSolarGarden will even build separate solar systems for greenhouses so farmers can grow crops year round while generating solar energy on their land. NHSolarGarden also installs arrays on structures including landfills, malls, self-storage facilities, mill buildings and warehouse rooftops and require as little as 7,000 sq. feet for a potential solar lease space. The company handles all development and equipment costs and any utility logistics. NHSolarGarden offers a novel avenue towards energy independence by allowing individuals to invest in locally generated solar power and reduce their electricity costs while doing so.

Zev Yoga Studios Wins Best of the Best for All Three Studios

By Corey | Feb 26, 2015 | in

For the third year running, Zev Yoga Studios keeps the crown of Best Yoga Studio in the New Hampshire Business Review's 2014 Best of the Best Awards. The mission of the BOB Awards is to find the Granite States's most stand-out businesses; businesses that offer the best customer service, pay attention to details, and are willing to go above and beyond to ensure an exceptional customer experience. BOB voters are other businesspeople and the public in each community. This year, Zev Yoga took the title of Best Yoga Studio in not one, but all three locations - Exeter/Stratham, Portsmouth, and Tri-City (Dover). 

Ice Damage: Protect the Environment While Protecting Your Homes

By Corey | Feb 26, 2015 | in

It’s no surprise that with this winter delivering its spate of major snowstorms, homeowners are facing the problem of dealing with ice dams and leakage into their houses. Ice dams form when the roof temperature is above freezing, typically a result of poor insulation, and when the temperature of the overhang and gutters is below freezing. The water from melted snow turns into ice at the soffit area and runs down the cold part of the roof causing ice dams and outsized icicles.

Prevention of ice dams first comes with proper roof insulation. Green Cocoon offers “green” spray foam made from polyurethane plastic and cellulose insulation made from recycled paper that provides long-lasting insulation to lower heating and cooling energy costs by half, compared to traditional insulation products. Yankee Thermal Imaging can also save homeowners the trouble of roof damage by identifying where homes are losing heat and helping make energy efficient upgrades through energy audits.

Another problem plaguing homeowners during winter storm season is fallen trees onto homes. In addition to their focus of pruning and removal of trees with the least invasive approach, Cornerstone Treecare is clearing snow off roofs and removing ice dams using a climbing method of belaying off trees without damaging their very sensitive bark.

For quick fixes, the most common solution to melting damaging ice is rock salt due to its effectiveness and affordability. However, rock salt has detrimental environmental effects that will harm surrounding vegetation, wash into water ways, increase salinity, and can potentially contaminate drinking water. It’s also corrosive to metals and concrete and harmful to pet’s paws. Fortunately, there are many alternatives to rock salt that are kid, pet, and environmentally friendly.

Join as a Sustaining Member or Upgrade to the Level and Enjoy Two Free Tickets to the Showing of Dogs and Lesser Mortals

By Katelyn | Feb 25, 2015 | in

Join the GA as a Sustaining Member or upgrade from the basic one year membership, and get two FREE opening weekend tickets to Kent Stephens’ Stage Force show Dogs and Lesser Mortals at the Star Theatre in Kittery! Those who become new sustaining members with the Green Alliance will receive two tickets to the show for the night of their choice ($60 value) on opening weekend from Friday, March 13 - Sunday, March 15.

Kent Stephens’ Stage Force was founded in 2006 with the goal of bringing live theater performances to southern Maine and coastal New Hampshire. The Music Hall Loft in Portsmouth, and Star Theatre in Kittery serve as the popular venues for the Stage Force productions and the Star Theater is pleased to present Dogs and Lesser Mortals for six performances only during March. This theatrical production uses music, poetry, and stories, to give us humans an inside look at what it might be like to live the life of a canine. From chasing squirrels to waiting for dinner time, the Stage Force presents a humorous tale of the everyday life of being a dog. The Green Alliance is proud to help sponsor the showing of Dogs and Lesser Mortals at the Star Theater, along with fellow Business Partners Mary’s Dogs and the Natural Dog.

Become a Sustaining Member now, and get two free tickets to the Dogs and Lesser Mortals showing of your choice ($60 value). That's almost half your lifetime membership dues right there!

BYOB York and the Blue Ocean Society Present: Bag It

By Katelyn | Feb 25, 2015 | in

How many plastic bags do you use each day? Not a lot, maybe just one or two, but how many plastic bags do you use in a week, a month, a year? Now think about how many are used worldwide. Each month, 42 billion plastic bags are used around the world, with the vast majority traveling to landfills, incinerators, or to someone’s community as garbage. Cities and towns across the U.S are stepping up to encourage their councilmen to ban single-use plastic bags or to charge a fee to direct customers away from them.

BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag) York is a town wide initiative to reduce single-use plastic bags and promote reusable bags by charging a small fee for each disposable bag used by a customer. The group hopes the ordinance will be passed by the York Board of Selectmen to help reduce the number of plastic bags that end up in landfills, in our waterways, and in the ocean. BYOB York as teamed up with the Blue Ocean Society to present the film Bag It, a documentary on the detrimental effects of plastic bags on the environment and our health. The Blue Ocean Society, a Business Partner with the Green Alliance, works to protect marine mammals in the Gulf of Maine through research, conservation, and education of the public.

Local Tech Company Does Its Part to Protect Digital Information

By Ken | Feb 25, 2015 | in

By Mark Quirk

PORTSMOUTH – The recent snow storms in the Northeast should serve as a reminder that Mother Nature is a force to be reckoned with.

And while severe weather can cause serious damage to physical property, it's just as dangerous to digital property. That's why measures should be taken to protect both. Since 1997 Jenaly Technology Group, Inc., has helped individuals and businesses with the latter.

MJ Shoer, the company's president and virtual chief technology officer, says changing weather patterns are becoming more unpredictable and more severe. Storms such as hurricane Sandy that walloped the New York City area and masses of snow, like what we've been experiencing here in New England this winter make the risk of impact on your IT infrastructure more possible.

Join as a Sustaining Member and Enjoy Two Free Tickets to the Showing of Dogs and Lesser Mortals

By Katelyn | Feb 24, 2015 | in

Join the GA as a Sustaining Member and get two FREE opening weekend tickets to Kent Stephens’ Stage Force show Dogs and Lesser Mortals at the Star Theatre in Kittery! The first three people to become new sustaining members with the Green Alliance will receive two tickets to the show for the night of their choice ($60 value) on opening weekend from Friday, March 13 - Sunday, March 15.

Kent Stephens’ Stage Force was founded in 2006 with the goal of bringing live theater performances to southern Maine and coastal New Hampshire. The Music Hall Loft in Portsmouth, and Star Theatre in Kittery serve as the popular venues for the Stage Force productions and the Star Theater is pleased to present Dogs and Lesser Mortals for six performances only during March. This theatrical production uses music, poetry, and stories, to give us humans an inside look at what it might be like to live the life of a canine. From chasing squirrels to waiting for dinner time, the Stage Force presents a humorous tale of the everyday life of being a dog. The Green Alliance is proud to help sponsor the showing of Dogs and Lesser Mortals at the Star Theater, along with fellow Business Partners Mary’s Dogs and the Natural Dog.

Become a Sustaining Member now, and get two free tickets to the Dogs and Lesser Mortals showing of your choice ($60 value). That's almost half your lifetime membership dues right there!

Hayseed Farmstyle Restaurant Grand Opening

By Katelyn | Feb 24, 2015 | in

The long awaited day has finally arrived; Smuttynose Brewing Co. is set to open Hayseed Farmstyle Restaurant on Wednesday, February 25! Last year, Smuttynose opened their new brewing facility at Towle Farm in Hampton, NH. and preserved much of the charm of the historic farmstead, including the Victorian-era farmhouse, while establishing a new state of the art brewery focused on sustainability.

For years, Smuttynose has worked to create a more sustainable business and to reduce their environmental footprint. With the establishment of the new facility at Towle Farm, Smuttynose incorporated more environmentally friendly practices into their every business operations including sending spent grain to nearby farms, producing their own hops on grounds, and becoming Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified. Hayseed Farmstyle Restaurant, located in the former farm house, will continue the sustainable practices pioneered by Smuttynose Brewing Co.

Catch the Smuttynose Brews During Portsmouth Beer Week

By Katelyn | Feb 23, 2015 | in

Portsmouth Beer Week is in full swing and if you’re a beer lover then there is no better place to be right now than Downtown Portsmouth. The 6th Annual Beer Week is a celebration of craft beer created thanks to the collaborative efforts of local breweries, regional breweries, and Portsmouth restaurants. Not only do visitors and participants of Beer Week get to enjoy locally made brews, but they also help the City of Portsmouth gain more attention as a nationally recognized beer city.

Smuttynose Brewing Company and its sister company, the Portsmouth Brewery are long time Business Partners of the Green Alliance because they are not only local breweries, but they also value sustainability. The two breweries have incorporated more environmentally friendly practices into their everyday business operations. The Smuttynose Brewery is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified meaning that the company took great strides to build a brewery with a smaller environmental footprint. At the same time, Smuttynose sends their spent grain to nearby farms, produces some of their own hops on the grounds, and tends to beehives to continue the pollination processes nearby. As a downtown restaurant and bar, The Portsmouth Brewery must approach sustainability from a slightly different angle and has created an extensive composting and recycling program to send as little restaurant waste to the landfill as possible. Over the years, the Brewery has taken small steps like replacing incandescent lighting, installing low flow nozzles, and supporting local food providers to continue to lessen their environmental impact.

