By Michael McCord
A recent trend in sustainable housing is also one of the most obvious – building smaller from the beginning.
A case in point is a recently completed home on Kittery Point designed and built by Greenland-based Little Green Homes. “The family had a home in Portsmouth but they wanted to downsize quite a bit,” said Jeff Stacy, business partner at Little Green Homes.
Late in 2013, the Portsmouth couple approached Stacy and fellow business partner Chris Redmond with their vision and goals for their new home for the two-adult, one-child family. The result is a comfortable two-story, two-bedroom home totaling 1,150 square feet built with as much recycled and reused material as possible – which included parts from an old barn.
The new structure has a cupola, sliding glass door for a wide natural view, and a durable metal roof. It also maximizes space utility and leverages insulation to create a comfortable, energy efficient home.
“They (the family) were big part of the collaboration and it was exciting to bring their ideas to life,” Stacy said. “Part of their goal was to simplify and they are very happy with the outcome.” Construction began in the spring and the home was ready to occupy in early August.
“We haven’t had the opportunity to build a house like this,” he explained. “The homeowners had so many original ideas and details to incorporate like reclaimed barn boards walls, built-ins and a suspended cargo net that doubles as a family size hammock, to name a few, and it was a challenge budget-wise to pull it all together, but it was an exciting project and a cool experience.”
By Ali Plankey
The ocean is a vast mystery. Marine naturalists Jen Kennedy and Dianna Schulte watched as the ocean – which makes up 70 percent of the Earth - was polluted and littered, overfished, and slowly degraded, until they could no longer sit back and consciously let the destruction continue. In 2001, they set out to raise awareness about local ocean life.
Kennedy and Schulte founded the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation and made it their own personal missions to protect marine mammals in the Gulf of Maine. With the power of education they have slowly, but steadily, increased research and conservation efforts in the Gulf of Maine.
“We wanted to start the Blue Ocean Society so we could produce our own data, and have an outreach component, really try to get that data to the public in as close to real time as possible,” says Kennedy.
New England winters are often long and cold. That's not a secret. With The Old Farmer's Almanac calling for a colder season than usual, including above-normal snowfall in the northeast, many New Hampshire residents are thinking about their fuel costs early. To help homeowners prepare, Proulx Oil & Propane is offering different fixed-rate plans for their selection of home heating options including oil, biofuel and propane, an environmentally friendly option that is growing in popularity.
"Our goal is to get our customers prepared for the winter months with flexible payment plans and capped rates so they aren’t getting hit with a large heating bill during the three or four coldest months of the year,” said Maribeth Girard, Proulx's Marketing Assistant.
“Propane prices last winter went higher than usual, due to the weather demands and the significant corn harvesting and drying that was done last fall by Midwest farmers using propane to fuel their machinery,” Girard added.
The rise in propane prices were also a result of the fuel's popularity overseas where it is sold by the U.S. However, off-season prices have driven up the demand for propane in New England. Proulx offers a fixed-rate program that allows customers to buy propane and oil at this lower cost. The company also offers budget plans covering 12-months of payments.
“Many of our customers who bought into one of our fixed-rate programs saved some serious money with some saving up to $600 over the course of the season," Girard said.
It’s just before 8:00 p.m. on a Friday, and the decks of Poco’s Bow Street Cantina are quickly filling up. Inside, the soft glow of the sunset melts into the warm LED lamplight at Two Ceres Street, a cocktail lounge nestled inside Poco’s. Guests can sit in low chairs and gaze out at the waterfront, feeling the breeze blow in through the opened glass wall. During the winter months, Two Ceres Street is its own, separate entity, but between mid-May and September, the two establishments combine.
Two Ceres Street is transformative; it literally changes shape with the seasons. During the cold months, it’s a cozy hideout to snuggle up next to a martini in front of a roaring fireplace, complete with deep leather chairs and corner nooks. When late spring comes around, the glass doors open to a deck; the high-top martini tables and large leather couch are removed, and Two Ceres merges with Poco’s Bow Street Catina, giving its intimate lounge atmosphere some space to breathe.
Our region is filled with the oldest properties in the country and while we enjoy the charm and appeal of our homes, we also find ourselves cranking up the heat or feeling embarrassed having people into our drafty house.
Yankee Thermal Imaging’s Home Comfort Savings Plan gives homeowners the maximum savings on the most common energy and heat loss areas in their home. Now through September 30 ANYONE in the Green Alliance community (you don't have to be card carrying member) gets $150 off this super Home Comfort Savings Plan simply by mentioning this post. Just email email@example.com to get your $150 off! Learn more here.
So what is the Home Comfort Savings Plan (Instant Savings Program)?
