Kristyn Lak Miller is a freelance writer for the Green Alliance and Green Familes Club Member
For the Miller family, being green isn’t easy, but it is essential.
“For us, doing things like composting and recycling are baseline non-negotiables,” says Kristyn Lak Miller. “Sometimes it’s messy or time-consuming—admittedly, it’s often both—but we can’t imagine living any other way. It just feels right to be doing our part to protect the well-being of the planet, while keeping every member of our family healthy, too.”
Kristyn and husband Mark are raising two young children in downtown Portsmouth. They moved to a townhome six years ago, downsizing from a much bigger house in order to minimize their environmental impact. Kristyn works from home, Mark drives a Prius, and the family makes the eco-friendly choice whenever possible, from sleeping on all-natural mattresses to cleaning without chemicals, always using cloth bags, and eating an organic vegan diet, with some veggies harvested from their tiny urban garden.
The Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA) and New Hampshire the Beautiful (NHtB) have joined forces to deter littering while promoting recycling programs through their continuous state-wide roadside cleanups.
This year, New Hampshire the Beautiful has given away 311 cases of Litter Free Blue Bags, the ones often seen along roadsides during spring clean ups. Each case holds 500 bags. With the help of 1,525 volunteers and DPW workers, the cleanups yielded 8,431 bags of trash and recyclables from over 545 miles of roadways within the state.
Some of the cleanups took place during Valley Pride Day, the annual litter cleanup in the Mount Washington Valley, which served as an opportunity to help remove large quantities of roadside litter throughout Carroll County. NHtB and NRRA's combined efforts during Valley Pride Day have gained recognition in other parts of the state as well as in Maine and even into Canada. This warm reception has led the NRRA and NHtB to ask the state for the first Saturday of May each year to be sanctioned as Community Pride and Litter Awareness Day. Through the charitable efforts of groups like New Hampshire the Beautiful the steps towards a litter free New Hampshire are well under way, the only question is what successes will come next?
When considering what is needed to live an active and healthy lifestyle, one immediately falls back onto the ideas of intense workout regiments and daily calorie cutbacks, almost to the point where you’re leading an entirely different life.
Bouncing between the common issue of having a busy schedule, the time commitment and personal commitment of becoming fit and healthy can become too much to bear. However, changing your life can be as simple as becoming more mindful of your body’s needs and implementing small changes to your daily routine to avoid injury and lead a healthier lifestyle.
What: With its iconic white 340 passenger vessel M/V Thomas Laighton leading the way, the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company has taken passengers down the Piscataqua River and out to the Isles of Shoals for decades. Each summer, the company offers seasonal daily tours of the Seacoast, and its isles, as well as evening events featuring live music, drinks and food.
Founded by Arnold Whitaker in 1962 as Viking Cruises, today the company is owned and operated by Capt. Jeremy Bell and Capt. Jerod Blanchette. With the addition of a second vessel, the M/V Celia Thaxter in 2014, Bell and Blanchette have made sustainability an integral part of their fleets' design and daily operations.
Recently, the larger, three-deck Thomas Laighton, underwent a full sustainability renovation. All interior lighting was replaced with high-efficiency LEDs that use less mercury and lead than traditional lighting; the new carpet was made from recycled materials and the new ceiling tiles, ceiling grid, and carpet are recyclable. A stainless steel railing system was installed to replace the old railing system, which will last the life of the vessel, and eliminates the need for the epoxy-based paint that was necessary to maintain the old rails. Half of all the demolition waste was either reused, recycled or donated. Both of the vessels also run on a bio-diesel fuel blend from a local supplier and their engine oil waste is recycled.
By Kristyn Lak Miller
During the summer season, the M/V Thomas Laighton is a common sight plying the waters in and around Portsmouth harbor. This bright white, 340-passenger vessel celebrates the natural beauty of the New Hampshire seacoast; so it’s only fitting that it took a green approach to its recent renovations.
