This Saturday, April 27th marks this year’s World Tai Chi (also spelled “Taiji”) and Qigong day. Celebrated by yogis from around the globe, this holiday offers a chance to celebrate the exercise, meditation, and mindfulness that these two practices have promoted for centuries.
To spark the Seacoast celebration, Gateway Taiji, Qigong, & Yoga of Portsmouth is offering a day of free classes to help community members understand the practice of Taiji. The classes will last from 1pm to 3pm at its location at 875 Islington Street, Portsmouth.
Bill Buckley, founder of Gateway, will be demonstrating the Qigong as a form of low impact exercise and energy cultivation from 1pm to 2pm. Kevin Beane, another Gateway instructor, will host a class on the fundamental awareness of the principles of Tai Chi from 2pm to 3pm.
For thousands of years, Qigong has used coordinated mind, breathing, and body motions for Qi development. Tai Chi relies on the principles of yin and yang and the support of the body’s Qi as an internal martial art.
This is a great opportunity to continue or begin your spiritual learning in celebration of a globally recognized holiday, all at no cost!
For more information, please visit www.gatewaytaiji.com.
Green Card holders: Remember to use your Green Card and receive your first month of classes free at Gateway!
At the Sagamore-Hampton Golf Club in North Hampton, maintaining grass is a science. And that’s a very good thing. Did you know there are six golf courses in just the Winnicut River watershed alone? And that’s just one small portion of the estuary.
It should come as no surprise that fertilizer is considered one of the major sources of nitrogen pollution. Homeowners – along with farmers – are the biggest users of fertilizer in the watershed. Fertilizer is also used on athletic fields and golf courses.
As Waterkeeper, part of Peter Wellenberger's job is to educate people on how they, as individuals, can help protect the Great Bay estuary from pollution. As documented in PREP’s 2013 State of the Estuaries report, there are increasing nitrogen concentrations in Great Bay. The loss of eelgrass – the cornerstone of the Great Bay ecosystem – is a major cause of concern. Reducing sources of nitrogen pollution – along with other pollutants such as pesticides – is essential to improving water quality.
Sagamore-Hampton is setting an example for other golf courses and the rest of us to follow. According to Richard Luff, President and co-owner, “The Golf Club has been naturally maintained since its inception in the early 60′s, perfecting a maintenance program that is nearly 90% independent of chemically-based fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.”
On the greens, the weeds are hand-picked instead of using herbicides. On the fairways they cultivate multiple grass species as opposed to a mono culture. This creates a patchwork of grass species that are less susceptible to disease, drought, and pests. They also allow clover, a nitrogen fixing plant, to grow freely on the fairways, tees, and in the rough. When fertilizer is applied they only use an organic, slow release nitrogen mix that is up to 70-90 percent water insoluble. As Richard noted, the key to low input course management is often waiting and seeing, not over reacting and treating.
Last year, the Club decided to go one step further and join the Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf. Audubon provides information to help golf course personnel with the key environmental components including chemical use reduction, water quality management and conservation, wildlife and habitat management, and outreach and education. Audubon’s real goal is to make us better stewards of our natural resources. As noted in their program statement, “The strongest part of the certification process is that it forces us to rethink our methods and manner of conducting business. It challenges our “status quo” by directing our thoughts and actions toward environmental awareness and changes our definitions of responsibility.”
To qualify for the program, the club had to initiate a comprehensive water quality monitoring program that looked at physical parameters, nutrients, and the presence of macro invertebrates. With the certification process now complete, the club is required to conduct periodic water quality testing. Wellenberger will be working with the UNH Sea Grant Citizen Research Volunteer (CRV) program to implement testing three times a year.
If you play golf, he highly encourages you to check out the course and learn more about their environmental practices (like CLF, they also are a member of the Green Alliance). And if you are a homeowner and would like to reduce your impacts through better management practices, you can read his previous blog on Lawn Tips for a Healthy Great Bay. You can also read about New Castle’s Lawn to Lobsters program that is designed to assist homeowners in managing their properties.
For more information about the Great Bay-Piscataqua Waterkeeper and Peter Wellenberger's work to protect the Great Bay estuary, visit: http://www.clf.org/great-bay-waterkeeper/. You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
The New Hampshire chapter of the Conservation Law Foundation is now a proud partner of the Green Alliance. The Green Alliance is now offering a special co-membership deal: $50 for one year's membership in the Green Alliance, and 2012 calendar year membership in CLF! For more information, please click here!
On Saturday, May 4th, Charlie Mgee is coming all the way from Australia to the Kittery Community Center for the WSCA Portsmouth Community Radio Green Living Fair!
