Little kids can make a difference, a fact proven by the efforts of the Shapleigh School’s Green Team. This group of motivated fourth- and fifth-graders, composed of 20 core members, but a 50-person team, has been working hard since September policing their school cafeteria. Helping their fellow students and staff and faculty members, the Green Team has been separating compost from recycling, as well as teaching the importance of recycling and composting. With the help of Green Alliance partner EcoMovement, which picked up 200 to 300 pounds of compost each week, the Shapleigh School’s Green Team recently welcomed back two yards worth of soil. This composted soil is now in use in the new greenhouse where the students have been planting vegetables and greens to eventually use in school lunches.
In only a few short months, the Green Team has made significant accomplishments in implementing a composting and education program at the Shapleigh School. Flyers and posters have been important in helping direct students and faculty towards proper composting and recycling. The creation of a monthly rotation has allowed for different team members to be in charge of manning the compost and recycle bins during snack and lunch. They have created a Question and Answer board to field questions about the process. The Green Team successfully organized a presentation, which they presented to both students and parents at a recognition assembly as well as the monthly town hall meeting. The students also presented a skit at both the town hall meeting and The Kittery Art Gallery’s monthly music festival, “First Friday The Next Generation Stage."
The Team is currently working on producing a movie that will be broadcast on the local public access channel. A few students are looking forward to a live interview on WSCA Portsmouth Community Radio Station in June. They are also very excited about the upcoming Northeast Resource Recovery Association's 32nd Annual Recycling Conference & Expo in Manchester, N.H., on June 3 and 4.
For more information and to register for this event, click here.
EcoMovement is a proud business partner of the Green Alliance. Green Alliance Card Holders receive one free month of compost pick up! To learn more about EcoMovement, click here.
By Jim Cavan
This week's Green Tips come from New Freedom Laser, a Kittery, Maine, practice that specializes in laser hair removal and skin rejuvenation.
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Check out these green-focused tips to help you protect your skin.
1. Be sure to apply sunscreen 20 minutes before prolonged sun exposure. It takes a while for most lotions to kick in, so don't let your first application go to waste.
2. Avoid fragrant products. Under federal law, makers of skin products don't have to disclose the chemicals that give certain skin-care products their fragrance. When choosing skin care products, make sure you know what's in them.
3. You are what you eat. Reducing your intake of foods high in sugar and saturated fats and avoiding artificial ingredients can help your skin avoid reactivity and inflammation.
4. Make sure "natural" is really "natural."
5. Your skin is your largest organ, so treat it well with all-natural sunscreen alternatives.
If you live, work and/or play in Portsmouth, you are invited to join a community conversation called Transportation 101 and Study Circles on the Portsmouth transportation system on Wednesday, May 15th from 6:30 to 9 pm at the City Council Chambers in Portsmouth. Portsmouth Listens will be hosting the event and is seeking input from all citizens who care about how we get to, from, and around town.
Questions will be asked such as is it easy for you? Is it convenient? How do you see a transportation system as contributing to the health and vitality of the community? What would you like to see? What is important to YOU?
Transportation 101 will be an introduction to key concepts related to “transportation.” The Study Circles following the Kickoff event will be held once a week for five weeks starting the week of May 20th.
These circles will focus on and ask questions such as: based on Transportation 101, what are the characteristics of a sustainable transportation system for Portsmouth, and what impacts do these characteristics have and on whom? What do you see as larger goals of a sustainable transportation system here in Portsmouth? What do you believe are the priorities? Ideas for improvements to the existing transportation network – and how do these support the above goals?
This event is perfectly timed with the start of the Seacoast’s 11th annual Bike/Walk to Work Week—which starts today, Monday, May 13, 2013—as part of a national effort to encourage commuters to leave their cars at home, get a little more exercise, and reduce their fuel usage/greenhouse gas emissions.
Until Friday, all commuters are asked to try out biking or walking to work—just for one week—to see the change it could make across the Seacoast.
