Blog : November 2015

Two Tickets to TASTE of the Seacoast Bash for New Sustaining Members!

By Rich | Nov 12, 2015 | in

This year we are celebrating the flavors of the Seacoast by rewarding new Green Alliance sustaining members with 2 tickets to the TASTE of the Seacoast Annual Bash! Just sign up as a new sustaining member and attend one of the premier Seacoast culinary events featuring over 50 restaurants, fine wines, craft beers, and signature cocktails! 

The event will be held Saturday, November 21st, from 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m. at the Portsmouth Harbor Events and Conference Center in Downtown Portsmouth. 

What you'll experience is a sampling of the best of the best, the 2015 winners from TASTE magazine's "Best of TASTE" edition, who will bring their award winning food and cocktails for you to enjoy. Experience restaurateurs, chefs, caterers, brewers, bakers, sommeliers, chocolatiers, and food professionals from over 80 Best of Taste categories.

You are also free to continue your culinary quest by bidding on gift certificates to your favorite restaurants, overnight stays, specialty wines, craft beer packages and exclusive spirits at the silent auction.

And the best part? A portion of all proceeds will be donated to the New Hampshire Food Bank.

Meet a Green Alliance Business: TVC Systems

By Craig | Nov 11, 2015 | in

TVC Systems is a Portsmouth-based control and information systems integration company specializing in supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems. TVC provides a way to control and/or monitor on site combined heat and power (CHP) systems for critical power plants, boiler plants, utility plants and other energy centers and buildings across varying industries, while helping those industries' power, heating and cooling systems to be up to 80 percent more efficient.

Its services include the study, design, implementation and maintenance of co-generation and tri-generation systems in plants that include boilers, turbines, reciprocating engines, heat recovery steam generators, electric and/or adsorption chillers, etc. CHP also reduces air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, requires less fuel to produce a given energy output, avoids transmission and distribution losses that occur when electricity travels over power lines and provides high-quality electricity and thermal energy to a site regardless of what might occur on the power grid. In many cases, energy produced can also be sold back to the local utility supplier. In 2013, TVC Systems was recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency/CHP Partnership for its participation in 22 successfully implemented and completed CHP projects, resulting in significant power efficiencies and emission reductions. TVC is currently in the final design, startup and commissioning phases of four additional CHP projects and continues to upgrade and improve existing facilities.

Where: 284 Constitution Ave., Portsmouth, N.H.


Phone: (603) 431-5251

Little Green Homes Welcomes New Subsidiary, Spruce Creek Woodworks

By Katelyn | Nov 10, 2015 | in

Many area residents are familiar with Little Green Homes, an environmentally friendly building company, located in Greenland, NH, and the local business has recently grown with the addition of Spruce Creek Woodworks. The new subsidiary of Little Green Homes specializes in custom furniture, cabinetry, and woodworking for both residential and commercial properties.

The craftsmen have experience in a variety of different areas of woodworking, giving them knowledge of many different specialties. For Spruce Creek, it isn’t just about the final product, it’s about the entire process of building, beginning with design and working through materials, installation and follow up after completion of the project.

While Spruce Creek Woodworks is new to the seacoast area, Little Green Homes is not. The business, founded by Chris Redmond and Jeff Stacy in 2007, has become well known throughout the area, including in 2009 when Little Green Homes was part of the first Platinum LEED build in Portsmouth.

Since then, they have grown to create sustainable, durable, and more energy efficient homes for residents who want to step outside the box when it comes to home design. One recent project is the construction of an all-electric house in Kittery Point, home to Ann Grinnell and Marge Pelletier.

2 for 1 Tuesdays at 900 Degrees are the Best Deal Around

By Katelyn | Nov 10, 2015 | in

What could be better than two pizzas for the price of one? And we aren’t talking about cheap, chain restaurant pizza. Every week, 900 Degrees Neapolitan Pizza offers the best deal in the area, 2-4-1 Tuesdays, where every signature pizza is buy one, get the second one free.

This great deal is available at both the Manchester and Epping locations and begins at 5:00 p.m. for dine-in customers only. Guests can chose from any of the signature pizzas, including some of the favorites like mac and cheese pizza, barbeque chicken, the house, original margarita, or the most popular- the Bella Cosa.