WSCA collaborated with Kittery Community Center/Star Theater, Cornerstone Tree Care, and the Greater Seacoast Permaculture Group to put on this fun event!
Learn how to save the planet while you dance!
At 6pm enjoy the Green Living fair and at 7pm special guest Andrea Szirbic and the Bearded Four will be taking the stage! If you love to dance, love the planet, and love music, come to this event!
To get a taste of this event, click here for the promo!
Sponsors and Participants include: Post-Landfill Action Network, SeacoastNH350.org, Seacoast Eat Local, Kittery Land Trust, Awareness Unlimited, Kittery Adult Education, PPMTV, and much more!
For more information and for tickets, please call 603-430-9722 or visit wscafm.org
KITTERY, Maine — Friday is Arbor Day, and what better reason for tree companies to honor Arbor Day than through volunteering to take care of the green giants?
The Seacoast Arborist Collaborative, a four-company group that includes Cornerstone Tree Care and Piscataqua Tree Care, celebrates Arbor Day by donating services— which it has done for the last five years — to help care for trees in a public park. This year’s event will start at 8:30 a.m. at Fort Foster, in Kittery Point. Upwards of eight internationally certified arborists from the four companies will be present and available for questions throughout the park for the day.
Everyone is invited to this event to watch the work unfold and learn something about the newest techniques and information in the field of arboriculture and the diverse trees that scatter our coastal landscape.
Started in 1872, nationally celebrated Arbor Day is a time to recognize the beauty and importance of trees, prompting both individuals and organizations to not only plant and care for trees on that day, but also all year-round.
“It’s our way of giving back to our community,” says Chris Kemp of Piscataqua Tree Care. “We formed the group called the Seacoast Arborist Collaborative. We all live and work on the Seacoast. Yes, we do all compete against each other. But most importantly, we share the same passion for trees, a passion that has helped forge a friendship among the companies. And above it all, we have a healthy and respectful competition.”
From the start, Chris Meyer, 40, was aware of how influential rising oil prices were going to be on the housing and commercial real-estate markets. By the mid 2000s, he decided to start educating himself on how to make their properties more efficient. The result of years of research led to the inception of Yankee Thermal Imaging in 2008, with the goal of providing the most advanced, reliable and cost-effective residential and commercial energy audits.
Today Meyer heads a company that is trying to redefine the way we look at efficiency. Before, people mostly concerned themselves with such things as when to replace the windows and roof, while they paid relatively little attention to the “envelope” of the building or important issues such as insulation and foundational cracks. YTI uses a high-tech approach called “thermal imaging” with cameras, “smoke pens” and blower door tests – which help calculate the rate of heat loss in a given space – being their go-to tools. By helping tenants better understand how their energy usage is being compromised, YTI helps them save time and money on their monthly bills.
A few years back, YTI started working with local cities and towns on a unique efficiency program, which works somewhat like a credit plan. Instead of having the towns pay for the building retrofits up front, YTI invests the money and then receives payments during each billing cycle. Doing so can potentially help save some cities tens of thousands of dollars a year and also create a greener environment for all of their inhabitants.
a) What do you like most about your job?
I really like the idea that we are helping people save money, especially during such a tough economic time as we have experienced since 2008. Most of our clients really understand and value the capital improvements we specialize in, and the cost savings captured as a result often times have a substantial impact on their family or business budgets.
PORTSMOUTH — “If you are doing your job right, the customers will spread the word.”
So says Sean Sturk, co-owner with Chris Tufts of Minute Men Painters, both men dedicated to providing the highest quality professional services, a business model they have relentlessly pursued not only because quality work is a value in and of itself, but also because happy customers spread the word, a necessity in what has been a down economy.
Minute Men Painters is a licensed and insured residential and commercial painting company committed to providing reliable and professional services to every improvement project. It also has taken substantial steps to fully offer sustainable goods or services, specializes in using approved green paints and non-toxic, environ-friendly products. And it is practicing an impressive number of green business techniques.
“Minute Men Painters employ top-quality materials and workmanship to protect and beautify your home or business,” says Sturk. “Our goal is to exceed your expectations.”
The company conscientiously differentiates itself as an upfront type of company. “There are A and B businesses, and Minute Men is an A business,” Sturk explains, concerned with protecting his customers from liability claims by having a fully funded workmen’s compensation policy for his seven full-time employees. However, many Minute Men competitors are better described as “painting contractors,” adjusting their business to the size of their workload by using painting subcontractors who may have only small insurance liability policies.
