Blog : Miscellaneous

Taking Energy Efficiency to the Next Level

By Craig | Apr 9, 2014 | in

By Michael McCord
Green Alliance Correspondent

Since its founding in 2008, Yankee Thermal Imaging has worked to help residential and commercial customers reap maximum benefits from energy efficiency efforts. Chris Meyer, the founder and owner of the Rochester-based company, said Yankee Thermal has taken the next step, one born of experience helping customers save money by employing basic energy efficiency methods proven to work.

The Instant Savings Program, or ISP, was officially launched in early April but a soft launch in March quickly drew almost 50 requests for energy audits. The approach is to combine an energy audit and a number of bundled energy efficiency practices that can be immediately put in place while saving money at the estimated rate of $500 or more a year.

Meyer said the program results in substantial energy savings without significant investment. Implementation can be completed in less than a day and can pay for itself in less than two years on average. Or put in another equation, for the cost of approximately two oil deliveries, homeowners can dramatically reduce their annual heating and cooling costs, as well as your carbon footprint.

ReVision Energy made a music video, and you should watch it

By Sam | Apr 8, 2014 | in

Who knew the folks at ReVision Energy were so talented? Check out this awesome music video by the ReVisionistas as they perform a parody version of "The Cover of the Rolling Stone" by Dr. Hook. It's a riot, and now it's stuck in all of our heads. Be sure to check out ReVision's page for more information on the great things they're doing in the area to make our energy greener.

Q & A with Ted Hauri, Solar Customer in Mason, NH

By Madelaine | Apr 8, 2014 | in

Ted Hauri in Mason, New Hampshire had a large solar hot water system installed to provide supplemental heat to his greenhouse, which uses radiant distribution, as well as solar photovoltaic for his home. We asked him about his choice to combine these two renewable energy technologies and why he decided to go solar now.

REVISION: Why did you go solar?

TED: I went solar because I thought it was a good investment. With the total cost reduced by the NH rebate and the federal tax credit, the return on my photovoltaic and thermal systems should be in the range of 6 to 8 %. And that's only calculating electric and propane savings. I put in a large (14 KW) system so that I can fuel an electric car, which will give me an even greater return.

It's true that this investment lacks liquidity, but I consider that offset by the reliability of the system (the sun always rises) and the fact that fossil fuel costs will continue to rise. The installation gives me a greater degree of independence from the fluctuations of world markets. Another great benefit is that I am gaining hands-on experience with a new technology that I believe has a terrific future.

UNH Dairy Bar Sustainably Satisfying Sweet Tooths

By Kyle | Apr 8, 2014 | in

Durham, NH— Need to satisfy a sweet tooth or cool down on a hot summer day? Stop in for an always-overflowing cone of the UNH Dairy Bar’s famous ice cream brought in locally from Blake’s in Manchester. In 2008, UNH Dining Services took over the Dairy Bar owed and previously managed by UNH with the goal to center their business around sustainability. 

Since re-opening in 2008, the Dairy Bar provides students and the public alike with affordable, local, sustainable fresh food and ice cream options. Reaching out to local farmers and businesses, the Dairy Bar has compiled a menu that is 75 percent locally sourced. Recently, the Dairy Bar in partnership with the UNH’s College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, bought two 96-by-30 “high tunnels”—structures similar to greenhouses with a focus on greater passive environmental control—to offer fresh produce directly from the UNH campus farm land. Feel good about stopping in to get a fair trade cup of coffee from NH Coffee Roasters in Dover or any breakfast sandwich made with hormone and cage free eggs from Pete and Gerry’s in Monroe.

 

Community Toolbox, Inc. Joins Green Alliance!

By Craig | Apr 8, 2014 | in


Friends and members, please welcome Community Toolbox, Inc. to the Green Alliance!

One saying goes: out with the old and in with the new. But there's also the saying, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Community Toolbox 
is a nonprofit in Portsmouth that accepts donations of new and used home building supplies they then sell at their outlet store. Funds from these sales support their Fix-It program, the driving cause behind the business.

Kids Eat Right Presentation to Recap National Nutrition Month

By Patrick | Apr 4, 2014 | in

Our world’s hunger dilemma goes unnoticed at times– people often fail to see the struggle of those around them. It’s not until we hear the facts that the goose bumps rise. In the past year, organizations like the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Exeter have been successful in distributing over 269,700 lbs. of food to 3,055 Exeter Area households in need. In addition they aided 45 homeless families and individuals with referrals to shelters, emergency supplies and food.