The Green Alliance Community Rallies Around Jim and Deana Cavan

By Katelyn | Feb 23, 2015 | in

From Sarah Brown

It is with great, great sadness that we extend all of our love and support to former Green Alliance Director of Media Jim Cavan and his wife Deana, as they carry the unimaginable grief of the passing of their lovely baby son Everett Cavan. For those of you who know Jim, you know him as an incredible writer and a major contributor to the Green Alliance. Jim worked four years to make this organization into what it is today and in the last year I saw him apply the same love, passion and creativity to fatherhood. Both Jim and Deana were nothing short of master parents and I watched as these two newbies mothered and fathered as if it was their natural calling. As the mom of 3 girls I have never seen such fabulous parents; two adults that were at once loving, instructive and fun. They clearly were enjoying every minute of this lovely creature they had in their hands!

Jim and Deana graced us with little Rett a few times; allowing me and my girls to babysit and play with the vibrant and sharp little guy on a few occasions and boy did we have a great time with him. When Jim or Deana came to pick him up we didn’t want to give him back. He was so easy and fun to be with – I had to reprimand my girls for not sharing Rett, with my oldest Daria “hogging” the beautiful boy to the detriment of Auden and Claire who were losing patience waiting for their turn to hold him. We know firsthand the wonder of this child, his tenacity, energy and beauty. My whole family thanks Jim and Deana for sharing Rett with us – and I thank Jim for making me a better person and a better mom. Jim and Deana you are an inspiration to all of us.

We will always hold Rett in our hearts and the Green Alliance community sends all of our support to Jim and Deana and our blessings to little Rett who we commend for his strength and the love he has given to his parents and this world.

Jim and Deana have asked that in lieu of gifts to them you consider donating to Rett’s GoFundMe site where they will take the money raised and put it towards other families with sick children and to battling this devastating cancer that has taken Rett from this world. To donate or learn more click here

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Poco's Bow Street Cantina

By Sarah Mahoney | Feb 23, 2015 | in

What: As one of the Seacoast's longest operating family-owned restaurants, Poco's Bow Street Cantina offers all-natural, sustainable menu options and stunning views of the Piscataqua River from its decks and energy-efficient dining room. Established more than 33 years ago at 47 Bow St., husband and wife co-owners, John Golumb and Marlisa Geroulo, have turned Poco's and its sister restaurant, Two Ceres Street, into staples of sustainable dining.

Over the years, Golumb has made significant upgrades to Poco's heating energy systems installing an efficient fireplace, a new heat pump system and an energy-efficient furnace for its outdoor lower deck. And during the renovation of Poco's kitchen, Golumb added a more efficient ventilation system to keep the workspace cool during the summer months. Golumb also switched the restaurant's lighting to CFL lightbulbs and installed indoor and outdoor light sensors to reduce energy waste. Golumb also maintains a strict recycling policy at Poco's where all spent materials, including paper, plastic, metal and frying oil, are properly recycled. Additionally, all food scraps are composted and all to-go containers are made of corn-based sustainable materials that can be composted. Golumb and Geroulo advocate supporting farms and agriculture with locally sourced menu items at Poco's, which is also a proud member of Seacoast Eat Local, and include vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options.

Celebrate Portsmouth Beer Week with Redhook Brewery!

By Katelyn | Feb 23, 2015 | in

Breweries and restaurants around Portsmouth have teamed up to celebrate local beer and to push Portsmouth further along in becoming known as a great American beer city. Portsmouth Beer Week will be in full swing from February 21- March 2, with various tastings and events throughout the city each night of the week. Local breweries such as, Redhook Brewery, Smuttynose, The Portsmouth Brewery, Earth Eagle, and Throwback, along with regional breweries, will work with Portsmouth restaurants to bring guests unique tastings and offerings.

Redhook Brewery is a Seacoast New Hampshire staple, and is at the center of many of the events during Beer Week. The Redhook Longhammer IPA will be featured at the 4th Annual Clash of the IPAs at TJ’s on February 24, where guests can experience a long list of IPAs from around the country and pick their favorite. On Wednesday, February 25 Redhook will be featured at the free New Hampshire Beer Tasting at the Craft Beer Cellar along with other area breweries such as 603 Brewery, Kelsen Brewery, and Tuckerman’s Brewing Company.