Within the six hour process of delivering you a more comfortable home, Yankee Thermal Imaging completes a full energy audit (to diagnose problem areas), air sealing of your home, LED light bulbs, a programmable thermostat, weather stripping around windows and doors, aerators, insulating hot water lines, and a carbon monoxide detector. The savings for each year surpass $500 while contributing to less wear and longer life of your heating system and hot water heaters.
To learn more email firstname.lastname@example.org and mention the Green Alliance to receive $150 off Home Savings Plan!
From the moment we arrived at Coppal House Farm, we were smitten. As soon as you make the turn from Route 155 into the drive of the farm, you are swept away by the beauty. Cascading branches block the sun as your car inches up the dirt road, forming dust clouds behind you as you leave your worries behind--if only for a few minutes.
We were greeted by impossibly beautiful (and gigantic) horses, happily neighing in their stalls. After marveling at the horses for a few moments the incredibly friendly staff came over to chat and tell us all about the horses, goats, pigs, chickens, and more who call Coppal House Farm their home.
Two years ago, Bill Buckley brought his dream yoga studio to life in the historic Button Factory of Portsmouth. On September 27th, GateWay Taiji, Qigong & Yoga has a full day of free classes planned for the public in celebration of two years of business.
GateWay Taiji has given Portsmouth a unique opportunity to embrace several different styles of meditative, restorative, and self-defense practices, and with a strong base of local business, they have continued to spread the message of inner well being and teach the practice of enhancing balance, health, and mindfulness.
Each year there's a new electronic device we're itching to buy, whether its a smartphone, TV, tablet or computer, we're inundated with messages telling us to upgrade. So what happens when we do upgrade? Where does an old iPhone or laptop end up? Some consumers wipe the memory from their devices and donate their old equipment to charities that refurbish the technology. But sadly, many people throw their electronics out with the household trash, which can lead to both environmental and personal data issues.
On September 13 from 9 a.m. to noon, MetalWave, Inc. will support a large-scale recycling event located at the Brentwood Highway Shed on Middle Rd (Rte 111A) neighboring the Pilgrim United Church of Christ. Items to bring include any end-of-life IT products, from laptops, servers and PCs, to keyboards, mice, printers, hand-held electronics such as smart-phones, tablets, PDAs and household items like telephones and televisions. The event is open to New Hampshire residents living within the Southeast Regional Refuse Disposal District including; Brentwood, Fremont, Hampton, Hampton Falls, Kensington, New Castle, North Hampton, Rye, Sandown and South Hampton. Due to the popularity of the event, residents from outside these areas might risk being turned away.
Much to our dismay, summer has come and gone. While the air crisps and the landscape turns a beautiful medley of oranges, reds, and yellow, it’s clear; New England’s most reputable season is on its way. There’s so much to enjoy about fall – the refreshing, comfortable temperatures, the smells of pumpkin and apple spice coming from nearly every kitchen (and coffee shop, brewery, bakery), and the vibrant colors that make every inch of New England postcard worthy. Foliage is at its peak for only a few weeks, and the Green Alliance wants to get members on the water to take in the beauty in its prime.
To sail into the most scenic season of the year, join the GA as a Sustaining Member, a GA membership that you never have to renew, and receive two tickets to the GA Foliage Sail on October 5! The Sustaining Membership is a lifetime membership to the GA and includes elite access to events, promotions, and networks. Since the GA’s creation in 2009, Sustaining Members have provided unwavering support to the GA’s mission to grow the local, green economy. This sail will not only provide magnificent views of Portsmouth amidst watercolor-foliage, but a picturesque sunset and great networking with those who are equally as committed to the conservation of the local environment and economy. All new Sustaining Members will receive two passes onto this one-time GA Foliage Sunset Sail.
The Seacoast Science Center will hold its 12th annual BioBlitz on Saturday, September 20th from 6:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. BioBlitz is a daylong species scavenger hunt of Odiorne Point State Park, where the families explore alongside scientists and field naturalists to find and record data on as many different species in the Park as possible in one day.
BioBlitz offers exciting opportunities for all ages to gain knowledge and skill in their favorite area of nature. Exploration teams will be birding, searching for insects, snakes and amphibians, exploring the freshwater pond and salt marsh, tracking mammals, identifying plants and seaweeds, tide pooling and more. You can sign up to participate in all or part of the day.
BioBlitz is a great way to excite children about science and a rare opportunity to meet many passionate biologists working together. Odiorne’s 135 acres and seven distinctly different habitats make it a unique and fascinating place to explore and learn.