According to a release by 350.org, a global movement to solve the climate crisis, earth's atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have reached an alarming level. On May 9th, for the first time ever, the carbon dioxide counter on the side of Mauna Loa, the most important scientific instrument on earth, recorded a daily average of above 400 parts per million. To those who are unaware of the significance of ppm numbers, let's put it this way--it’s been several million years since CO2 reached these levels in the atmosphere.
350.org was started five years ago, as a movement to try and get our carbon dioxide levels down from 390 ppm (what our level was then) to what scientists identified as the safe upper limit of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere: 350 parts per million.
While 350.org does have good news -- just an hour after the news from Mauna Loa, the trustees of a fifth U.S. college had voted to divest their fossil fuel stocks, hard on the heels of 11 cities who’d done likewise the week before -- it is clear that the carbon in the air keeps rising, and with it the temperature, and the devastation.
News such as this shows that help is still needed in the climate change battle. Coming together to reduce our resource use, break our fossil fuel addiction, and support sustainable initiatives is more important now than ever before.
Here at Green Alliance, we believe that even the simple things--such as shopping local, choosing green products, and investing in sustainable options--are all ways to join the cause. Joining the Green Alliance as a member is an easy way to get this started. Not only does a GA membership make it easy to find those locally owned, truly sustainable businesses around the Seacoast, it also gives you a Green Card, with which you get discounts at every one of those over 110 businesses.
The GA business model basically allows people to save money by going green--what could be easier than that?
To become a GA member and start saving, please visit www.greenalliance.biz/join!
To make a donation with 350.org's initiative to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, check out act.350.org/donate/400_ppm.
While gray clouds and a hazy fog shrouded the city of Portsmouth the morning of this past Saturday, May 11, Strawberry Banke Museum had a much brighter glow that even Mother Nature herself could not fade.
It was the morning of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure—a 5k held each year in honor of the millions of women and families affected by breast cancer in order to spread awareness of the disease while raising significant funds to help in the fight against it. May 11th’s was the second annual race ran in the state of New Hampshire and had an amazing turnout from Portsmouth’s surrounding communities.
The hundreds of runners, walkers, and supporters at the race sported pink ribbons, knee socks, t-shirts, head bands, and even tutus—not to mention hopeful and motivated smiles—to brighten Strawberry Banke that morning, representing the light the Susan G. Komen organization brings to all the lives darkened by breast cancer.
Among these runners and supporters were Nathan and Danielle Johnson from Visions Kitchens & Design, a Hampton-based kitchen and design company, and Megan McCann from Green Alliance, a local collaboration of sustainable businesses and consumers.
Danielle Johnson ran the race in honor of her mother and cancer survivor, Donna Canney-Marcotte, and brought her and Nathan’s sons Jesse and Gavin for support. After cheering on Danielle as she crossed the finish line, the family was able to enjoy the wide range of snacks provided as well as the kids crafts tent, silent auction, free t-shirts and water bottles, and various vendors at the event.
From The Portsmouth Herald
By Chris Meyer
Back in 2008, one year into the Great Recession, I started a brand-new business.
Just the opposite.
My company, Yankee Thermal Imaging, makes money by helping New Englanders save money on energy. We test buildings with cutting-edge technology that zeroes in on leaks, and then send crews to fix the problems. We've helped scores of families and more than a dozen municipalities save what will likely turn out to be tens of thousands of dollars in energy waste.
The economic downturn raised a lot of awareness about energy costs, and how much thriftier we can be with the right up-front investments. Even as it ebbs, I doubt Americans are likely to turn back. It's not just that we're saving money, we're also helping clean our air and water, and strengthening our nation by reducing our dependence on foreign oil.
All this also helps explain why I support the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, RGGI, the pioneering pact that joins New Hampshire and eight other states in a smarter regional energy strategy. In the next few weeks, our lawmakers will vote on whether to stay in the 3-year-old project. I hope they understand how much RGGI has been strengthening the state economy — and not just clean-energy businesses like mine. The pact provides major incentives for firms to improve their efficiency, which saves money for other efforts, like hiring and investing, which make our economy grow.
