News

Green Collar Careers: Minute Men Painters co-owner, Sean Sturk

Apr 17, 2015

Originally published in The New Hampshire and on Patch.com.

By Ken Johnson

Sean Sturk has been painting for most of his life. After college, Sturk could've easily pursued a career in business or marketing, putting his degrees to use. Instead he followed the job he'd loved doing as a teen; running paint crews and slowly becoming an expert in the business. He eventually owned and operated a paint store, which included eco-friendly options, furthering his knowledge of products and painting techniques. Then, in 2000, Sturk became co-owner of Minute Men Painters.

Bringing his knowledge of environmentally-friendly paints and supplies, Sturk has helped Minute Men Painters grow to specialize in using low-VOC (volatile organic compound) and VOC-free paints, making them a stand out in an industry that uses chemicals with long-lasting effects on painters and paint suppliers. According to Sturk, he's seen these damaging, toxic effects first-hand.

“[A] co-worker of mine, had no sense of smell and we know that this is a result of years of working with toxic fumes," said Sturk. "We grew the company to take the burden off of ourselves physically but now we have these other options for our employees. As a company we made a conscious decision to decrease the toxicity of our products and learn as much as we could about them.”

Read the full story in The New Hampshire, on page 7, on issuu.com here or Patch.com here!

Redhook/Green Alliance Party for the Planet; Earth Day Cleanup and Celebration with Special Guest Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s

Apr 16, 2015

Originally posted on Seacoast Online.

By Katelyn Monroe

PORTSMOUTH – Redhook and the Green Alliance, celebrate Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22, with a drop-in clean-up and a party, featuring special guest Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and StampStampede.org. The event is open to the public and guests enjoy live music and complimentary eats. $2 from every beer purchased goes to the local environmental non-profit Hodgson Brook Association. There will also be free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream compliments of Cohen.

The event brings together sustainable business leaders, green-minded residents and Ben & Jerry’s fans. The Party for the Planet is 6 – 9 p.m. at Redhook in Portsmouth with a $5 entry also going to Hodgson Brook. All are invited but Green Allinace members get in free and clean-up participants get free raffle tickets for every bag of trash collected. The triumvirate between the Green Alliance, Redhook and Ben & Jerry’s is a match made in environmental heaven; not only is Redhook a staple on the seacoast’s craft brewing scene, but also a leader in sustainable business practices.

“This is where the collaboration really becomes powerful,” says Green Alliance Director Sarah Brown. “A business like Redhook is ahead of the curve when it comes to sustainability and is thrilled to be hosting green business leader, citizens and Ben Cohen. We want folks to connect the dots between responsible business practices and protecting the environment; all three of our organizations share these values.”

“In order to create a sustainable future, we need to put a stop to pay-to-play culture. Progressive green business leaders are part of that,” adds Cohen. “Too often, big oil and special interest groups use campaign contributions and lobbying muscle to block common-sense pro-sustainability legislation. I’m excited to work with the Green Alliance community to help stamp big money out of politics.”

Read the full story on Seacoast Online, here

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Hayseed Restaurant

Apr 14, 2015

Who: Hayseed Restaurant

What: Since first purchasing the Towle Farm property for its new facility in Hampton, Smuttynose Brewing Company always planned to have a restaurant on campus. That plan became a reality in 2015 with the opening of Hayseed Restaurant. Two of the farm’s original structures, an 18th Century barn and a Victorian farmhouse, remain intact. The latter of which was moved 85 yards across the property and renovated to accommodate the restaurant. Renovations to Hayseed were done to improve sustainability while preserving the house’s organic character. The red oak wood used for the tables and bar was milled from trees on the brewery’s farm during its construction. Hayseed is also outfitted with energy recovery ventilators that supply fresh air for the interior of the building and recover thermal energy from the conditioned, exhaust air system. There is also a condensing, gas-fired water heater on-site to provide domestic hot water quickly. And the system can store the water for long periods of time without losing temperature, operating at a thermal efficiency greater than 90 percent. And when it comes to the menu, Hayseed's food is sourced from local farms and fisheries whenever possible with some of its produce grown on-site. All food scraps are composted and plastic, glass and cardboard materials are recycled using a single stream system. Hayseed also offers compostable to-go containers, which are delivered through Favorite Foods, a sustainable restaurant supply company. Hayseed also offers compostable to-go bags and cups.

