By Mark Quirk
PORTSMOUTH – The recent snow storms in the Northeast should serve as a reminder that Mother Nature is a force to be reckoned with.
And while severe weather can cause serious damage to physical property, it's just as dangerous to digital property. That's why measures should be taken to protect both. Since 1997 Jenaly Technology Group, Inc., has helped individuals and businesses with the latter.
MJ Shoer, the company's president and virtual chief technology officer, says changing weather patterns are becoming more unpredictable and more severe. Storms such as hurricane Sandy that walloped the New York City area and masses of snow, like what we've been experiencing here in New England this winter make the risk of impact on your IT infrastructure more possible.
Join the GA as a Sustaining Member and get two FREE opening weekend tickets to Kent Stephens’ Stage Force show Dogs and Lesser Mortals at the Star Theatre in Kittery! The first three people to become new sustaining members with the Green Alliance will receive two tickets to the show for the night of their choice ($60 value) on opening weekend from Friday, March 13 - Sunday, March 15.
Kent Stephens’ Stage Force was founded in 2006 with the goal of bringing live theater performances to southern Maine and coastal New Hampshire. The Music Hall Loft in Portsmouth, and Star Theatre in Kittery serve as the popular venues for the Stage Force productions and the Star Theater is pleased to present Dogs and Lesser Mortals for six performances only during March. This theatrical production uses music, poetry, and stories, to give us humans an inside look at what it might be like to live the life of a canine. From chasing squirrels to waiting for dinner time, the Stage Force presents a humorous tale of the everyday life of being a dog. The Green Alliance is proud to help sponsor the showing of Dogs and Lesser Mortals at the Star Theater, along with fellow Business Partners Mary’s Dogs and the Natural Dog.
Become a Sustaining Member now, and get two free tickets to the Dogs and Lesser Mortals showing of your choice ($60 value). That's almost half your lifetime membership dues right there!
The long awaited day has finally arrived; Smuttynose Brewing Co. is set to open Hayseed Farmstyle Restaurant on Wednesday, February 25! Last year, Smuttynose opened their new brewing facility at Towle Farm in Hampton, NH. and preserved much of the charm of the historic farmstead, including the Victorian-era farmhouse, while establishing a new state of the art brewery focused on sustainability.
For years, Smuttynose has worked to create a more sustainable business and to reduce their environmental footprint. With the establishment of the new facility at Towle Farm, Smuttynose incorporated more environmentally friendly practices into their every business operations including sending spent grain to nearby farms, producing their own hops on grounds, and becoming Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified. Hayseed Farmstyle Restaurant, located in the former farm house, will continue the sustainable practices pioneered by Smuttynose Brewing Co.
Portsmouth Beer Week is in full swing and if you’re a beer lover then there is no better place to be right now than Downtown Portsmouth. The 6th Annual Beer Week is a celebration of craft beer created thanks to the collaborative efforts of local breweries, regional breweries, and Portsmouth restaurants. Not only do visitors and participants of Beer Week get to enjoy locally made brews, but they also help the City of Portsmouth gain more attention as a nationally recognized beer city.
Smuttynose Brewing Company and its sister company, the Portsmouth Brewery are long time Business Partners of the Green Alliance because they are not only local breweries, but they also value sustainability. The two breweries have incorporated more environmentally friendly practices into their everyday business operations. The Smuttynose Brewery is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified meaning that the company took great strides to build a brewery with a smaller environmental footprint. At the same time, Smuttynose sends their spent grain to nearby farms, produces some of their own hops on the grounds, and tends to beehives to continue the pollination processes nearby. As a downtown restaurant and bar, The Portsmouth Brewery must approach sustainability from a slightly different angle and has created an extensive composting and recycling program to send as little restaurant waste to the landfill as possible. Over the years, the Brewery has taken small steps like replacing incandescent lighting, installing low flow nozzles, and supporting local food providers to continue to lessen their environmental impact.
