Blog : January 2014


Two Firms’ Natural Alliance Promotes Dogs’ Health, Safety and Happiness

By Herb | Jan 20, 2014 | in

Two local companies that are dedicated to bettering dogs’ lives are collaborating in ways that benefit each firm, and by doing so, they are furthering the causes to which they strive to assist.

The Natural Dog and Holistic Cat in Portsmouth has created a synergistic alliance with Deerfield-based Mary’s Dogs Rescue & Adoption, improving the health, well-being, safety, and happiness of rescued dogs and generating good will and business for a leading-edge pet supply store.

Dawn Price, a registered dietician and pet food industry expert, with her husband, Jeff, opened The Natural Dog, Inc. in Newburyport in 2005 and The Natural Dog and Holistic Cat in 2013, which is also helping Mary’s Dogs. Both stores are committed to providing the most healthy, all-natural, organic, green and responsibly manufactured pet foods and supplies out there. The Natural Dog stands as a beacon of what’s possible when nutrition, sustainability, and good old-fashioned localism stand at the fore of a business’s ethics.

Both Dawn and Jeff Price pride themselves on meticulously researching the best products for their customers’ pets. For them, quality trumps popularity, every time, which is why they work with companies that are either local, family-owned, or do a handful of things well.

Today, both locations boast a bevy of green, all-natural products, including bamboo and hemp collars, lead-free bowls, beds and toys made from recycled materials, premium cat and dog foods (including the Seacoast’s largest selection of raw foods), natural shampoos, biodegradable waste bags, beds, snacks, biscuits, herbal and whole food supplements, flower essences and more.

Mary’s Dogs Rescue & Adoption has a strong reputation for saving dogs stranded in shelters, looking for the right match between dog and owner, and following up the placement with expert advice to new owners to ensure the match is a lasting one. But if a match is not a good one — and sometimes they’re not, said Mary Doane, owner of Mary’s Dogs — the search will start anew for the right match. As it turns out, almost 100 percent of the dogs Mary’s Dogs rescue eventually end up in the right house.

GREEN STORY: Gundalow Company Sails Into History

By Jim Cavan | Jan 20, 2014 | in

Every business that joins the GA undergoes a thorough, 20-question Evaluation, complete with Report card and -- as you're seeing here -- a Green Story! Congratulations to the Gundalow Company for being the latest Business Partner to complete the process. As you'll soon see, they did very, very well!

Ever since they first began working on the rivers the Piscataqua Region in the mid 1600’s, gundalows have been thought of as the tractor trailer trucks of their time.

Designed to move along with the tides, these locally unique vessels – essentially flat-bottomed cargo barges up to 70 feet in length – helped to shape the commerce and trade of the entire Seacoast region, transporting goods and people before roads and bridges became viable options.

Founded in 2002, the nonprofit Gundalow Company aims to connect residents of the Seacoast and beyond with this historic icon of river commerce, while instilling a sense of environmental stewardship for the Piscataqua region’s cherished waterways.

In 2011 the organization built a new gundalow – The Piscataqua – as a floating classroom for school and youth groups. They also offer two-hour public sails for up to 42 passengers Memorial Day through the end of October. Their daily river tours – which typically last about 2 hours – depart primarily from Portsmouth and are a great way to experience our rivers. They offer a variety of special sails too such as concerts, lectures, sunset sails, private charters, free trips for kids on Saturday mornings, and even brunch on Sundays.

“The gundalow is an icon for the Portsmouth community that sets it apart from nearby regions,” states Executive Director, Molly Bolster. “This is the only place the gundalows existed quite like this and so it inspires a sense of place for people– different from any other coastal community.”

Click here to read the rest of the Gundalow Company's Green Story and see their score!

Colonial Stoneworks: Granite State of Mind

By Jim Cavan | Jan 20, 2014 | in

Few regional calling cards resonate with more authority than Granite State, that steadfast New Hampshire nickname that serves as much as a reflection of the state’s people as it does the endless bounty of rock beneath them.

During the 19th century, New Hampshire boasted one of the country’s largest – if not the largest – granite industries in the country. Even today, the town of Milford (still known colloquially as “Granite Town”) houses one now-defunct quarry made famous for its part in helping construct the U.S. Treasury Building, whose New Hampshire-borne pillars can still be seen on the back of the ten dollar bill.

But while the granite mining industry has since largely fallen by the wayside, one New Hampshire company is determined to make sure that both narratives – of a people’s resourcefulness, and of a proud state’s namesake – continue to thrive.

Adam Bennett is the owner of Windham-based Colonial Stoneworks, which provides services ranging from simple walkways and stairways to elegant fireplaces. On the surface, the services and skills Bennett offers might not seem that different from others in his field. Rather, it’s how the 28-year-old does it that sets him apart from the pack.

