Blog : April 2015

Solarfest Brightens UNH's Campus

By Corey | Apr 2, 2015 | in

As part of the Solarfest team, this will be my fourth year participating in Solarfest; the first year as an attendee, the second as a student organization representative, the third being the Volunteer Coordinator, and I am excited to reprise that role again this year. Solarfest provides the community with a day of pure happiness and attendees will be able to feel the energy from both the solar panels and the joyful crowd.  

Fueled by fun and the sun, the University of New Hampshire's Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC) will hold their annual Solarfest on April 26. This free and public event is a full day of 100 percent solar powered music, art, community, sustainability, and activitites for all ages. Held on the campus' Boulder Field, all the energy used for this event is powered through nearby solar panels days before, and utilized throughout the entire festival powering everything from the stage's sound system to vendor tents. And the Green Alliance will be on-site promoting our green and sustainable businesses, and educating the community on making more sustainable choices.

SEAC is a group of students dedicated to bringing an awareness of sustainable issues to the UNH campus. Solarfest is one of their biggest and most popular events of the year amongst students and seacoast residents. 

For 22 years, attendees dance through the morning and afternoon to great live music and local environmental vendors. Other activities and performances at this year's event include the Kraft Korner for Kids, hoop performances from the area's most intricate and flexible hula hoopers, henna tattoos, painting, and the stories of Penn Johnson, a new-age folksinger who tells stories of divestment.

Party for the Planet: Redhook Brewery and the Green Alliance to Host Earth Day Celebration

By Katelyn | Apr 1, 2015 | in

PORTSMOUTH - Two seacoast businesses, Redhook Brewery and the Green Alliance, are coming together to celebrate Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22, at the Redhook Brewery located at 1 Redhook Way at the Pease International Tradeport. Guests will enjoy an evening of live music from local seacoast band, Humble Bee, and a selection of raffle prizes. Redhook will provide complementary all natural and local foods from their kitchen at the Cataqua Public House restaurant and a cash bar featuring their sustainable brews. $2 from every beer purchased will be donated to the Hodgson Brook Association. 

The Party for the Planet will take place from 6 - 9:00 p.m. with a $5 admission. However, Green Alliance members receive free admission to the party. Those who wish to attend the party, but are not members, can join today to get in for free and receive discounts at local green businesses, and exclusive stepped up discounts offered to members during the month of April. Members planning to attend the party should RSVP by email to

Not only is Redhook a staple in the seacoast's craft brewing scene, and nationally, but the brewery also surges ahead of the competition in terms of environmental practices among craft breweries. Redhook has instituted an extensive facility-wide recycling and composting program, reuses water from the brewing process for cleaning and sends spent grains to local farmers for animal feed. Starting this year, Redhook purchases wind energy credits for every kWh used in the production facility and restaurant. Throughout the facility, Redhook has taken countless small steps to reduce their energy consumption such as installing high-efficiency light bulbs, implementing motion sensor lighting and using EnergyStar appliances. It is part of the facility's effort offset their carbon footprint and is led by the head of Redhook's Sustainability Committee, and Operations Project Engineer, Tietjen Hynes.

Spring Into Spring with a $20 Membership During the Month of April

By Katelyn | Apr 1, 2015 | in

To celebrate the coming of warmer months and the end of a very long winter, the Green Alliance is offering a reduced membership for new members to join to GA and start the season off right! Join anytime during the month of April for only $20 (save $15 off the normal membership) and enjoy a year of discounts with 100+ local green businesses. 

A membership with the Green Alliance gives you discounts with local sustainable businesses, access to member exclusive events, such as holiday parties and summer sails on the Gundalow, and is the perfect way to show your dedication to working with local and green businesses. Speaking of parties...join us for the Redhook and Green Alliance Party for the Planet to celebrate Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22 (members get in for free)! 

On top of the exclusive discounts GA members receive throughout the year, several Business Partners are offering additional specials during the month of April to jump start the season. Click here to see how you can get ready for warmer weather and score a great deal at the same time. 

Click here to join the Green Alliance today for only $20!

Art for a Cause

By Sarah Mahoney | Apr 1, 2015 | in

By Sarah Mahoney

PORTSMOUTH - The natural landscape has long been an inspiration to creative people. Artisans have worked for centuries to try and capture its beauty through a variety of mediums. Today, with nature's splendor at risk of degradation, local artists are inspired to use their craft to bring awareness to its protection.

Great Bay Stewards (GBS) is one of several well-known organizations dedicated to spreading awareness to protect New Hampshire's environment using art to spark conversation. For over a decade, the Stewards have hosted the annual Art of Great Bay fundraiser to help raise money for the Great Bay Discovery Center. Local artists are encouraged to contribute to the show by submitting paintings, pottery, glass, sculptures and other forms of art.

The 11th annual Art of Great Bay will take place from April 17 - 19 at the Hugh Gregg Coastal Conservation Center at the Great Bay Discovery Center in Greenland. The event is to be open to the public throughout the weekend.

Wild and Scenic Film Festival Inspires and Unites Green Businesses

By Mike | Apr 1, 2015 | in

PORTSMOUTH - Since 2003, the Wild and Scenic Film Festival has informed audiences of current environmental issues. As the largest environmental film festival in North America, it is Wild and Scenic's mission to spark conversation throughout the country to discover resolutions of these issues.

The Wild and Scenic Film Festival isn’t just restricted to one location however. In just a three month application process, Wild and Scenic On Tour can bring the festival to local communities throughout the country.

In the seacoast of New Hampshire, the festival will be held on Friday, April 24 at the Music Hall Historic Theater in Portsmouth at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $16 at the Music Hall Box Office, with an extra $5 for online purchases. About 500 attendees are expected, and there will also be a free raffle with donated prizes from local businesses.

For the past four years, the Southeast Land Trust (SELT) has brought the festival to Portsmouth. The group was founded back in 1980 as a nonprofit conservation organization determined to protect the outdoors for future generations. SELT serves 55 communities in southeastern New Hampshire and has over 13,000 acres of land in conservation in Rockingham and Strafford Counties.

Favorite Foods: Family Success that Includes Sustainability

By Mike | Apr 1, 2015 | in

By Michael McCord

Chris Barstow has a philosophy that has served his company Favorite Foods well for more than a quarter century. “If we help our customers do more business and become more profitable, then we will reap the benefits.”

Barstow is the president and chief executive of Favorite Foods, the Somersworth-based restaurant supply company that has carved a profitable niche in a highly competitive industry that includes giants such as Sysco, US Foods and Performance Food Group.

Barstow admits to not seeking individual recognition and says credit goes to the 53-employee team. The $37.5 million annual revenue firm provides supplies to local, independent restaurants as well as some state prisons, military installations, private schools and food manufacturers.

Favorite Foods also has an entrepreneurial backstory worthy of an academic case study. Barstow, a Pennsylvania native, was working in Silicon Valley as a high-tech distributor for Texas Instruments when his brother, Jeff, founded the company. When he came for a Maine vacation to visit his brother he was already at a career crossroads.

Portsmouth's Single Use Carryout Plastic Bag Ordinance - We Need Your Help!

By Sarah Mahoney | Apr 1, 2015 | in

We are looking to the Green Alliance community to take action on this Plastic Bag Ordinance here in Portsmouth, NH. Check out some information about the ordinance and ways that you can get involved below.

The Surfrider Foundation - New Hampshire Chapter is a group of local volunteers dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the oceans, waves, and beaches. In 2012 a sub-committee within the Chapter formed to create RAP - Rise Above Plastics. This committee is comprised entirely of volunteer community members.