The Gundalow Company is pleased to host special presenters from the New Hampshire Chapter of Surfrider Foundation, a group of local volunteers dedicated to the protection of the oceans, waves and beaches, to discuss their initiative to “Rise Above Plastics” (RAP) and host a showing of the award-winning documentary “Bag It."
This free program is the fourth in a year-long series hosted by the Gundalow Company at 60 Marcy Street, Portsmouth. Beverages and snacks will be served beginning at 6:30 PM; with the program running 7:00-8:45 PM.
Founded in 2002, the nonprofit Gundalow Company aims 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 organization built a new gundalow – the Piscataqua – as a floating classroom for school and youth groups.
They also offer two-hour public sails for up to 42 passengers Memorial Day through the end of October. Their daily river tours – which typically last about 2 hours – depart primarily from Portsmouth and are a great way to experience our rivers. They offer a variety of special sails too such as concerts, lectures, sunset sails, private charters, free trips for kids on Saturday mornings, and even brunch on Sundays.
Gundalow Company's program series is funded by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association's Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management under the Coastal Zone Management Act in conjunction with the NH Coastal Program & NH Department of Environmental Services. The event on May 20th is a part of its Contemporary Coastal Issues program.
The companies formerly known as Chinburg Builders and Great Mills Management have announced their launching of a new brand—Chinburg Properties—and a new website, www.chinburg.com. The brand Chinburg Properties has created a new image with the tagline Develop.Build.Manage, which the company says better reflects its areas of expertise.
Chinburg Properties was founded in 1987 from a single-family home building. Over the past 25 years, the company has expanded to include development of award-winning residential subdivisions, multi-family properties, mixed-use developments and conversion of historic Mills that are all built to Energy Star standards.
An example of Chinburg’s commitment to green building is its Laurel Court subdivision in Portsmouth, built in 2012. From a state-of-the-art solar hot water system to super-tight insulation to energy efficient lighting, Laurel Court’s eco-friendly features are as impressive as they are wallet-friendly in terms of short and long term energy cost savings—the average energy savings being $1200 per home per year.
Chinburg Properties’ flexible model doesn’t restrict its green building capabilities to residential homes, but in fact builds a range of facilities including commercial, medical, student housing and restaurant buildings with the same standards.
Currently, Chinburg is building new homes in Portsmouth, Londonderry, Greenland, Exeter, Manchester and Barrington, NH and in Kittery, Maine. In addition, it is leasing brand new apartments at the Cocheco Mills in Dover, NH that will be ready for occupancy July 1—all of which to have excellent energy efficiency features.
Chinburg Properties also manages over 400 mill apartments in Exeter, Newmarket, Portsmouth, and Somersworth, as well as over 750,000 sq. ft. of commercial space, ranging in size from 150 – 20,000 sq. ft.
Chinburg Properties’ new brand and website are sure to raise the bar when it comes to new development standards and widely expand knowledge of green building around the Seacoast.
In the midst of climate change and resource scarcity, green development is more important now than ever before—and Chinburg Properties has the ability to lead our community in the right direction.
To learn more about Chinburg Properties, please visit www.chinburg.com.
Remember: Green Card holders receive $250 toward any of Chinburg's green upgrade options, including flooring, lighting, low or no-VOC paints, Richlite or concrete countertops, or an on-demand hot water system!
This month marks the 30th anniversary of Prelude, a purveyor of unique, locally made, organic, and timeless jewelry, bath and beauty products, and other accessories. Conveniently located in downtown Portsmouth, Prelude has truly proven itself to be a defining feature of the local charm Portsmouth offers to all who visit and have visited for the past 3 decades.
In celebration of this special occasion, a big sale will be held on Sunday, May 19th including 30% off all jewelry and 10% off everything else in the store! Prelude will also have treats to eat and drink for any shoppers that stop in that day as a thank you for supporting this great achievement.