To read the full column on Hayseed Restaurant, click here

Art for a Cause: The 2015 Art of Great Bay Show

Apr 13, 2015

Originally published on Patch and Seacoast Online.

By Sarah Mahoney

PORTSMOUTH – The natural landscape has long been an inspiration to creative people. Artisans have worked for centuries to try and capture its beauty through a variety of mediums. Today, with nature’s splendor at risk of degradation, local artists are inspired to use their craft to bring awareness to its protection.

Great Bay Stewards (GBS) is one of several well-known organizations dedicated to spreading awareness to protect New Hampshire’s environment using art to spark conversation. For over a decade, the Stewards have hosted the annual Art of Great Bay fundraiser to help raise money for the Great Bay Discovery Center. Local artists are encouraged to contribute to the show by submitting paintings, pottery, glass, sculptures and other forms of art.

The 11th annual Art of Great Bay will take place from April 17 – 19 at the Hugh Gregg Coastal Conservation Center at the Great Bay Discovery Center in Greenland. The event is open to the public throughout the weekend.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online here.

Star Island Completes Solar Installation

Apr 9, 2015

Originally published in the Portsmouth Herald and Seacoast Online.

PORTSMOUTH — This Earth Day, April 22, the nonprofit Star Island Corp. will host an informative evening with Star Island leaders titled “Going Green.”

The public is invited to this presentation on the innovative environmental initiatives under way at Star Island. The Earth Day event will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Discover Portsmouth Center, 10 Middle St.

Learn about the island’s new solar installation – New England’s largest off-grid photovoltaic array, which will produce an estimated 60 percent of the island’s energy needs beginning this summer. The event will include a discussion by Star Island Facilities Director Jack Farrell, and Environmental Services Manager Kristen Simard from 6 to 6:30 p.m. They will highlight programs for energy and water conservation and reuse.

Living with limited resources, Star Island has made it a priority to reduce energy and water use, collect rain water for use in showers and laundry, capture and reuse heat from generators, minimize waste, and grow a portion of the food for the thousands of guests that vacation on Star Island each summer.

“Star Island is a role model for other communities,” Farrell said. “We are able to make changes and see the results immediately. Our ability to use our limited resources wisely allows us to be an example for others.”

To read the full story on Seacoast Online, click here

Wild and Scenic Film Festival Unites Green Businesses

Apr 8, 2015

Originally published in The New Hampshire.

PORTSMOUTH — Since 2003, the Wild and Scenic Film Festival has informed audiences of current environmental issues. As the largest environmental film festival in North America, it is Wild and Scenic’s mission to spark conversation throughout the country to discover resolutions of these issues.

The Wild and Scenic Film Festival isn’t just restricted to one location, however. In a three-month application process, Wild and Scenic On Tour can bring the festival to local communities throughout the country.

In the New Hampshire Seacoast, the festival will be held on Friday, April 24 at the Music Hall Historic Theater in Portsmouth at 7 p.m. About 500 attendees are expected, and there will also be a free raffle with donated prizes from local businesses. 

Read the full story in The New Hampshire here

Green Collar Careers: Green Alliance Director, Sarah Brown

Apr 8, 2015

Originally published in The New Hampshire.

By Ken Johnson

Efforts to become a more green and sustainable culture proliferate the news these days, but often that information is lost amongst the headlines. Though political coverage of climate change and rampant ecological disasters make the front page, seldom were stories about companies incorporating greener business practices given top-billing. Sarah Brown noticed this lack of attention in the media and decided that it had to change if communities were going to become more sustainable. In response, Brown established the Green Alliance, an environmentally-conscious business union, that raises the awareness of sustainably-minded businesses and helps connect them with green-minded consumers.

