News : July 2012

Brixham Montessori School finds success in alternative model

Jul 31, 2012

Published in Foster's Daily Democrat

By Jim Cavan

YORK, Maine — In 2000, eager to expand her growing Orchard Montessori Friends School, Alica Johnson-Grafe took over a turn of the century historic grange hall in York. Rechristening her charge Brixham Montessori Friends School (BMFS), Johnson-Grafe with the help of a group of dedicated parents established the school as a nonprofit in 2001.

Five years later, the space now fully outgrown, BMFS purchased and moved the school to a two-story, 9000-plus square foot building in York previously owned by a small software company. After weeks of wall-tearing and shape-shifting, the space was transformed into what it remains today: A simple yet sense-piquing testament to a career's work and philosophy, and the educational tradition from whence it sprang.

As of this past school year, Johnson-Grafe's thriving charge boasts 85 students, six classrooms, and a staff of 18 educators dedicated to helping the thriving school continue to serve as a regional model for alternative childhood education. 
 

To read the full article in Foster's, click here

Pocos' green transformation reflects Portsmouth's own

Jul 31, 2012

Published in Foster's Daily Democrat

By Jim Cavan

PORTSMOUTH — "I can't tell you how different it is down here, compared to what it used to be," exclaims John Golumb, owner of Pocos Bow Street Cantina, referring to the peerless waterfront cityscape of his Portsmouth restaurant.

"With the new alleyway it's so much more walk-able, it's become an amazing tourist destination -- people really want to come here."

Whether you're a life-long resident bound to the city's unique history or a newcomer since regaled, Portsmouth has undeniably changed drastically in the last 30 years. But while the transformation has can be seen on many a narrow street and building façade, few can tout the cultural clout of Pocos Bow Street Cantina, which celebrated its 30th anniversary on Monday.

Read the full stoy in Foster's Daily Democrat

Green Tips: Bob's Clam Hut

Jul 31, 2012

Published in Seacoast Online

This week's Green Tips come from Kittery, Maine, staple Bob's Clam Hut.

1. Ask questions. Many businesses might have quite a few green options — you just might not know it.

2. Don't be afraid of the "Energy Saver" mode on your office or home air conditioner. It will keep your work spaces comfortable and use a lot less energy.

3. Know the difference between compost and trash. Lots of restaurants — including Bob's — have bins that are clearly labeled; however, many don't. Make sure you're disposing of your waste in the proper places. Thinking about starting home composting? Make sure you know what can be composted, and what's off-limits.

4. Recycle printer paper. Sometimes, you just have to print. If you set up a place for printed material that is no longer needed and print on the other side, it can make a huge difference in the amount of paper waste.

5. Google. There are hundreds of Web pages with green tips online, from home to school to all types of business. You'll be surprised at the ideas you'll find!

For information about Bob's, visit www.bobsclamhut.com. For more green tips, visit www.greenalliance.biz or the Green Alliance blog at www.seacoastonline.com.

How Pre-listing Inspection Can Help Sell a Home

Jul 30, 2012

Published in the Exeter Patch and Hampton Patch

by Jim Cavan

Even with the greatest of real estate brokers on your side, selling a home can be a tricky thing. Increasingly, many of those looking to sell are finding that a comprehensive home inspection can help lessen the stress of the selling process, and help it go more smoothly.

Traditionally, potential buyers will have a home inspection done after the initial offer is accepted. After a careful review of the inspection report, the prospective buyers will either submit a request to the homeowner to fix some or all of the problems, or ask for a price reduction and tackle the issues themselves.

Because of the many deadlines and documents that must be juggled in order to complete a home sale, the home inspections almost always entail added stress for both parties.

But according to Ed Henningsen of the Eliot-based Henningsen Inspections, such compounded worry only proves that the homeowners themselves should be looking to get a head start on the inspection process.

“For a few hundred dollars, you get a professional inspector who will evaluate the house just like any prospective buyer would’ve done,” says Henningsen, who offers energy audits and radon mitigation tests on top of his cornerstone home inspection service. “That way they can prepare themselves for potential requests from the buyer, and gives them a better idea and a head start on how best to proceed.”

