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Students Learn Through Nature Based Education at Acorn School

By Katelyn | Oct 19, 2015 | in

With students and parents settled into their new school routines, some seacoast area children are taking an environmental approach to another year of learning. The pre-K and kindergarteners at Acorn School in Stratham learn to connect with the environment at an early age. Teachers and administrators take advantage of the school’s natural surroundings to create a curriculum and philosophy that instills a sense of environmental appreciation in their students.

Students at this unique school are exposed to environment through nature-based learning, much of which is done through outdoor education focused on composting, gardening, or learning about native species. Aside from the environment, the curriculum also offers classes in theater, music, the arts, and world cultures.

“One of our major goals is to instill a love for learning across the board,” said Sue Bendroth, Executive Director at the Acorn School since 1987. “Yes, we want them to learn their numbers or letters, but that’s not as important as developing a passion for learning and an ability to communicate with one another. They have a long school career ahead of them.”

To continue to offer a diverse education to local students, the non-profit Acorn School relies on fundraising and donations to bridge the gap between student tuition and everyday operating expenses. Each fall, they host a fundraiser, which serves as one of the main contributions to the Acorn School Endowment Fund. This year, the fall fundraiser will be held at Abenaqui Country Club in Rye, on Saturday, November 7, from 6 - 10 p.m.

Hit the Road to Support the Great Bay Stewards

By Katelyn | Oct 19, 2015 | in

Its not too late to register for the Great Bay 5k this Saturday, October 24 to benefit the Great Bay Stewards. Runners start at Sandy Point Road in Stratham, continuing along Rt. 33, through quiet neighborhoods before finishing at the Great Bay Discovery Center on Depot Road in Greenland.

A rolling sixteen years of success and popularity for this annual fundraiser can be attributed to the great cause the proceeds serve, but also to the fantastic course and wide spectrum of runners.

Aside from its natural scenic beauty, the topography of the course is predominantly downhill, giving competitive runners an opportunity to race a new personal best time. There are also lucrative cash awards for the top three-female and male finishers, as well as an added bonus for new course records, which draws in a variety of runners from around New England. Additionally, the MacKenzie Mile, named after local resident Jim MacKenzie, offers the first male and female runners to cross this one-mile mark within the 5k - and who complete the rest of the race at a similar pace - an additional monetary prize.

Redhook Brewery Continues to Give Back to Employees with Annual Wellness Fair

By Katelyn | Oct 14, 2015 | in

Redhook Brewery will once again host their annual Wellness Fair for company employees and their families to explore options for improving their health and wellbeing. The 7th Annual Wellness Fair will feature a range of businesses located around the seacoast, from traditional medical providers to alternative providers and products. Social responsibility, environmental stewardship, and employee benefits have always been important aspects of Redhook Brewery’s business practices.

Redhook prides itself on an impressive employee wellness program, including substantial discounts on health-care packages, the yearly Wellness Fair, and free biometric screening. In past years, the Wellness Fair offered a discount on a new health-care package if employees participated in the event and a biometric screening. Employees who received a full check-up, and provided information on weight, cholesterol, and other pertinent numbers, received a discount on the health care package offered through Redhook.

“It simply provides the employees with options and information about their personal health status. They are able to choose how and what they do with this information,” explained Linda Currier, Human Resources Manager at Redhook, of past wellness fairs.

Meet a Green Alliance Business: New Hampshire Public Television

By Craig | Oct 13, 2015 | in

What: New Hampshire Public Television, the Granite State’s only statewide, locally owned television network and PBS station, offers commercial-free programming that engages viewers, connects communities, and celebrates the region in a way that entertains as well as enriches.

Headquartered in Durham, NHPTV provides locally focused programs such as “Windows to the Wild,” “Our Hometown,” “Granite State Challenge,” and special documentaries, along with PBS favorites like “Downton Abbey,” “Nature,” “Nova,” “Frontline,” “Antiques Roadshow” and PBS KIDS, offering educational services and a high-tech public safety communications infrastructure. Using five broadcast transmitters the station’s signal to 98 percent of New Hampshire homes, NHPTV reaches more than 500,000 viewers each month, and 110,000 children weekly. NHPTV’s programs are available free via over-the-air broadcast and online, not just through paid cable and satellite companies.

