We have been so thrilled to receive a number of great responses to our children's essay question, "What activities did your family do this summer to better the environment"? If your kids are interested in sharing their thoughts with us (and winning great prizes just for submitting), please note the deadline is tomorrow, August 23rd at midnight.
Below is an excerpt from Eben, age 10, who has been very busy this summer helping his family go green!
"For starters we recycle. Every Wednesday we drop our recycling off at the end of our driveway so the recycling truck can come and pick it up. The main materials that get recycled are paper, plastic, and metal. To recycle basically means to reuse, so the paper, plastic, and metal can be made into other items. Sometimes recyclables get placed into the trash, where the recyclables eventually gets stuck in a landfill. Not only will the recyclables stink, but when the rain falls on top of the landfill the water will drain into the ground collecting chemicals. The chemicals can then poison habitats. Recycling is great for the environment and is a very smart thing to do.
Aucella Heating and Cooling has been dedicated to offering clients the most efficient, and green HVAC systems since 2005. Aucella specializes in top-of-the-line green products and equipment installations including hybrid duct heat pump systems, solar thermal space heat and domestic hot water systems - just to name a few. By keeping up with the latest technology, owners Fay and Jay Aucella are able to offer customers the most energy efficient products that will lead to the greatest savings for your home in the long run.
Aucella is excited to offer three new air source heat pump systems—Mitsubishi, Daikin Altherma and American Standard. These three systems operational costs can be up to 50% lower than oil or propane. They are also able to provide heating as well as cooling by using environmentally friendly R410A refrigerant with zero ozone depletion potential. Aucella is particularly excited about Mitsubishi source heat pump system which is both smart for your wallet and your home.
I visited the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England (CCNNE) where I received a tour of their distribution facility in Seabrook, New Hampshire. Walking the premises with CCNNE's Director of Capabilities, Mike Elmer, and Sustainability Manager, Ray Dube, I was given a comprehensive insider look into the company's great recycling initiatives.
CCNNE is the fourth largest, independent Coca-Cola bottler; a franchise authorized by CCNNE's parent company, but owned individually carrying Coca-Cola's iconic name and branding while remaining a locally operated New Hampshire business. The business' employees, from those at their desks to the drivers of the CCNNE's distribution trucks, care about the environment and consider working for CCNNE more than just a job; to them it's a lifestyle choice. The employees are aware of the impact CCNNE has on the environment and the state.
In 2012 6,000 truckloads of recyclable materials were brought to the Londonderry production facility, emptying the center's dumpster nine times. That equates to over 60 trailer loads of materials recycled in 2012. They explained that during the summer months. A large truck gets filled in the Seabrook facility with empty bottles to recycle about every two weeks. However, it is not only the cans and plastic bottles that Coca Cola recycles. Other materials include: shrink film, cardboard, syrup barrels, cooler gliders, water and more.
On August 20, the Green Alliance hosted a round table discussion with New Hampshire First District Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter to discuss the future of alternative transportation in the state including, rail systems, additional commuter transport, bicycle and walking routes and lower gas taxes.
"New Hampshire is moving forward, but there is still work to be done," said Shea Porter.
Congresswoman Shea Porter was joined by Congressman Earl Blumeneur of Oregon's Third District as well as many local businesses and companies such as: COAST, Gus' Bicycles, N.H. Bike-Walk Alliance, East Coast Greenway Alliance, Portsmouth Public Works, C&J Trailways, Memorial Bridge Designer HNTB, Pike Industries, Rockingham Planning Committee, N.H. DOT, Portsmouth Planning Department, Southern N.H. Planning Committee and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) N.H. Division.
Though the discussion ranged from building a bike trail from the northern corner of Maine to the Florida Keys, to the poor infastructure of the state's roadways and transportation, it also broached topics like keeping New Hampshire's recent graduates to live and work in New Hampshire by providing them the opportunities for less expensive and alternative commuting options.
The roundtable format gave representatives of each attending business the chance to voice their concerns regarding the state's approach to improve roadways, reducing emissions and connecting different parts of the state with alternative transportation options. From business leaders to the workers on the job site, the day's discussion covered nearly every point of view. Congressman Blumeneur shared his experience working with the city of Portland, Oregon and how, by adding rail cars for local commuters, the city has blossomed economically and creatively.
The Green Alliance and the Gundalow Company are teaming up this summer to get Seacoast area residents out on the Piscataqua River. Become a member of the Green Alliance (for only $35) and get a free ticket aboard one of the Gundalow Company’s sails! With sail tickets valued up to $40, there is no better time to join the Green Alliance Community! The membership pays for itself instantly!
The Green Alliance and the Gundalow Company will also be giving away FOUR tickets this week. Thursday August 21 the Green Alliance will put up a trivia question that can be found on the GA facebook page. Simply comment on the post with the answer you think is correct! We will choose one winner at random.