From Sarah Brown
It is with great, great sadness that we extend all of our love and support to former Green Alliance Director of Media Jim Cavan and his wife Deana, as they carry the unimaginable grief of the passing of their lovely baby son Everett Cavan. For those of you who know Jim, you know him as an incredible writer and a major contributor to the Green Alliance. Jim worked four years to make this organization into what it is today and in the last year I saw him apply the same love, passion and creativity to fatherhood. Both Jim and Deana were nothing short of master parents and I watched as these two newbies mothered and fathered as if it was their natural calling. As the mom of 3 girls I have never seen such fabulous parents; two adults that were at once loving, instructive and fun. They clearly were enjoying every minute of this lovely creature they had in their hands!
Jim and Deana graced us with little Rett a few times; allowing me and my girls to babysit and play with the vibrant and sharp little guy on a few occasions and boy did we have a great time with him. When Jim or Deana came to pick him up we didn’t want to give him back. He was so easy and fun to be with – I had to reprimand my girls for not sharing Rett, with my oldest Daria “hogging” the beautiful boy to the detriment of Auden and Claire who were losing patience waiting for their turn to hold him. We know firsthand the wonder of this child, his tenacity, energy and beauty. My whole family thanks Jim and Deana for sharing Rett with us – and I thank Jim for making me a better person and a better mom. Jim and Deana you are an inspiration to all of us.
We will always hold Rett in our hearts and the Green Alliance community sends all of our support to Jim and Deana and our blessings to little Rett who we commend for his strength and the love he has given to his parents and this world.
Jim and Deana have asked that in lieu of gifts to them you consider donating to Rett’s GoFundMe site where they will take the money raised and put it towards other families with sick children and to battling this devastating cancer that has taken Rett from this world. To donate or learn more click here.
What: As one of the Seacoast's longest operating family-owned restaurants, Poco's Bow Street Cantina offers all-natural, sustainable menu options and stunning views of the Piscataqua River from its decks and energy-efficient dining room. Established more than 33 years ago at 47 Bow St., husband and wife co-owners, John Golumb and Marlisa Geroulo, have turned Poco's and its sister restaurant, Two Ceres Street, into staples of sustainable dining.
Over the years, Golumb has made significant upgrades to Poco's heating energy systems installing an efficient fireplace, a new heat pump system and an energy-efficient furnace for its outdoor lower deck. And during the renovation of Poco's kitchen, Golumb added a more efficient ventilation system to keep the workspace cool during the summer months. Golumb also switched the restaurant's lighting to CFL lightbulbs and installed indoor and outdoor light sensors to reduce energy waste. Golumb also maintains a strict recycling policy at Poco's where all spent materials, including paper, plastic, metal and frying oil, are properly recycled. Additionally, all food scraps are composted and all to-go containers are made of corn-based sustainable materials that can be composted. Golumb and Geroulo advocate supporting farms and agriculture with locally sourced menu items at Poco's, which is also a proud member of Seacoast Eat Local, and include vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options.
Breweries and restaurants around Portsmouth have teamed up to celebrate local beer and to push Portsmouth further along in becoming known as a great American beer city. Portsmouth Beer Week will be in full swing from February 21- March 2, with various tastings and events throughout the city each night of the week. Local breweries such as, Redhook Brewery, Smuttynose, The Portsmouth Brewery, Earth Eagle, and Throwback, along with regional breweries, will work with Portsmouth restaurants to bring guests unique tastings and offerings.
Redhook Brewery is a Seacoast New Hampshire staple, and is at the center of many of the events during Beer Week. The Redhook Longhammer IPA will be featured at the 4th Annual Clash of the IPAs at TJ’s on February 24, where guests can experience a long list of IPAs from around the country and pick their favorite. On Wednesday, February 25 Redhook will be featured at the free New Hampshire Beer Tasting at the Craft Beer Cellar along with other area breweries such as 603 Brewery, Kelsen Brewery, and Tuckerman’s Brewing Company.
It’s been two years since members of the University of New Hampshire's SEAC (Student Environmental Action Coalition) delivered 1,000 signatures from students and faculty alike to petition against the University’s investment in fossil fuels. The divestment is a call for action to end investment in environmentally dangerous companies and to move the three million dollars the University currently invests in fossil fuels toward renewable energy.