Busy on Sunday? Prelude is also offering a month-long sale of 15% off all necklaces, colognes, and perfumes throughout the month of May!
Some of the more popular items sold by Prelude include: Photography by Joseph Barnett of Maine; Beautiful jewelry by Kim Burke (also from Maine); Native American silver and turquoise; Italian Cameos; Israeli Roman Glass and Ayala Bar; Russian and Polish amber; and Skagan watches from Denmark.
Prelude has something special to give for any occasion. Need a gift for an upcoming graduation, prom, birthday, or anniversary? Or just want a “just because it’s May” gift for yourself? Whatever your motivation may be, be sure to take advantage of Prelude's great discounts this month to get all your shopping done in one place.
Prelude is located at 65 Market Street in downtown Portsmouth and is open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm Monday through Sunday, and from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm Friday and Saturday.
To learn more about Prelude, visit www.preludeportsmouth.com.
The growing appeal of electric bicycles isn’t difficult to grasp: As many Americans continue to feel the effects of unstable gas prices, having a more efficient secondary or tertiary transportation alternative can go a long way in easing pocketbook strain.
But for as effective and efficient as many electric bikes are, they continue to harbor – fair or not – something of an aesthetic stigma.
“The way a lot of models are built, you can kind of tell they’re electric,” says Teresa Hemenway, co-owner of the Exeter-based EZ Bikes and Scooters. “Now, for some people, the functionality is all that matters. But younger people are always looking for something with style.”
Just last week, EZ introduced two new lines of electric bikes – The Neo Race, manufactured by E Motion; and the Outlaw SS – made to be as eye-poppingly hip as they are fuel-efficient.
Hemenway said that the Bikes – one of which, the Outlaw SS, is made in the United States – are more reasonably priced than many of their competitors.
Designed to compliment traditional road racing bikes, the Neo Race offers what Hemenway calls a “purist appeal.”
“It’s a great way for traditional riders who want to cover the same distance in a shorter period, or for people who want to better keep up with a partner who is used to covering longer distances,” she said. “So you have the look and feel of a road bike, but with that extra boost when you need it.”
Contrastingly, the Outlaw SS is designed to embody the look and feel of a rugged off-road bike, with a sturdy frame and knobby tires to help ease the impact of tough trails.
Oh yeah, and they top out at 28 miles an hour, too.
Apart from all the other awesome stuff the Green Alliance does, we also have a great Green Jobs Board that is updated whenever a new job opens up from one of our Business Partners. Keep up do date on green jobs around the Seacoast area by checking our board. This green job was just posted...
Green Earth Baby Works is seeking a reliable driver for between 3-5 days a week. Driver must be able to pass a criminal background screen, drug test, and driving record check. Applicants must be over the age of 21 for insurance reasons.
We are looking for someone to drive and process laundry between 15-40 hours a week. Our current driving range is from Portland, Maine to Gloucester, Massachusetts and out as far as Concord, Salem, Nashua, Manchester, and Hanover, New Hampshire.
As we continue to grow, we may have two positions available.
Pay is $8-10/hr, and we pay for gas.
This position also has the opportunity to transition into a sales associate position for the right employee.
For more information on Green Earth Baby Works, Click Here!
To check out the Green Jobs Board, Click Here!
You'd be hard-pressed to find a more quintessential Portsmouth tradition than the annual opening of the city's waterfront decks. Every spring, locals and early tourists alike flock to the quaint row of bars and restaurants lining the Piscataqua, welcoming summer more than a month ahead of the season's official arrival.
Now in its third year, Hit the Decks will formally take place this Friday, May 10th. According to the Portsmouth Herald, more than 85 businesses are expected to celebrate with discounts, specials, and other promotional fodder throughout the weekend.
Of course, we here at the GA can't help but be biased to our two waterfront Business Partners: Pocos Bow Street Cantina, and sister restaurant Two Ceres Street.
Pocos in particular will be pulling out all the usual spots -- a Sam Adams Summer Launch Party from 3pm to 5pm complete with giveaways and a live broadcast from WHEB.