To read the full story on Exeter Patch click here, or for Hampton Patch click here.

Conservation Law Foundation, Leading Advocate for Protection of New England’s Environment, Joins Green Alliance

Jul 30, 2012

Published in the Portsmouth Patch

By Tricia Dinkel

Whether the snow-capped White Mountains, the fiery glow of autumn foliage, or the distinct rocky shores along the coast, New Hampshire’s environment has long been an attraction for tourists and a source of pride for residents. With so much natural beauty to admire, protecting the quality and the integrity of the state’s environment is no small feat. For Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), the challenge is well worth it.

Founded in 1966, CLF has long been a defender of New England’s environmental heritage, helping shape the decisions that lead to a higher quality of life and future for our region. Through its extensive work in law, policy, science, and outreach, CLF has for decades contributed to a healthy, clean future for New England and for New Hampshire. A leader in environmental initiatives and advocacy, CLF is a non-profit organization committed to advancing solutions that address the challenges of climate change, cleaning up our air and water, protecting the ocean, promoting sustainable agriculture, and wisely managing our natural resources by working with businesses, organizations, and policy-makers to achieve its goal of a thriving New England. CLF established a New Hampshire office in 1997.

To read the full story, click here

Business to Tout State’s Largest Roof-Mounted Solar Array

Jul 30, 2012

Published in the Portsmouth Patch and the Exeter Patch

By Jim Cavan

Imagine being able to power your most oft-running appliance – the refrigerator, in the case of many a household – on nothing but energy from the sun, harvested with a panel or two.

Not too shabby, right?

Now imagine using solar energy to run an industrial cooler and freezer which combined take up nearly seven Olympic sized swimming pools of space.

That’s precisely what Favorite Foods intends to do when the Somersworth commercial food distributor puts online a 140-kilowatt, 572-panel roof-mounted solar PV system next month.

Good luck fitting that in your kitchen.

The system is poised to be the largest of its kind in New Hampshire and, once the switch is flipped a few weeks from now, one of the most productive as well. Consisting of 572 American-made panels, the array is expected to generate 17% of Favorite Foods’ energy load, in the process helping power a business with annual sales in the eight figures.

For the full story, check out the Portsmouth Patch and Exeter Patch.

After 30 Years, Poco's Continues Growing Green

Jul 25, 2012

Published in the Exeter Patch and the Portsmouth Patch

By Jim Cavan

“I can’t tell you how different it is down here, compared to what it used to be,” exclaims John Golumb, owner of Pocos Bow Street Cantina, referring to the peerless waterfront cityscape of his Portsmouth restaurant. “With the new alleyway it’s so much more walk-able, it’s become an amazing tourist destination – people really want to come here.”

Whether you’re a life-long resident bound to the city’s unique history or a newcomer since regaled, Portsmouth has undeniably changed drastically in the last 30 years. But while the transformation of our fair Port City has can be seen on many a narrow street and building façade, few can tout the cultural clout of Pocos Bow Street Cantina, which celebrates its 30th anniversary on Monday.

Founded July 23, 1982, Pocos was originally situated at 47 Bow Street, in what is today known as Tugboat Alley. The next year, the restaurant expanded to include the bar currently owned by the Riverhouse. Like much of the Portsmouth working waterfront, the backside of Pocos wasn’t always so picturesque, and it took a while to shape the now iconic outdoor deck into the waterfront hotspot it’s since become.

Seven years later, eager for a larger space to accommodate its growing clientele, the restaurant moved stakes just a few feet up the street to 37 Bow, where the newly-renovated deck – now both open to the fresh air and safe from the elements – still marks the logical entry-point for the oft-frequented river walk.

Check out the Exeter Patch and the Portsmouth Patch to read the entire article.

Businesses That Increase 'Eco-Cred’ Will See Green

Jul 24, 2012

Published in the Portsmouth Patch

By Heikki Perry

Several studies confirm what many business owners already know: A large majority of consumers prefer to patronize companies with sustainable products and practices. But what does that mean for businesses that don’t necessarily consider themselves green? It means they can be green, too, and Green Alliance can help.

