Blog

Announcing the First Annual Children's Drawing Contest!

By Katie | Nov 18, 2014 | in

After the incredible success of our first ever Children's Essay Contest this summer, we decided we want to hear from local kids again! This time, we are taking a different approach; a drawing contest! 

With the holiday season fast approaching, we want to get in the spirit with some fun, holiday-themed drawings! Kids 12-and-under are welcome to submit a drawing of something their family does every year around the holidays to better the environment. We'd love each drawing to have a small paragraph or sentence accompanying it to describe the environmentally conscious actions taken by the family. Do you get out and shovel as a family, instead of using a plow or snowblower? Or perhaps you make decorations out of materials in your recycling bin! Whatever it is, we want to hear! 

Green Community Leaders Among Us

By Katie | Nov 18, 2014 | in

Since 2009 the GA has seen tremendous growth; signing over 100 Business Partners while gaining over 3,500 individual members from Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts including over 100 Lifetime Sustaining Members. With this growth we realized we are surrounded by dedicated, green individuals and families in our local communities. We want to continue to grow, and we want Green Community Leaders (GLC) to help us grow. 

We recognize the amazing efforts of citizens all around us, who strive to make their community more environmentally conscious. Whether through educational efforts, or proactively fighting for eco-friendly policies, these individuals show a leadership we are proud of, and they should be too.  

The GLC is the highest level of membership offered in the GA and shows the utmost dedication to a sustainable community. This dedication will provide the financial means to the GA necessary to add more businesses from a spectrum of fields, and extend geographically -- all while pushing companies to make environmentally conscious business decisions and promoting the local economy. 

NH Solar Garden to Install Solar Panels

By Patrick Haigis | Nov 14, 2014 | in

The town of Milton's board of selectmen have entered into a lease contract with NH Solar Garden. NH Solar Garden will install solar panels on the Milton transfer station's capped landfill. NH Solar Garden sells the electricity received from the solar panels to PSNH.

Milton's board of selectmen are currently looking for local businesses to join the town in participatig in the NH Solar Garden program. It is similar to joining a membership club and will allow participants to save one cent off the retail price of electricity. To participate, the business must be a PSNH customer and receive their electric bills directly from PSNH and not a third party provider. The program allows the participants to remain with PSNH and pay their monthly bill to PSNH.

At the end of the year participants receive a rebate check from NH Solar Garden. There is no fee cost to the participant. The rebate amount is a percentage of the electricity cost incurred during the hear. For every kWh a participant uses, NH Solar Garden will pay one cent/kWh.

November is National Diabetes Month

By Patrick Haigis | Nov 14, 2014 | in

November may be the month where family and friends come together to celebrate Thanksgiving, but it is also National Diabetes Month. The month is part of an effort to raise awareness of this ever-growing disease and focus the nation’s attention on the issues surrounding diabetes and the many people who are impacted by the disease.

One of the symptoms of diabetes is impaired vision, which is why Harbor Eyecare Center is doing everything they can to raise awareness and help stop diabetes once and for all.

Diabetic eye disease is the leading cause of blindness among adults. Often there are no symptoms until the disease is advanced. Anyone with diabetes is at risk for diabetic eye disease. That’s why Harbor Eyecare recommends anyone with – or at risk for – diabetes have a comprehensive, dilated eye examination at least once a year. Early detection and treatment are key to maintaining healthy vision.

The Gundalow Company Winter Sales

By Madalyn | Nov 14, 2014 | in

Though the time for sailing is over and the PISCATAQUA has been down-rigged for the season, The Gundalow Company is still hard at work. The Gundalow Company is dedicated to protecting the Piscataqua region's maritime heritage and environment through education and action.

Over the past season, Gundalow has been extremely successful. They have had over 6,000 passengers, on 390 different sailing trips. One of their greatest accomplishments this season was the growth in their educational programs: over 2,000 students had the joy of setting sail on the PISCATAQUA. Gundalow has also added new ports and programs that continue to help the organization flourish and grow.

Now the winter season is upon us and that means Christmas and Christmas shopping! The Gundalow Company Gift Shop is offering a 40% seasonal discount on products and the promotion starts on Nov. 20. Also, if you spend $25 or more at their store, you will receive a free sail pass for 2015! The Gift Shop is located at 60 Marcy St., next to Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth. 

New Hampshire's Energy Future: Panel Discussion

By Patrick Haigis | Nov 14, 2014 | in

Interested in the future of energy in New Hampshire? Come to the panel discussion “New Hampshire’s Energy Future; Issues & Challenges, Solutions & Strategies” on Friday, November 21 from 7:30 -11:00 a.m. at the Cochecho Country Club at 145 Gulf Rd in Dover.

