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Dear GAzette Readers:

We don’t like to toot our own horn too often, but if you weren’t at the Green Alliance Spring Bash last Thursday, you missed a great party! Over 200 green business owners and Green Card holders mixed and mingled while listening to the cool tunes of WXGR and were even treated to a bit of live rapping by a local performer! The success of events like these is what makes all the hard work of the GA staff worthwhile – when we begin to feel like we are indeed having a “greening” effect on the local economy and community.

With Earth Day on the horizon, we want to remind all of you to continue to engage the businesses that you spend money with – ask them about their sustainability performance, praise when necessary and urge them to change when appropriate. Use the Green Alliance as your resource and your advocate – a go-to place to learn the details of sustainability in a wide variety of industries, products and services. Do business with the green business leaders we represent, learn from others and remember: keep using your Green Card so that our Business Partners know you care about buying local and buying green!

And, an extra special welcome to new GA Business Partner, Frisbie Memorial Hospital. As we begin to work with Frisbie we will explore the environmental impact of the health care industry and what one local non-profit hospital is doing to reduce their footprint. As always we encourage you to join us – as our members grow, so grows the strength and efficacy of sustainable commerce!
 
Sincerely,
Sarah Brown
GA Project Director
 
 
  

The "rides" of spring with Papa Wheelies

It’s only 3 years old, but it has quietly become one of the Seacoast’s most anticipated April events. If you’ve ever noticed hundreds of people lined up in business parking lots at the corner of Islington Street and Elm Court on a Sunday morning in mid-April, there’s a good reason.

It’s the Seacoast Bike Swap, hosted by Papa Wheelies on Islington Street in Portsmouth. Held rain or shine, this five-hour event allows Seacoast residents to sell their old bikes, receive a store credit towards store merchandise or service, and contribute to charitable causes. This year’s Swap will take place on Sunday, April 17, 11 AM – 4 PM, rain or shine.

The Swap is the brainchild of Papa Wheelies co-owner Nat McAllister. “Three years ago, with the recession really hitting home, we wanted to help folks unload their pre-owned bikes,” explained McAllister. “We never thought it would grow this quickly!”...read more in our blog here!

Get $50 off any regularly-priced adult bicycle, $20 off any tune up, and receive FREE installation of any accessories! Also save 20% on all accessories and clothing at Papa Wheelies! Click here to learn more!
 


Seacoast Volkswagen's green efforts don't end under the hood

When hybrid cars first broke onto the scene in the early 2000s, green-minded consumers and environmentalists lauded the impressive step forward for the auto industry. Now, nearly a decade later, it seems like every manufacturer has hopped aboard the hybrid train. That includes Volkswagen, which offers a growing variety of super-efficient hybrids and diesels.

But if you ask Doug Miles, General Manager at Seacoast Volkswagen in Greenland, his dealership’s green footprint doesn’t end with the cars driven off the lot.

“We’re really lucky to be in a position where we can be an early adopter of new, green technologies, both with our cars and with our energy use,” explains Miles. “Most car dealerships in this economy have had a tough go of it, but we’re fortunate enough to have been in the market of fuel efficient vehicles for a long time.”

For starters, anyone driving by the Route 33 dealership would be hard pressed to miss the giant, 35-foot wind turbine located in front of the showroom parking lot. Installed by Seabrook-based Waterline Alternative Energies, the turbine is the first of its kind to be installed at a car dealership in New Hampshire... Read more on our GA blog by clicking here!

Join the Green Alliance and save 15% on all parts, accessories and service at Seacoast Volkswagen! Click here!




Reduce, reuse, recycle, ReStore

Some businesses explode virtually overnight. Their products or services receive rapid, although sometimes fleeting, success seemingly instantaneously.

The Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Dover is not one of those businesses. While their growth has been steady and impressive since their opening in 2008, it’s been accomplished through sweat equity, not shareholders’ equity. And Tom Boisvert, President of the Habitat for Humanity’s Southeast New Hampshire affiliate, wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Our earning customers one at a time is entirely consistent with Habitat for Humanity’s philosophy,” noted Boisvert. “Our first mission is to help the community, and when we succeed at that, growth follows.” And ReStore's special discount of 15% off all ReStore purchases during April will only help that growth.