Despite the passionate effort from rallies to letters, all the University offered in return was an addition of an ESG (Environmental Social Governance portfolio. This portfolio allows University donors to contribute money to help companies and organizations invest in sustainability. This attempted compromise has not solved the issue of the University investing money into environmentally damaging companies, and it certainly was not going to stop students from protesting against it.
With students unsatisfied by the University’s solution, SEAC decided to re-launch the discussion on divestment. On Global Divestment Day (Feb. 13), SEAC hosted an event to inform the student body and public about the University’s involvement with fossil fuel companies and the urgency to divest. Three workshops were held in the morning: Investments 101 – focused on how investments work and where UNH can invest in the future, Elevator Pitch – discussing what divestment is, why it matters, and why to care, and Story to Self, an open discussion on why divestment is important on a personal level.
In support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Manchester, NH EATS (New Hampshire Entertainment and Tastes of the State) is hosting A Wine and Cheese Affair at the most prominent dining and entertainment establishments in downtown Manchester. Held at The Palace Theatre, NH EATS is showchasing signature cheese-themed dishes from their founding partners and delicious wines from around the world. Attendees can enjoy their local and delicious meals to the music of Godspell and other exclusive theatre tours. The mission of NH EATS is to provide the public with the most enjoyable and most reliable hospitality opportunities in downtown Manchester. The NH EATS founding partners whose food will be featured at the event include Gauchos Churrascaria Brazilian Steak House, Hooked Seafood Restaurant and Raw Bar, Ignite Bar and Grille, N'awlins Grille and All the JAZZ, Palace Theatre, Red Arrow Dinner, and 900 Degrees Neopolitan Pizzeria.
900 Degrees creates pizza as they were originally conceived in Naples, Italy with daily-made dough, wood-fired brick ovens, and fresh, local ingredients. Not only does this New Hampshire pizzeria keep their Italian traditions alive, but they also keep their business green. In addition to their use of local, organic ingredients, 900 Degrees uses a comprehensive recycling program, keeping recycled paper throughout the premises and reducing their waste by over 50% since opening. The building itself is also sustainable, with LED and motion sensored lighting throughout the restaurant, with paint and finishes all containing low-VOC (volatile organic compounds).
By Ken Johnson
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. – A local downtown establishment is up for sale, but the current owner's legacy of bringing green and sustainable products to the Seacoast is expected to live on. Holly Landgarten, the owner of Prelude “purveyors of imported soaps, fine jewelry & gifts” on Market Street, is putting the store up for sale and she is confident that much of its value lies in the community building and local focus the store has exhibited for over 25 years.
“I've been here nearly 26 years, which is wonderful and it's the longest time I've ever worked anywhere,” Landgarten said. “I would love to still work here as an employee but I need not to work as many hours or have as much responsibility.”
Prelude is a different store than when Landgarten first bought it from Florence 'Fa' Vereen in May of 1998.
Prelude was founded by Thom Lager in April of 1983, who also founded many candle shops in the seacoast. Prelude was different from his candle stores since it carried bath, body and gift items. He also opened a second Prelude in Newburyport, Massachusetts, that closed about 15 years ago.
“He loved to start stores,” Landgarten said. “He was very creative that way and he also loved people but he just didn't enjoy standing still and solely doing retail.”
By Mike Bizier
PORTSMOUTH- In 2005, Hampton fire chief Chris Silver surveyed local businesses on whether or not they had an extreme weather plan. An astounding two-thirds of all businesses surveyed had no plan, while five out 10 said their business operations couldn’t afford to be down for more than five days without suffering significant loss to profits and employees.
It’s clear that extreme weather is a serious issue especially for business. It’s also clear that more frequent and severe storms have now become a fact of life in the region and are a result, at least in part, of climate change.
The Green Alliance, a local organization that works to promote and unite sustainable businesses and individuals across the region, will be hosting a free and open Business Preparedness Forum on March 12 from 6-8:00 PM at their office on 75 Congress St, Suite 304 to discuss some of these issues. The forum will be held in conjunction with the American Red Cross and the NH Coastal Adaptation Workgroup, an organization that works to help communities learn about and use existing resources to prepare for extreme weather and the effects of climate change.