900 Degrees is a popular favorite among area residents who crave the pizza from the restaurant that aims to create it as pizza was originally conceived in Naples, Italy, hundreds of years ago. The process is as familiar as it is timeless: using a wood-fired brick oven at 900 degrees, the crew cooks with authentic, daily-made dough, fresh and local ingredients, and a mix of flavors to create a classic dish the way it was originally intended.

The pizzerias also hold sustainability as a core value, practicing a number of green business techniques from extensive recycling, reduced energy use, locally sourced, natural and organic ingredients, and a commitment to community giveback and involvement.

When Socially Responsible Investing Becomes Personal

By Katelyn | Nov 10, 2015 | in

By Michael McCord

For Sarah Brown it was time to step up and take her own advice.

In this case, the advice meant an analysis of her investment portfolio to see if it matched her personal values. Brown, the Director of the Green Alliance, said for years she had urged the same for friends and Green Alliance Business Partners.

“I’ve been talking to people for the last five years about becoming green in all quarters of their life,” Brown said. “I needed to walk the walk and do it myself.”

At the outset, Brown was simply seeking information to see if her investments matched her values. “I did not want to be investing in gun makers, fossil fuel companies, drug or gambling industry companies, or big-ag companies that promote GMOs,” Brown explained. “I don’t want my investments in businesses that give lots of money to right-wing causes or politicians. No investments in companies that promote LGBT discrimination or union-busting.”

She also was curious to talk to an advisor who cares about “this stuff” too. “My current advisor is lovely and has produced great results for me; I do trust him with my investments but I realize I want, even need, more than that”.

Brown had planned this exercise to be an educational journey and didn’t imagine she might decide to literally change both her investment portfolio and her financial advisor. She turned to Mike Smith, the Newmarket-based representative for the Progressive Asset Management Group (PAM Group), the socially responsible investment division of Financial West Group.

Ray Dube of CCNNE Presents as Key Note Speaker at NH Department of Safety Green Team Energy Conference

By Katelyn | Nov 9, 2015 | in

The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England (CCNNE) is leading the way in sustainability for large manufacturing and product distribution facilities. CCNNE, a franchise of the Coca-Cola parent company, serves New England area out of their Londonderry, NH facility and is always on the hunt to further reduce their carbon footprint in the creation and delivery of their products.

6.5 million pounds of CCNNE's recycled PET bottles are used to make fleece jackets by The North Face and Patagonia and the Londonderry plant boasts a 93% recycling diversion rate, but aside from extensive recycling, reuse and energy reduction, CCNNE works to get out into local communities and educate the public on what the company does and how individuals can become more green every day. This large responsibility falls on to the plate of Ray Dube, Sustainability Manager at CCNNE.

On Wednesday, October 28, Dube was the keynote speaker at the New Hampshire Department of Safety’s Green Team Energy Conference. Dube has been setting up at different events put on by the State as well as in the State House itself for several years. Last spring, at one of the events, a member from the NH Homeland Security Department Green Team invited him to set up and speak at their monthly meeting.

Celebrate America Recycles Day on November 15

By Katelyn | Nov 7, 2015 | in

America Recycles Day, a program of Keep America Beautiful, is a nationally recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. Every year on November 15, event organizers educate neighbors, friends and colleagues through thousands of events. Keep America Beautiful has created guides, tools, templates and tips to make it easy to organize your local school or community event.

Keep America Beautiful is a national nonprofit organization working to inspire and educate people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Keep America Beautiful was established in 1953 and has made it their goal to provide the expertise, programs and resources to help people end littering in America, increase recycling in America, and beautify America's communities.The organization is driven by the work and passion of community-based Keep America Beautiful affiliates, volunteers, and the support of corporate partners, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals.

Organizers have planned both private and public events around the country, find an event close to you today! Those interested can also register their own event and take the pledge to recycle more. Learn more about America Recycles Day and don't forget to celebrate on November 15!

Market-Based Climate Solutions Discussion at Free Nashua Teach-In

By Katelyn | Nov 5, 2015 | in

President Obama has said repeatedly that if Congress does not send him legislation to implement market-based solutions for climate change, he will use executive and regulatory powers to act. Congress holds back from acting on climate change because many members are concerned about attack ads or primary challengers funded by fossil fuel interests. Consequently the U.S. gets more regulations and business uncertainty as regulations and executive actions are challenged in the courts.

