Blog : Miscellaneous
BY PATRICK MARTIN
Green Alliance Staff Writer
PORTSMOUTH – With so much powerful opposition, wind energy has little time for unnecessary speed bumps like the outdated correlation between wind farms and bird mortality.
On Jan. 29, New Hampshire wind energy advocates, including Portsmouth wind energy firm Eolian Renewable Energy LLC, dodged a bullet. The N.H. House of Representatives struck down a bill that would have placed a moratorium on wind development in the state. This would have been a major blow to New Hampshire’s progression towards brighter future in renewable energy.
Having temporarily dispatched of this more looming issue, it may be time to correct a misconception that has detracted so much support from the alternative energy source.
Groups opposed to wind farm development often cite the droves of unlucky dead birds littering the floor beneath turbines. However, grim statistics thrown at wind energy proponents may not be entirely forthcoming.
The problem stems from the data’s origin – the notorious Altamont Pass Wind Farm of the Diablo Range in Central California. The farm is said to be responsible for the deaths of 4,700 birds annually (including 1,300 majestic birds of prey). This staggering number is powerful on its own, but when examining the broader impact of wind energy across the nation, the picture differs significantly.
It is important to note two major differences between Altamont Pass and other wind farms in the country. The old turbines used in Altamont Pass at the time the bird death toll was recorded were much smaller and faster spinning than newer turbines. The larger conventional turbines spin much more slowly, which significantly decreases the likelihood of avian mortality.
Sometimes it’s necessary to reward yourself for all your hard work. Just ask Director of the Green Alliance, Sarah Brown, who just recently used Green Maids to clean her home.
Having used their services in the GA office for over a year now, Sarah is no stranger to the quality Green Maids brings to the table.
“Its always a special treat when I come in to work the morning after a Green Maids clean,” says Brown. “Everything is spotless and its like the office has been rejuvenated. Of course the best part is knowing they cleaned GA HQ the natural way; in keeping with the GA mission.”
Green Maids owner Johnmark O’Brien launched the company in 2009 and has since been servicing the Southern Maine and New Hampshire Seacoast. He takes pride in offering sustainable and toxin-free cleaning services to those who acknowledge the hidden dangers of conventional cleaning products. Like Sarah, most Green Maids clients try to avoid exposing their children and pets to hazardous chemicals – a valid concern, considering that nine out of ten poison exposures come from household cleaning products.
And between three kids, a big slobbery dog, and a cat with a shedding problem, life at the Brown residence is a powder keg with the potential to institutionalize Mr. Clean. But outside of working full time jobs, Sarah and her husband find time to keep the place tidy – though it is difficult to imagine the extra effort required.
“Our house gets dirty fast and I have no time to really give it a good clean,” said Brown. “I’ve saved up and am treating myself to Green Maids; so the 48 hours I have on the weekends when I’m home and not working myself to the bone at the Green Alliance can now be spent on more quality time with the kids, not stressing about getting the house cleaned!”
So to the truly overworked and leisure-less folks of the Seacoast: Isn’t there something else you could be doing with your long sought after weekends than chasing a vacuum? Pick up the phone and call in the Green Maids.
By Sam Ueda
PORTSMOUTH - Most people will never actually meet the owners of the many businesses they interact with on a daily basis, small businesses included. Portsmouth’s Green Alliance is in the business of bringing businesses and consumers together.
“We want to strengthen our communities in tangible ways, and that means utilizing both virtual connections and helping to facilitate the building of real human relationships,” says Sarah Brown, Green Alliance director. “Every day, we’re growing the local green economy and helping business to succeed while staying environmentally conscious, and part of that success involves bringing our members and our Business Partners together, face-to-face.”
So what do the folks at the Green Alliance do to bring everyone together? They throw some parties. On April 10th, Redhook Brewery will be hosting the next Green Alliance bash, where members can get to know each other, mingle with businesses, and most importantly, listen to music and enjoy the company of like-minded residents and entrepreneurs. The Green Alliance puts on several of these events a year to make sure that its members have the chance to get to know its businesses, in hopes of establishing a stronger bond of trust and understanding between sustainable businesses and the consumers that support them.
GREENLAND — The true beauty of the Seacoast can be captured by glimpsing at the Great Bay Estuary for just a few moments. The views on the New Hampshire-Maine coastline have served as artistic inspiration for hundreds of years. It’s no surprise that the theme of this year’s annual Great Bay Stewards Art Show is “Art of the New England Seacoast.”
Great Bay Stewards, a Green Alliance business, is hosting their yearly art show starting with an opening artists' reception on Friday, April 4 from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. The show will continue on April 5 and 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hugh Gregg Coastal Conservation Center and is free to the public.
PORTSMOUTH — Breast cancer affects one out of eight women. Every year, millions of women and their families suffer because of this disease. To help raise awareness for breast cancer, the Vermont-New Hampshire affiliate of the Susan G. Komen organization is hosting their annual 5K race on May 10. Participants can decide to walk or run the 3.1 mile long stretch starting at the Strawberry Banke Muesum in Portsmouth.
