Blog : Green Families Club

By Madelaine | Jan 16, 2014 | in

The Green Alliance (GA) was launched in 2009 with what seemed at the time, a clear-cut goal: to bring green-minded businesses and consumers together, thereby helping prove the efficacy of sustainable products and services while supporting the local economy. To date, that overarching mission has helped the GA grow from a handful of local businesses – Simply Green Biofuels and Purely Organic Lawncare, specifically – into a union of over 115 companies of every shape and size, and from across industries and sectors.

Propelled by this green critical mass, the Portsmouth organization launched the Green Families Club (GFC) on July 25th 2012.

Designed to serve as a clearinghouse for consumer education and family-friendly local events, the GFC allows area families an opportunity to meet and network with like-minded folks who share the common goal of going green, while saving a little at the same time.

The club is the brainchild of GA Director Sarah Brown and Marketing Director Bridget Sprague, who – during an internal meeting late in 2011 – noticed a tie binding many of the organization’s over 3,000 consumer members.

“After we started looking at who are members were a little more closely, we realized that a lot of them were moms and dads – people who had a very real vested interest in safer, greener, more local products and services,” recalls Brown. “We realized pretty quickly that bringing families together – helping them learn from one another – would be a great way to help bring more attention to these businesses.”

Businesses like Green Earth Baby Works, Acorn Organic Salon, and The Natural Dog and Holistic Cat – all of which boast uniquely family-centric wares. Indeed, Sprague envisions a network of businesses and families with workshops, field trips, picnics, and special sales serving as the club’s interactive pillars.

“We want this to be the most fun, inclusive group you could imagine,” exclaims Sprague, who for years did marketing for some of the countries most recognizable companies but decided she wanted to focus her efforts and expertise on socialy responsible, environmentally-conscious small businesses. “We’re pretty sure it will be the first of its kind, which is also cool.”

According to recent studies, 85% percent of all household purchasing decisions are made by moms. What’s more, 50% of mothers surveyed said they supported more green choices in the marketplace – and that number is growing all the time.

After years of struggling to convince the American consumer that “going green” was, in fact, the more sound fiscal decision, it seems like that message is finally beginning to ring truest where it once rang hollow: the one holding the household purse strings.

“As a mom, your first and last instinct is to protect your children from harm, and that’s increasingly grown to include harmful chemicals and products,” says Brown, herself the mother of three school-aged daughters. “Luckily now we actually have access to the information and can educate ourselves about what makes a product green, and why – when it comes to issues of health and durability – they can actually save families money in the long run.”

GFC membership includes “Green Families Club” discounts to GA Businesses, all of which currently offer standard members exclusive freebies and deals, including 10% off at popular local restaurants, and hundreds of dollars off an alternative energy system.

With the economy still sputtering to a forward crawl, minding the family budget has, for many families around the country, turned into its own side job. Despite having been largely buffered from the recession’s more dire effects, Brown says the Seacoast is hardly an exception to the new rules of frugality.

“A lot of families had very young children when the recession hit – in a sense it’s all they’ve known,” she says. “And the recession is definitely all the GA has ever known, because we started our organization right in the middle of it. But that’s what makes the Green Families Club such a unique thing: we all understand the value of a dollar a little better than we did even five years ago; and our Green Families Club helps community members get the best and safest value for that dollar and boost our own local green economy at the same time!”

To Join The Green Alliance visit http://www.greenalliance.biz/join.