About 68 percent of consumers can be classified as “light greens,” those who show preference toward environmental, ethical products and services, according to the market research firm Mintel. What’s more, according to a 2012 Cohn & Wolfe study, one in five consumers will even spend a 10 percent premium on a green product.

“The reasons to increase your brand’s 'eco-cred' are obvious. It is the right thing to do, will attract new consumers, increase brand loyalty with existing customers and even attract better employees,” says Albe Zakes, global vice president for media relations at TerraCycle, one of the fastest-growing green companies in the world. He notes that in a MonsterTRAK study, 92 percent of young professionals are more inclined to work for an environmentally friendly company.

Read the full story in the Portsmouth Patch

Great Bay Stewards Immerse Students in Estuary’s Uniqueness

Jul 24, 2012

Published in the Portsmouth Patch, Exeter Patch and Fosters' Daily Democrats

By Heikki Perry

A successor to the group that 40 years ago helped stop the development of a Great Bay oil refinery, the Great Bay Stewards has since expanded its environmental and conservation efforts to include education of young and old alike.

A “friends group” to the Great Bay NationalEstuarine Research Reserve, the Stewards help and rely on the Great BayDiscovery Center, the educational cornerstone for the Reserve, to meet the organization’s core mission. The Stewards provide funding for programs, capital improvements, and new exhibits that promote learning — and none too soon. The health of Great Bay is less than ideal, says Jay Diener, president of Great Bay Stewards.

Read the full story in the Portsmouth Patch, Exeter Patch and Fosters Daily Democrat.

Atlantic Green Energy Helps Customers ‘Go Green Gradually’

Jul 24, 2012

Published in the Exeter Patch

By Heikki Perry

“Go Green Gradually” is George Hurley’s motto when he talks to customers visiting his Atlantic Green Energy Solar Store about the various alternative energy products he sells that no only sustain the environment but also help customers save money.

The phrase is transparent: Every single thing an individual, family or business can do to transform wasteful habits and practices into green ones contributes to sustainability, the effect cumulative and synergistic. But like the proverbial journey of a thousand miles, “one small step,” taken step after step, will get you where you want to go. And Atlantic Green Energy is there to help you begin the journey.

Read the full story in the Exeter Patch!

Favorite Foods Vendor Audit Tests 'Sustainability' Values

Jul 23, 2012

Published in Foster's

By Tricia Dinkel

SOMERSWORTH — In business, the gap between what is said and what is done can vary drastically. The effort to create a wholesome, sustainable business model is important to promote but the question remains, how does a business build a model that is both conscientious and inspiring?

For Julie Cole, of Favorite Foods, the answer is not found in the business alone but in each contributing part of the business from the roots on up.

Since 1987, Favorite Foods, based in Somersworth, has provided food distribution services for independent restaurants. A family-owned and operated business themselves; Favorite Foods is committed to the support of sustainable, local food services. In 2002, Favorite Foods established the Favorite Independent Restaurant Association, a non-profit to organize and empower independently owned restaurants in New Hampshire. To ensure a complete value-laden business model, Favorite Foods has taken the initiative to evaluate each partner, vendor, and distributor by the same ethical and sustainable standards found at Favorite Foods.

For the full story, click here

Tod Mott: A farewell and appreciation

Jul 20, 2012

Published in the Portsmouth Herald

By Peter Egelston

Yes, you heard right: Tod Mott is leaving the Portsmouth Brewery. After toiling for 8½ years in our little submarine-hull sized brewery, producing a seemingly endless river of fine beers and sharing his deep passion for his craft with an eager and growing audience, he has decided to move on.

I enjoy reminding people that I hired Tod Mott at precisely the same time the Red Sox signed Curt Schilling. The Sox thus took a first step towards ending their 86-year World Series drought, and we at the Brewery embarked on a journey that has led us to become one of New England's premier beer destinations. Tod arrived shortly after the Brewery had entered its second decade in business, at a time when the craft beer industry was picking itself up and dusting itself off after the brutal shakeout of late 1990s had flushed a lot of small breweries and crappy beers out of the marketplace.
 