Although March and National Nutrition Month have drawn to a close, Alicia Rossman (registered dietitian with Starry Brook Natural Medicine) will be holding a community lunch and learn on Saturday, April 5 targeting issues like hunger and obesity. The mission is to present community members with facts in the hopes of stimulating positive change while helping families make better decisions when providing affordable nutrition to loved ones.

A member of the Kids Eat Right Campaign, Rossman realizes the importance of getting kids to recognize the benefits of eating healthfully and feeling whole (both mentally and physically) at a young age.

The presentation will include information on how community members can make a difference and get involved in hunger relief efforts, what organizations are in their area, where they can volunteer, donate and how to build a successful food pantry. The importance of having a reliably stocked local pantry was demonstrated this past winter by the frequency of snowstorms and the frigid temperatures brought on by the “Polar Vortex”.

Starry Brook’s fellow Green Alliance Business Partner, 900 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria will be catering Rossman’s Kids Eat Right presentation. Jon and Pricilla, the owners of the Manchester and Epping-based pizza hotspots, have honorably agreed to supply the event with healthy snacks for lunch.

Hodgson Brook Project Offers Rain Barrels to Area Residents for a Discount

By Kyle | Apr 4, 2014 | in

Save the rain! Interested in reducing polluted water in the coastal area? Hodgson Brook Restoration Project and Great Bay Community College has partnered with the Great American Rain Barrel Company to offer rain barrels to area residents at a discount to help reach their mission of preserving the water quality and habitats of Hodgson Brook, a body of water that has been historically neglected. Originating in uplands west of Portsmouth, the Hodgson Brook continues easterly to North Mill Pond, which empties into the Piscataqua River.

Rain barrels help conserve water, reduce pollution and save homeowners money. Rain landing on rooftops, driveways, and roads collect and carry pollutants in local streams and rivers, threatening fragile ecosystems that native plants and animals rely on. Rain barrels help offset the growing global concern of water shortage. By storing rainwater, the barrels provide clean water for homeowners to use for watering gardens, lawns, filling pools, and washing cars.

Roommates Unwanted: Protecting Your Home from Carpenter Ants

By Craig | Apr 3, 2014 | in

April begins carpenter ant season here in New England, where ants are the most commonly reported pest. Tens of thousands of homes in New Hampshire are affected, causing millions of dollars of damage nationwide. Even seeing just one ant can mean an infestation. According to Tom Pray of Ecotech Pest Control, if there's one there's probably more. Lots more.

"You might see 20 one day, and none the next. But if you’re seeing them around the house, you have a nest in the house," says Pray.

Pray is the Sherlock Holmes of the insect world. Instead of solving murder mysteries, Pray specializes in solving insect enigmas. He searches homes for clues: where are insects coming from? How much damage have they caused and what's the best way to get rid of them? For Pray this is what makes the job exciting: every day is new and solving a customer's problem is what brings him satisfaction.

Green Alliance Spring Blowout Deals

By Sam | Apr 3, 2014 | in

 

Ahhh, springtime. A season of change and new beginnings. Here at the Green Alliance, we like to kick off spring with our annual Spring Cleaning Blowout sales, where a select few of our Business Partners offer an above-and-beyond discount on their services. All these discounts will be vaild through May 31st if you're a Green Alliance member.

 

You are a Green Alliance member, aren't you?

If you're not, there is no better time to sign up than right now. Just a look at all the deals we have! 

2014 Portsmouth Restaurant Week

By Mary | Apr 2, 2014 | in

Portsmouth Restaurant Week is here so get ready for a memorable culinary experience! Two Green Alliance businesses, Favorite Foods and The Portsmouth Brewery, are taking part in this week-long event. Favorite Foods will supply fresh, sustainable goods to many of the area’s finest restaurants. The discounts begin on Thursday, April 3 and end on Saturday, April 12.

Experience all the Seacoast and the Greater Portsmouth area have to offer during this 10-day long event. Over 50 participating restaurants on the Seacoast will offer special three-course fixed menus for lunch and dinner.

The Portsmouth Brewery has been providing a sustainable alternative for dining since 1991 with their famous handcrafted beer and local fare. Restaurant Week is the perfect way to get a taste of the Seacoast while supporting green businesses. Click here to view 10 distinctive dishes featured in this year's Portsmouth Restaurant Week! Click here for more information on Restaurant Week Portsmouth.