NHPTV also has a steadfast commitment to environmental-themed programming. From national staples like “Nature” and “Nova,” to local favorites like “Planet Granite,” to “Windows to the Wild” and special documentaries about New England’s migratory birds and the fishing industry. And NHPTV is committed to partnering with community organizations to help shine a light on the issues and topics at the forefront of public concern and discussion.

Art of Reuse Event to Benefit the Post-Landfill Action Network

By Katelyn | Oct 7, 2015 | in

Join the Post-Landfill Action Network for an evening benefit of art, hors d'oeuvres, and community as they celebrate reuse at the 3s Artspace in Portsmouth on Sunday, October 11, from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. The Art of Reuse will feature local and nationally recognized artists who incorporate found objects, recycled materials, or messages about consumption and waste into their work.

The Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN) is a New Hampshire-based nonprofit working with student leaders across the country to build a world where landfills and incinerators are obsolete. The organization was founded by the creators of the UNH Trash 2 Treasure program, which helps students combat waste on their college campuses.

In 2011, University of New Hampshire students created Trash 2 Treasure after noticing mounds of perfectly useable items from spring move out, only to see them reappear when students moved back in that fall. To end the cycle of waste, they collected items discarded by students in the spring, cleaned and organized those items over the summer, and sold them to students moving back to campus in the fall.

UNH Hosts Free Seminar: "All About Internships for Employers"

By Anne | Oct 7, 2015 | in
The Green Alliance doesn’t just promote your business; we also connect you with the right resources to help you grow in every way possible. It’s to the end that we share with you this valuable information about utilizing interns in your organization. 
 
Your business is successful because of your customers, your managers, your employees and your interns. Interns? Of course! It can be very effective to hire somebody who already knows your business. 
 
Here at the Green Alliance, one of our most valuable players was once a humble intern. Our Community and Member Manager, Katelyn Monroe (pictured left), got her in at the GA through a UNH internship.
 
Join our friends at UNH for a free and informative seminar, “All About Internships for Employers” on Tuesday, October 13th from noon to 2 p.m. at the Memorial Union Building. 
 

Solar Energy Advocates Call for Net Metering Cap Raise

By Anne | Oct 7, 2015 | in
 
By Michael McCord
 
Two local alternative energy business owners are part of a growing chorus pushing the New Hampshire legislature to change the state’s net metering law.  To not expand the legal cap, advocates says, would put a serious economic damper on renewable energy growth in the state.
 
“The shame in all of this is that the message clearly didn’t get across to the legislature during the last session,” said Andrew Kellar, the founder of NHsolarGarden.com, the Stratham-based developer of solar energy projects. Kellar acknowledged that the political fight over the state budget was the top priority but said the lack of action could have consequences. “The inaction could lead to projects potentially evaporating,” he said.
 
Jack Bingham, the owner of Seacoast Energy in Barrington, has met with local representatives from both political parties to educate and emphasize the importance of increasing the net metering cap.  
 
“There are a whole host of issues here but the most important one is that neighboring states like Massachusetts, Vermont and New York have a very different posture,” Bingham said. “They don’t have caps or if they do, and they are much hig
her. Vermont pays a feed-in tariff of five to six cents above retail to encourage growth. The cap in New Hampshire stifles alternative energy growth.”
 
The concept of net metering has caught on nationally and works like this at the basic level: it allows those who generate their own power to sell excessive use to utilities. This billing arrangement allows renewable energy generation systems to spin the electric meter backward when the system is producing more electricity than is being used onsite, thereby exporting electricity to the grid for others to use. The customer receives a credit or payment for the net exported electricity.

Join the Green Alliance on Our Sustaining Member Sail

By Katelyn | Oct 7, 2015 | in

Show your commitment to the local green economy with a lifetime membership with the Green Alliance and help us work with more local businesses and expand to more surrounding communities. Become a Sustaining Member and you'll receive 4 free tickets on our Fall Foliage Sunset Party Sail- our way of saying thank you for your ongoing support. 

Are you already a Green Alliance member and like the work we do and what we stand for? We invite existing Green Alliance members to step up their yearly membership to a lifetime membership and when they do, they'll receive 4 free tickets aboard our sail on October 15, from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. with the Gundalow Company

A Sustaining Membership is a lifetime individual membership and gets you unlimited GA Business Discounts, Green Alliance events and cutting edge environmental information. Sustaining Members never have to renew and are telling us and the world that they believe in the power of a local green economy.Since the Green Alliance’s creation in 2009, Sustaining Members have provided unwavering support to the mission to grow the local, green economy.