Remember, GA members who show their Green Card will receive 10% off all food and drinks (including alcohol) at both Pocos and Two Ceres -- all day, every day.
While rain showers are expected intermittently throughout the day on Saturday, temperatures are still expected to be in the 70s. Besides, since when has a little bad whether kept New Englanders from having fun?
See you down at the decks!
The quaint red brick mill buildings that make up South Berwick’s charming Main Street can’t help but harken to a time when community was a true way of life.
With that heritage and spirit squarely in mind, the folks at Great Works Chiropractic & Wellness recently announced the launch of Pathways Connect, a gathering group for families interested in creating a “conscious living community.”
The group hosted its inaugural meeting on Tuesday, May 14th at the Great Works office in downtown South Berwick. Specific topics included “How to Harvest Happiness in Motherhood,” “Becoming Gluten Free,” and “Gratitude.”
Dr. Briana Duga, co-owner of Great Works along with her husband, Dr. Seth LaFlamme, is spearheading the initiative. For the better part of 18 months, the practice was the exclusive province of Dr. Seth. However, Dr. Bri joined the growing practice in February, which has since moved to 249 Main St. – just a few doors down from the practice’s original office.
An offshoot of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA), Pathways Connect includes myriad subsidiary organizations throughout the country.
Dr. Bri says she is excited by the prospects of using Pathway Connect as a launching pad for helping foster what she calls an “intentional community” in and around South Berwick.
“We want people to be able to create and connect with their ‘urban tribe,’” she says. “It’s about parents and caretakers interacting with like-minded people and talking about issues and ideas they have in common.”
PORTSMOUTH — Among the most enduring signs that summer lies just around the corner is the sight of the M/V Thomas Laighton plying its way around Portsmouth Harbor. And while residents and visitors alike associate the vessel with fun and exploration, the Thomas Laighton is also an exemplar of environmentalism in action.
The Thomas Laighton is the cruise ship of the Isle of Shoals Steamship Company, an iconic Seacoast institution. Having been in Portsmouth since 1962, the ISSCo. is truly part of the community. Originally founded as Viking Cruises by Arnold Whittaker, the Steamship Company is still in the family, having been passed along first to Bob, Arnold’s son and most recently, in 1999, to Arnold’s daughter-in-law, Robin Whittaker.
The company offers a variety of tours to New Hampshire’s historic Isles of Shoals and throughout Portsmouth Harbor and the Greater Piscataqua Region, and is thoroughly committed to preserving the amazing history and heritage of the Seacoast.
Beyond those iconic tours, the company also charters the famous Thomas Laighton “party ship,” where during the summer hundreds pack the vessel to hear the best in local music — everything from rock cover bands to reggae to DJs — all while taking in the crisp evening air of summertime on the Seacoast. The company anticipates offering three or four “party cruises” a week this summer.
Running mostly private events for the month of the May, ISSCo. offered its first public cruises on May, for a Cinco de Mayo event with a DJ, proceeds going to the Make A Wish Foundation, and, as part of Pro Portsmouth, on May 5, ISSCo. hosted a Children’s Day an event it does every year.
A community-wide project is in the works to renovate the widely known and loved Moharimet Elementary playground in Madbury. The renovation will take place the weekend of September 27-29 and will need more than 100 community volunteers to complete.
The Moharimet Playground was built by parent and teacher volunteers in 1991 shortly after the school first opened. Since, the playground has been a shining example of the Oyster River district’s policy to “Engage Every Learner” by promoting freedom, exploration, and imagination in all students.
According to Rebecca Kell, local mom and president of the Parent Teacher Organization, this playground holds a special place in the hearts of community members.
“Not a day goes by when the students are not soaking in all the opportunities for freedom, exploration, and imagination that the playground has to offer” she says of the playground’s value. “It is truly a playground beloved by all.”
While the playground was updated and repaired eight years ago, more work still needs to be done to retain its memorable structures and, more importantly, its safety.