To read the full article on Tod Mott's departure from the Portsmouth Brewery, click here

Green Alliance launches Families Club for environmental comradery

Jul 20, 2012

Published in the Foster's 

By Jim Cavan

PORTSMOUTH — The Green Alliance (GA) was launched in 2009 to bring green-minded businesses and consumers together, thereby helping prove the efficacy of sustainable products and services while supporting the local economy.

To date, that overarching mission has helped the GA grow from a handful of local businesses -- Simply Green Biofuels and Purely Organic Lawncare, specifically -- into a union of over 100 companies of every shape and size, and from across industries and sectors. Propelled by this green critical mass, the Portsmouth organization is poised to launch its latest initiative -- the Green Families Club (GFC) -- on July 25 with a celebration and picnic that is free and open to the public.

Designed to serve as a clearinghouse for consumer education and family-friendly local events, the GFC will allow area families an opportunity to meet and network with like-minded folks who share the common goal of going green, while saving a little at the same time.

The club is the brainchild of GA Director Sarah Brown and Marketing Director Bridget Sprague, who -- during an internal meeting late last year -- noticed a tie binding many of the organization's over 3,000 consumer members.
 

"After we started looking at who are members were a little more closely, we realized that a lot of them were moms and dads, people who had a very real vested interest in safer, greener, more local products and services," recalls Brown. "We realized pretty quickly that bringing families together -- helping them learn from one another would be a great way to help bring more attention to these businesses."
 

To read the full article in Fosters, click here!

New Coalition Enters Great Bay Battle

Jul 20, 2012

Published in the Portsmouth Herald

By Aaron Sanborn

A new coalition formed to protect the Great Bay estuary says its role will not be an adversarial one.

Two weeks ago, the Conservation Law Foundation announced the formation of Rescue Great Bay, a coalition of nonprofit organizations that favor regulatory actions that would require wastewater treatment plants to limit their nitrogen discharges into the estuary.

The formation of the new Rescue Great Bay coalition comes as another coalition, the Great Bay Municipal Coalition, continues to challenge the science behind the nitrogen discharge permits being issued by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Despite the ongoing battle, formation of the new coalition is not meant to add fuel to the fire, according to Peter Wellenberger, CLF's Great Bay-Piscataqua Waterkeeper.

Instead, Wellenberger said the new group will give a voice to those on the other side of the issue and focus on educating the public about non-point nitrogen pollution, which makes up a large majority of the estuary's nitrogen pollution.
 

"This has been in the works for a while and with so many organizations interested in protecting the bay, it kind of made sense to pool our resources together," Wellenberger said. "Despite the debate about the science, a lot of people are concerned about the future of the estuary."

To read the full article in the Portsmouth Herald, click here!

Simply Green, Aid Agency Team up to Provide Fuel

Jul 17, 2012

Published in the Portsmouth Herald

PORTSMOUTH — When this year's federal fuel assistance allowance had quickly diminished due to decreased budgets, Simply Green Biofuels stepped forward to fill the gap.

"This donation of 2,000 gallons of home heating oil came at a time in between seasons, and during a time when fuel assistance benefits were less than we had hoped that they'd be," said Patte Ardizzoni, economic development director at Rockingham Community Action.

RCA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit established in 1965 and dedicated to working with no-, low- and moderate-income individuals and families struggling with financial crisis, looking for educational opportunities, hoping to make the most of their assets and much more.

Simply Green Biofuels, active in the greater Portsmouth area since 2007 and covering over 18 communities, not only heats homes and fuels cars, but also actively supports the Seacoast community.

To read the full article, click here. 

Boosting Biofuels

Jul 17, 2012

Published in the Portsmouth Herald

By Michael McCord

PORTSMOUTH — A series of new federal funding grants to boost research in biofuel innovation could have a positive impact on the growing biofuel production and distribution industries in New Hampshire.

Last week, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Navy and Energy announced $30 million in federal funding to match private investments for the rapid development of so-called advanced drop-in biofuels. The Energy Department also announced $32 million in new investments for earlier stage research.