The Komen survival tent, kids tent, and sponsorship tent will open at 7:30 a.m. to give participants that chance to rest and fuel up before the race. The coed run/walk will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end around 10:30 a.m. Children under the age of 12 can take part in the “Fun Run” which will take place simultaneously. A 50-yard-dash starts at 9:45 a.m. for those kids who prefer sprinting over jogging. The hospitality tent will distribute free Panera Bread bagels to participating runners and walkers who want a quick and delicious breakfast.
What: 900 Degrees was launched to create pizza as it 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 cacophony of flavors local and exotic alike to create this 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.
Where: 1 Brick Yard Square, Suite 1, Epping; and 50 Dow St., Manchester
What makes them green: Locally sourced, organic ingredients whenever possible.
Comprehensive recycling program.
LED and motion sensitive lighting throughout restaurant.
Impressive community giveback programs.
EXETER – The Food and Health forum is hosting a farm-to-table meal and food culture conversation at Blue Moon Evolution on Monday, March 24. Three amazing chefs, Mary Ann Esposito, Kathy Gunst and Sally Sampson will be on the panel along with UNH nutrition professor, Joanne Curran-Celentano. The community discussion will look at food culture today and the various roles parents, teachers and government officials play in enforcing healthy eating habits.
These four leading culinary ladies will teach you how to prepare healthy, nutritious meals for your children while you get to enjoy a three course meal and sip wine. You may have recognized the photographed lady from her nationally televised PBS series Ciao Italia with Mary Ann Esposito. Kathy Gunst is a chef, food writer, and resident chef of WBUR's Here and Now on National Public Radio. Sally Sampson is a cookbook author and the founding president of ChopChop, a magazine dedicated to stopping the childhood obesity epidemic. The topic of obesity will be talked about in terms of the social barriers that can be broken down if people take action to improve the health of future generations.
April Fool's Day means guaranteed pranks all day long. This, however is not a joke! From 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on April 1, Prelude is offering a huge, store-wide sale. The sale only applies to in-store purchases at their location on 65 Market Street in Portsmouth.
Prelude is a Green Alliance certified boutique that offers a wide range of accessories and body products that have minimal environmental impacts. Most of the jewlery is hand-made by local artists from Maine, and a majority of the bath and beauty products are all-natural.
April is sexual assault awareness month. ENH Power is co-partnering with the Portsmouth Country Club to host an event to raise awareness for Sexual Assault Support Services. The event will take place from 5:30- 7:30 p.m. on April 17th at the Portsmouth Country Club.
This event will be a party to celebrate raising awareness of SASS. Enjoy free Hors D’ Oeuvres, and mingle with the famous Safe Kids, Strong Teens Puppets. Also, meet Rick Labell, motivational speaker, police detective and former rock musician.
ENH Power supports various “Community Partners” by offering to make donations to charities when you switch to ENH Power. ENH Power is offering to donate $5 to SASS for each business our resident who enrolls with them. If you bring your utility bill to the party, you will receive a free raffle ticket to win a “Power Night for 4” (dinner at Portsmouth Country Club any Friday May-October and 4 tickets to any Main Stage 2014 Productions at the Seacoast Repertory Theater.) You will also recieve an autographed photograph with the Safe Kids, Strong Teens Puppets, by local photographer Bill Christo.
RYE – The Northeast ocean planning initiative is spreading, and now there is a film to help share the story. The premiere of Ocean Frontiers II: A New England Story for Sustaining the Sea will be shown on April 3 at the Seacoast Science Center. Join two Green Alliance businesses, Conservation Law Foundation and the Blue Ocean Society, as they co-host this exciting event with the Seacoast Science Center, Green Fire Productions and the Gundalow Company.
The Ocean Frontiers II film will begin at 7:00 p.m. and last until 9:00 p.m. A discussion with Wendy Lull of the Seacoast Science Center and Jennifer Felt of Conservation Law Foundation will follow. Ted Diers, the Watershed Management Bureau Administrator at the Department of Environmental Sciences will facilitate the conversation and engage the audience.
This inspirational, award-winning movie tells the story of citizens coming together to promote healthier economies and clean New England seas. Ocean Frontiers II is one of the first multi-state ocean plans that has been put into action. Ocean Frontiers II, a film made by Green Fire Productions, highlights past and future uses for New England waters. Residents collaborate to minimize overcrowding and keep their oceans alive. The film focuses on Rhode Island’s ocean resource planning and the fishermen, tribal leaders, environmental advocates and wind energy executives involved in the movement.
GREENLAND – A local Green Alliance Business Partner Great Bay Stewards is proud to announce the return of the GBS Art Show. The theme this year is "Art Inspired by the New England Coast." On April 4, the 10th Annual Great Bay Art Show Reception will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Hugh Gregg Coastal Conservation Center. All who attend will be able to meet and discuss with the artists in person to ask questions concerning artistic techniques and inspirations.