This sail will showcase beautiful Portsmouth foliage, a picturesque sunset, and great networking with those who are equally as committed to the conservation of the local environment and economy.The GA Foliage Sail is an excellent opportunity to enjoy autumn on a genuine replica of a gundalow, a historic vessel used to navigate the New Hampshire coastline. Complementary appetizers and beers will be served, and guests will enjoy live music aboard the boat.

Upgrade to a Sustaining Membership or become a new Sustaining Member and email katelyn@greenalliance.biz to save your 4 free tickets.

Coca-Cola teams up with the Ocean Conservatory to Combat Marine Plastic

By Anne | Oct 6, 2015 | in
 
The Ocean Conservancy, a non-profit dedicated to protecting and preserving the ocean, is seeking to tackle the problem of marine plastic pollution once and for all with the help of Coca-Cola.
 
The problem itself is vast, with 8 million metric tons of plastic having “leaked” into the ocean to date. The non-profit recently released a report serving as a “call to arms” for industry officials, politicians and citizens collaborate in preventing any more plastic from meeting ocean water. The report identified five countries as the main culprits contributing to the volume of marine plastic, including; China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
 

Favorite Foods Continues to Lead ‘Green’ by Example

By Anne | Oct 6, 2015 | in
 
By Rich Collins
 
SOMERSWORTH -  For the past 27 years, Favorite Foods, a New Hampshire based food distribution company, made it its mission to provide superior quality food distribution and service to their clients, typically independent restaurants, in New Hampshire, Maine, and central and northern Massachusetts. Family owned and operated by son Kelly, father Chris Barstow, and mother Petra Barstow both have always held a strong belief that Favorite Foods could run both profitably and efficiently, with a company-wide focus to improve its overall environmental footprint.
 
Favorite Foods has had many green successes to date, including a massive 572 Panel, 140 kW Solar installation, and the Barstow family is focused on continuously lessening their impact on the environment, increasing energy efficiencies and continuing their mission to maintain a sustainable business. Locally, Favorite Foods has had a longtime relationship with the Green Alliance, a union of local, sustainable businesses and members working to unite the green community.
 
The company’s latest ‘green’ effort was prompted not only by its continuous drive to improve efficiencies, but also by the realities of the significant energy use involved in large-scale refrigeration. 

FootGolf Gives Local Soccer Teams Dynamic Edge

By Katelyn | Oct 5, 2015 | in

By Anne Twombly

Mini golf is a classic American pastime, a simplified and strategically edited version of golf’s traditional gameplay. Whereas traditional golf involves a large sprawling natural landscape, a spectrum of varied clubs, and heavily technical gameplay, mini golf is played in a shrunken, often fantastical, manufactured course allowing for faster paced game transitions between erratic swings of a one-size fits all standardized club. A concentrated dose of the marketable highlights of the traditional golf experience, mini golf aims to please the masses.

Like mini golf, FootGolf, an up-and-coming hybrid of soccer and golf, borrows the latter’s perceived highlights. However, contrary to the aspects hailed in mini golf, a Foot Golf course traditionally runs within or directly parallel to a traditional golf course.

Sagamore –Hampton Golf Club began offering FootGolf just last year, a welcome addition to the facility by both staff and local players. At Sagamore, the hybrid sport has met with success partly because of its symbiotic relationship with the club’s traditional 18-hole course.

“Typically, per hole, there’s two FootGolf holes. The yardages range anywhere from our shortest hole which is 50 yards to our longest hole which is 165 yards - those being par five,” said Kate Blais, Clubhouse Manager at Sagamore.”

Fast Festive 5k Benefits Great Cause

By Katelyn | Oct 5, 2015 | in

By Anne Twombly

STRATHAM - For many fall is a time to reflect on the ecological beauty of the state before the warm weather dissipates. It’s only natural that The Great Bay Stewards, an organization dedicated to conservation and preservation of the New Hampshire’s Great Bay Estuary, would host their annual 5k at the apex of the season. This year the race will be held at 9 a.m. on Saturday, October 24 at Sandy Hill Road in Stratham.

The Great Bay 5K Road Race is a primary fundraiser for the Great Bay Stewards, with proceeds supporting the non-profit’s educational and stewardship programs as well as facility improvement projects. Along with sponsoring erosion control efforts, invasive species removal, and runoff prevention campaigns, the non-profit also funds the Great Bay Discovery Center, an educational hub of the Research Reserve.