Simply Green, one of the region's largest distributors of biofuels, has developed a growing customer base for its markets in home heating oil and automobile biodiesel. Joel Bobbett, Simply Green's general manager, said this broad federal biofuel initiative could pay long-term dividends in part because it's hard for the biofuel industry to match the infrastructure capacity of the petroleum industry.

"This is some desperately needed infrastructural support for biofuels," Bobbett said. "By giving producers more tools to control costs, this should alleviate some of the price gap between biofuels and traditional petroleum. There are active biodiesel production facilities in New Hampshire that can meet additional demand were they to have access to something like this."

To read the full article, click here

Painting with a Different Brush

Jul 17, 2012

Published in Coastal Home magazine

By Jim Cavan

For Sean Sturk, co-owner of Minute Men Painters, the decision to incorporate and emphasize low-toxin or toxic-free paints in his company’s projects was made based on simple health concerns.

“We literally were feeling the effects of these [toxic] products,” recalls Sturk, who joined the Minute Men team in 2000, two years after its initial founding. “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. We grew the company to take the burden off ourselves physically, to decrease the toxicity of our products, and to learn as much as we could about them.”

Since then, Sturk and co-owner Chris Tufts have not looked back, transforming their company into one with sustainability-minded methods and products that continue to earn them as many accolades as referrals.

This issue is not yet available online, to read the full story pick up a copy of Coastal Home Summer 2012 at your local news stand.

Riverworks Charm, Values Harken to Past and Future Alike

Jul 17, 2012

Back in 1840, around the time the brick and mortar building now housing The Riverworks Restaurant and Tavern was originally built, “local” wasn’t simply the best thing; it was – quite literally – the only thing. It was a simpler time, to be sure; an epoch many decades removed from things like “globalization, “outsourcing,” “environmentalism,” and myriad other buzzwords that have come to define much of our 21st century angst.

To say many things have changed since those halcyon days would be to flirt with cliché; the paths that connected the communities of Seacoast New Hampshire still remain – albeit in blacktop – but the connections, particularly with respect to commerce, seem perpetually dimming.

Not in this two-story icon, however. From millinery to grocery store, hardware shop to – starting 32 years ago – oft-frequented restaurant, The Riverworks has served as a popular meeting place, and a community linchpin for a town that in many ways epitomizes New England Americana.

To read the full article in the Exeter Patch, click here

Green Tips from Sagamore Golf in North Hampton

Jul 17, 2012

Published in Portsmouth Herald

This week's Green Tips come from Sagamore Golf in North Hampton.

1. Mulch-cut your lawn. You can reduce your fertilizer use by using a mulching mower to leave clippings on your lawn for them to break down into a rich source of nitrogen. If you use a mower that bags the clippings, work them into your compost.

2. Incorporate seaweed into your lawn care routine. Recapture the eroded soil nutrients that have washed into the sea by integrating seaweed into your compost or garden. Look for organic products that have chitosan, a rich marine nutrient, or sea kelp to work into your fertilizer.

3. Aerate your grounds once a year, at least. This reduces thatch build-up while also increasing water flow to the root systems. Aeration also allows for increased nutrient absorption and longer lifespan of your turf without the use of fertilizers or pesticides.

To see more green tips, click here.

New GA App Poised to Bring Green Businesses, Consumers Closer

Jul 16, 2012

Published in Seacoast Online Blog 

By Jim Cavan

The past few years have seen an explosion in the use of smart phones, as more and more Americans – and those all over the world – find in their hand-held wonders a digital Swiss army knife of interconnectivity.

Whether you’re getting directions to your favorite restaurant, shopping for a last minute gift in an unfamiliar town, or looking to find the nicest hotel, today’s smart phone apps are capable of telling you just about anything, while lending an entirely new meaning to the word “convenience.”

As an organization representing over 100 local businesses from across industries and sectors, the Green Alliance (GA) has long had devices on developing an app that would bring all of their clients under one, hand-held umbrella. Those digital dreams finally came true last month when Snappii – a GA member company specializing in smart phone app development for small businesses – announced the roll-out of a comprehensive, multi-feature GA app.

