News : April 2015

Willem Lange and Windows to the Wild Age with Grace

Apr 30, 2015

Originally published on Portsmouth Patch. 

By Mike Bizier

DURHAM- For many New Englanders, there is no greater joy than being in the outdoors. People of all ages from around the region feel an unbridled sense of freedom and inspiration while on the many mountains, trails, and waters scattered across the Northeast.

One man who enjoys sharing New England’s natural wonders with others is 80-year-old outdoor adventurer Willem Lange. As the host of the New Hampshire Public Television (NHPTV) program Windows to the Wild, Lange is a guide for viewers as he hikes, paddles, and climbs his way across this distinct region. With a gray beard, years of experience, and friendly demeanor, Lange is the embodiment of the classic American folk hero.

 
NHPTV will celebrate both the 10th anniversary of Windows to the Wild and Lange’s 80th birthday on Saturday, May 30 at the AMC-Highland Center at Crawford Notch. Guests will receive signed copies of Lange’s latest book Words from the Wild, a DVD collection of Lange’s eight favorite episodes, and an orange paisley bandana- a well-known staple in Lange’s hiking attire. 
 
To read the full story on Portsmouth Patch, click here.

 

Stonyfield Goes the Extra Mile at Earth Day 5k

Apr 30, 2015

Originally published on Portsmouth Patch.

By Mike Bizier

LONDONDERRY- Many people may know Stonyfield Farm for their organic yogurt, but what customers might not be aware of is that Stonyfield puts an equal amount of care into sustainability as well. In 1997, the company became the first in the US to eliminate all greenhouse gases from facility use. In 2006, Stonyfield successfully implemented a waste water treatment system that converts waste into biogas, and in 2010 the company introduced the first yogurt cup made from plant-based materials.

It’s clear that at Stonyfield, every day is Earth Day.

Stonyfield will celebrate Earth Day on Saturday, May 16 with a 5K race followed by the company’s Earth Day Fair. The Fair will be held at Stonyfield Yogurts Works campus from 10 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and is free to the public, and guests are encouraged to arrive at least an hour before hand. A large turnout is expected, with over 1,400 attendees slated to come.

To read the full story on Portsmouth Patch, click here. 

Spray Foam Insulation Offers a Reputable Career

Apr 30, 2015

Originally published on Seacoast Online.

By Sam Ueda

SALISBURY, Mass. – Mike Materkowski grew up in Amesbury, Mass. and has lived there for 25 years. He was given an opportunity to try his hand at insulation with Green Cocoon when his brother Jim started the company in 2006; this initial foray has led to a productive and fulfilling career installing spray foam insulation in homes across New England.

Spray foam insulation isn’t your average contractor’s job. It’s hot, sweaty, and takes precision. The installer must work quickly, as insulation is just one of a whole line of fundamental work that must be done before other aspects of construction can move forward.

Materkowski takes it all in stride.

“Sometimes we have roofers who come in thinking they can handle the heat, and they have a lot of respect for what I do after,” he laughs. “It’s a tough job, but very rewarding.”

Installing spray foam is a crucial element to building a house. Those who work with spray foam work in high heat and on a tight schedule, but knowing that a tightly sealed home can save families money is a motivating factor for employees.

Materkowski, who has worked with the Green Cocoon as a foam installer for nearly eight years, says the job is rewarding in more ways than one.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online, here

Great Bay Steweards Near Their Restoration Boardwalk Fundraising Goals

Apr 29, 2015

Originally published on the Portsmouth Patch.

GREENLAND – By this time next year the boardwalk at the Great Bay Estuary will be gone. Or at least that’s the hope of the Great Bay Stewards, and they’re close to accomplishing their goal. Now that the boardwalk is nearing the end of its life the Great Bay Stewards (GBS) have set out to raise the almost $350,000 needed to restore it.

It’s their intent to replace the existing boardwalk with a new, more functional, environmentally-friendly one. And after a lengthy fund raising campaign, they only need to raise another $8,000 to match federal grant money before the Stewards hand the money over to the state. Then the New Hampshire Fish and Game, which manages the Great Bay Reserve, can put the project out to bid.

Peter Wellenberger, the executive director of the Great Bay Stewards, said he hopes to have the rest of the money raised by June 1 so they can start the contract process at that point. Wellenberger hopes to begin construction in November and have the project completed by next spring.

“Everything is on schedule,” Wellenberger said. “We want to start construction on Nov. 1 and in the spring of 2016 it should be complete.”

Read the full story on Patch.com here.

Rett's Roost to help children, families fighting cancer

Apr 27, 2015

Jim Cavan served as Director of Media for the Green Alliance for nearly five years. After suffering a tragedy, he and his wife, Deana, have found the strength to launch a non-profit you'll want to learn more about!

Originally published in The Portsmouth Herald.

DOVER – A local couple who recently lost their infant son to cancer announced plans to open a retreat center for families with children afflicted by the disease.

Deana and Jim Cavan have established Rett’s Roost to offer weekly and weekend retreats for free or by donation to families who have a child currently in treatment, in remission or who have lost a child to cancer. On-site programs will focus on healthy body and mind, such as yoga, meditation, arts and crafts, healthy meals and outdoor exploration.

Rett’s Roost is named for Everett, the Cavans’ baby boy who passed away in February after a five-month battle with rhabdoid tumors. Rett would have celebrated his first birthday on Monday, April 27. Throughout Rett’s illness, his parents shared their story in Seacoast Sunday as well as online through social media.

Read the full story in The Portsmouth Herald here.

Gearing up for fourth annual Komen race

Apr 27, 2015

Originally published on Seacoast Online.

PORTSMOUTH – Organizers of the fourth annual Komen New Hampshire Race for the Cure are gearing up for the 5K run and walk to benefit Susan G. Komen Vermont-New Hampshire and the regional fight against breast cancer.

On Saturday, May 9, participants start and end the 5K at Strawbery Banke Museum with a race course through historic downtown Portsmouth.
This year, Jacqui Bryan of Rye will be the 2015 Honorary Team New Balance Ambassador. For each Race for the Cure, the VT-NH affiliate has the opportunity to choose a local survivor who represents the mission of Susan G. Komen.

Bryan, a 12-year breast cancer survivor and former N.H. Race for the Cure co-chairwoman, is also co-emceeing this year’s event, announcing each person crossing the finish line and cheering on the runners.

“In 2003, at age 37, I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer,” Bryan said. “Never in my life have I felt so out of control. I was no longer in charge of my life, cancer was.”

Read the full story of Seacoast Online here.

Chinburg Properties introduces new riverfront development

Apr 27, 2015

Originally published on Seacoast Online.

ROLLINSFORD – Scout Landing is a new home community off Church Street in Rollinsford and consists of 15 home sites ranging from about a third of an acre to just over one acre.

Each home at Scout Landing is custom built by longtime Seacoast builder Chinburg Properties and will feature an Energy Star certification. Prices are starting in the low $300,000 range. The Gove Group will help buyers find the perfect lot. Scout Landing has home plans to suit a variety of needs and lifestyle. Styles include colonial, ranch, cape and bungalow.

Chinburg Properties places no restrictions, allowing homeowners to completely customize their homes. Many home plans have options for first floor master suites, office space, or room for future expansion.

Scout Landing boasts the best of both worlds, tucked away in a quaint, wooded area, less than a mile to downtown South Berwick, Maine, with its shops and restaurants, and only a 10-minute drive to downtown Dover and 30 minutes to Portsmouth. Scout Landing is adjacent the Salmon Falls River, allowing easy access for kayaking or canoeing with beautiful scenery.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online here.

The First Annual Day of Fitness for Suicide Prevention

Apr 27, 2015

Originally published on the Patch and Seacoast Online.

DOVER- Fitness is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, along with proper nutrition. But it also provides an outlet to improve mental health functions.

On May 9, Integrated Fitness of Dover will host the first annual Day of Fitness at their facility in Dover, New Hampshire. The event is free, but donations for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention are accepted.

“I have been personally looking for ways to make a difference for people who have been affected by suicide,” said Integrated Fitness owner, Jon Arnold.

“My 23-year old sister took her own life about 2 years ago. It was a horrific ordeal that our family went through. We don’t want that to affect anyone else if we could possibly help it.”

Read the fully story on the Patch here and on Seacoast Online here.

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Proulx Oil & Propane

Apr 27, 2015

Originally published on Seacoast Online and York County Coast Star.

What: In the last year, Proulx Oil & Propane has acquired another heating company and expanded service into central southern New Hampshire from its headquarters in Newmarket, furthering the growth of BioHeat in the region.

It's not an unfathomable feat for a company that is considered a leader in biofuels and its green sister company, Proulx AutoGas. Proulx Oil & Propane is a successful home heating company that specializes in BioHeat, a renewable-based alternative to standard No. 2 home heating oil, and cleaner burning propane and natural gas, all products that help home owners reduce carbon emissions.

When Joe Proulx founded the company in 1944, the impetus was a changing of the energy guard: from the soot and smoke of coal to something more efficient. Eventually, the next generation of the Proulx family brought propane gas into the company fold, cementing its reputation as a forward-thinking and environmentally minded company. Today, Proulx, still a family-run company, remains a leader in sustainable initiatives and efficient home heating. Some of Proulx’s latest progressive offerings include the Heat Force additive, which helps fuels to burn cleaner, and a transition to paperless billing for all of their fuel customers.

Originally published on Seacoast Online here and on York County Coast Star here.

Craft Brew Alliance Releases 2014 Sustainability Highlights

Apr 27, 2015

Originally published on the Business Wire.

PORTLAND, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Craft Brew Alliance, Inc. (“CBA”) (NASDAQ:BREW), a leading craft brewing company, announced today the release of its second Annual Sustainability Report. The company began publishing the report last year as part of its commitment to track and measure the impact of its sustainability efforts company wide. The 2014 Annual Sustainability Report provides an overview of the company’s sustainability priorities, programs, and community and national partnerships, as well as highlights of its progress against key annual objectives.

“As one of the largest craft brewers in the United States, we believe we have a responsibility to continue setting the standards for brewing great-tasting, high-quality craft beers in the safest, most efficient and sustainable manner possible,” said Scott Mennen, vice president of Brewery Operations for CBA. “The progress we achieved in 2014, which includes reducing our water usage to industry-leading levels, reducing our electricity usage by 13% across our breweries, and earning green restaurant certification in all of our pubs, has given every one of our employees a direct line of sight to the impact we can make through our commitment and focus on sustainability.”

Read the full story on the Business Wire here.

SnAPPii Helping Firms Go Paperless

Apr 27, 2015

Originally posted on Fosters Online.

By Mike Bizier

ROCHESTER - Every business uses expensive paper documents.

With the U.S. consuming nearly 30 percent of the world’s paper, it’s clear there is an opportunity for alternatives.

Rochester-based SnAPPii creates apps that ease a business's reliance on paper documents for invoicing, project management, and health and safety inspection. With an easy DIY app creation system, and an on-call service for premium accounts, SnAPPii is growing its business.

With its My PDF Form Manager, SnAPPii is able to directly upload existing PDF documents to Apple and Android products without losing valuable information.

“There’s not a business on the planet that doesn’t have a form, and we noticed that the bulk of the time we spent was actually recreating forms they already have,” SnAPPii owner Alex Bakman says. “I kind of looked at that and said, ‘Well, why can’t we use their existing forms?’ If we could do that, then we could go from zero to 60 in three seconds.”

GateWay Celebrates Self Defense and Well-Being on World Taiji Day

Apr 23, 2015

Originally published on Seacoast Online.

By Mike Bizier

PORTSMOUTH- The martial art of taiji (pronounced tai-chee) and qigong (pronounced chee-kung) have been practiced for centuries. In Chinese, the word qigong literally translates to “energy work,” a concept that is essential in Taiji. Unlike the hard forms of martial arts, like karate, taiji focuses on using the body’s energy, or qi, to support physical activity. Since 1999, Taiji and Qigong have been celebrated on a global scale as World Taiji Day.

In Portsmouth, GateWay Taiji, Qigong and Yoga will host its own World Taiji Day event on Saturday, April 25 from 8:00 a.m – 4:00 p.m. featuring a range of special classes for attendees as well as student demonstrations.

“The basic concept of World Taiji Day is to try and get as many people involved with this as possible,” says Bill Buckley, GateWay’s owner. “It’s kind of like a meditative sit-in. Schools across the country and the world get together and practice on this particular day.”

Read the full story on Seacoast Online here.  

On Tap: Good Food, Good Beer, Good Green Fun

Apr 23, 2015

Originally published on Portsmouth Patch and Hampton/North Hampton Patch.

By Kristyn Lak Miller

HAMPTON - Set on a historic 14-acre farm, Smuttynose Brewery’s new farmhouse restaurant, Hayseed, energetically enhances the farm style dining experience. And the restaurant, like the new brewing facility, keeps sustainability at the cornerstone of their operation.

“From recycling to buying bio-degradable products, we have a very conservational mind behind all designs and projects,” says Hayseed Executive Chef Kevin Hahn.

In 2013, Smuttynose moved to Towle Farm in Hampton from its original location in Portsmouth. In purchasing the land, Smuttynose inherited the property’s aged barn and Victorian-era farmhouse. From the beginning, the Smuttynose team knew they wanted an on-site restaurant and the house met their aesthetic criteria.

“It was perfect for a restaurant and, by creating Hayseed, we were able to save and repurpose a really unique building,” says JT Thompson, Smuttynose’s official Minister of Propaganda.

The farmhouse was completely renovated—with the exception of the character-worn staircase—and showcases local products, like the lumber used liberally around Hayseed’s interior that was milled from red oak trees cut down during construction of the brewery.

“Being an old farmhouse, Hayseed is welcoming with an inviting exterior and a relaxed interior,” says Thompson. “It has a comfortable simplicity—it’s timeless, with no temporal references to 2015, while also being not at all bland.”

To read the full story on Portsmouth Patch or Hampton/North Hampton Patch, click here or here

Gundalow Gatherings Teaches Children and Adults About the Seacoast's Maritime History

Apr 23, 2015

Originally published on Seacoast Online and Portsmouth Patch.

By Corey Lim

PORTSMOUTH – The rivers of the Piscataqua Region are the veins running through the seacoast’s historic maritime region, connecting commerce, trade, people and history. Between 1690 and 1900, the vessels that dominated these waters of the Piscataqua Region were gundalows – flat-bottom, shallow drafted cargo barges reaching 70 feet in length. These unique ships helped shape the way business ran throughout the seacoast region, transporting goods and people before roads and bridges were viable options. But as the rail system became the preferred method of trade, gundalows, and the waterways of the seacoast, fell out of favor. Today, The Gundalow Company, a non-profit organization based in Portsmouth, uses educational programs aboard recreation gundalow ships to ensure that the people of today and tomorrow understand the significance of the region’s maritime heritage and environment.

On April 25 the Gundalow Company will host the 4th Annual Gundalow Gatherings, a night of food, drinks and conversation focused on the area’s maritime history and future conservation. Attendees of the fundraising event can choose between nine dinner locations held at the homes of the hosts in Portsmouth, Kittery and York, Maine. All of the evening’s proceeds support the Gundalow Company’s 2015 education programs.

According to the Gundalow Company’s Operations Director, Sue Cobler, the Gundalow Company’s award-winning education programs help to connect younger generations to their natural environment, as well as its history, to foster future generations of river stewards. Cobler credits the hand-ons experience students are given to work step aboard a replica gundalow and sail the Piscataqua River, learning how to operate the vessel.

“The cultural and natural history of the area comes alive as students join the gundalow crew,” Cobler said.

For Cobler the fundraising events, like the Gundalow Gatherings, are important to make educational programs like hers accessible to all students, regardless of their ability to pay.

To read the full story on Seacoast Online or Patch, click here or here

Gundalow Gatherings Teach About Maritime History

Apr 23, 2015

Originally published in the Portsmouth Herald.

By Corey Lim

PORTSMOUTH — The Gundalow Company's fourth annual Gundalow Gatherings is Saturday, April 25, a night of food, drinks and conversation focused on the area's maritime history and future.

Attendees of the fundraiser can choose between nine dinner locations at the homes of the hosts in Portsmouth, Kittery and York, Maine. All proceeds support the Gundalow Company's 2015 education programs. The Gundalow Company, a nonprofit organization based in Portsmouth, uses educational programs aboard recreation gundalows to ensure people understand the region’s maritime heritage and environment.

Operations Director Sue Cobler said the Gundalow Company's education programs help connect younger generations to their natural environment and history to foster future generations of river stewards. Cobler said fundraisers like the Gundalow Gatherings help make educational programs accessible to all students, regardless of their ability to pay. "Each dollar we raise goes directly to reduce the cost of our programs to students," she said.

Each Gundalow Gatherings dinner has an overarching topic to be discussed, including linking gundalows to global aquaculture, sustainable seafood, lobstering, the history behind Portsmouth's clipper ships, understanding the humpback whale and others.

“Besides raising money for our school programs, our Gundalow Gatherings serve to educate adults on current issues related to their natural environment and maritime history,” Cobler said.

To read the full story, click here

Volunteers take part in Earth Day cleanup at Pease

Apr 23, 2015

Originally published on Seacoast Online. 

By Jesse Scardina

NEWINGTON — Tarsia Kenny returned to the Redhook Brewery on Pease International Tradeport with a shopping bag full of garbage.
Among the trash were several beer cans loose plastic, a plastic water jug and a hubcap.

“Unfortunately I did expect that,” Kenny, an environmental scientist who works on Pease, said during an Earth Day cleanup event Wednesday afternoon. “I’m going to go back out there and see what else I can find.”

The Pease cleanup was organized by both Redhook Brewery and the Green Alliance, a Seacoast-area sustainability organization.

Employees of several Pease-based businesses including Redhook, Lonza, Newmarket Inc. and others encouraged employees to take some time during Earth Day to help clean up the area surrounding Hodgson Brook, an impaired waterway running through Pease that connects to North Mill Pond and eventually the Piscataqua River. 

To read the full story on Seacoast Online, click here. 

It's Earth Day and Portsmouth Offers A Party For The Planet

Apr 22, 2015

Originally published in Business NH Magazine.

By Katelyn Monroe

Redhook Brewery of Portsmouth and the Green Alliance, which is headquartered in Portsmouth, are celebrating 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 can enjoy live music and complimentary food. Not only that but $2 from every beer purchased goes to the local environmental nonprofit Hodgson Brook Association plus there will be free ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s.

The event will bring together sustainable business leaders, green-minded residents and Ben & Jerry’s fans. The Party for the Planet is 6-9 p.m. at Redhook Brewery in Portsmouth with a $5 entry fee also going to Hodgson Brook. All are invited but Green Alliance members get in free and clean-up participants get free raffle tickets for every bag of trash collected.

Green Alliance Director Sarah Brown says, “A business like Redhook is ahead of the curve when it comes to sustainability and is thrilled to be hosting green business leaders, 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.” 

To read the full story in Business NH Magazine, click here

Green Alliance to host Earth Day party

Apr 22, 2015

Originally published on Seacoast Online. 

By Katelyn Monroe

PORTSMOUTH – Redhook Ale Brewery and the Green Alliance will celebrate Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22 with a drop-in cleanup 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 with the cleanup from 3 to 6 p.m. and guests can enjoy live music and complimentary eats. From each purchased beer, $2 goes to the local environmental nonprofit Hodgson Brook Association. There will also be free ice cream compliments of Ben & Jerry’s. 

The event brings together sustainable business leaders, green-minded residents and Ben & Jerry’s fans. The Party for the Planet is from 6 to 9 p.m. at Redhook Ale Brewery at Pease International Tradeport with a $5 entry also going to Hodgson Brook. All are invited and Green Alliance members get in free and cleanup participants get free raffle tickets for every bag of trash collected. 

 
To read the full story on Seacoast Online, click here. 

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Purely Organic Lawncare

Apr 21, 2015

Originally published in the Portsmouth Herald.

Who: Purely Organic Lawncare

What: Though it is a small company, Purely Organic Lawncare, based in Portsmouth, with licenses in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts, has the capabilities, and equipment, to maintain both commercial and residential properties and to do so naturally.

The company services all of the New England region's lawn issues: from weeds and crabgrass to ticks, mosquitoes, grubs and snow removal in the winter. Part of Purely Organic's efforts to keep lawns and properties looking their best, is its avoidance of traditional chemicals for yards and gardens. And these products are not just harmful to the plants.

Purely Organic also recognizes the negative effects chemical-based fertilizers have on pets and children. The company's team of professionals works with the natural composition of a homeowners' property, servicing it with liquid and granular fertilizers, an eco-friendly corn gluten product for crabgrass management and Acelepryn, a low toxicity and low environmental impact insecticide for grub control. Purely Organic also offers a hybrid lawn-care solution the blends organic and non-organic treatments for properties with severe damage, implementing this blend until a property reaches its healthy, natural state and can be maintained with organic treatments.

To read the full story in the Portsmouth Herald, click here

Minute Men paints the town green

Apr 21, 2015

Originally published in New Hampshire Business Review.

By Michael McCord

Sean Sturk had a choice to make after he finished college. He could take a more traditional career path, putting to use his degrees in business and marketing. Or he could continue doing the work he'd enjoyed since he was a teen – getting his hands, face and neck dirty while managing a paint crew and becoming an expert.

“I began painting when I was in high school and excelled at it. I learned a lot when I was put in a management position and ran crews,” said Sturk, co-owner of Minute Men Painters of Portsmouth. “I realized I could make more money painting than being an intern and doing something else.”

Sturk also owned and operated a retail paint store where he expanded his knowledge of the products and applications, including eco-friendly options. With his expertise and education, Sturk turned Minute Men Painters into a regional leader in the "green painting" revolution when he took over the company in 2000.

“We take pride in our sustainable practices while protecting and adding to the beauty of the homes around us,” said Sturk.

Since its founding, Minute Men has committed itself to sustainable practices and products. In particular, the use of low- or no-volatile organic compound (VOC) paints and finishes, which are non-toxic and environmentally friendly. Minute Men also conducts its own testing of new industry products with low- or no-VOC claims. “We test to uphold our own standards and don’t just take their [industry] word for it,” Sturk said.

To read the full story from New Hampshire Business Review, click here.

Green Alliance to host Earth Day party

Apr 21, 2015

Originally published in the Portsmouth Herald and Portsmouth Patch.

By Katelyn Monroe

PORTSMOUTH – Redhook Ale Brewery and the Green Alliance will celebrate Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22 with a drop-in cleanup 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 with the cleanup from 3 to 6 p.m. and guests can enjoy live music and complimentary eats. From each purchased beer, $2 goes to the local environmental nonprofit Hodgson Brook Association. There will also be free ice cream compliments of Ben & Jerry’s.

The event brings together sustainable business leaders, green-minded residents and Ben & Jerry’s fans. The Party for the Planet is from 6 to 9 p.m. at Redhook Ale Brewery at Pease International Tradeport with a $5 entry also going to Hodgson Brook. All are invited and Green Alliance members get in free and cleanup participants get free raffle tickets for every bag of trash collected.

Cleanup participants should meet at Redhook to get their collection bags and location and are urged to pick up as much trash as possible. One ticket for every bag filled will be given to participants for the Party for the Planet raffle. While Redhook and the Green Alliance encourage folks to participate in both the cleanup and the after party they are separate events and visitors are welcome at either or both.

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

Redhook is a staple on the Seacoast's craft brewing scene, but also a leader in sustainable business practices.

To read the full story from the Portsmouth Herald and Portsmouth Patch, click here and here

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

Apr 17, 2015

Originally published in Foster's Daily Democrat, 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 on Fosters.com here, 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.

New Hampshire’s big storms are getting bigger

Apr 6, 2015

Originally posted on the Nashua Telegraph.

By David Brooks

New Hampshire has seen more of an increase in the size of its heaviest rain and snowstorms in recent decades than any state in the country, and such “maximum annual precipitation events” are becoming part of the planning process for some businesses.

“Five years ago, it was the early adopters. Now, we’re seeing pretty much every business ... acknowledge that this is an important aspect of doing business,” said Sarah Brown, executive director of the Green Alliance.

She pointed to Coca­Cola Bottling Co. of Northern New England in Bedford, which has multiple disaster­ preparation plans for dealing with road closures – which snarl its distribution network – or employees unable to get to work.

“We already prepare for flooding, already prepare for storms. ... Some companies look at climate change, and we don’t label it that because we’re always preparing. It’s part of our business, just because of what we are,” said Ray Dube, whose title for the firm is sustainability manager. “Does it become a hassle when it’s three snowstorms in 11 days? Yes – that did cause some people to scratch their heads and start thinking.”

Read the full story on the Nashua Telegraph here.

Keep It in the Family

Apr 6, 2015

Originally published in Taste Magazine.

By Craig Brown

Stepping into 900 Degrees Pizzeria's second location in Epping is to take a step into a living family history. It's exterior may not seem like it at first-glance, but once inside, 900 Degrees is an impeccably green-centric restaurant built with sustainability in mind and family at its heart. Located in the new Brickyard Square Plaza off Calef Highway in Epping, New Hampshire, 900 Degrees has a cozy atmosphere with dropped wood ceilings and wood tables. Low lighting creates a worldly ambiance that is more Italian cafe than strip mall pizza joint.

When owner Priscilla Lane-Rondeau first saw the available location, it was like an artist approaching a blank canvas. She knew right away that she wanted to include as many local and eco-friendly features as possible. "Because it was new we were able to do some fun stuff," Lane-Rondeau says.

Read full story in the latest edition of Taste Magazine, Volume 12, Number 2.

Rochester Company Paves way for Local App Market

Apr 2, 2015

Originally published on Seacoast Online.

By Mike Bizier

ROCHESTER- It’s estimated that more than 90 percent of all Americans own a smartphone, a massive consumption that has created a strong demand for mobile technology, and it’s easy to see why. Mobile apps offer businesses an advantage in a variety of ways, ranging from analytics to customer-relations management, and even easing collaboration and human resource services. Gartner Inc., a leading technology and advising company, predicts by late 2015, there will be 4.9 billion devices connected to the Internet, an increase of 30 percent from 2014.

New Hampshire entrepreneur Alex Bakman started up his company SnAPPii in 2011 to bring Android and Apple iOS apps to the local business level and help smaller businesses compete in the 21st century.

“My motivation was to solve some of the problems of mobile app development,” Bakman says. “I realize that people need about a gazillion apps because, as the Apple commercial goes, ‘there is an app for that.’ We now live in a world where there is a growing sense that each of us does indeed need an app for everything. Businesses that can meet this demand are finding handsome rewards in profits.” 

Read the full story on Seacoast Online here.

Wild and Scenic Film Festival Inspires and Unites Green Businesses

Apr 2, 2015

Originally published on Portsmouth Patch.

By Mike Bizier

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 just a three month application process, Wild and Scenic On Tour can bring the festival to local communities throughout the country.

In the seacoast of New Hampshire, the festival will be held on Friday, April 24 at the Music Hall Historic Theater in Portsmouth at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $16 at the Music Hall Box Office, with an extra $5 for online purchases. About 500 attendees are expected, and there will also be a free raffle with donated prizes from local businesses. 

To read the full story on Portsmouth Patch, click here.