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Green Families Club

By Corey | May 20, 2015 | in

 

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Top 5 Tips to Clean Up Snow-Damaged Landscaping and Prepare for Summer

By Ken | May 20, 2015 | in

By Kristyn Lak Miller

This was a rough winter for many around the Seacoast, including area trees and shrubs.

“As a result of the winter we just had, with such heavy snow loads, we're seeing an enormous amount of tree and shrub damage,” said Ben Woods, Project Manager for Site Structures Landscape, Inc., an eco-friendly, community-minded landscape resource based in Eliot, Maine. “And this type of damage requires unique actions.”

Woods shares Site Structures’ Top 5 Tips for landscaping clean-up after a very snowy winter:

1. PRUNE RIGHT: Prune broken tree branches back to a healthy bud or where one branch attaches to another;

2. PRUNE CLEAN: When pruning, make each cut a clean cut—when you do, the branch will heal faster and is less susceptible to insects or diseases;

Coastal NH Climate Summit: Science to Support Action

By Corey | May 20, 2015 | in

Climate change is a constant threat to New Hampshire's coasts and its citizens. Participate in this year's Coastal Climate Summit to join a collaborative forum among scientists, natural resource agencies, planners, engineers, municipal leaders, watershed organizations, conservation groups, citizens and others concerned about the impacts of climate change in coastal New Hampshire.

This year's theme is Science to Support Action, and its agenda will tackle issues such as assessments of flooded pavements and the challenges and opportunities for municipalities and citizens brought by solar energy.

Participants will be the first updated on the New Hampshire Coastal Risks and Hazards Commission and an update on the Tides to Storms Vulnerability Assessment of New Hampshire's Coast. Discuss the new planning and resiliency-building tools that should be implemented in order to better protect our Seacoast. There will also be presentations with new information and data on salt marshes. The keynote presentation will be Capitalizing on Blue Carbon: New Guidance and Tools for Coastal Managers and Policymakers

Brixham Montessori Friends School Spring Improvements

By Katelyn | May 20, 2015 | in

As the school year comes to an end, most students and parents have checked out and are ready for summer, but that is not the case at the Brixham Montessori Friends School. This spring, Brixham has worked tirelessly to expand the school garden and make improvements across the grounds.

Teachers, staff, parents, and students have come together to work on projects around the school to make it an even more enjoyable place for the students attending Brixham Montessori Friends School. One of the main projects this spring has been the expansion of the school garden, including a new greenhouse for the children. The garden beds have been installed, seeds have been planted and they look forward to enjoying what their hard work will bring once the plants begin to grow in the upcoming warmer months. A new fence was built to keep critters out of the garden and insulation foam boards are being installed along the foundation to help increase energy efficiency.

A focus on the environment has always been a fundamental value at the Brixham Montessori Friends School. Aside from the improvements taking place this spring, just last year the school built a vernal pool viewing deck and boardwalk for the students to discover all the creatures living in the pool that appears each spring. The students are taught the value of the environment and receive a hands on education, where they not only learn in the classroom, but enjoy nature each day on the school grounds.

Gundalow Company Sets Sail for Summer

By Corey | May 20, 2015 | in

While summer hasn't officially started yet, it doesn't mean you can't act like it is! Join The Gundalow Company this Memorial Day weekend as their sailing season kicks off. Ride on the gundalow Piscataqua around the stunning sounds of Portsmouth and New Castle, NH and Kittery, ME. Participants can join the crew in raising the sail, help steer the boat, or just sit back and relax on the water. 

The Gundalow Company offers two-hour public sails for up to 42 passengers starting this Memorial Day until the end of October. The daily river tours that depart from Portsmouth are a fantastic way to experience our local rivers. Other offers include a variety of special sails such as concerts, lectures, sunset sails, private charters, free trips for kids on Saturday mornings, and even brunch on Sundays.

Since their founding in 2002, the Gundalow Company has made its main mission to connect residents of the Seacoast and beyond with this historic icon of river commerce, while instilling a sense of environmental stewardship for the Piscataqua region's cherished waterways. In 2011, the Gundalow Company built their floating classroom christened the Piscataqua. Over 2,000 students, scouts, and campers have enjoyed a unique educational experience in 2014 whilst sailing the Seacoast's tidal waters on a traditional wooden vessel.

Eolian creates clean renewable energy while permanently conserving land

By Ken | May 20, 2015 | in

by Ken Johnson

Wind is a vast, natural, and renewable energy. Despite being used as a power source for centuries, it wasn't until 1888 that Charles Brush first harnessed its potential to create electricity.