To read the full article, click here

Green Alliance to launch Green Families Club

Jul 13, 2012

From the Portsmouth Herald

By Michael McCord

PORTSMOUTH — Even a popular organization such as the Green Alliance struggles with a national consumer dynamic that affects the developing green economy — people may talk green but that isn't translating into economic action.

In a little more than three years, the Green Alliance has quickly grown into a known brand name and highlighted the efforts of more than 100 business members. But GA director Sarah Brown said there is discernible divide between talk and action among its members and supporters.

"One of our main obstacles is that tens of thousands of people use us as a resource — they tell us that every single day, but they don't join," Brown said. "To me, a businessperson, it's a challenge because we don't run on stones."...

Click here to read the story in the Portsmouth Herald!

Chinburg’s Newmarket Mills Project is Building Recycling and Mini Economic Engine all in One

Jul 11, 2012

Published in Seacoast Online Green Alliance blog

By Heikki Perry

Newmarket Mills may be similar to countless other New England development projects in that it offers more than 50,000 square feet of commercial space to local businesses and will eventually feature 112 apartments. But what distinguishes this project is the greenest of green concepts —recycling old buildings; that is, the complete repurposing of a structure in a 21st century makeover.

“The vision originally comes from builder Eric Chinburg’s love of old mill buildings and that something which is beautiful, but falling apart, can be given a new life,” says Jen Chinburg, Newmarket Mills’ marketing director. “The Newmarket Mill buildings were starting to crumble and were in a state of decay. We had an opportunity to save something that’s part of the history and legacy of New Hampshire.”

Founded in 1987 by UNH graduate Eric Chinburg, Chinburg Builders has since grown to become one of the Seacoast’s most trusted and recognizable building companies in residential and commercial construction, as well as general contracting. Great Mills Management is Chinburg’s own affiliated property management company. Along the way, the company has embraced a decidedly green ethos and progressive development philosophy oriented to the region’s unique history and local heritage.

Check out the Green Alliance blog featured on Seacoast Online for the full story. 

Green Alliance Launches Families Club for Environmental Comradery

Jul 9, 2012

Published in Foster's

By Jim Cavan

PORTSMOUTH — The Green Alliance (GA) was launched in 2009 to bring green-minded businesses and consumers together, thereby helping prove the efficacy of sustainable products and services while supporting the local economy.

To date, that overarching mission has helped the GA grow from a handful of local businesses -- Simply Green Biofuels and Purely Organic Lawncare, specifically -- into a union of over 100 companies of every shape and size, and from across industries and sectors. Propelled by this green critical mass, the Portsmouth organization is poised to launch its latest initiative -- the Green Families Club (GFC) -- on July 25 with a celebration and picnic that is free and open to the public.

Designed to serve as a clearinghouse for consumer education and family-friendly local events, the GFC will allow area families an opportunity to meet and network with like-minded folks who share the common goal of going green, while saving a little at the same time.

To read the full article in Foster's, click here. 

Coalition Forms to Protect Great Bay

Jul 9, 2012

Published in the Portsmouth Herald

DURHAM — A coalition of nonprofit organizations, local businesses and a Seacoast municipality seeking immediate action to control pollution threatening the Great Bay estuary has formed under the name Rescue Great Bay.

The new coalition will work together to advance and foster public support for meaningful and immediate regulatory actions and sound management of the Great Bay estuary, according to its mission statement.

Rescue Great Bay's founding members are the New Hampshire Coastal Protection Partnership, EcoMovement, Winnicut River Watershed Coalition, Trout Unlimited-Great Bay Chapter, the town of Newington, the Coastal Conservation Association — N.H. Chapter, the New Hampshire Rivers Council, and the Conservation Law Foundation's Great Bay-Piscataqua waterkeeper.

Read the full story in the Portsmouth Herald.

In a Better World, Mary Doane Would Need to Save Fewer Dogs

Jul 5, 2012

Published in the Exeter Patch and Portsmouth Patch

By Heikki Perry

The phrase “man’s best friend” is not necessarily so, depending on where you live in the United States, especially, sometimes, in the South, where unwanted dogs ending up in shelters are more likely to be killed than adopted.