While many Democrats would act on climate legislation, the Republican Party has refused to accept the scientific findings on climate change much less push for legislation to address it. Recently, however, two things have happened that suggest fissures may be opening in the stalemate on climate. In September, Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) and 10 Republican cosponsors introduced a resolution that recognizes the impact of climate change and calls for action to reduce future risk. In October, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) announced “formation of a Senate Energy and Environment Working Group that will focus on ways we can protect our environment and climate while also bolstering clean energy innovation that helps drive job creation.” Ayotte was joined by three other Republican senators in forming the group.

While cynics will say these moves are motivated solely by election year political considerations, they nonetheless offer concerned citizens and clean energy interests opportunities to take officeholders at their word and lobby both groups for the types of market-based approaches President Obama could sign.

Focused on Sustainable Painting

By Katelyn | Nov 3, 2015 | in

By Michael McCord

Sean Sturk had a choice to make after he finished college. He could take a more traditional career path, putting his degrees to use in business and marketing. Or he could continue doing the work he'd enjoyed since he was a teen – getting his hands, face and neck dirty while managing a paint crew and becoming an expert.

“I began painting when I was in high school and excelled at it. I learned a lot when I was put in a management position and ran crews,” said Sturk, co-owner of Minute Men Painters of Portsmouth. “I realized I could make more money painting than being an intern and doing something else.”

In addition to managing painting projects and crews, Sturk also owned and operated a retail paint store where he expanded his knowledge of the products and applications, including eco-friendly options, he sold. With his expertise and education, Sturk turned Minute Men Painters into a regional leader in the "green-painting" revolution when he took over the company in 2000.

“We take pride in our sustainable practices while protecting and adding to the beauty of the homes around us,” said Sturk, a New Hampshire native who received degrees in business management and marketing from the University of New Hampshire and Franklin Pierce University.

Acorn School to Host Annual Fundraiser to Support Nature Based Learning

By Katelyn | Nov 3, 2015 | in

On the evening of November 7, Acorn School, a non-profit preschool and kindergarten, will host its annual fall fundraiser. This year, the fundraiser will be held at Abenaqui Country Club and will serve as one of the main contributions to the Acorn School Endowment Fund.

This fundraiser, as well as others throughout the year, will support capital improvements, overhead costs, and the Becky Shepard scholarship fund. All are encouraged to attend and guests will enjoy an evening of hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, raffle prizes, and live and silent auctions, with all proceeds going to the school.

The pre-K and kindergarteners at Acorn School in Stratham learn to connect with the environment at an early age. Teachers and administrators take advantage of the school’s natural surroundings to create a curriculum and philosophy that instills a sense of environmental appreciation in their students.

Students at this unique school are exposed to environment through nature-based learning, much of which is done through outdoor education focused on composting, gardening, or learning about native species. Aside from the environment, the curriculum also offers classes in theater, music, the arts, and world cultures.

Hitting the Reset Button: How a Group of Eco-Conscious Builders are Reshaping Sustainable Building Design

By Katelyn | Nov 3, 2015 | in

By Craig Brown

On a small lot in Rye Harbor, not far from the rocky shoreline and the swell of the sea, sits a recent residential project that pushes the boundaries of sustainable design. The 2,400 square-foot home is replete with energy efficient technology that reduces heating and electricity bills, generates home energy credits, is environmentally-friendly and looks good doing it, too.

But are net-zero homes the way of the future, or just another trend in home building?

It is true that sustainable additions and renovations, to homes both old and new, have recently become popular in design just as stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops came into vogue a few years ago. But these energy efficient technologies have been around for years, according to Jesse Ware, founder of Futuro Construction, the builder of the Rye Harbor home.

“The technologies have been around for a while but were not economically feasible until the last five to eight years,” said Ware.

Ware, who received a LEED AP accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council, said that the home in Rye produces all of the energy it uses, and is kept cool during these hot and humid dog days of summer with an air source heat pump, which continues to work in subzero temperatures, providing heat for the home. Ware estimates that the homeowners save $3,000 in just heating energy costs annually.