There are a wide variety of voices involved in New Hampshire's energy debate. We know there is no one solution to these challenges. We must work together to find ways to utilize all of the options in order to move toward the goal of reliable, renewable and affordable energy. This panel discussion is the perfect opportunity to hear from the experts from around the state about what the major energy challenges are and what solutions and strategies are underway.

This panel discussion will feature a “Challenges & Issues” panel discussing problems facing New Hampshire’s energy market. Following the talk will be a “Solutions & Strategies” panel to discuss plans to improve energy policy and use in the Granite State. There’s also going to be a full hot breakfast buffet!

Eye Health and Diabetes: A Strong Link

By Madalyn | Nov 14, 2014 | in

By Michael McCord

PORTSMOUTH – At least a few times a month, a normal eye exam by Dr. Sarah Hudson leads to a recommendation that the patient undergo further testing to check for diabetes.

Hudson, the co-owner with Dr. Amy Pruszenski of Harbor Eyecare Center in Portsmouth, said there is a simple reason for the possible detection of diabetes. “The eyes let us see and learn about the overall health of our patients. There are more than 200 diseases that can be detected through an eye exam,” Hudson said.

November is National Diabetes Month and Hudson said despite overall public knowledge about the dangers of diabetes, most patients don’t make the connection between annual eye exams and detecting diabetes. Eye exams can be a critical step in early diabetes diagnosis and treatment.

“The eyes are the only place in the body where you can see blood vessels,” she explained. “We can spot small hemorrhages in the eyes. When we see potential diabetes risk we send a report to the primary care physician or a diabetes specialist.”

An Energy Efficiency Makeover in Bedford with the Utility to Thank

By Madalyn | Nov 14, 2014 | in

By Michael McCord

BEDFORD - Ice dams are among the many weather-related issues that New Hampshire homeowners face in winter. Ice dams cause a backup of water when snow melts on the warmer parts of the roof and back up to areas of ice on the cold sections by the eves. Recent winters have seen optimum conditions for ice dams throughout the state. The connection between roof ice dams and high heating bills became apparent during a major energy efficiency conversion at Briston Manor West, a senior independent living community in Bedford.

Briston Manor West had a lot of trouble with ice dams last winter. The 46 units of single-family rental apartments had so many air leaks melting roof snow that ice dams tore down gutters. Maintenance crews spent countless hours knocking down icicles and trying to remove the ice dams.

That’s when Briston Manor West’s property management company, realized something needed to be done. Property manager Dawn Foote first called a heating contractor who suggested an in depth energy audit through Liberty Utilities, the Londonderry-based energy distributor for many of New Hampshire homes and business along the Interstate 93 corridor.

Yankee Thermal Imaging (YTI) of Rochester was brought on as part of the initial auditing team to provide the audit work and all the weatherization improvements to the units. The audits uncovered a wide range of vulnerabilities – unattached ductwork, insulation issues, and a heating system vented through the attic, warming the air there and causing melting as well as heat loss for the residents.

Nonprofit Looks to Keep Boardwalk Afloat in the Great Bay

By Madalyn | Nov 13, 2014 | in

By Mark Quirk

GREENLAND – Whenever a school bus pulls into the Great Bay Discovery Center, Peter Wellenberger can't help but chuckle to himself. Seeing the smiling, amazed looks on the children's faces as they exit the bus and look at the Great Bay Estuary never gets old for him. But the real joy comes later.

“What's really exciting is when a school bus comes with school kids and (some of the children) come back on Saturday with their family,” said Wellenberger, executive director of the Great Bay Stewards. “It's just a great place to go.”

For 22 years one of the biggest attractions at the center has been the quarter-mile boardwalk that meanders through and around the Great Bay Estuary. With its unique view of the Great Bay and the wildlife that lives there, it has also served as an educational tool. Thousands of local school children and adults have utilized the boardwalk over the years to better understand the importance of the bay's ecosystem.

Now that boardwalk is nearing the end of its life and the Great Bay Stewards are looking to the community to help raise the almost $350,000 needed to restore it.

Sarah Brown interviewed on WOKQ

By Sam | Nov 13, 2014 | in

Sarah Brown was recently interviewed on Reporter's File, a show on WOKQ highlighting local topics. Listen to the whole interview by clicking play above!