“The first eco-element of the renovation was the demolition of the vessel interior,” says Captain Jeremy Bell, co-owner of the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company, which runs the M/V Thomas Laighton. “We were able to recycle, reuse, or donate about 50 percent of all the demolition materials, including several hundred pounds of steel from the old railing.”
For the renovation itself, all interior lighting was replaced with high-efficiency LEDs that use less mercury and lead than traditional lighting. The new interior carpet is made from recycled content and, along with the new ceiling tiles and ceiling grid, is recyclable. Additionally, when planning the renovations, Bell thought long-term about the ship's sustainability. A stainless steel railing system was installed to replace the old railings. This new system will last the life of the vessel, and eliminates the need for the epoxy-based paint necessary to maintain the old rails.
For more information on the NHPTV and Green Alliance Summer Cruise 2015 click here!
Integrated Fitness of Dover has recently brought on two new personal trainers, Andrew and Sue. Both new trainers have prior experience in fitness leadership, Sue having run a fitness business in Lee, New Hampshire and Andrew being a former manager at Planet Fitness in Newburyport, Mass. and is certified through the National Academy of Sport Medicine.
Sue will lead Integrated Fitness's popular Weight Loss Challenge Classes held at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays, and Andrew will teach the 5:30 a.m. Boot Camp classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. These resistance training classes promote structural integrity throughout the body, and incorporate cardio conditioning to help burn fat.
Both Sue and Andrew are available for a free initial consult to begin helping clients get healthier.
Integrated Fitness is dedicated toward helping clients lose weight naturally (without surgery) and provide them with proper nutrition information to improve their dietary habits. Founder and president Jon Arnold is dedicated to helping his clients lose weight, build muscle, eat healthier, and meet personal goals. He and his staff are certified personal trainers who encourage clients to make sustainable life choices at home, and at work, with a proper diet and active lifestyle.
From an early age we're taught the basics of good citizenship, like throwing our garbage in the bin instead of on the ground, or recycling bottles and paper. New Hampshire the Beautiful helps bring the "why" back into the classroom discussion on these issues through different events and educational programs.
New Hampshire the Beautiful has long been an advocate for responsible recycling and waste disposal throughout the state. The non-profit, comprised of a team of grocers and beverage companies, helps towns and cities throughout the state develop recycling programs. The nonprofit does the same for area schools.
To ensure these programs' success, New Hampshire the Beautiful partners with Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA), a non-profit made-up of over 400 state municipalities, individuals and businesses throughout New England, to meet with school administrators and school board directors to develop and implement recycling and waste programs in schools. New Hampshire the Beautiful's board insists every person - from the principal, to faculty, to the janitorial staff - are included in these meetings to ensure they are educated on proper procedures.
What better way to get together friends, family, or colleagues than around a mouth-watering meal made with local, organic ingredients? For a limited time, 900 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria is offering a special lunch deal - buy one lunch entree, get an entree of equal or lesser value for 50% off. At either Epping or Manchester locations, Monday through Thursday, present this coupon at the time of purchase to enjoy this special offer.
At 900 Degrees, meals are prepared by an open wood burning fire. This artisanal style of cooking enhances the flavors for a unique and authentic culinary experience. Some of their lunch menu items include classic tomato bruschetta, antipasto di verdura, signature salads, paninis, and of course, their signature pizzas at personal or full size. In addition, 8 of their 24 wine offerings are as organic as they are delicious.
In 1983, a group of beverage companies and grocers joined forces to achieve a common goal: expand New Hampshire's clean up and recycling initiatives. Today that group is known as New Hampshire the Beautiful (NHtB). Continuing the mission they started so many years ago, NHtB organizes a variety of charitable efforts to help keep New Hampshire green.
One such effort is through supporting the New Hampshire DOT's Sponsor a Highway Program. Established on April 1, 1994, the program allows volunteers from a variety of groups across the state to aid the DOT in highway clean up. Volunteers are asked to clean both sides of a two mile section of highway four times between April and November for two years. NHtB has been providing the DOT with blue clean up bags since 2007. To date, NHtB has donated over 280,000 bags to the DOT at a value over $28,000.