So says Mary Doane, owner of Mary’s Dogs Rescue & Adoption, in Deerfield, N.H. Ninety percent of the dogs Mary rescues are from a “high-kill shelter” in Akin County, S.C., an area that borders Georgia. She points to a cultural difference between the Southern United States and the Northeast about what it means to keep a dog as a pet, and that extends into whether that dog should be spayed or neutered.

Read the full story in the Portsmouth Patch or Exeter Patch

Green Tips from Visions Kitchens & Design

Jul 5, 2012

Published in Seacoast Online

This week's Green Tips come from Nathan Johnson of Visions Kitchens & Design, a Hampton-based company specializing in green materials and methods. Enjoy, and be sure to share with others on Facebook and Twitter! Learn more about Visions at www.visionskitchens.com

1. There are many natural alternatives to chemical cleaners. For a germ-free cutting board, slice a lemon in half and dip in salt. Use the salted lemon as a scrub for your cutting board, let soak for five minutes, and then just rinse it off.

2. Aggressive composts can digest even the hardiest of organic garbage. If your backyard compost is large enough and hot enough, you may be able to add things like pet waste, paper towels, vacuum cleaner canister contents and even fatty food waste.

3. Keeping your recycle bin in a conspicuous location will help keep recyclables out of the trash. If your bin fills up fast, ask the city for a second one; they're usually happy to drop one off during the next week's collection!

4. Cloth napkins and kitchen towels are much better for your wallet and the planet. Make your own quick set by cutting old cotton material with pinking shears. You can even use bed sheets or other fabric that needs to be repurposed.

5. Some kitchen products from decades past are very toxic. Plastic storage containers, nonstick pans and coated cans have all been shown to leak petrochemicals into our food. Alternatives like canning jars are free of plastics and bisphenol A, and come in a variety of sizes and shapes for storing dry goods, leftovers and even packed lunches.

For more green tips, visit www.greenalliance.biz or the Green Alliance blog at seacoastonline.com.

Installing Solar Electric System Sustains Climate and Your Pocketbook

Jul 3, 2012

Published in the Portsmouth Patch

By Heikki Perry

Whether donating your time or money to charity, or taking steps to help the environment, doing the right thing creates its own rewards. But when doing the right thing also adds to your bottom line, you receive double rewards.

York, Maine, resident Hilary Clark recently installed a solar electric system, comprising 30 solar electric modules — also known as photovoltaic modules — onto her roof to reduce her use of expensive, wasteful, climate-change-causing fossil fuels, and, as a result, will save up to $125 a month on her electric bill.

Read the full story in the Portsmouth Patch

Eco-artist and Activist Runs Community Supported Farm

Jul 3, 2012

Published in The Granite State Sentinel

By Emma Groves

Portsmouth—One of the hardest things about supporting a cause is practicing what you preach. Unless you’re Tim Gaudreau that is.

Beginning in 2005 with an epiphany in the beautiful smoggy mountains of Southwestern California, Gaudreau has spent his time combining his love for art with his passion for environmental issues. His 2005 project entitled “Self-Portrait, As Revealed In Trash” has since paved the way for other interactive and community oriented artwork, many of which have been installed right in Portsmouth.

The outlets for Gaudreau’s activism stretch farther than displaying it through his art, however. He’s also been involved in efforts to educate the community on art and sustainability through his involvement at schools and the community discussion board in Portsmouth.
 

To read the full story, pick up a copy of The Granite State Sentinel.  Although this article is not available online, you can visit their webiste here.
 

Local Lanscaper Rides for Muscular Dystrophy

Jul 3, 2012

Published in The Granite State Sentinel

By Ann Stromgren

Being the owner of one of the most environmentally friendly and innovative landscaping companies in the industry would have been impressive enough. But for Brian Wade, Owner of Wade Landscaping and Property Maintenance, LLC, good deeds come in numbers. A sustainability pioneer committed to educating employees and the community about green issues, Wade is also a professional firefighter, and serves on the board of directors for the Annual Trans NH Bike Ride to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Wade has been a pioneer of sustainability in his field since his company’s inception. Wade Landscaping uses organic hydroseeds and eschews the chemically harmful fertilizers used by most other landscaping companies. They compost clippings and recycle mulch. Their equipment uses non-toxic 2-cycle fuel, and all vehicles run on Simply Green BioFuels. The company also has an anti-idling policy which significantly reduces their carbon emissions.