New England Grassroots Environmental Fund seeks Energy & Climate Change Program Coordinator

By Sam | Nov 13, 2014 | in

 

Did you know that the Green Alliance has a Green Jobs Board? Keep up with who's hiring in the seacoast and feel good about the work you do!

New England Grassroots Environmental Fund are currently seeking an Energy & Climate Program Coordinator focused on enhancing the work of local-level (grassroots) climate and energy action across New England. The Energy & Climate Program Coordinator will work closely with the Executive Director on program-specific strategies, targeted grant commitments and relationship building. A significant portion of the Coordinator’s work will be coordinating two New-England-based networks: the New England Local Energy Network and the New Hampshire Local Energy Work Group (LEWG). In addition to network coordination, the Program Coordinator provides one-on-one support to local energy/climate groups and assists in resource development and NEGEF’s grant programs administration.

Click here for the full description and how to apply!

Green Collar Careers: Jen Kennedy, Co-founder of the Blue Ocean Society

By Anna | Nov 13, 2014 | in

By Anna Murphy

UNH and Cornell graduate Jen Kennedy, along with research partner, Dianna Schulte, founded the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation in 2001 with the mission to protect marine mammals in the Gulf of Maine through education, research and conservation. Since then, the organization has grown to include the Blue Ocean Discovery Center at Hampton Beach. A non-profit research and education organization, BOS strives to connect the public with marine life and the coastal environment. Part of that connection includes inspiring and encouraging young, future marine biologists' interest in marine life conservation.

Through several outreach programs, the Blue Ocean Society brings the Gulf of Maine to children with engaging, age-appropriate learning. School and group programs include: Traveling Tide Pools, Marine Biology Day, Bag It (a presentation about America's dependence on plastic bags) and Get "Eaten" by an Inflatable Whale, the last of which includes an interactive program where students walk inside a 65 foot, blow-up fin whale named Ladder.

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Larry Russell, Financial Representative for Northwestern Mutual

By Madalyn | Nov 13, 2014 | in

Who: Larry Russell, Financial Representative for Northwestern Mutual

What: As a financial representative with Northwestern Mutual, Larry Russell takes into account his client's wellness and lifestyle choices, a key component when developing what Russell refers to as the pyramid of wealth health. Looking at health, dental, life, disability and long-term care insurances, Russell develops three-tiers of financial planning: risk management, savings and wealth creation, legacy or estate planning and estate distribution. Russell believes that living a more sustainable life is not only good for a person's own health and the health of the environment, but is also valuable for financial health. Russell can help clients discover mutual funds with green or socially-responsible companies and offer the eco-focused community a method to plan for a future that stays true to their green values. In his day-to-day dealings with clients and in the office, Russell is adamant about implementing an in-office recycling system, using a digital filing system instead of paper and emailing documents in lieu of standard mailing practices.

Guest Blog: City Should Consider Pay as You Throw Trash Collection

By Madalyn | Nov 13, 2014 | in

The Guest Blog below is from Josh Denton, a member of the Portsmouth Sustainable Practices Committee. This post summarizes a presentation to be made about sustainable practices at the upcoming Portsmouth City Council Meeting.

CITY SHOULD CONSIDER PAY AS YOU THROW TRASH COLLECTION
Portsmouth City Hall, Council Chambers
Monday, November 17th 7 - 8 p.m.
Portsmouth, NH

On Monday, Nov. 17, the Blue Ribbon Committee on Sustainable Practices will present the City Council with energy efficiency and sustainability suggestions. In recent letters, I wrote about Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing to assist property owners with energy efficiency and renewable energy investments, and about guidelines allowing slim black solar panel shingles to be visible from primary street-fronts in our Historic District. These ideas, along with others such as Pay As You Throw (PAYT), will be briefed.

Practical, Provident and Posh: Right-sized Homes Blend Sustainability with Beauty

By Madalyn | Nov 13, 2014 | in

By Heikki (Herb) Perry

PORTSMOUTH —Deb Regan, a Laurel Court resident, lived two blocks away on Mangrove Street when she first happened upon her future neighborhood. She had become intrigued by the construction of what was described as a “high-performance” subdivision.

She took a tour of the Laurel Court model home when it opened in March 2012 and came away impressed. But it was when she took a formal tour of the home with a Realtor that she experienced an epiphany. The agent noticed an immediate change in Regan’s visage as she entered the home. “What’s the matter?” the Realtor inquired of Regan. “You look like you’re in pain.”

“Yes,” said Regan, acknowledging the change but confessing a different cause: “I really like it,” she said about the house. She moved into 72 Laurel Court, the third home completed in the development, in September 2012. She is glad she did.