Eolian Renewable Energy, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, carries on Brush's work on a much larger scale. Brush's first wind turbine powered one home. Eolian's current project in Antrim, New Hampshire, will power about 12,500 average New Hampshire homes when finished.

Eolian has worked on the nine turbine Antrim project since 2009, doing extensive environmental studies to ensure its implementation has a minimal impact. No harmful emissions will be released and no new transmission lines need to be built, since there is an existing high voltage transmission line at the base of the new facility. And Eolian ensures there are no threatened or endangered species at the site.

Join the Green Alliance and NHPTV for an Unforgettable Party Cruise

By Katelyn | May 19, 2015 | in

Hop aboard the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company vessel, the Thomas Laighton, for an evening of fun with the Green Alliance and NHPTV! Join us for the night as we sail down the Piscataqua River taking in the sights of the New Hampshire seacoast. With live music, food, and drinks, the annual Isles of Shoals Steamship party cruise is a summer event you will not want to miss!

Humble Bee, a local Seacoast band, will provide live music for the night, complimentary hors d'oeuvres will be served, and a cash bar will be open serving guests drinks throughout the cruise.

Admission for the party cruise is free for Green Alliance members, but the public is encouraged to attend the event by joining the Green Alliance as a new member. If you are not yet a member, but are interested in attending the party cruise, become a member today and you will receive a cruise ticket and a one year membership.

Green Story: Newmarket Dental Sets Green Trends in Unlikely Industry

By Corey | May 19, 2015 | in

Every Green Alliance business undergoes a Sustainability Certification. This certification serves to show everyone what each business has accomplished and what they are still working to accomplish when it comes to green business practices. The final part of the evaluation is the Green Story. You can read the full certification documents for all of our business partners on their indivdual pages. Check out Newmarket Dental's Green Story below.

Describing how he came to be a “green dentist,” Dr. Nathan Swanson’s analogy is, for a lack of a better term, quite cinematic: “I started noticing how much garbage was piling up in the back of the medical complex just between a few offices,” Swanson explains. “And then I multiplied that out by the fact that there are 5 similar complexes in the city of Exeter alone. Then I multiplied that out by how many there were in the state, the country, the world. Basically it was like one of those scenes in the movie where the camera pans out Google Earth-style super far and you recognize and appreciate the true scope of the scene.”

Kittery Community Market

By John | May 19, 2015 | in

 

To learn more about the Kittery Community Market, click here.

Great Bay Paddle Challenge

By Corey | May 19, 2015 | in

Get out your paddles because the Great Bay Stewards will be hosting the first Great Bay Estuary sprint race for canoes and kayaks of all classes. On Saturday, August 15, this 10 mile race starts at the Oyster River's Jackson Landing and goes into Little Bay, around Goat Island, continues to Adam's Point, and then returns to the Oyster River and Jackson Landing. 

New to paddling? This event will also feature an Open Touring and Solo Recreation class for novice paddlers. A staggered class start will begin at noon. All classes of canoes and kayaks can enter in efforts of raising money for the Great Bay Stewards. The Great Bay Stewards has grown to become one of the region's most steadfast and hard-working environmental and conservation organizations. This organization demonstrates strong commitments to research, supporting projects that focus on issues relating to sedimentation, excess nitrogen loads, habitat loss, and many other problems that occur right in our backyard. 

Meet a Green Alliance Business: New Hampshire the Beautiful

By Corey | May 19, 2015 | in

What: Composed of a team of grocers and beverage companies, New Hampshire the Beautiful (NHtB) came together to expand recycling efforts across the state. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit has poured millions of dollars into helping towns and cities clean up litter and expand their recycling programs, and has made landmark achievements in making New Hampshire more environmentally friendly.

For small towns, the biggest hindrance to a successful recycling program is the lack of startup money. NHtB organizes fundraising efforts to cover startup costs for materials such as plastic recycling bins, cardboard balers, glass crushers, storage containers, and just about anything else a town might need to start its recycling program.

In addition, NHtB's popular "Blue Bag" program provides plastic bags to towns and nonprofit groups to organize town and highway litter cleanup efforts. NHtB will also design, build and install signs at transfer stations to help residents sort their recycling.

NHtB recently began a collaboration with the Northeast Resource Recovery Association, an organization that provides networking and educational opportunities about recycling and sustainability, to further their outreach. NHtB is supported by members of the N.H. Soft Drink Association, the Beverage Distributors of New Hampshire Association and the New Hampshire Grocers Association.

