Is Wind Energy for the Birds?

Jul 10, 2014

Published on Seacoast Online

By Patrick Martin
Green Alliance Writer

PORTSMOUTH – With so much powerful opposition, wind energy has little time for unnecessary speed bumps like the outdated correlation between wind farms and bird mortality.

There is continued debate about bird deaths from wind turbines.
In January, New Hampshire wind energy advocates, including Portsmouth wind energy firm Eolian Renewable Energy LLC, dodged a bullet. The N.H. House of Representatives struck down a bill that would have placed a moratorium on wind development in the state. This would have been a major blow to New Hampshire’s progression towards brighter future in renewable energy.

Having temporarily dispatched of this more looming issue, it may be time to correct a misconception that has detracted so much support from the alternative energy source.

Groups opposed to wind farm development often cite the droves of unlucky dead birds littering the floor beneath turbines. However, grim statistics thrown at wind energy proponents may not be entirely forthcoming.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online

Community Toolbox Celebrates Newly Received Non-profit Status

Jul 9, 2014

Published on Patch (Portsmouth, Exeter, Hampton, N.Hampton, Nashua, Merrimack, Salem, NH, and Bedford Patch sites)

By Emily Norloff
Green Alliance Writer

PORTSMOUTH - A safe and healthy home. That is what Community Toolbox offers their customers. With their three-tier business model, and team of volunteers, Community Toolbox is a non-profit that works like none other.

“We do something special here,” said Cheryl Van Allen, Community Toolbox's Executive Director. “There is a gap in the community's need for affordable repair work and we're here to fill it.”

In June, Community Toolbox celebrated the approval of their 501c3 nonprofit status from the state of New Hampshire with an open house at their Retail Outlet.

The event served as an opportunity for the public to see first-hand how Community Toolbox approaches a project. Dressed in matching light-blue t-shirts, Community Toolbox's team of volunteers were on-hand to answer the public's questions regarding how the Retail Outlet receives the products it sells and the type of work the volunteers do on home projects.

Read the full story on Portsmouth Patch

Foot golf gaining popularity at Seacoast club

Jul 9, 2014

Video segment on WMUR-TV

By Jennifer Crompton

NORTH HAMPTON - It started in Europe in 2009, moved to California two years later and has officially hit the Northeast.

It's a unique merger in the sports world -- foot golf.

With this new sport, players use a soccer ball instead of a golf ball. Instead of playing with clubs, players use their feet.

Just as their traditional counterparts do at Sagamore-Hampton Golf Club, foot golfers make tee times, though they tee off between orange markers. Then, they follow the rules of golf etiquette through 18 holes laid out alongside nine traditional ones, from 50-190 yards long.

“It’s definitely more forgiving and the learning curve for foot golf is much less than trying to take on 14 golf clubs, small white ball and hours of practice at the driving range,” said Richard Luff, the president of the Sagamore-Hampton Golf Club. Watch the full video on

Acorn Salon Downsizes but Perseveres in Difficult Economic Climate

Jul 9, 2014

Published on Portsmouth Patch

By Amanda Taitel

DOVER-Six years ago, Acorn Organic Salon opened with a single mission in mind: to provide customers with a multitude of sustainable products and services that spoke to the Seacoast region’s ever-greening sensibilities. Today that mission is still very much alive, just in a different place. Situated neatly underneath Dover Natural Marketplace, the move seems fitting.

Though the new location is smaller than Acorn’s flagship location, owner Laura MacKay is embracing its charm.

“People like the new location a lot better,” she said. We have more sunshine here, a better view, we’ve had people come in before that have lived in Dover their whole lives and never new we existed because we were hidden in our old location.”

Downsizing in space unfortunately also meant downsizing in services. Due to lack of space and demand, Acorn Salon no longer offers manicures and pedicures.

“We still sell the sustainable and non-toxic nail polishes, but we did have some customers who were bummed out because nail salons are such a toxic environment and we had been one of the only places to get that service done safely, however we are focusing on what we do best and love to do, and that’s hair,” she said. The new space has also enabled them to cut down on energy costs. “We rewired this location to provide us with just the amount of energy we needed, no more, and no less.” By doing so, they are saving hundreds of dollars monthly on utilities, according to MacKay.

Read the full story on the Portsmouth Patch

Isles of Shoals Steamship Co. adapts for success

Jul 8, 2014

Published on Seacoast Online.

By Katie Seraikas

July 08, 2014 2:00 a.m. 

PORTSMOUTH — From its fresh, new logo with its recognizable flagship the M/V Thomas Laighton to the debut of a smaller passenger boat, the M/V Celia Thaxter, the Isles of Shoals Steamship Co. is aiming for a summer season better than any other.

The catalysts behind the changes are new owners Capt. Jeremy Bell and Capt. Jerod Blanchette, who have been with the company since 1997. The two began as summer interns from Maine Maritime Academy and haven't missed a summer with Isles of Shoals Steamship Co. since.

"We've been there for a long time, so we definitely wanted to make change," Blanchette said. "We saw it shrink over the last few years. Now we'd like to expand it back up, maybe do some catering events, obviously get the second boat, kayak tours ... a lot more."

NHPTV and Green Alliance team up for summer cruise

Jul 7, 2014

Published on Foster's Daily DemocratSeacoast Online and NH Patch 

PORTSMOUTH - The Green Alliance prides itself in bringing businesses and consumers together under one sustainable roof. On Thursday, July 11, that roof will be on the Piscataqua River, as the Green Alliance and N.H. Public Television partner with the Isles of Shoals Steamship Co. for a cruise aboard the M/V Thomas Laighton.