The Gundalow Company is a business partner of the Green Alliance, working to bring sustainability to the Seacoast Area. This non-profit strives to connect community members with the historic icon of river commerce, while simultaneously working to encourage a sense of environmental stewardship for the region’s waterways.
The Gundalow Company offers an array of public sails daily as well as evening concert sails as part of a concert series throughout the summer. This unique concert series offers entertainment from bluegrass to jazz trios that are sure to enhance your sailing experience. On Thursday, September 25 The Sylvan Roots, a contemporary and traditional folk band, will be performing aboard the Gundalow. Concert sails take place on most Thursday nights throughout the summer, and depart at 5:30 pm. Guest may wish to pack a picnic dinner and beverages to bring aboard these entertaining sails.
When one thinks of a marketing company the words sustainability and green might not come to mind. Marcom4 however is bringing sustainability to the world of marketing, right here on the Seacoast.
Marcom4 is a strategic branding, messaging, and content marketing company headquartered in Greenland, NH. This small business was founded by four varying business partners who shared the common goal: to help clients conceptualize, develop, and implement branding and messaging strategies that best suit their businesses.
In an effort to bolster its green credentials, Marcom4 places special emphasis on working remotely. Marcom4 has sourced materials from RiverWorks Printing, a fellow GA Business Partner renowned for their cutting edge, sustainable products and practices. Additionally, the team actively encourages clients to take advantage of all digital media when and where appropriate, in the process helping them reduce their carbon footprint.
Marcom4 also places an emphasis on allowing their team to work remotely, in order to help lower their carbon footprint. Marcom4 has a comprehensive recycling program put in place, at business headquarters. Having joined the Green Alliance, Marcom4 is eager to continue broadening its business base to include even more green-oriented local companies.
Protecting New Hampshire infants and the environment Green Earth Baby Works makes it easier for locals to employ reusable diapers without having to worry about the mess. Many parents are drawn to the sustainable and chemical free option of cloth diapers, but eventually become discouraged with the time-consuming aspect of cleaning. Green Earth Baby Works is an online retailer that provides parents with a variety of cloth diaper options for their child in addition to a cleaning service up to once a week. Consumers will prevent 6 to 8,000 diapers from entering landfills and at the reasonable cost of $25 a week for cleaning, Green Earth will save them money too.
With the summer coming to an all too quick close, this is the time to stop by Pocos Bow Street Cantina to enjoy the remainder of deck season with great food and delicious drinks. Pocos is one of the prime destinations in Portsmouth, with a spectacular location that offers two outdoor decks and two indoor dining areas.
Pocos has recently expanded their menu to include non-typical Mexican food. It continues to include all natural meats in their famous burgers and quesadillas, but has now welcomed vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. Additionally, its kid’s menu has also been modified to offer healthier options.
Everything at Pocos Bow Street Cantina is homemade and often organic and locally sourced, including the extensive variety of soups and chowders, veggie burgers, salsas and hot sauces, down to every last dressing and queso dip.
Pocos is one of the oldest running restaurants in Portsmouth and is always working to set themselves apart. From expanding their menu and incorporating healthier and more sustainable options. Pocos has also incorporated a variety of sustainable initiatives within the restaurant through extensive recycling, composting 100% of food waste, members of Seacoast Eat Local, and lowering energy consumption through a variety of initiatives. Pocos through extensive deck renovations will be seeking LEED certification, making them the only deck-side establishment to achieve such a status.
On Wednesday, August 20, author James Browning will read from his novel "The Fracking King" at the Rice Public Library in Kittery, Maine starting at 6 p.m. The public is welcome and can register through the library's website.
Fracking, while a debated and hotly contested issue throughout the country, is also point of contention here in New England. Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is the process of injecting pressured liquid, composed of water and sand with added chemicals, into the ground to break up shale rocks in order to release oil and natural gases. The idea behind fracking is to open untapped fossil fuel resevoirs with the potential to boost the economy in states where it is approved. Debate surrounds fracking's negative effects on the environment - such as contaminating natural water sources - and its impact on human health.
James Browning lives in Pennsylvania and is the co-author of “Deep Drilling, Deep Pockets,” a series of exposés about the political expenditures of the fracking industry. "The Fracking King" is his first novel and explores boarding school, hardcore Scrabble fanatics and fracking.
Publishers Weekly says, “Browning effortlessly translates his passion for environmental change into a rousing, witty, and enlightening tale about outsiders and Scrabble."
Learn more about the novel here.
Hate spending so much money on gas? Why not save money and arrive in style on a scooter or an electric bike from EZ Bikes and Scooters. They have a wide variety of bikes and scooters at great prices!
Tom Hemenway started EZ Bikes and Scooters many years ago after he had a health scare. He knew that it was time to get back into shape and decided bike riding would be a good idea. Hemenway soon remembered that some of the terrain that he encountered was more difficult to navigate on and made his rides less enjoyable. Hemenway later came across a style of bike known as the EZ Electric Bike. This model of bike had a motor that the operator could switch on that would power the bike through tough hills and climbs. Hemenway loved this bike so much that he decided to add on to his already existing car audio business and start EZ Bike and Scooters.