“We decided from day one that we wanted an outlet for people, whether they were business owners or consumers, to put their money where their values were,” Brown said. “And we wanted people to realize that going green didn’t have to mean going broke; that going green could actually save you a little of it too and for businesses it could increase their profits.”

Brown, who has worked for CNN at the New York bureau, NBC as a Moscow bureau assignment desk editor, and for Associated Press TV as a Moscow bureau producer, started The Green Alliance in the living room of her Kittery, Maine, home in 2009. When it started, The Green Alliance had two Business Partners, Simply Green Biofuels and Purely Organic Lawn Care. Now, the Green Alliance, headquartered in Portsmouth's historic Franklin Block Building, boasts upward of 100 Business Partners and nearly 4,000 individual community members.

Read the full story in The New Hampshire, on page 7, on issuu.com here!

Art for a Cause: The 2015 Art of Great Bay Show

Apr 7, 2015

Originally published to Seacoast Online and Portsmouth Patch.

By Sarah Mahoney

PORTSMOUTH – The natural landscape has long been an inspiration to creative people. Artisans have worked for centuries to try and capture its beauty through a variety of mediums. Today, with nature’s splendor at risk of degradation, local artists are inspired to use their craft to bring awareness to its protection.

Great Bay Stewards (GBS) is one of several well-known organizations dedicated to spreading awareness to protect New Hampshire’s environment using art to spark conversation. For over a decade, the Stewards have hosted the annual Art of Great Bay fundraiser to help raise money for the Great Bay Discovery Center. Local artists are encouraged to contribute to the show by submitting paintings, pottery, glass, sculptures and other forms of art.

The 11th annual Art of Great Bay will take place from April 17 – 19 at the Hugh Gregg Coastal Conservation Center at the Great Bay Discovery Center in Greenland. The event is open to the public throughout the weekend.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online here.

Art for a Cause

Apr 6, 2015

Originally published to the Patch.

By Sarah Mahoney

PORTSMOUTH - The natural landscape has long been an inspiration to creative people. Artisans have worked for centuries to try and capture its beauty through a variety of mediums. Today, with nature’s splendor at risk of degradation, local artists are inspired to use their craft to bring awareness to its protection.

Great Bay Stewards (GBS) is one of several well-known organizations dedicated to spreading awareness to protect New Hampshire’s environment using art to spark conversation. For over a decade, the Stewards have hosted the annual Art of Great Bay fundraiser to help raise money for the Great Bay Discovery Center. Local artists are encouraged to contribute to the show by submitting paintings, pottery, glass, sculptures and other forms of art.

The 11th annual Art of Great Bay will take place from April 17 - 19 at the Hugh Gregg Coastal Conservation Center at the Great Bay Discovery Center in Greenland. The event is to be open to the public throughout the weekend.

Read the full story on the Patch here.

Racing for a Cure

Apr 6, 2015

Originally published on the Patch.

By Sarah Mahoney

PORTSMOUTH - For the last three years, the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure in New Hampshire has had a strong run as one of the largest events to bring awareness to survivors and those suffering from breast cancer. With the race returning for a fourth year, there’s no end in sight for its continued success.

The Vermont-New Hampshire Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen organization will hold its fourth annual race on May 9th at the Strawberry Banke Museum on 14 Hancock Street in Portsmouth, N.H. at 9 a.m. To date, the Komen organization’s national race days have become some of the largest and most successful fundraising events for breast cancer around the world.

Seacoast Spine will provide medical services in the First-Aid tent for runners along with massages for breast cancer survivors. There will also be a silent auction featuring local business, like Art with a Splash and Coastal Fitness, donating their goods and/or services to the event.

Read the full story on the Patch here.