Unacceptable Levels film screening & "Coffee & Conversation"

By Patrick | Apr 2, 2014 | in

SALISBURY — There is mounting evidence linking human health issues to the chemicals in our environment. Autism now affects one in 50 children. Cancer is the leading cause of death in children younger than 15 in the United States (after accidents). 80,000 chemicals on our store shelves, and in the consumer market today, have not been tested for safety or their long-term impact on human health.

On April 16, Sativa Saposnek, a member of The Greater Newburyport Mothers and Families Club (GNFC), will present the Salisbury premiere of the critically acclaimed, award-winning documentary Unacceptable Levels, a story about the chemicals in our bodies, how they got there and what we can do about it. The film examines the results of the chemical revolution of the 1940s through the eyes of affable filmmaker Ed Brown, a father seeking to understand the world in which he and his wife are raising their children. To create this debut documentary, one man and his camera traveled extensively to find and interview top minds in the fields of science, advocacy, and law. Weaving their testimonies into a compelling narrative, Brown presents us with the story of how the chemical revolution brought us to where we are, and of where, if we’re not vigilant, it may take us.

The goal of this event is to open the door to conversations about the chemical burden our bodies carry so we can make informed decisions and healthier choices now and in the future. The hope is that you will walk away from the film empowered with resources and knowledge about ways to make small changes in your own lives that, down the road, will lead to significant changes for making our world, our lives, our families, and us healthier and more sustainable.

Erin Switalski, Executive Director of Women’s Voices for the Earth, says, “This movie is a must see for all of us whose vision is a future free from toxic chemicals... policy makers, CEOs, educators and parents alike.” Beth Buczynski of ecosalon says, “Unacceptable Levels is a no-nonsense documentary that will challenge everything you think you know about health, safety, and environmental protection."

Olympic Green Cleaning Joins Green Alliance!

By Sam | Apr 1, 2014 | in

 Hey Green Alliance friends! We want to give a big, warm welcome to Olympic Green Cleaning, our newest Business Partner!

Athena Klokelis and Alina Corrigan, college roommates turned business partners, have embarked on a mission to bring corporate social responsibility and environmentally sustainable practices to their cleaning service. Based in Hooksett, NH, Olympic Green Cleaning hopes to establish their client base in a competitive industry with a strong commitment to the environment and creating a healthier home or office. Using all EPA approved and USDA biopreferred products, it provides a cleaning service that won't leave harmful chemical residue on surfaces.

Limelight Deals Features The Natural Dog and Holistic Cat: This Week Only!

By Patrick | Mar 31, 2014 | in

A deal is a deal. However, a deal brought to you by two Green Alliance Business Partners is always something much better.

For four more days, LimelightDeals.com is offering a fantastic “Seacoast, NH Deal” featuring The Natural Dog and Holistic Cat. Any customer purchasing a coupon from Limelight for $15 will receive a $30 worth of pet supplies in exchange.

The Natural Dog and Holistic Cat (NDHC) is a Portsmouth-based pet store that prioritizes pet health through natural foods and other products. Their dedicated staff is happy to answer any questions you may have about taking proper care of your furry companion.

Managed by Seacoast Media Group, Limelight is a Green Alliance business – much like NDHC. Limelight aims to connect local consumers with local businesses by communicated excellent values via their web site.

According to Limelight, its service creates a win-win for everyone involved – businesses attract new customers and shoppers experience new places at a substantial savings.

To capitalize on this amazing savings with NDHC, visit Limelight’s web site by clicking here.

Earth Day 5K

By Ali | Mar 31, 2014 | in

Running with Stonyfield’s cows is much safer than running with the bulls! Register to run (or walk) on May 3, and join Green Alliance and other GA green-certified businesses at the Earth Day Fair. To register click here.

 

Is Wind Energy for the Birds?

By Patrick | Mar 31, 2014 | in

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.

Green Maids: Don’t Sweep Your Weekend Under the Rug

By Patrick | Mar 31, 2014 | in

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.

Green Alliance Grows Businesses, Builds Community, Throws Parties

By Sam | Mar 28, 2014 | in

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.

The Annual Great Bay Stewards Art Show Returns

By Mary | Mar 27, 2014 | in

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.

The 2014 Komen NH Run/Walk: Race for the Cure with the Green Alliance

By Mary | Mar 26, 2014 | in

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. 

April 25th Wild and Scenic Film Festival

By Madelaine | Mar 25, 2014 | in

April 25 is the incredible Wild & Scenic Film Festival! Existing Green Alliance Members who upgrade their Green Card to a Lifetime Membership get two free tickets! Email sam@greenalliance.biz after you've upgraded to get your free tickets.