By Mike Bizier
On February 3 the New Hampshire chapter of the Surfrider Foundation’s Rise Above Plastics (RAP) coalition proposed a reduction of single-use plastic bags to the Portsmouth City Council. The ordinance, which aims at reducing plastics pollution, is currently awaiting votes before it is brought before the council for final ruling.
Formed in 1984, the Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit, nation-wide organization aimed at protecting the world’s oceans, waves, and beaches, The NH chapter was formed in 2007 and is involved in monthly beach clean-ups, removing anywhere from 50-90 pounds of trash from the shoreline. In March 2013, the NH chapter formed the RAP coalition with several groups and businesses including Green Alliance, Zero Waste Portsmouth, Seacoast Science Center, Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation, and The Gundalow Company. Both The Gundalow Company and the Blue Ocean Society are Business Partners with the Green Alliance, a union of businesses and consumers educating the public about the goods and services they use, and encourage more sustainable choices. The GA represents over 100 local green-leaning businesses and has put its weight behind the ordinance to reduce single-use plastic bags in Portsmouth and is using its bullhorn to educate and advocate around the issue.
By Ken Johnson
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. – A decayed public housing development has been replaced by a new affordable green town house and apartment complex thanks to Petersen Engineering; a Portsmouth-based engineering firm that specializes in energy efficient mechanical engineering.
Built in 1951, Fairfax Gardens was a 150 unit public housing development in Taunton, Massachusetts that had fallen into disrepair. The development was cramped, not accessible nor energy-efficient. The units were overrun with mold and pests, and their finishes were severely deteriorated. According to an evaluation prepared by The UMass Dartmouth Urban Initiative, drug sales and use were also a large problem at Fairfax Gardens. Shortly after this evaluation, under a HOPE VI Revitalization Grant, the complex was demolished and, along with undeveloped land Parcel 6-A a mile away, was rebuilt into a green affordable housing complex.
By Heikki Herb Perry
It may not come as a surprise to some that one of the seacoast-area's greenest homes belongs to Ultra Geothermal, Inc. owner, Melissa Aho. Aho's company takes sustainability nearly as far as it can go, enabling homeowners of new and existing properties the opportunity to heat and cool their homes with clean, renewable — and ultimately affordable — geothermal energy.
Ultra Geothermal, located in Barrington, New Hampshire, has installed more than 750 geothermal systems throughout southern Maine, coastal New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts. Aho's home in Strafford, which can only be described as “over-the-top green," is the finest example of Ultra Geothermal’s sustainability ethos.
By Kristyn Lak Miller
PORTSMOUTH – “Keep Out of Reach of Children” is a familiar warning label found on most conventional cleaning products because of the harmful chemicals they contain. Yet keeping these common cleaners out of children’s reach may not be enough.
From laundry detergent to liquid cleaners for floors, sinks and stovetops, each is a hazard that can adversely effect the health of adults and especially children.
According to a series of studies, exposure to the chemicals found in common household cleaners – even exposure through the skin or respiratory tract – is linked to childhood maladies like autism, asthma, allergies, ADHD and cancer. And exposure can start before a child is born. A recent study in PLOS One journal reveals pregnant women with high levels of exposure to commonly used chemicals di-nbutyl phthalate and di-isobutyl phthalate gave birth to children with significantly lower IQ’s; according to the study, by age 7, children with higher exposure levels had IQ’s more than six points below children with lower exposure levels.
But there is an increasingly large consumer migration away from these types of products and services in favor of safer, more environmentally conscious alternatives.
“As a father to three children [ages 10, 14, and 15], this insight is infuriating,” says 44-year-old Gavin Barbour of Kittery, Maine. “Innocent children shouldn’t be harmed, possibly for life, by cleaning products. Parents need to take action. Use green cleaning products or professionals. My family uses Green Maids, and it’s comforting to know our clean house is honestly clean.”