Operating out of a 10,000-square foot, two-level space on a side street behind Central Street in Dover, ReStore stocks donated cabinets, appliances, furniture, tools and building materials, both new and used. That includes doors, windows, tile, hard wood flooring, light fixtures, and yes…kitchen sinks. The donated items are then either sold to the public – at exceptionally affordable prices – or used in the construction of Habitat for Humanity Houses. .... read more here!

Now through the end of April, save 15% off everything at ReStore with your Green Card! Click here!



Waste not, want not: the resurgance of composting toilets

Nowadays, we take such things as municipal sewer and septic systems for granted when it comes to human waste disposal. But for thousands of years, many civilizations have made prodigious use of human waste as fertilizer for croplands. In fact, during medieval times, excrement was collected from members of the ruling class, because it was believed their larger intake of food would produce more effective fertilizer!

But the advent of modern toilets and advanced sewer systems, along with the knowledge that untreated human waste may contain harmful pathogens, have largely relegated the use of human waste as fertilizer to developing nations.

However, modern composting toilets, including those manufactured by Sun-Mar, have now broken into the mainstream. These new models provide consumers with a waterless, clean, safe, and environmentally-friendly way of handling human waste without needing a septic system, a sewer connection, or a complex waste-processing unit.

“Composting toilets have come a long way,” said Jim Bruneau, general manager of Dover-based Middleton Building Supply, who stocks several models of composting toilets. “These things are perfect for boats, campgrounds, cottages, and even homes or basement offices where it’s either not possible, or cost-prohibitive to add plumbing.”.... check out the full story in our blog by clicking here!

Get $500 off a comprehensive home Nuwool Cellulose insulation job AND 5% off all regularly-priced, in-stock items at both Middleton Hampton and Middleton Dover when you join the GA! Click here to learn more!



For Suntree, each season presents unique challenges

When you think of the challenges and dangers that an arborist faces on a daily basis, chances are most of them are pretty big. Falling tree branches, slips of the chainsaw – that sort of thing.

But ask Chris Kemp of Eliot-based Suntree Tree Health Care – himself the victim of accidents of both varieties – and he’ll tell you the real threats are barely noticeable to the naked eye. The damage they cause, however, is readily apparent.

Blights, parasites, funguses, bugs – call them what you will. For Chris Kemp and others in his field, they’re big problems –problems that are becoming more and more common throughout New England, in the process costing the region millions.

“Worcester alone has spent millions combating some of these bugs,” says Kemp. “But a lot of that is grant money provided by the federal government, which has an understandable vested interest in keeping these bugs and blights out of our forests.”

In particular, Kemp and others are concerned about maples and various evergreens being affected, thereby compromising both traditional sources of timber as well as things like maple syrup. This year, Kemp is especially concerned about the Hemlock wooly adelgid, a “true bug” native to East Asia which made its way over to the Eastern U.S. decades ago and continues to exert extensive damage to hemlocks throughout North America..... check out the full story in our blog by clicking here!

Receive a complimentary tree and shrub inspection and 10% off all tree work, fertilizing, and pest control when you use Suntree! Click here to learn more!



Seacoast Media Group to help GA spread green word

A Monday afternoon at the Green Alliance headquarters in Kittery is anything but quiet. All three working desks, along with a loudly floral three-seat couch and matching chairs, stand occupied, with paid staffers and interns alike feverishly typing out blogs, spreadsheets, email contact lists, and stories – always stories.

If there’s anything the self described “green business union” is known for, it’s compiling content for and on behalf of its 94 partnering businesses – lots of it. Whether it’s their daily-updated GA Blog and Twitter feeds, radio “green-tips”, or print stories that regularly appear in local papers, it seems as if the GA brand is everywhere at once – at least here on the Seacoast.

Indeed, a large part of the GA’s success can be attributed to their prolific content distribution, which has been visible enough to help attract 2000 individual consumers into their ranks. But it wasn’t always this easy.

When the Green Alliance first launched back in 2008, Director Sarah Brown didn’t know much about running a business, let alone how to run an organization representing multiple businesses. What she had was media savvy – sharply honed during her five years covering Russian politics for the likes of CNN, NBC and the Associated Press – and a fervent desire to tell a story.... read more here!