Clean Energy & American Leadership: A Discussion with NextGen Climate's Tom Steyer

By Katelyn | Nov 3, 2015 | in

NextGen Climate's President Tom Steyer will lead a discussion hosted by NextGen Climate New Hampshire and the University of New Hampshire on the need for American leadership on climate change and clean energy. Climate change is already having an impact on the Granite State's vast and beautiful wildlife, as well as the tourism industry. Meanwhile, the clean energy industry is growing at a fast rate, creating thousands of jobs here in New Hampshire.

For the first time in over 20 years of United Nations negotiations, the 2015 Paris Climate Conference will aim to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate. France will play a leading international role in hosting the conference, and it will be one of the largest international conferences ever held in the country. The conference is expected to attract close to 50,000 participants including 25,000 official delegates from government, intergovernmental organizations, United Nations agencies and non governmental organizations. 

The momentum around climate action is building in anticipation of the upcoming climate negotiations, but the work doesn’t end in Paris. By urging presidential candidates to set a goal of getting America to more than 50% clean energy by 2030, New Hampshire can influence our next president’s plan for how to address climate change—and our economy will reap the benefits of a new, thriving industry.

Welcome Positive Moms Magazine

By Craig | Nov 3, 2015 | in

On the Seacoast, and throughout New Hampshire, moms seek guidance about raising their families. From questions about proper nutrition, to finding the right school or daycare, making the right financial decisions, to where to take the family to have some fun, parents have a million questions. Which is why we're extremely happy to work with Positive Moms Magazine as a Business Partner, a publication devoted to answering some of those questions for moms by moms.

Founded in 2014, Positive Moms Magazine was created by local mom, Jill Sullivan Grueter, to provide fellow moms - and dads, too - with fresh and relevant content from local experts in health, wellness, parenting and other fields. Since that time, the magazine has firmly established itself as a valuable resource for women and men across Southern and Seacoast New Hampshire.

In addition to helping families achieve their maximum health and wellness, Positive Moms Magazine helps The Project Pawsitive Foundation raise much-needed funds to help deserving animal rescue facilities keep their operations up and running. To date, the foundation has raised more than a quarter of a million dollars and helped save more than 10,000 animals.

Enjoy a Fun Filled Evening and Support a Great Cause

By Katelyn | Nov 3, 2015 | in

On Saturday, November 7, the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire(SELT) will celebrate the 13th Annual Fall Foliage Fundraiser at the Portsmouth Harbor Events and Conference Center. This party is the Land Trust’s biggest event of the year and helps support the organization’s conservation and stewardship efforts.

The Fall Foliage Fundraiser will feature a silent auction with over 100 items donated from local businesses, and a live auction orchestrated by a professional auctioneer. The live auction will include many exciting items like a week stay at Mittersill Alpine Resort in Franconia Notch, a weekend stay slope-side at Sugarloaf, and Cabernet Lovers Dream Collection. The night will showcase live music by Sea Smoke, a photo booth, delicious hors d’oeuvres and desserts as well as complimentary beer & wine.

Join the Green Alliance as a new Sustaining Member by noon on Friday, November 6 for two free tickets ($150 value) to this great event!

Making the Best Choice: Local HVAC Company Caters to Customer Demands for Sustainable Options

By Katelyn | Nov 2, 2015 | in

By Michael McCord

At first glance, an HVAC company might not seem like an obvious promoter of sustainability, but it’s been the longtime guiding principle for Jay and Fay Aucella, co-owners of Strafford-based Aucella Heating and Cooling.

Since its founding over a decade ago, Aucella Heating and Cooling has been at the forefront providing and implementing green solutions for their diverse residential and commercial client base.

Jay Aucella says that customers are far more knowledgeable and focused on sustainable and cost-effective measures, especially as it affects their lives.

“We have found that when people are informed about their alternative options, they generally choose the best option for their health, the health of their community and the environment that surrounds them,” Aucella said. “We highlight these choices by offering the most efficient heating and cooling systems and educate our customers on the life-cycle costs of these systems. Reducing energy use for heating and cooling makes sense when you compare the life-cycle cost between standard and high-efficiency products.”