Call of the Wild: the 11th Annual Spring Auction and Benefit

By Corey | May 19, 2015 | in

Celebrate the greatness of our local wildlife at the York Center for Wildlife's annual spring auction and benefit on Thursday, May 28 from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. at the Spring Hill Restaurant in South Berwick. Attendees will get the opportunity to listen to keynote speaker Susan Gallo - an Audubon biologist, researcher, and advocate for native bat species. Gallo's efforts toward researching, educating, and conservation legislation for local bats come at a critical time for local ecosystems and human health. 

In addition to listening to a passionate and experienced wildlife keynote speaker, you will be able to enjoy food, drink, meet live animal ambassadors, and participate in live and silent auctions. Auction items range from a once-in-a-lifetime chance to release an animal back into the wild and even a trip to Africa including hotel and safari! The Call of the Wild event is the Center for Wildlife's biggest fundraising event of the year. All the proceeds are used for funding the Center for Wildlife's work with injured and orphaned wildlife throughout the year. 

Newmarket Dental: Utilizing Green Practices for White Teeth

By John | May 18, 2015 | in

Newmarket Dental is in the business of providing excellent dental care through environmentally sound and responsible practices. The staff at Newmarket Dental have adopted a holistic approach to their work, and do not simply give their patients a diagnosis; once they make a diagnosis, they explain and discuss with the patient how the problem can best be addressed. Newmarket Dental is committed to offering only the treatment which their patients need and are ready to suggest alternative means based on patient concerns, insurance, and finances.

Newmarket Dental owner Dr. Nathan Swanson was inspired to run a green business after he noticed the immense buildup of trash that was being accumulated by local medical offices. Disturbed by such a surplus of waste, Dr. Swanson decided to take steps to become a greener dentist. He replaced the original toothbrushes with 100% recyclable and biodegradable ones, made from recycled Stonyfield Yogurt cups. He also switched from plastic seat covers and cups to biodegradable, corn-based products, and even began using dental floss with recyclable containers.

The Kittery Community Market Seeks Volunteers for the Summer

By Katelyn | May 18, 2015 | in

The Kittery Community Market is a weekly outdoor farmers' market for local farmers, fishermen, artisans, food producers and citizens in collaboration with the Kittery Maine Improvement Foundation; a not-for-profit corporation incorporated in the State of Maine. Their the goal to provide healthy, fresh foods, horticultural products, local prepared foods and local artisans' work to Kittery, Maine and surrounding areas, and to encourage commerce, entertainment, and trade.

This summer, the Kittery Community Market will be held each Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. from June 7 to October 4 at 10 Shapleigh Rd, Post Office Square in Kittery. In order to make the market a success and impact as many people as possible, the Kittery Community Market is seeking volunteers to help with all aspects of making the day run smoothly.

Tips to be more Sustainable

By Sarah Mahoney | May 16, 2015 | in

The National Restaurant Association’s Conserve program is challenging restaurateurs to make their businesses more sustainable. It doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult to deploy, just something environmentally responsible and efficient. Following are four suggestions from industry experts on easy practices to implement:

  1. Recycle your cardboard to help reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill, says Jeff Clark, program director for the NRA’s Conserve initiative. Cardboard takes up about 25 percent of the space in your trash dumpster, so this one practice can eliminate the need for a large receptacle. Also, if the material isn’t contaminated, it could have significant value and a second life as something else, like paper cups.
  2. Conserve water by establishing a baseline to understand how you’re using water, says Jim Hanna, director of environmental impact for Starabucks Coffee Co. Don’t just look at your water bill. Take a look at all of the water components in your restaurant. Learn where the most significant usage is and tackle that immediately.
  3. Reduce your food waste at the source by tracking and monitoring how much is produced, says Andrew Shakman, founder and CEO of food-waste prevention company LeanPath Inc. Get your employees to record what goes into the trash, and meet regularly to review the data and discuss ways to prevent that waste from occurring in the future.
  4. Some companies are interested in converting your used fryer oil into biodiesel, which could result in extra revenue. Negotiate rates and services with your local grease haulers or biodiesel production companies. Also, there are haulers who will provide storage containers and clean grease traps as part of your contract. In some cases, they will clean the grease traps for you. When sewer lines get clogged with a buildup of fats, oil and greases, sewage back-ups can occur.