Your Green Card saves you up to 30% on print and online subscriptions for any SMG publication, including The Portsmouth Herald, The Hampton Union, and Seacoast Online! Click here to learn more!


Rising oil prices draw attention back to geothermal

Rising tensions in the Middle East might be far too complicated to fully comprehend. But anyone who’s had to fill up at the pump or have their home oil tank topped off in the last 6 weeks understands at least one consequence of the turmoil.With oil at a two year high, American consumers are once again wondering aloud whether our century-old dependence on fossil fuels might not be reaching critical mass.

According to the Office of Energy and Planning, New Hampshire currently spends $2.6 billion every year importing petroleum products. What’s more, over half of Granite State homes use conventional oil to heat their homes.

But while some would argue New Hampshire – like New England as a whole – has little choice but to ride out the markets and hope for cheaper fuel in the future, such voices ignore the availability of another bountiful resource, this one right beneath our feet: geothermal.

According to Melissa Aho, owner of Barrington-based Ultra Geothermal, New Hampshire’s unique geology makes it a prime source for a ground source geothermal heating and cooling system.

Aho should know: to date, her company has installed over 700 systems in the Granite State alone – including 48 at the brand new campus dorms at the University of New Hampshire two summers ago... check out the full story in our blog by clicking here!

Get a FREE electrostatic filter -- complete with a 10-year warranty -- when you use your Green Card with Ultra Geothermal! Click here to learn more!

 


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Earth Day offers myriad local events for 2011

Hey greenies, what’s your favorite holiday? Here at the Green Alliance, our favorite holiday is Earth Day – no surprises there! This is our time to celebrate the Earth while promoting sustainability in our communities. We are especially excited about Earth Day this year, as there are countless events that we will promote throughout the Seacoast! A few include the Earth Day at Frisbie Memorial Hospital, Earth Day Wildcard Movie, and A Whale of a 5K Trail Race. Be sure to get out there and pay tribute to our glowing, fascinating, divine mother Earth. You can see all of these on the Green Alliance Events page!

Commence your celebrations a week early this year! On Saturday, April 16th, head over to the Wells Reserve at Laudholm for their EcoDay! This promises to be a very fun and very free event, with activities including a Green Fair, with environmental organizations and green-minded businesses, and a variety of speakers like UNH professor, John Carroll. For the younger sprouts, there will be face painting and crafts, and food and drink for all. For more information, click here!

Also on the 16th, stop by the Lee Energy Fair and get ready for next winter by learning about the latest in alternative energy that can save you some dough - you could even win a free energy audit and other prizes at the door! The fair will promote local vendors, and will include local presenters and local examples of energy savings. Read about more local Earth Day events by clicking here!

For more great happenings in and around the Seacoast, check out our GA Events Calendar! Click here!



A Perfect Move responds to chaotic month with more charity

Last month they opened a brand new, giant office and warehouse along Route 1 in Kittery. A few weeks later, they launched a non-profit repurposing store called Gentiques.

But if you think A Perfect Move – a locally-owned moving company specializing in “green” and community-oriented options and alternatives – is ready to rest on its laurels, you’ve got another thing coming.

The Kittery-based APM recently announced their latest in a long line of charitable initiatives, “Chairs for Charity”, which held its kickoff event two weeks ago.

At the initial March 22nd gathering, held at their new Route 1 space (240 Route 1, just north of the Kittery Traffic Circle), A Perfect Move invited guests to select chairs to paint or decorate. The newly embellished chairs will then be auctioned off for charity on April 21st. According to Genevieve Benton, owner of A Perfect Move, around 30 people showed up to select their chairs for decoration.

“The initial turnout for the people selecting the chairs was very impressive,” said Benton. “People were very enthusiastic about having the chance to make the chairs their own and see how they’d do at the auction.”

In fact, APM’s April event is being held in tandem with the Green Alliance’s monthly Business Partner meeting. All proceeds from the auction event will benefit the Children’s Literacy Program.... read more here!

Now through May 1st, use your Green Card to get 10% off all moving services with A Perfect Move! Learn more here!