'5 Green Tips' from ReVision Energy

Jul 3, 2012

Published in the Portsmouth Herald

The Green Alliance presents 5 Green Tips, a weekly offering from its business partners. This week's tips come from ReVision Energy, which offers comprehensive alternative energy products and services throughout New England with a focus on New Hampshire.

1. Button up: Some of the easiest energy savings come from doing some basic weatherizing of your home. Get an energy audit; this process serves as a great "road map" for what improvements will do the most good. The less you waste, the less you need.

Read the full story in the Portsmouth Herald!

Mary's Dogs: Sustainability through Adoption

Jul 2, 2012

From Granite State Sentinal

DEERFIELD – Every dog that comes to Mary Doane through her adoption program, Mary’s Dogs, has a unique story; Doane too, has traveled an interesting route to arrive where she is today. Her journey began with the study of Ecological Theology in seminary school at Boston University. In 2001 Doane embarked on a project that encompassed the spiritual connection between human beings and the natural world. Project Nature is the manifestation of Doane’s belief that “the creation of well being for individual creatures promotes sustainability and conservation on the whole.”

Doane’s world through Project Nature, and now Mary’s Dogs, provides education for people about the importance of kindness and humane treatment of all species. Here in the United States only one in ten dogs has a home and nearly 3.7 million dogs are euthanized in shelters annually. Through adoption the number of culled animals can be drastically reduced. Seeking out adoption over purchase from a breeder is more sustainable in a number of ways. By adopting a four- legged friend, Businesses like Doane’s can continue to grow and provide homes for deserving dogs. Taking on a pet is a big decision and by using Doane’s program the adoption serves a larger purpose– you are loving a dog that already exists instead of having a dog created. Supporting adoption sends a message that more stringent practices of breeding are necessary. Inviting a rescue dog into your family allows for more orphaned canines to be welcomed into the system and placed into loving homes...

For the full story on Mary Dog's dog rescue program published in the Granite State Sentinel, pick up a copy near you today! 

Brixham Montessori a Template for 21st Century Education, Green Awareness

Jul 2, 2012

Published in the Exeter Patch

By Jim Cavan

Eager to expand her growing Orchard Montessori Friends School, in 2000 Alica Johnson-Grafe took over a turn of the century historic grange hall in York, Maine. Rechristening it Brixham Montessori Friends School (BMFS), Alica – with the help of a group of dedicated parents – established the school as a nonprofit in 2001. Five years later, the space now fully outgrown, BMFS purchased and moved the school to a two-story, 9000-plus square foot building in York previously owned by a small software company.

After weeks of wall-tearing and shape-shifting, the space was transformed into what it remains today: A simple yet sense-piquing testament to a career’s work and philosophy, and the educational tradition from whence it sprang. As of this past school year, Johnson-Grafe’s thriving charge boasts 85 students, six classrooms, and a staff of 18 educators dedicated to helping the thriving school continue to serve as a regional model for alternative childhood education.

Read the full story in the Exeter Patch!

Star Island Embraces the Sun

Jul 2, 2012

Published in the Exeter Patch

By Jim Cavan

For a piece of sea-bound land temporarily called home just a few months out of the year, Star Island would seem an unlikely place for “green” to take permanent hold – why with a lone, albeit beautiful hotel, and a smattering of centuries old houses and cottages to its name.

Lately, however, the second largest – and most frequented – of New Hampshire’s Isles of Shoals has sought to prove that improved amenities and sustainability-minded practices need not be mutually exclusive.

Earlier this month the Star Island Family Conference and Retreat Center officially put online the island’s alternative energy cornerstone, in the form of a solar hot water system for the village’s 19th century cottage.

To read the full story, click here