EZ Bike and Scooters has grown over the years and they now offer over 50 different scooters and electric bikes to choose from! No matter what option you choose, you are doing your part to help the environment. Their bikes are able to charge quickly and efficiency using a minimum amount of electricity and have long battery lives. Their gas-powered scooters get amazing mileage and cut down on the amount of emissions being released. Choosing to ride a scooter or a bike helps keep more cars off the road and keeps their harmful emissions out of the environment.
Micum Davis of Cornerstone Tree Care is truly a tree’s best friend. When he says that he “speaks for the trees” he really means it and it shows in his work. It may seem odd to someone looking in from the outside when Davis suggests leaving some of the trees that a costumer wanted 100% removed but that is why Cornerstone Tree Service is special. Davis understands that trees are valuable to the costumer’s yards and even more valuable to the environment as a whole.
Identifying trees that Davis believes could remain healthily and provide an important service to the environment is far from the only step that Cornerstone Tree Care has taken to become greener. Davis has implemented a no spike policy to his tree care. This means that his workers will not wear spikes to help them climb trees. Spiking the tree can leave wounds that are permanent and could eventually lead to the death of the tree. Davis comments that many other companies also do this but there are still a few that use spikes and he thought it was important to make sure his company was spike less. Cornerstone has also implemented policies to limit the harms of fuel emissions on the environment. They have a no idling policy on all of their vehicles, all of their diesel has been switched to a friendlier bio diesel and Davis has started driving a Prius! Cornerstone also makes their own homemade mulch from recycled trees and other recycled lawn and yard products.
Who: Seacoast Energy
What: Seacoast Energy owner Jack Bingham is more than just a renewable energy installer. He is the owner’s manual, teacher and advocate for eco-friendly renewable energy products and systems, with a particular expertise in residential and commercial solar power. More than just a job, Bingham approaches renewable energy with passion and has received recognition for his enthusiasm. This year, he was selected by WoodMaster as an exclusive retailer and installer of its European-designed, built-in-the-United States, biomass products. Bingham also keeps abreast of the latest technological advances in green energy products, offering educational workshops to inform the community of the beneficial long-term effects this technology brings. Bingham has experience with everything from solar-powered hot water systems to self-composting toilets. Seacoast Energy proves this technology is a beneficial investment, saving both money and the environment while working to grow a new industry, create jobs and stimulate the economy.
Where: 289 Scruton Pond Road, Barrington
Join the Gundalow Company Wednesday evenings now through the end of September for the Coastal Issues Speaker Series. Thanks to the New Hampshire Coastal Program the Gundalow Company is offering these Wednesday sails along the Piscataqua for half the price. The Coastal Issues Speaker Series will feature various local experts including Gary Hildreth, US Navy Public Affairs, and Jeff Bolster an Award Winning Author. In addition receive a free $5 "science bucks" coupon for Portsmouth Brewery. The sails cost $15 and depart from Prescott Park Dock in Portsmouth, NH between 4:30-5:30 depending on the week.
For more information on the individual dates check out the Gundalow Company's website here.
Magill Smith is a writer at the Green Alliance. She also works at Brixham Montessori Friends School. She loves working with the children at Brixham, and wanted to share a journal of her experiences during the summer program so you can hear what happens on the playground too!
It has been a busy beginning to a fun filled summer at Brixham Montessori Friends School! As August flies by, we are already four weeks into our summer program. There is a daily theme to the summer play, allowing for a curriculum to be lightly incorporated into the camp to keep the children’s minds active through the summer months. With each theme comes an activity allowing the children to have a hands on experience related to what we learned. So far, we have enjoyed learning about helping by reading the Little Red Hen and making delicious bread, celebrating nature by doing tree rubbings, and learning about crops that grow in Maine.
RAM Printing is sponsoring the (mostly) live Monty Python reunion broadcast at The Music Hall in downtown Portsmouth on August 14 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $18. The reunion show is the first time the comedy troupe known the world over has performed together live since 1980.
RAM Printing was the first printer in New Hampshire to receive Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certification. The company completed the required "chain of custody"—indicating that at every point from pulp to paper mill to distributor to printer - to receive the FSC Certification. RAM also responsibly sources its raw materials from the Rainforest Alliance’s “SmartWood” Program and prints with soy-based inks. RAM has followed sustainable printing practices since 1989; well in advance of the current green trend. As “early adopters," RAM has set the standard in New England and perhaps even nationally, for the greening of the print industry. RAM feels it is important to raise the company standard to provide the consumer with a better product, while minimizing their footprint and succeeding financially.
Green Alliance members receive 5% off printing services! Not a member? Join here.