1st Annual Lee Energy Fair slated for April 16th

Along with warmer weather and longer days, the coming of spring also means more town fairs.Not only are these fairs an excuse for families to officially end their winter hibernation; they’re also a way to get reconnected with the community.

But far from wheeling out the popcorn machines, hot dogs and balloons, the town of Lee is focusing on another theme of the season: green.

On Saturday, April 16th, Lee will hold its first ever Energy Fair at the Mast Way School on Route 155. The Fair is being sponsored by the town of Lee and conducted by Dover-based Sustainable Development and Energy Systems (SDES).

The idea for the fair arose out of an earlier partnership between Lee and Sustainable Energy and Development Systems (SDES), the sister company of Revolution Energy which has conducted a number of energy audits and other efficiency measures for the town and throughout the state.

The fair will feature a number of booths and vendors representing alternative energy and green-oriented companies from throughout the region .... find out more here!

Green Card holders receive a FREE consultation for alternative energy systems from SDES / Revolution Energy! Click here to learn more!




  • Apr 6 – Jewett Farms & Co. Continuing Education Series featuring Carlisle Wood Plank Floors –7 to 8:30pm, 58 Merrimac Street, Newburyport, Massachusetts. Jewett Farms' Continuing Education Series gives customers an inside look at innovative, creative, and green ways to help rennovate and beautify your home. There is no registration fee, but please do call (978) 961-1538 or email studio@jewettfarms.com to R.S.V.P.
  • Apr 9 Awaken to Action – 9am to 5pm, Maple Hill Farm, Hallowell, ME. Maine's Interfaith Power & Light (MEIPL) is holding an event at Maple Hill Farm in Hallowell, ME to explore the role of Maine's faith communications in adapting to and mitigating climate change.
  • Apr 9 Our Island Earth– 7:30 pm, Trinity Lutheran Church, Newington, NH. The Community Chorus at South Berwick (CCSB) is preparing a Spring Concert titled Our Island Earth, wholly dedicated to our planet. A highlight will be the premier performance of This Fragile Blue Orb, written for this occassion by CCSB Music Director and Conductor, Dr. Harry Moon. For more information, click here, or call 207-384-7059.  
  • Apr 10 Trash 2 Treasure Fundraising Banquet – 5:30 to 7:30pm, Memorial Union Building, UNH. To help combat campus waste at year's end, SEAC is initiating a program called “Trash 2 Treasure.”  SEAC will collect usable items that otherwise would end up in landfills, store them over the summer, and hold a 3 day yard sale as students return to campus in late August. For more information on this event and UNH SEAC email it's organizer at banker.lauren@gmail.com or visit the organization's Facebook page.
  • Apr 10 Our Island Earth– 7:30 pm, Trinity Lutheran Church, Newington, NH. The Community Chorus at South Berwick (CCSB) is preparing a Spring Concert titled Our Island Earth, wholly dedicated to our planet. A highlight will be the premier performance of This Fragile Blue Orb, written for this occassion by CCSB Music Director and Conductor, Dr. Harry Moon. For more information, click here, or call 207-384-7059.  
  • Apr 12 – Seacoast Local Member Mixer – 5:30 to 7pm, Allen Wayside Furniture, Portsmouth, NH. Co-hosted by Green Alliance business partner Simply Green Biofuels and Allen Wayside Furniture. There will be raffle prizes, drinks and snacks. For more information and to RSVP contact members@seacoastlocal.org
  • Apr 16– Newmarket Farmers Market – 9am to 1pm, 220 South Maine Street, Newmarket, NH.  Come to the first winter farmer's market in NH to buy delicious local food, and see your friends & neighbors. Shop for the freshest fruits and vegetables, dairy products, locally raised meat and NH grown wines! For more information, click here!
  • Apr 16 – Go Green Fair – Time TBD, Windham High School, Winham, NH.The event will include raffles, games, speakers, debates, and a lot to learn. We can make a difference one community at a time. Please Contact kfgaea@aol.com for more info
  • Apr 16 – Wells Reserve Eco-Day – Wells Reserve at Laudholm, Wells, ME. Activities include a Green Fair with environmental organizations and green-minded businesses, a variety of speakers including UNH's John Carroll, face painting and crafts for kids, and food and drink. For more information, click here, call 207-646-4521 ext. 144, or email diana@laudholm.org
  • Apr 16Lee Energy Fair – 12 to 4pm, Mast Way School, Lee, NH.  Come to the Energy Fair in Lee and learn tips and techniques that will save you money. The Fair will showcase local area vendors, include local presenters and provide local examples of energy savings. You could even win a free energy audit and other door prizes! For more information, click here
  • Apr 17 Seacoast Bike Swap – 11am to 4pm, Papa Wheelies, 653 Islington, Portsmouth, NH.  This bike recycling program allow you to either sell your old bike or buy the perfect used bike. There will be hundreds of used bikes for sale! For more info call Nat or Josh at Papa Wheelies at 603.427.2060.
  • Apr 21 A Perfect Move Hosts the Green Alliance’s April Meeting – Chairs for Charity – 6 to 8pm, 40 US Route 1, Kittery, ME. A Perfect Move hosts the Green Alliance's April Business Partner Meeting. Come join them in their Chairs for Charity live auction event featuring a mountain of unique chairs designed by local, notable artists. Green Card holders will receive a 10% discount on their winning bid, and Green Cards will be available for purchase at the door. Proceeds will support children's literacy projects on the seacoast area!
  • Apr 22 – Earth Day at Frisbie Memorial Hospital – 10am to 4pm, Frisbie Memorial Hospital, Rochester, NH. Come gather information about "green" products and services. Also enjoy free seedlings, and raffles. For more information, call Michelle at (603)330-8986, or email at M.Landry@FMHospital.com
  • Apr 22 92.5 The River’s 2nd Annual Earth Day Concert  – 12 to 3pm, Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston, MA. This year’s event will include free music, a kid's zone and other fun Earth Day activities. The celebration will feature live performances by BoDeans, Entrain, and a special guest that will be announced later! For more information, call (978)374-4733 or email Hfayed@wxrv.com, or click here
  • Apr 22 – Earth Day Wildcard Movie – 7pm, Portsmouth Music Hall, Portsmouth, NH. The festival brings together a selection of short films to document the splendor of, and the challenges facing our planet in addition to the work communities are doing to protect our environment. More more information, email Chris at ccurtis@themusichall.org, or call 603-433-3100.
  • Apr 23 A Whale of a 5K Race & Festivities to support Odiorne's environmental education programs – 7:30 am (race registration), 9am to 12 (environmental education festival), Seacoast Science Center, Odiorne State Park, NH. For more information, click here.
  • Apr 29 Blood Drive at Waterline Alternative Energies – 2 to 7pm, 7 London Lane, Seabrook, NH. Waterline Alternative Energies will be hosting a blood drive at their corporate office to help provide aid to those affected by the massive earthquake in Japan. All are welcome. Anyone who is interested and would like to sign up should visit www.redcrossblood.org and put in the following code: NH9658
  • May 1 Children’s Day 2011– TBA, Downtown Portsmouth. The event is sponsored by Pro Portsmouth, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating and sustaining the vitality of Portsmouth's arts, culture and history through events and community collaboration. Visit the GA and Isles of Shoals for green kids activities down on the docks! For more information, click here, or call 603-610-5521. 
  • May 1 New Hampshire No Impact Week – Wherever you may be. The No Impact Experiment is a one-week carbon cleanse, which was inspired by the book and film and person, No Impact Man, Colin Beavan and his No Impact Project.  From May 1st to May 8th, you are challenged to lower your impact in a different way (Monday is trash, Tuesday is transportation, etc.) When you register, you will receive an info guide for with tips and goals for your challenge!
  • May 1 Solarfest  – 11am to sunset, Boulder Field, Durham, NH. Solarfest is a free music festival put on by the UNH Student Environmental Action Coalition entirely run on solar power. Join SEAC as they wrap up Earth week in this full day celebration of green vendors, artists and muc more!
  • May 1 Cycle the Seacoast – TBA, Portsmouth Middle School. Click here for more information, or to register for the ride. Click here if you'd like to donate online, or call 888-241-6566 extension 0312 to donate over the phone. All donations go to the American Lung Association.