Meadowbrook colors the town green


July 22, 2009
Early Jackson Browne fan arrivals were greeted at the entrance of the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion by clusters of local businesses and utility companies setting up stands for the Greenerpalooza II Energy Efficiency event last Thursday.

Together, Meadowbrook and the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, alongside Public Service of New Hampshire, and Ocean Bank, sponsored the evening's festivities.

While the "green" vendors worked the entrance to the pavilion, the first ever Greenerpalooza award was given out at Meadowbrook's Center Stage Buffet. The recipient was Richard Ober, chair of the NH Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Energy Board, for his 30-year dedication to energy efficiency and renewable energy causes.

"We are on the road to a new energy economy in New Hampshire, with better jobs, more jobs, less fossil use and dealing with climate change. A clean environment is a healthy economy," said Ober. "There's not another state like New Hampshire working together. We develop programs and policies that will help New Hampshire. Private facilities like Meadowbrook show other companies the way, and that is what's changing the direction right now."

Although Ober said he finds it a privilege to win the first Greenerpalooza award, he noted that there are still hundreds and thousands of people working toward a green state and green world.

Steve Boucher, legislative director from the Division of Economic Development, presented the first award to Ober and spoke on his ties with Meadowbrook.

"We have a tremendous relationship with Meadowbrook. When they went green, it allowed artists to come in and use biofuel to run generators. Sustainable energy is where it's at."

The audience is also educated, said Boucher.

"We have reached 5,000 people," he said. "We are reaching 3,000 people today."

Meadowbrook has been known to pick artists who are interested in going green.

Chris Lockwood, marketing director of Meadowbrook, explained that last year, the facility decided to go green, conserve energy, cut waste, and find alternative methods to run concerts on.

"We have a comprehensive recycling program, where we recycle glass, paper, and aluminum," Lockwood said. "Our biodegradable cups here are made out of corn and take five years to decompose in the earth, versus 70 to 80 years for plastic cups."

Biodiesel is also available for an artist's tour bus or machinery on site in order to keep the air clean.

"Artists can use our green option anytime," Lockwood said. "It's the artist's preference. Some artists think it can be noisy and choose not to. Being green himself, Jackson Browne wanted to use it."

According to Lockwood, Meadowbrook's Greenerpalooza event also educates the concert goers who receive an e-mail on the matter prior to the concert.

"When artists are going green, we can make a bigger impact on the audience," he said.

Meadowbrook also teamed with local radio station The River for one of their two concerts run on Solar Power with the Crosby Stills and Nash band.

"It went really well, despite the rain," said Lockwood.

Green savvy New Hampshire stores and utility businesses on site ranged from earth-friendly department stores to Laconia's Energy Services and Technology Program.

Solar Store representatives Jack Bingham and James H. Gamble ran a video to explain how their energy efficient, solar hot water systems worked as an alternative to fossil fuels.

"It's actually very simple," said Gamble, who also had water saving toilets on display.

Many department store stands, such as Real Green Goods from Concord, Mother and Child from Nashua, and 1 World Trading Co., displayed stainless steal water bottles, the seemingly new craze in environmental mindfulness, alongside other local and organic items from t-shirts to jump ropes.

Representative Jonathan Gregory from Real Green Goods, with over 700 products, explained that steel Klean Kanteen products don't leech into water, while leeching may be possible with plastic bottles.

"There's a lot of estrogen in some plastics," he said. "Stainless steel doesn't rust either, like aluminum. Glass is best, but that doesn't work for everyone."

Real Green Goods constantly updates their information and changes their products upon research, said Gregory who hinted the new Smart-strip product may soon become popular in conserving electricity.

Other stores, such as Sundance Solar Co. from Warner, focus on small energy system products, selling cell phone chargers, 12 watt blenders, lanterns, and more run solely by solar power.

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