Get excited everyone. The 8th annual “Art of Great Bay” exhibition is rapidly approaching. It is held the weekend of May 3 to 5 at the Hugh Gregg Coastal Conservation Center in the Great Bay Discovery Center in Greenland, N.H. Every year this art show gathers beautiful three-dimensional arts and crafts from all over New England to help raise funds for one of our most active Green Alliance members, The Great Bay Stewards. This year’s theme is re-imagined art and fine crafts constructed out of re-purposed materials. Whether it’s jewelry with natural elements, collage paintings, or sculptures made of recycled materials, there will be many gorgeous and creative displays of artistic ingenuity.
The weekend will begin Friday night, May 3 at 6 p.m. with an art reception featuring an evening full of culture, art, and music. Enjoy delightful jazz, decadent wine, and the divine buzz of people exploring and discovering new art. Then Saturday and Sunday the exhibit and sale commence going from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. As mentioned, a portion of each piece sold will go to help the Great Bay Stewards continue its amazing environmental and conservation work.
The new and improved Isles of Shoals Steamship Company website is officially up and running! Faster and more efficient than ever, this new website features some great new tools that can help you stay connected with everything going on at the ISSCo. Keep up to date with the new interactive calendar as well as new website videos and share with your friends using the new social media options!
Speaking of ISSCo events, don’t forget the upcoming Cinco de Mayo upcoming "Party Ship" cruise. Party the night away with some amazing people, groovy music, and drinks. Did I add that a portion of all ticket sales helps the Make-A-Wish Foundation too? For more info and tickets checkout the event page!
Almost a year after it's inception Green Alliance's Green Families Club’ Facebook page is up and running! This newly formed page aims at bringing the most important Green Alliance information pertaining to Green Families to you. Whether it's special green family events, green tips, or special green family discounts this page contains tons of green tools for any family attempting to become more environmentally conscious!
The GFC was created last July as a clearinghouse for consumer education and family-friendly green events in the seacoast area. Working with many of GA’s fantastic clients that have uniquely family-tailored services the GA has developed special events and discounts specifically for GFC members. GFC's purpose has long been to gather families who are concerned about the world our children will grow up in so they can learn from one another. With the creation of this new GFC Facebook page green families can now connect with one another more than ever!
Attention Maine residents: New Hampshire’s one and only diaper service, Green Earth Baby Works of Epping, NH, has recently announced its expansion into the Portland area of Maine, allowing all growing families in the area to breathe a sigh of relief.
GEBW’s unique service provides weekly delivery and pick-up of reusable diapers. It is specifically designed for growing green families who don’t want to use those environmentally hazardous disposable diapers, but also don’t have time to keep washing loads of disposable diapers—all for just $25 a week.
Since 2009, the New Hampshire-based business has expanded into the surrounding states of Maine and Massachusetts to satisfy demand while promoting green parenting. While before, GEBW’s services could only reach the few southern towns of York, Elliot, and Kittery, Maine, it now has the resources to serve the area of Portland, Maine as well!
Kim Leo, founder and president of GEBW, started the business in 2009 after living the reality of being the “green” mom of two children. While she hated the idea of disposable diapers and resolved to use reusable cloth diapers, she still constantly had problems finding green baby products and information in her area.
After accumulating a whole room of products and even more expertise in the matter, she decided to start Green Earth Baby Works to help other new parents in her community find greener ways to raise their families.
GEBW also has its own store in Epping, NH, where families can learn more about green baby products and purchase their own cloth diapers along with a wide variety of green baby products including wraps and carriers, laundry products, clothing items, accessories, and more!
To learn more about Green Earth Baby Works, please visit www.greenearthbabyworks.com.
Green Card holders: Use your Green Card to save 10% on a year's service with GEBW, and get the 13th month FREE! Also, save 10% on all products and accessories!
At the Green Alliance, we maintain the belief that every day is Earth Day—but we are happy to celebrate the occasion in full throttle! In honor of our green planet, the Green Alliance is offering a special $20 GA membership or Green Families Club membership through Tuesday, April 23rd!
Recognizing the value of a GA membership is not just to stand by the amazing work that our Partnering Businesses do to practice environmental responsibility but also to demonstrate the importance of being a knowledgeable consumer and support businesses that do the right thing.
With a GA or Green Families Club membership, you are privileged to discounts at all 115+ of the Green Alliance Partnering Businesses as well as access to GA events, special promotions, and news. Join our efforts in making every day Earth Day with a GA/GFC membership for only $20! Offer is for new members only.
Visit here to get your new GA or Green Families Club membership!
What is it about a place that makes you proud to call it home? For most, local pride is rarely found in chain restaurants, franchised merchants or corporate superstores, but rather instilled by the characteristically charming businesses and landmarks that reflect the locale in its own right.