Great Bay Stewards has a great lineup of artwork coming from dozens of artists and painters in the area. The pieces individually capture the true, natural beauty of New England’s coastline. The Art Show will last from April 4 to April 6, so there will be plenty of opportunities to browse the Seacoast artwork. Day two and three of the art show will start at 10:00 a.m. and last until 4:00 p.m. in the Hugh Gregg Conservation Center. If you are unable to make the art show, a virtual display is available online. Click here to access the website of New England inspired artwork.
Don't miss this weekend's Seacoast Home & Garden Show at the Whittemore Center at UNH. The show boasts a wide array of local green vendors including ten Green Alliance businesses, and if that wasn't enough to get you to the show, all Green Alliance members get two free admissions when they flash their Green Card. That's a $16 value for the Green Alliance community!
Carrie Barron, the co-producer of the 20th annual Seacoast Home & Garden Show, says that with each passing year the popular event has attracted more green vendors and even greater consumer interest in sustainable goods and services.
The 2014 Seacoast Home & Show is slated for its typical spring welcoming dates of March 29 and March 30 at the Whittemore Center on the campus of the University of New Hampshire in Durham. Last year, the event drew a record crowd of more than 6,500 and Barron, along with fellow co-producer Beth Alles, believe the 2014 show will be just as popular to consumers seeking a diverse range of ideas, good and services for their homes.
In a few months, the abundance of snow will melt away, and Seacoast yards everywhere will experience major drainage. Thankfully, Site Structures Landscape, Inc. has all of your landscaping solutions for this Spring. Site Structures is a Green Alliance Business Partner that strives to provide the highest quality yard maintenance. Thursday, March 20 is the first official day of the next growing season, so March is a great time to discuss landscaping plans with the employees at Site Structures.
Site Structures offers a wide range of services including: tree and shrubbery pruning, lawn restoration, basement draining, and patio, walkway or driveway construction. Site Structures is always introducing new green options to their clients. Permeable paving is a new technique that uses sustainable materials and also reduces runoff by letting storm water pass through the surface of the pavement. Water recharges underneath the surface to replenish water stored in the ground. The filtration process captures heavy metals that can damage ecosystems. Permeable pavers also provide oxygen and water by means of the root system to help vegetation thrive and grow.
By Michael McCord
Green Alliance Correspondent
When Dr. Sarah Hudson began her career in 1998, sustainability awareness was a non-priority in the eye care industry.
“It didn’t exist. There was no mention of recycling plastic tops and glass vials,” said Hudson, a co-owner of Harbor Eyecare Center in Portsmouth. “There was no thought at all to the excessive waste in packaging. I would say in the last few years there has been a greater awareness. The industry has come a long way and now companies are making concentrated efforts to become greener.”
Harbor Eyecare Center represents the changing times for an optometry practice with an eye on sustainability. Since a comprehensive physical renovation of the practice in 2011, there have been major efficiency upgrades, a full-on recycling program and a focus on sourcing recycled or used office materials. Last year HEC moved directly into the green consumer arena by selling a line of frames from recycled materials.
What: Yankee Thermal Imaging uses an advanced thermal imaging system that can detect heat loss and cold influxes in homes and commercial properties. If an issue is detected, it can offer efficient solutions to fix the problem. Correcting these issues can help its clients save money on their energy, heating and cooling expenses. It specializes in scoping assessments, energy audits, consulting and full implementation to make sure your home, rental property or commercial space is running as efficiently as possible.
Where: 75 Allen St., Rochester
What makes them green: Yankee Thermal Offers comprehensive, affordable energy audits, which can help reduce your home or business' carbon footprint.
Offers a municipal audit program that allows towns the opportunity to become energy efficient with a payment plan.
Educates customers on how they can take advantage of utility rebates and credits for efficiency measures
Retired engineer Steve Rowley owns Blueberry Fields Alpaca Farm with his wife Hope in York, Maine. Steve loves the ocean about as much as he does alpacas, and we caught up with him to talk about how his love of the ocean was linked to his household’s investments in solar energy.
REVISION: Why did you go solar?
STEVE: Growing up my favorite TV shows wereSea Hunt and The Under Seas Adventures of Jacques Cousteau. At the age of 15 I received my SCUBA certificate and quickly learned that the beautiful beaches above water were littered with trash on the seabed just out of sight beneath (and still are). I have studied marine biology and ocean engineering and quickly learned that the oceans are not as big as we thought. Global changes are now measurable. The solid trash problem I saw as a kid was replaced with the ones you cannot see. Now when I look at the beach I see global warming, ocean acidification, rising sea levels and warm water marine organisms moving north as water temperatures increase. We know burning fossil fuels are to blame and so my wife and I are doing what we can to stop using them.
REVISION: How did you choose ReVision Energy?
Hey Green Alliance friends!
As you all know, we love our members. You make us who we are, and we love giving back to you in any way we can. It's been a while since we've had a GA concert, but don't worry, the wait is soon over. On Thursday, April 10th we'll be having a blast at Redhook Brewery with two up-and-coming local acts, New Hampshire's Humble Be and Boston's AJ Edwards.