NHtB also donates their bags to a number of communities throughout New Hampshire, with over 565,000 bags donated across the state.
By Kristyn Lak Miller
This was a rough winter for many around the Seacoast, including area trees and shrubs.
“As a result of the winter we just had, with such heavy snow loads, we're seeing an enormous amount of tree and shrub damage,” said Ben Woods, Project Manager for Site Structures Landscape, Inc., an eco-friendly, community-minded landscape resource based in Eliot, Maine. “And this type of damage requires unique actions.”
Woods shares Site Structures’ Top 5 Tips for landscaping clean-up after a very snowy winter:
1. PRUNE RIGHT: Prune broken tree branches back to a healthy bud or where one branch attaches to another;
2. PRUNE CLEAN: When pruning, make each cut a clean cut—when you do, the branch will heal faster and is less susceptible to insects or diseases;
Climate change is a constant threat to New Hampshire's coasts and its citizens. Participate in this year's Coastal Climate Summit to join a collaborative forum among scientists, natural resource agencies, planners, engineers, municipal leaders, watershed organizations, conservation groups, citizens and others concerned about the impacts of climate change in coastal New Hampshire.
This year's theme is Science to Support Action, and its agenda will tackle issues such as assessments of flooded pavements and the challenges and opportunities for municipalities and citizens brought by solar energy.
Participants will be the first updated on the New Hampshire Coastal Risks and Hazards Commission and an update on the Tides to Storms Vulnerability Assessment of New Hampshire's Coast. Discuss the new planning and resiliency-building tools that should be implemented in order to better protect our Seacoast. There will also be presentations with new information and data on salt marshes. The keynote presentation will be Capitalizing on Blue Carbon: New Guidance and Tools for Coastal Managers and Policymakers.
As the school year comes to an end, most students and parents have checked out and are ready for summer, but that is not the case at the Brixham Montessori Friends School. This spring, Brixham has worked tirelessly to expand the school garden and make improvements across the grounds.
Teachers, staff, parents, and students have come together to work on projects around the school to make it an even more enjoyable place for the students attending Brixham Montessori Friends School. One of the main projects this spring has been the expansion of the school garden, including a new greenhouse for the children. The garden beds have been installed, seeds have been planted and they look forward to enjoying what their hard work will bring once the plants begin to grow in the upcoming warmer months. A new fence was built to keep critters out of the garden and insulation foam boards are being installed along the foundation to help increase energy efficiency.
A focus on the environment has always been a fundamental value at the Brixham Montessori Friends School. Aside from the improvements taking place this spring, just last year the school built a vernal pool viewing deck and boardwalk for the students to discover all the creatures living in the pool that appears each spring. The students are taught the value of the environment and receive a hands on education, where they not only learn in the classroom, but enjoy nature each day on the school grounds.
While summer hasn't officially started yet, it doesn't mean you can't act like it is! Join The Gundalow Company this Memorial Day weekend as their sailing season kicks off. Ride on the gundalow Piscataqua around the stunning sounds of Portsmouth and New Castle, NH and Kittery, ME. Participants can join the crew in raising the sail, help steer the boat, or just sit back and relax on the water.
The Gundalow Company offers two-hour public sails for up to 42 passengers starting this Memorial Day until the end of October. The daily river tours that depart from Portsmouth are a fantastic way to experience our local rivers. Other offers include a variety of special sails such as concerts, lectures, sunset sails, private charters, free trips for kids on Saturday mornings, and even brunch on Sundays.
Since their founding in 2002, the Gundalow Company has made its main mission 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 Gundalow Company built their floating classroom christened the Piscataqua. Over 2,000 students, scouts, and campers have enjoyed a unique educational experience in 2014 whilst sailing the Seacoast's tidal waters on a traditional wooden vessel.