Join Scot Henley, Executive Director of the non-profit Mount Washington Observatory, and get an intimate look into the workings of this great scientific institution and home to "the world's worst weather." Mount Washington Observatory is a private, non-profit scientific and educational institution. Its mission is to advance understanding of the natural systems that create the Earth's weather and climate, by maintaining its mountaintop weather station, conducting research and educational programs and interpreting the heritage of the Mount Washington region. In April 1934, observers measured a wind gust of 231mph, which remains the highest wind speed ever observed by man.
Green Alliance has been featured in an article posted by NextGen Climate. NextGen Climate is a non-partisan organization focused on bringing climate change to the forefront of American politics. The organization is committed to supporting candidates, elected officials and policymakers across the country that will take bold action on climate change. Read what they had to say about us below!
What do a beauty salon in Dover, a photography studio in Portsmouth, and a soda bottling company in Bedford all have in common? All three—Acorn Organic Salon, Tim Gaudreau Studios, and the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England—are members of the Green Alliance, an association of businesses and customers that is dedicated to promoting sustainable business practices and educating consumers about the impact of their choices. The Alliance boasts 107 other member companies across New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts—and that number is growing.
“It makes economic sense,” Sarah Brown, the community activist and former Kittery Town Councilwoman who founded the Alliance, said. “Businesses care about sustainability and there are those who see the benefits of attracting consumers who care, too. We’re showing businesses that consumers care—and how they can increase their business through sustainable practices.”
The Green Alliance wants to thank the group that turned out in Kittery for the 3rd Annual Green Families Celebration (this year, combined with a Farmer's Market)! The celebration ran in conjunction with the Kittery Farmer's Market and was a great representation of the green community the GA embodies. Both local farmers and GA Business Partners alike set up shop in the parking lot, succeeding in educating families, and making the community a little bit greener.
This event would not have been possible without the assistance of many people. We would love to acknowledge, first and foremost, Dot Dyer who does a phenomenal job organizing the Kittery Farmer's Market, and was generous enough to allow us to join for the afternoon. Second; our Business Partners who came equipped with fun, educational materials for both kids and adults (and, great activities/giveaways for the kids, too)! We'd also like to acknowledge all of our green families for whom we throw this event. Whether these families were able to attend yesterday or not, they play a crucial role in the improvement of our environment, particularly by raising young, eager environmental stewards. Our children's essay contest, which concluded on Saturday (8/23), proved to us just how great of a future our environment has with these kids!
Thank you to everyone for your involvement in this celebration--it sure made the 2nd birthday of our Green Families Club a special one. Please keep your eyes peeled for more exciting events!
To learn more about the Green Families Club, click here.
By Michael McCord
In their heyday in the late 1700s and 1800s, gundalows were ubiquitous in the Piscataqua River region as an indispensable part of the Seacoast’s diverse economy.
For almost three centuries these flat-bottomed cargo barges were a practical solution to transportation in the maritime regions of Maine and New Hampshire. They were the tractor trailers and railroad freight cars of their day, as they efficiently worked the tides. As the gundalows evolved in style and function (adding sails, decks and even cabins), they became the transportation linchpin of commercial development as they often brought raw materials up river to cotton factories and brick yards and returned with finished products.
Since its founding in 2002, the nonprofit Gundalow Company in Portsmouth has provided thousands of school children and adults the opportunity to explore the unique history of the gundalow. In 2011, the Piscataqua was built at Strawbery Banke, following in the footsteps of the Captain Edward H. Adams built there and launched in 1982. From May through October, the Piscataqua sails the tidal rivers as a floating classroom and passenger vessel, offering lessons that connect the history of yesterday to the environmental imperatives of today.
Mostly unheralded as a floating beast of burden, the last working gundalow traveled the waters until 1920. Barbara Pinto Maurer, the education director at the Gundalow Company, and a hearty crew of dedicated staff and supporters are working to keep the legacy alive. The mission of the Gundalow Company is to protect the Piscataqua Region’s maritime heritage and environment through education and action, and Pinto Maurer believes that mission has never been more critical.
Wow! We are blown away by all of the great essays that were sent to us from children all over New England! From composting and recycling, to riding their bikes with their parents to farm stands, to picking up beaches and even adopting a bat, these kids have been busy bettering the environment for all of us.
We had such a tough time choosing a winner that we ultimately landed on 3 winners (all in different age divisions). We would like to extend our congratulations to Nicole Allen, age 11; Eben Desilva, age 10; and Quetzal Frey, age 8 (Quetzal's essay is photographed below)!
Thank you to all who shared their experiences with us. You're all fantastic story tellers and even greater environmental stewards! Keep up the great work!
We will post all of the winning essays in the coming days... and all will be displayed at today's Green Families Celebration and Farmer's Market in Kittery from 4-7 p.m. We hope to have some of our entrants read their essays out loud to inspire more families to go green!