The Discovery Center offers visitors a chance to learn more about ecology and marine biology issues involving the Great Bay. The Stewards help manage over 6,000 acres of protected land. Only one acre is developed, which houses the Great Bay Discovery Center, with the other 5,999 acres providing prime estuary habitat, recreation space and undisturbed wetland area.

Spooktacular Kids Festival this Saturday at Stratham Hill Park

By Katelyn | Oct 5, 2015 | in

Stop by the Spooktacular Kids Festival at Stratham Hill Park this Saturday, October 10, from 10 am to 4 pm. The day will feature a spooky fun run, music, magic, train ride, face painting, games, crafts, a toy flea market, food trucks, and promises to have a little something for everybody.

The Spooktacular Kids Festival will benefit Rett's Roost, a sanctuary for families with a child affected by cancer. Rett's Roost is a non-profit organization established by Jim and Deana Cavan in memory of their son Everett "Rett" Cavan who passed away from pediatric cancer at just 10 months old.

Jim Cavan worked as the Director of Media at the Green Alliance for five years, and although he continues to write for publications in the area, Jim and Deana have made it their mission to honor Rett. In memory of Rett, the Cavans launched Rett’s Roost in early July. Families attend these “Roosts” free of charge and to cover expenses, Deana and Jim plan to conduct regular fundraisers to supplement individual donations.

Fall is Still Active Season for Wasps

By Craig | Oct 5, 2015 | in

At a family outing to a nearby apple orchard they swarm around crushed apple cores, spilled cups of cider and sticky trash bins. Even with autumn’s crisp evening air, wasps are still active.

Already this fall Tom Pray, of Ecotech Pest Services in Eliot, Maine, says there have been a number of reports regarding large wasp nests both inside and outside of homes, with nests growing to the size of volleyballs and hanging like a paper lantern under an eave or porch.

"Last year we had a bumper crop of bald face hornets and wasp nests. We're probably seeing the result of that," Pray said. "All those nest sites last year created new queens for this year, so a large number of them survived last winter, built large nests during the summer and seek warmth as the weather cools again."

Homeowners can take some minor precautions themselves by walking their property both inside and out to check for nests, which remain active until mid-November.

Each of the varying wasp species, over a dozen in New Hampshire, have a favorite place to build, which is why many homeowners find nests in the ground, hanging from a tree and hidden in the wall or attic of a house. If a homeowner, or business owner, finds a nest on their property Pray insists they call him instead of taking matters into their own hands with over-the-counter insecticides.

"People shouldn’t go after a nest site with a can of Raid, that’s like bringing a knife to a gun fight. You have to be really close when you set that off and they will come after you," he said.

Pray added that wasps will often post guards outside a nest site that will attack if a nest is disturbed even slightly.

Different species of wasps, build nests in a variety of locations. The "paper" nest is the most commonly seen. Circular in shape and grey in color these nests feel like papier-mâché and are often found hanging under decks, rooflines and tree branches. But the wasps that build inside a home's wall cavity can be particularly dangerous if unchecked.

New Hampshire Businesses Come Together at the Just One Thing Sustainability Slam

By Katelyn | Oct 5, 2015 | in

AMHERST - Twelve sustainability stories by businesses from across the state will come to life at New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility’s (NHBSR) Just One Thing Sustainability Slam at the LaBelle Winery on Thursday, October 15 in Amherst, New Hampshire. The evening will feature the top Just One Thing Stories, and guests will vote for the most impactful story.

NHBSR, a nonprofit membership-based organization of socially and environmentally friendly businesses, launched the Just One Thing campaign to bring together businesses from across New Hampshire to share ideas regarding sustainability and recognize businesses for their environmental, community, and workplace initiatives.

At the Sustainability Slam, guests will hear twelve winning stories, determined by a panel of sustainability experts, each in 90 seconds or less, and select the overall best stories using a polling app on their phones. Finalists were selected by a panel of experts consisting of Lisa Drake, Director of Sustainability Innovation at Stonyfield Farm, Matt Gardner, Principal of Sustainserv and Fiona Wilson, Co-Director for the Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise at the UNH Paul College of Business and Economics. Four finalists were chosen from each category, with two large companies, and two small companies or organizations in each category: