The Alliance GAzette

 
 
Dear GAzette Readers:

Don't we all love spring! The Green Alliance loves it so much that we're celebrating with our annual Spring Cleaning Blowout. Six of our Business Partners are offering stepped-up discounts to celebrate warmer weather and to give you a head start on a sustainable summer. Check out these great deals here!

Big news! We have two new Business Partners, Olympic Green Cleaning and Community Toolbox just recently joined with us, and we couldn't be happier. Check out their pages on the Green Alliance site, but more importantly, if you're looking for a green cleaning service, quality used building supplies, or even a good opportunity to volunteer, give them a call!

PS - you'll be reading about it if you scroll down, but don't forget our Green Alliance Music Bash coming up this Thursday! It's going to be a great time, we promise. 

Sincerely,
Sarah Brown
GA Director
 

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Green Alliance Grows Businesses, Builds Community, Throws Parties

Most people will never actually meet the owners of the many businesses they interact with on a daily basis, small businesses included. Portsmouth’s Green Alliance is in the business of bringing businesses and consumers together.

“We want to strengthen our communities in tangible ways, and that means utilizing both virtual connections and helping to facilitate the building of real human relationships,” says Sarah Brown, Green Alliance director. “Every day, we’re growing the local green economy and helping business to succeed while staying environmentally conscious, and part of that success involves bringing our members and our Business Partners together, face-to-face.”

So what do the folks at the Green Alliance do to bring everyone together? They throw some parties. On April 10th, Redhook Brewery will be hosting the next Green Alliance bash, where members can get to know each other, mingle with businesses, and most importantly, listen to music and enjoy the company of like-minded residents and entrepreneurs. The Green Alliance puts on several of these events a year to make sure that its members have the chance to get to know its businesses, in hopes of establishing a stronger bond of trust and understanding between sustainable businesses and the consumers that support them. Read the rest of the story here.

Don't forget to RSVP to our GA Music Bash by emailing sam@greenalliance.biz!


Local Solar expert sees promise in PPAs

Though the cost of solar technology has been on a gradual decline for years, the size of the investment, coupled with a stalled economy, has kept the calculus constrictive—particularly for small businesses.

Jack Bingham, owner of Seacoast Energy Alternatives in Barrington, thinks he might have a solution.

It’s called a power purchase agreement (PPA), and it’s slowly changing the way businesses are approaching the prospect of going green by virtually eliminating the up-front cost.

Here’s how it works: Rather than pay for the system outright and recoup the savings over time—typically from seven to 10 years—purchasers instead pay the equivalent of a monthly mortgage, while saving on the cost of their utility, be it hot water or electricity, in real time.

Bingham intends to use Barrington Power, a new venture committed exclusively to PPAs for small businesses, to trumpet the merits of small and medium-sized systems—essentially, those fewer than 100 kilowatts—to local and regional customers.

Over the years, Bingham has found that, while homeowners understand the straightforward value of reducing energy costs, business owners have to take myriad other factors into account when weighing the bottom line. Read the rest of the story here.


GA members get $350 off a solar PV system and $250 off a solar hot water system at Seacoast Energy Alternatives!

 

Is Wind Energy for the Birds?

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

On Jan. 29, New Hampshire wind energy advocates, including Portsmouth wind energy firm Eolian Renewable Energy LLC, dodged a bullet. The N.H. House of Representatives struck down a bill that would have placed a moratorium on wind development in the state. This would have been a major blow to New Hampshire’s progression towards brighter future in renewable energy.

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

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

The problem stems from the data’s origin – the notorious Altamont Pass Wind Farm of the Diablo Range in Central California. The farm is said to be responsible for the deaths of 4,700 birds annually (including 1,300 majestic birds of prey). This staggering number is powerful on its own, but when examining the broader impact of wind energy across the nation, the picture differs significantly. Read the rest of the story here.

Learn more about Eolian Energy here.


Protecting Your Home from Carpenter Ants

April begins carpenter ant season here in New England, where ants are the most commonly reported pest. Tens of thousands of homes in New Hampshire are affected, causing millions of dollars of damage nationwide. Even seeing just one ant can mean an infestation. According to Tom Pray of EcoTech Pest Control, if there's one, there's probably more. Lots more.

"You might see 20 one day, and none the next. But if you’re seeing them around the house, you have a nest in the house," said Pray.

Pray is the Sherlock Holmes of the insect world. Instead of solving murder mysteries, Pray specializes in solving insect enigmas. He searches homes for clues: where are insects coming from? How much damage have they caused and what's the best way to get rid of them? For Pray this is what makes the job exciting: every day is new and solving a customer's problem is what brings him satisfaction.

Soft spoken and calculated, Pray brings his education in entomology, along with over 25 years of experience to each job. Launched in 2000, Ecotech Pest Control Services aim is to help homeowners not only combat pest problems without using harsh chemicals, but by managing the environment responsible for fostering the infestation. Because of his background, Pray's confidence in pest control exudes a calm over his customers as he educates them about the most effective and sustainable approaches in safe guarding their property. Read the rest of the story here.


Green Alliance Members save 10% on mosquito, tick, and ant mitigation services!

 

 

Great Bay Stewards Hone Efforts to Reverse Decades-Long Decline of Estuary

How do you know Great Bay? Perhaps you’ve been in it in a swimsuit or a wet suit, a kayak or a boat. Maybe you’ve hiked its shoreline, fished it from a bridge or rocky outcrop. Or you’ve just enjoyed its sunlit glimmer or sea smoke, catching site of an eagle enjoying lunch on an ice floe.

Whatever your connection, you know that the Bay and its collection of seven rivers shape the topography and the culture, whether human or natural, of this beautiful place, and are a key part of what makes living on “the Seacoast” unique.

Sadly, the Great Bay Estuary, as an ecosystem, has been in steady decline for decades because of increasing pollution from development in the towns in its watershed. The biggest single current threat to the health of the Bay is nitrogen, which promotes algal growth; algae, in turn, threaten one species vital to the overall health of the Bay — eelgrass.

“The eelgrass is our canary in the coal mine. Algae are winning the war right now due to the excess of nitrogen in the estuary,” says Peter Wellenberger, executive director of the Great Bay Stewards, a volunteer-based organization working to prevent shoreline erosion, invasive plant growth, or increased nitrogen levels from human-caused water runoff, and is committed to protecting Great Bay for plants, animals, and people alike. “We are continuing to see a decline in both eelgrass cover and especially in the density of the beds,” Wellenberger says. Read the rest of the story here.


Green Alliance Members save 10% on Great Bay Stewards memberships!
 

Proulx stays in front of the green curve

There’s a tendency for decades-old, family-owned companies to eschew risk and chance in lieu of resting on laurels – to hide behind the safety of their own success and history. 

Proulx Oil & Propane isn’t one of them. 

For a company so entrenched in tradition, Proulx Oil & Propane has its sites set squarely to the future, and especially our region’s energy future. Even when Joe Proulx first founded the company way back in 1944, the impetus was a changing of the energy guard: from the soot and smoke of coal to something more efficient. Not long after, Proulx brought propane gas – cleaner and greener still – into the company fold, cementing his reputation as a forward thinking business owner.
 
Today, Proulx’s commitment to cutting edge technologies, steadfast customer service, and ever-improving products continues apace. Thanks to a fuel additive called Heat Force, Proulx is helping assure not only that their customers are burning cleaner fuel and cutting down their emissions, but reducing their need for service calls as well. 

Of course, the company was also a pioneer in offering BioHeat, a renewable-based alternative to standard heating oil. Grown on American farms, thereby reducing our dependency on foreign oil, BioHeat can be incorporated into your home or office without any significant upgrades or modifications to your heating system. Read the rest of Proulx's Green Story 
here.


GA Members receive 7 cents off posted per-gallon price of B5 Heating Oil and 10 to 25 cents off posted price for propane, AND in the month of April, new Proulx customers receive 50% off a Clean and Service! find out more here.
 
2014 Portsmouth Restaurant Week

Portsmouth Restaurant Week is here so get ready for a memorable culinary experience! Two Green Alliance businesses, Favorite Foods and The Portsmouth Brewery, are taking part in this week-long event. Favorite Foods will supply fresh, sustainable goods to many of the area’s finest restaurants. The discounts begin on Thursday, April 3 and end on Saturday, April 12.

Experience all the Seacoast and the Greater Portsmouth area have to offer during this 10-day long event. Over 50 participating restaurants on the Seacoast will offer special three-course fixed menus for lunch and dinner.

The Portsmouth Brewery has been providing a sustainable alternative for dining since 1991 with their famous handcrafted beer and local fare. Restaurant Week is the perfect way to get a taste of the Seacoast while supporting green businesses. Read the rest of the story here.


Green Card holders receive 10% off all food at the Portsmouth Brewery, and businesses can earn up to a 10% discount on their first eight weeks worth of purchases with Favorite Foods!
 
Green Collar Careers: Candace Lord, General Manager of Green Cocoon

Green Cocoon offers eco-friendly and energy efficient insulation products for clients around New England. Launched in 2007, Green Cocoon found a niche in an industry not known for being kind to the environment. By offering innovative insulators such as soy-based spray foam, cellulose and denim, Green Cocoon has gained a loyal following. Their high-performance products offer supreme moisture protection, are long-lasting and have been proven to be safe for people, animals and the environment.

General Manager Candace Lord, 29, started work with Green Cocoon in 2011. Lord is passionate about the work her company does. “I love that we can help people and the environment,” Lord said. “Our products save our clients money by reducing their heating costs, which softens their impact on the planet. It’s a win-win for everyone.” 

Theresa Conn (TC): What do you like most about your job?
Candace Lord (CL): I love meeting people and building relationships with our clients. I also like that every day is so different. I get bored quickly, but luckily my job keeps me on my toes. On any given day, I could be doing accounting in my office, pitching our product over the phone or networking at mixers. I do 50 different things all the time, and I cherish that.

TC: Where did you go to college? Does your college education help with your current job? What skills from college most prepared you for the work you do now?
CL: I graduated from Northeastern with a degree in Languages and Literature. I spent six years living in Mexico working as a simultaneous translator. After I returned to the States, I was looking for a job for almost a year before I started working at Green Cocoon. Although I didn’t get a degree in my field, I use skills I gained in college every day. While I was at Northeastern, I really learned how to interact with people. That’s been vital for my success; a large part of my job is sales, so it’s important that I’m able to convince potential clients that they need to buy our product. The organizational skills I learned at school are also valuable. Writing drafts, triple-checking things, working on a deadline, all of that work I did in college has paid off. Read the rest of the story 
here.
 
GA members save $100 on all foam and denim insulation jobs between $3,000 and $5,000; or save $200 on all foam and denim insulation jobs of $5,000 or more!




Environmental Film Festival Showcases Beauty of Nature, Positive Change

It’s well known that properly maintaining forests and bodies of water are important to sustaining a healthy ecosystem, and New Hampshire is no exception. Sometimes, it takes a truly breathtaking panoramic nature shot on the big screen to inspire people to make a change. This year, a band of local businesses and nonprofits are hoping to inspire people with a series of selected films about preservation.

On April 25, The Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire will host their 4th annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival, one stop of many on the festival’s tour. The festival, taking place at The Music Hall, will feature 12 short films, ranging in length and style, hand-picked by the Southeast Land Trust committee.

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival is held every January in Nevada City, California. Now entering their 12th year, the fest has given hundreds of environmental activists and nature filmmakers a home to showcase their stunning camera skills, all with a different theme each year. This year, the theme of the national film festival is “emPOWERment,” focusing on films about people or organizations that have taken it upon themselves to make a positive change in the environment. Within that theme, the Southeast Land Trust has also taken on a curator’s role in their selections.

“We chose several films with a water theme this year,” said Isabel Aley, Southeast Land Trust Outreach Coordinator. “Preserving this area’s water resources is something very important to the Land Trust.” Read the rest of the story here.


Become a Sustaining Member of the Green Alliance and receive two free tickets to the film festival! (to get your free tickets, email sam@greenalliance.biz after you've become a sustaining member)


The Annual Great Bay Stewards Art Show Returns

The true beauty of the Seacoast can be captured by glimpsing at the Great Bay Estuary for just a few moments. The views on the New Hampshire-Maine coastline have served as artistic inspiration for hundreds of years. It’s no surprise that the theme of this year’s annual Great Bay Stewards Art Show is “Art of the New England Seacoast.” 

Great Bay Stewards, a Green Alliance business, is hosting their yearly art show starting with an opening artists' reception on Friday, April 4 from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. The show will continue on April 5 and 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hugh Gregg Coastal Conservation Center and is free to the public.

The art exhibit will feature a variety of mediums including: oil paintings, watercolors, photography, collages, handmade jewelry and other fine crafts. Attendees can purchase artwork from popular Seacoast artists such as Bill Childs, Rose Bryant, Tom Glover, Peter Randall, Helen Hazen and Jim Higgins. 70 percent of sales from the show will go to Great Bay Stewards to fund programs like “Soak Up The Rain." All of the artists donated one piece of artwork to be raffled off in the silent auction.

Unfortunately, the artists’ muse has suffered over the years. Pollution has affected the seven rivers of Great Bay, and surrounding ecosystems. Great Bay Stewards works hard to protect and conserve the water-front, marine-life, plants and people of the community. It continuously monitors the erosion of beaches, plant growth and dangerous nitrogen levels caused by water runoff. One of Great Bay Steward's first accomplishments, as a group of volunteer residents, was shutting down a plan to build an oil refinery on the coastline. 
Read the rest of the story here.





Harbor Eyecare Center Presents a Community Enhancing Dual Front

Running a successful business is no simple feat. So when an organization takes it upon itself to go above and beyond, those efforts should be acknowledged.
Harbor Eyecare Center (HEC) in Portsmouth is one of those businesses. This eye care center houses several professionals who hold themselves to a higher degree of environmental and social responsibility, all the while offering the latest and greatest in eye care and eyewear.

Dr. Sarah Hudson is co-owner of the Portsmouth-based practice. “At HEC we take being a part of our community and a responsible business very seriously. We know our patients are our neighbors and many of our friends have become our patients and vice versa.”

Dr. Hudson admits that at the beginning of her career in 1998, concern for the environment and sustainability was not a pressing issue in the eye care industry but as that bar has risen, HEC has not only kept up but actually become a leader as one of the region’s leading socially responsible and environmentally-aware eye care practices. Hudson says that professionals and manufacturers of eye care products have come a long way since the old days when sustainability was not integrated into the industry and now “companies are making concentrated efforts to become greener.” 
Read the rest of the story here.

GA members save 20% on any complete prescription eyewear purchase at Harbor Eyecare Center!




 

Apr 04, 05 & 06 - 10th Annual Great Bay Art Show & Reception
89 Depot Rd. Greenland, NH 03840, 6:00 p.m.
Featuring works displaying the true beauty of New Englands coastal regions. Show begins Friday evening and continues through April 5th and 6th. More info at www.greatbaystewards.org

Apr 05 - Starry Brook Natural Medicine Hunger And Healthy Snacks Workshop
Starry Brook Natural Medicine, 14 Bow St Exeter, NH, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Learn about hunger issues in the local community and healthy snack ideas for kids. Food and beverages will be provided by GA Biz 900 Degrees Pizzeria. There will be nutrition crafts set up for the kids who attend. Starry Brook asks that attendees bring a non-perishable food item to donate to St. Vincent De Paul Food Pantry. Everyone who donates receives a FREE initial nutrition consultation or Reiki Healing session from Starry Brook. Families will also be entered to win several raffle items. Learn more at www.starrybrook.com

Apr 07 - Raising Dough Benefit for the Cameron John Kosinski Donation Fund
900 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria, Epping and Manchester, 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Recently, the Kosinski family lost their son CJ to a sudden illness. This event helps to offset some of the medical costs and financial burdens of CJ’s hospitalization with 10% of all proceeds going to the family. Both of 900 Degree's convenient locations in Epping and Manchester will be participating in this event. For more info, visit www.900degrees.com. To schedule your own Raising Dough event call (603) 641-0900.

Apr 10 - 2014 Coastal New Hampshire Climate Summit III - Collaborating for Solutions
Great Bay Discovery Center - 89 Depot Rd, Greenland, NH 03840, 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
A discussion-based seminar on impacts of climate change in the NH Seacoast hosted by The Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, the NH Coastal Adaptation Workgroup, and the NERRS Science Collaborative. For more info, go to www.nhblog.stormsmart.org/n-h-coastal-climate-summit

Apr 10 - Green Alliance Spring Music Bash
Redhook Brewery, Pease Tradeport, Portsmouth, NH, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m.
Join the GA at Redhook Brewery for this fantastic night of great food, beer, and music! This event is free for GA members. Non-members can join at the door at the discounted price of $25. Complimentary hors d'ouevres, cash bar and 2 local bands. Join the GA at www.greenalliance.biz and rsvp to sam@greenalliance.biz

Apr 14 - Raising Dough Event: Friends Helping Friends
900 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria, Epping & Manchester, 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
900 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria is donating profits earned on April 14 to the Friends Helping Friends 
organization. Friends Helping Friends is a nonprofit organization which benefits the families of Epping students living with long-term illnesses. 100% of the money raised goes directly to the families. Learn more at www.900degrees.com Schedule your own Raising Dough event at (603) 641-0900.

Apr 16 - Unacceptable Levels
Cinemagic in Salisbury, MA, 6:30-8:15 p.m.
Unacceptable Levels examines the results of the chemical revolution of the 1940s through the eyes of affable filmmaker Ed Brown, a father seeking to understand the world in which he and his wife are raising their children.  Reserve tickets at www.tugg.com/events/8551

Apr 17 - ENH Party for Sexual Assault Support Services
Portsmouth Country Club, 80 Country Club Lane, Greenland, NH, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Mingle with SASS's famous Safe Kids Strong Teens puppets and meet motivational speaker, police detective and former rock musician, Rick Labell. Food compliments of ENH and learn how you can support SASS when choosing ENH Power. This is a free event. RSVP to christiana@sassnh.org.

Apr 24 - Official Launch of commuteSMARTseacoast
Redhook Brewery, Portsmouth, NH, 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
A press conference and reception to promote smart and sustainable commuting choices on the Seacoast. Members of commuteSMARTseacoast encourage locals to share rides, take the bus, walk, bike or telecommute in order to support a livable and economically vibrant Seacoast community. For more info or to RSVP go to www.facebook.com/commutesmartseacoast

Apr 25 - Wild & Scenic Film Festival
The Music Hall Historic Theater, Portsmouth, 7:00 pm
One of the largest Film Festivals in North America; a collection of short films that speak to the environmental concerns and celebrations of our planet. This year’s festival theme is “emPOWERment.” Proceeds to benefit the Southeast Land Trust of NH. ReVision Energy and the GA are event sponsors. Learn more at seltnh.org

Apr 26, May 01 & 03 - Bowl For Kids' Sake To Support Big Brothers Big Sisters
Strikers East in Raymond, Ports. Bowl-o-Rama,10am-12pm, 5-7pm and 10-12 depending on date and location
Funds raised go directly toward matching children with caring Big Brother Big Sister volunteers. The event is looking for donors, sponsors, individuals, and teams to help make a difference in our community! Learn more at www.bbbs.org

May 03 - Stonyfield Organic Earth Day 5K & Green Fair
Stonyfield Farm Yogurt Works, 10 Burton Drive, Londonderry NH, race starts @ 10:00 a.m.
Green Alliance will be participating in the Green Fair during the event. Located next to the Stonyfield Visitors Center, the fair features wholesome foods for the family, a free race for children, children's activities,  live music, face painting and more! The Earth Day Fair is FREE. Also enjoy a beer garden for adults. Register for the race and/or learn more at www.stonyfield5k.com


Check out more awesome local happenings on our GA Events page by clicking here!