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News release: "Greening Your Family" Sustainability Event

Nov. 4, 2009                               
PORTSMOUTH -- In conjunction with the City’s sustainability efforts and “Take the NH Carbon Challenge” campaign, local author Lindsey Carmichael will discuss her new book about “Greening Your Family” on Nov. 18 at the Portsmouth Public Library.

The event, which is co-sponsored with RiverRun Bookstore, begins at 7 p.m. in the Levenson Room. Copies of “Greening Your Family: A Reference Guide to Safe Food, Personal Care & Cleaning Products” ($14, Peter E. Randall Publisher) will be on sale.

Computers and instructions also will be available in the Levenson Room and throughout the Library for attendees to take the NH Carbon Challenge that evening, or they may take home information to complete it later. The quick online survey contains suggestions on how residents can save an average $800 annually and reduce their carbon footprints. Portsmouth residents who forward their survey receipt to are eligible for raffle prizes donated by local businesses.

Carmichael, a Portsmouth resident who holds a Master’s degree in public health, became concerned about the safety of common household products and their connection to a range of health disorders after her son was diagnosed with asthma in 2002. Her book discusses the possible dangers from food, personal care products and cleaning products.

“The disturbing truth about many of these products is that they contain chemicals that are potentially harmful to human health, particularly the health of children,” she says. “The good news is that there are safe options.”

“Greening Your Family” lists alternative eco-friendly food, personal care and cleaning products, as well as  instructions for “brewing your own” household cleaners.

The Library, located at 175 Parrott Avenue, is currently hosting displays about Carmichael’s book and the NH Carbon Challenge. The Library also has available free bookmarks with instructions on how to take the Carbon Challenge, a list of “green books,” and four “Kill A Watt” Electricity Usage Monitors for patrons to borrow to gauge energy usage at home.

Earlier this year, the cities of Portsmouth and Keene launched a competition to see which could inspire the largest percentage of residents to take the brief survey at by the end of 2009. The campaign is part of Portsmouth’s commitment to sustainability and its status as one of the East Coast’s first ecomunicipalities. 

 “Take the NH Carbon Challenge” raffle prizes include a $40 gift certificate to the Portsmouth Brewery, a $25 “market money” certificate that can be redeemed at any Seacoast Growers Association farmers market, tickets to see Brazilian jazz pianist and singer-songwriter Elaine Elias at The Music Hall, two one-year memberships to the Green Alliance providing access to exclusive discounts at 60 local “green” businesses, and three BaileyWorks recycled vinyl totes. The drawing will be held during the first week of January. Winners will be notified by e-mail. 

For more information, contact City of Portsmouth Sustainability Coordinator Peter Britz at 610-7215 or the Library at 427-1540. 
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