"This is probably the biggest party we have all year," said Sarah Brown, Green Alliance director. "We're ecstatic to have NHPTV on board with us as well. Not only is it a great party, but it's a great opportunity for sustainable businesses to meet up with sustainable people, which is our greatest goal and achievement."

"The Green Alliance does so much good for the local business community, ourselves included," Bryn Burns, NHPTV manager of community relations, said. "This a great opportunity for us to let everyone know about our environmental programming; nature gives us such opportunities for education, which has always been a priority for us."

See the full story on Foster's 

FootGolf is alive and kicking

Jul 7, 2014

Published on Boston Globe online. 

NORTH HAMPTON, N.H. — When my sixth tee shot veered sharply right, then bounced off the fairway, I was in trouble. My ball stopped on a tuft of grass and teetered above a small, muddy creek on the Sagamore-Hampton Golf Club. With one strong breeze, I would be taking a water-hazard-related, one-stroke penalty. Again.

Equally problematic, I couldn’t see a second-shot scenario that ended well. Neither could my playing partners. They figured my followthrough would propel me backward into the creek. I agreed. Ready to capture my splashdown, photographer Zack Wittman crouched a couple of yards away. “I’ve got to get this,” he said. There was anticipatory glee in his voice.

If only I had longer legs, I thought. Better yet, if only I had a golf club.

But this was FootGolf, a cross between soccer and golf, that left me standing creek-side with two options: short left leg or short right leg.

Read the full story on Boston Globe Online.

Foot golf arrives on Seacoast

Jul 7, 2014

Published on Seacoast Online. 

By Austin Greene

July 07, 2014 2:00 AM

NORTH HAMPTON — Kicking your golf ball through the rough is usually considered cheating to save a stroke. Now, it is fair game in a twist on the sport called foot golf.

Sagamore-Hampton Golf Club on North Road in North Hampton has adopted foot golf as a way to reach out to more players and keep the golf course one stroke ahead of the competition.

"Introducing foot golf will be a nice complement because it will introduce our facility to another demographic," club President Richard Luff said. "The learning curve to play foot golf is easier and you can get families out there as well as soccer players."

Foot golf started in the Netherlands in 2009, when a group of soccer players persuaded officials at a golf course in Holland to create a course. The sport jumped the pond in 2011, when it was adopted by a golf course in California. Luff said he likes to keep abreast of industry news and that's how he heard about the new twist on the sport. He became interested in bringing a new element to an old classic to the Sagamore fairways.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online

Meet a green business: Ecotech Pest Control Services LLC

Jul 7, 2014

Published on Seacoast Online

July 07, 2014 2:00 AM

Who: Ecotech Pest Control Services LLC

What: With a bachelor of science in entomology, Tom Pray, owner of Ecotech, offers more than just another pest control business. He is also a well of information about how insects think, act and thrive. Pray guides homeowners on how they can naturally prevent the threat of pests to properties, families and pets. Pray founded his business on the principle that pest control doesn't have to be an additional hazard to the environment. To avoid these risks, Pray uses his education to find the best solution for a property using environmentally friendly treatments and integrated pest management, which looks at the life cycle and habits of each pest and how to best disrupt them. He also installs environmentally friendly long-term treatment systems, such as tick boxes that don't require spraying a yard or garden.

Where: P.O. Box 54, Eliot, Maine.


What makes it green:

  • Built business on a foundation of efficiency and environmental awareness.
  • Integrated pest management treats pests with half the applications.
  • Uses tick boxes, a low-impact, earth-friendly alternative to treating property.
  • Treatment sprays that are plant-based and 100 percent biodegradable.
  • Educates homeowners on natural methods of prevention that don't require chemical use.

All Green Alliance businesses are green certified. Read Ecotech's full certification documents and learn more about its sustainability initiatives and those of more than 100 other local green businesses at

Read the full story on Seacoast Online.

Developing a Sustainable Masterpiece

Jul 3, 2014

Published on (including Portsmouth, Exeter, N. Hampton, Hampton, Exeter, Nashua, Merrimack, Bedford, Salem, NH Patch sites)

By Michael McCord 

PORTSMOUTH – One of the more spectacular green development projects in downtown Portsmouth should be completed later this year.

Simply known as 233 Vaughan Street, the $15 million project in the city’s northern tier is being developed and built by Chinburg Properties and will establish a high standard of sustainable development. It will combine 9,000 square-feet of first-floor commercial space and nine luxury condominiums including two luxury penthouses overlooking the Portsmouth skyline and harbor.

“The steel started going up in May and you can see the project’s progress on a day to day basis,” said Jen Chinburg, marketing director of Chinburg Properties which is one of the project’s principal partners. “The core and shell will be complete in the fall of 2014 with occupancy in spring 2015.”

Carla Goodknight, of Portsmouth’s CJ Architects, is the project architect.

"The journey to create this building began with an idea: to combine three desirable high performance green technologies in a unique building located in a great city," said Goodknight. "The building infrastructure comes at a premium. The frame will be steel throughout to support real trees and a grass growing green roof. The building envelope is sealed with foam insulation and designed to create energy demands so low that the geothermal system design by Petersen Engineering and will easily handle the heating and cooling loads. Petersen has a great deal of experience in this type of application and were instrumental in implementing the concept”

Read the full story in the Portsmouth Patch.