Even before the 2008-marked start of the national recession, economic hardship persisted for local businesses in competition with larger companies that prioritized profit above all other business strategies, including the ethical and sustainable approaches that many small, local businesses were founded upon. It seems obvious to point out the imbalance with pitting corporations that maximize profit by any means necessary against those that practice environmental responsibility and social integrity every step of the way. Yet without change, “business as usual” continues to favor power and profit at the loss of stable local economies.
For Seacoast New Hampshire, change began in 2009 with the start of the Green Alliance. A small business itself, founded by Kittery native Sarah Brown, the Green Alliance was established with the mission to grow businesses that are not only local but also those that strive to redefine industry standards to include environmental accountability, social equality and community involvement.
Four years later, the Green Alliance proudly partners with more than 115 businesses that demonstrate social and environmental sustainability. Through a unique journalistic-style approach to marketing, the GA provides information on local businesses while keeping the community abreast with the latest environmental news and events. Each partnering business of the Green Alliance also undergoes a comprehensive sustainability certification to make company practices and initiatives transparent to consumers.
This week's Earth Day Green Tips come from the Green Alliance.
Today is Earth Day, but we believe every day of the year should celebrate our green planet. Don't limit your support and nurturing of the planet to one day a year; check out these five easy tips for making every day Earth Day.
1. Plant a tree. For just $1, you can join the more than 13 million people who have already taken this fundamental earth-healing step. Go to www.plantabillion.org to learn more.
2. Attend a beach cleanup. The Surfrider Foundation's New Hampshire chapter hosts regular beach cleanups throughout the year, with the next one slated for May 25. Check out the organization's Web site, www.newhampshire.surfrider.org, for more dates.
3. Stop junk mail. Take control of the mail that floods your mailbox and cut down on paper use in the process. Sites like www.catalogchoice.org can help point you in the right direction to start eliminating unwanted junk mail.
4. Drive wisely. With summer right around the corner, everyone is starting to plan yearly road trips. When driving, keep in mind that even going 10 mph over 60 can make that gallon of gas cost as much as 50 cents more. Keep it around 60, enjoy the drive, and help the Earth.
5. Get involved. Organizations like the Green Alliance and Seacoast Local are a great way to meet other green-minded businesses and residents to share ideas about how to bolster our local green economy. No one can do it alone, so let's work together.
It’s never too early to start teaching our children about green ideas. That is why the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire has an event this weekend to do just that—all while getting some spring shopping done! April 26th and 27th, a Consignment Sale will be held at the Dover Elks Lodge at 282 Durham Road, Dover, NH. The sale will last from 9:00am to 8:00pm on Friday, and from 9:00am to 1:00pm on Saturday.
This sale is also sponsored by none other than Green Alliance and GA partners Acorn School, Seacoast Volkswagon, and Little Tree Education! Green Earth Baby Works, another proud GA partner and the only re-usable diaper service in New Hampshire, will also be at the sale offering green baby clothing items and products!
For those who are unfamiliar, a consignment sale is where people sell gently used clothing and other items at a reduced rate. Sales such as this not only help people clean out their closets and buy quality items for cheap, but also promote sustainability by reducing the demand for new clothes to be manufactured.
The Children’s Museum Consignment Sale this weekend plans to offer gently used, good quality children’s clothes, baby clothes and gear, toys, shoes, sports equipment, nursery furniture and décor, music and videos, costumes and books. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire.
Looking to consign? Consignors earn 60% of all revenue made from their sold items. It is a great opportunity to clean out your kids’ closets, all while recycling and supporting a great cause.
Consignors, along with Presale Passholders, also get the chance to check out the sale before the public at the Private Presale from 5-8 pm on Thursday, April 25th.
For more information on the sale, or to register as a consignor or Presale Passholder, click here!
The theme for this year's Whaleback Film Festival is Food, Farms & Gardens!
Celebrate Opening Night on May 9th from 6:30-8:45pm in the Levenson Room in the Portsmouth Public Library with a double feature of films about sustainability and small farms.
The first film is called Dirty Work and shares the story of a community farm in the midwest. The second is called Piglets & Perspectives and is a sneak peek at a local film featuring five small farms in southern NH. The evening culminates in a panel discussion with the filmmakers and farmers of Piglets & Perspectives including Brendan Cornwell from Victory Bees, Dick Wollmer from Moor Farm, and Phil Brand and Becky Moore from Brandmoore Farm.
The second night of Whaleback is on May 11th from 6:30-10:00pm at The Music Hall Loft and it includes films that focus on alternative food sources, and challenges our perspectives on seafaring food and farming. These films are The Credible Egg, Fish Meat, and The Wind That Blows.
The evening culminates in the cinematic feature presentation of Elemental, a film that follows three individuals on their inspriational environmental quests.
For ticket information and for more information about the festival, please click here.