Blog : Earth Day Party and Cleanup Changed Pease Tradeport for the Better

By Katelyn | Apr 28, 2015 | in

Last Thursday, Redhook Brewery organized a cleanup of the Pease Tradeport grounds to celebrate the true meaning of Earth Day: beautifying our planet for future generations to enjoy. Redhook worked with the Hodgson Brook Association to collect trash from the brook, which travels through the Tradeport and is listed as an impaired waterway.

The Hodgson Brook Watershed includes 2,135 acres in Portsmouth, and the brook itself is seven miles long and collects stormwater from 20% of Portsmouth. The Hodgson Brook has become increasingly polluted over the last several years due to stormwater runoff that picks up fertilizers, oil, and trash as it makes its way to storm drains which empty into the brook. The Hodgson Brook Restoration Project aims to improve the quality of the brook through community outreach and education, monitoring pollutant levels, and cleanups to reduce visible pollution around the waterway.

On Earth Day, Redhook employees, employees from Lonza and Newmarket Inc., and individual volunteers spread out around the Tradeport and collected trash littered around the Hodgson Brook. Volunteers picked up nearly 150 bags of trash plus over a pound and a half of cigarette butts alone. Cigarette butts are a common sight around the brook because people often believe they are made of paper and biodegradable; however, cigarettes butts contain plastic and fiberglass and have a five year lifespan before they begin to degrade.

Redhook has long been a leader among craft breweries in sustainable practices and the use of environmentally friendly materials and products. Redhook has an extensive facility-wide recycling and composting program, reuses water from the brewing process, and sends spent grains to local farmers. Early in 2015 they began purchasing wind energy credits and recently installed an electric car charging station, high-efficiency lights, motion sensors and EnergyStar appliances. On Earth Day, Redhook hoped to go beyond their everyday efforts and improve the Hodgson Brook and Tradeport where the facility is located.

For each bag of trash collected, volunteers received a raffle ticket to be used at the Party for the Planet hosted by Redhook and the Green Alliance, following the Tradport cleanup. Raffle prizes included a rain barrel, and numerous gift cards and baskets donated by Green Alliance Business Partners. Guests enjoyed live music by Humble Be, a local band, free food, and Redhook brews, where $2 of every beer sold was donated to the Hodgson Brook Association.

In addition to $400 donated to the Hodgson Brook Association in beer sales alone, they also received donations from guests at the door. Overall, the cleanup provided a value of $3,432 in volunteer labor that can be used as match towards the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services section 319 funding which supports the restoration project. In total, the Party for the Planet raised almost $4,000 for the Hodgson Brook Association to be used towards their efforts to restore the brook.

At the peak of the Party for the Planet, Alemaker’s Hall held nearly 180 guests and all who filtered in throughout the night enjoyed the music, food, beer, and raffle that Redhook Brewery and the Green Alliance had to offer. The party featured special guest Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s (pictured on the left with Sarah Brown, Director of the Green Alliance, and Tietjen Hynes of Redhook), who spoke on behalf of the Stamp Stampede, an organization aimed at taking big money out of politics. Not only did Cohen speak about sustainability and environmental initiatives with Ben & Jerry’s, but he also brought along free ice cream, which of course was a hit among guests.

The Tradeport cleanup and the Party for the Planet were successful not only in raising money for the Hodgson Brook Association, but also shedding light on the pollution problems that the brook faces due to trash accumulation and stormwater runoff. Tietjen Hynes, Operations Project Engineer and Head of the Sustainability Committee at Redhook, hopes to see the Tradeport cleanup become an annual event to continue improving the quality of the brook and to educate the public about the importance of healthy waterways.

Click here to learn more about Redhook Brewery and its sustianability initiatives. 

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