Colonial places a heavy emphasis on reclaimed and recycled materials, many of which are local. In many cases, the project fodder will come right from a client’s back yard – literally.

Won't You Be Our Neighbor!?!?

By Patrick | Jan 17, 2014 | in


Local Schools Get Acquainted with Big Brothers Big Sisters

By Mary | Jan 17, 2014 | in

PORTSMOUTH — Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Seacoast recently announced its partnership with eight local high schools and four surrounding sites from the Portsmouth area. The School & Site Based Mentoring Program matches Bigs with Littles in the classroom environment. William Allen School is one of the participating schools ecstatic to be part of the program. The guidance counselor at William Allen School, Julie Thompson, claims “it is a resounding success!”

Executive Director Stacy Kramer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Seacoast says, “Being matched in a school or site is a great opportunity for adults who want to give back to the community but don’t have a great deal of time.”

Bigs meet can with their Littles in a comfortable setting during lunch or on the playground after school gets out. The pairs meet for an hour a week to work on homework assignments, read books together, or to chat about family and friends. Bigs from the selected high schools can earn required community service hours while simultaneously influencing the lives of their Littles in a positive way.

Independent Radio Gets the Independent Edge with Favorite Foods' Restaurant Series

By Madelaine | Jan 16, 2014 | in

SOMERSWORTH – Over the past 25 years, Favorite Foods has built a strong reputation for quality products, magnificent customer service, and an emphasis on locally owned restaurants and businesses. Now, they are working with Boston radio station The River to give back to the businesses they serve.

Favorite Foods was presented the New England Food Service Distributor of the Year award in 2013 by the Griffin Report of Food Marketing for their dedication to their clients and to superior food products. Its most recent promotion is called “Operators Edge Promotion Series,” an on-air restaurant review series that spotlights businesses who use Favorite Foods as their distributor.

Every other week, 92.5 The River features a different Favorite Foods restaurant. River personalities Rita Cary and Carolyn Morrell take turns visiting restaurants and reviewing the experience for an advertisement on The River. In addition to an informative review, they also offer listeners a chance to win a Favorite Foods dining and entertainment package. Listeners can register online for a chance to win a gift certificate from a Favorite Foods restaurant and a pair of tickets to a local concert, play, or other event in the area.

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.

Gateway hosts Chinese New Year celebration

By Madelaine | Jan 16, 2014 | in

PORTSMOUTH — A Green Alliance business partner, Gateway, Taiji, Qigong & Yoga, will be hosting a celebration of The 2014 Chinese New Year in Portsmouth. The event will be held from noon to 5 p.m. on Feb. 1. There will be visual arts, martial arts, children's activities, and acupuncture. Gateway will also hold an open house featuring massage and foot reflexology, brow shaping, and beauty consultations.

2014 is The Year of The Horse. Chinese culture describes the horse as a symbol of nobility, class, speed and perseverance. Specifically, this year is The Year of the Wood Horse. The energy of wood embodies rebirth and growth, high energy, and productivity. Other attributes include fast victories, adventure, and romance.

The day will be packed with exciting events for people of all ages! The celebration will begin with a children's parade featuring a dragon mask created by Newmarket kindergarten students. Following the parade will be various children’s activities, including Chinese brush painting and folk tales. Next, there will be several martial arts demonstrations including Taiji Fan (Marsha Carr) Taiji Sword and Taiji Yang Style Long form (Bill Buckley), plus a dramatic Kung Fu form demonstrated by Jeremy Shaw. There will also be an exciting lineup of Seacoast artists, health practitioners, and martial artists.

Additionally, there will be an open house for the other businesses located at 875 Islington Street. Participating businesses include Face Body Spirit, Jennifer Harrison Skincare, Patrix Salon, Vanish Laser Studio, and Personal Touch Electrolysis. Some of the services offered will be chair massage, reflexology, and skin and beauty consultations.

Winter – Prime Time for Tree Maintenance

By Madelaine | Jan 16, 2014 | in

PORTSMOUTH — Winter is the optimal time for tree and shrub pruning, tree removal, and other services offered by Cornerstone Tree Care. The bare trees and frozen ground make it a great time to do tree maintenance. Frozen ground minimizes landscape damage and allows greater equipment access to trees. With no perennials present, you don’t have to worry about them being damaged during tree work activities.

The lack of leaves on the trees allow for clearer sightings of dead wood, which when removed can help improve a tree’s health. Bare trees also make structural pruning and stand thinning much simpler to execute. Pruning fruit trees now will help improve food production in the future and create good structure. Services like thinning, pruning, and tree removal are also made easier because sap is stored in the tree’s roots this time of year. This makes trunks and braches lighter and easier to handle. This could save you time and money.

Alternative Healthcare Making Strides

By Madelaine | Jan 14, 2014 | in

EXETER — Starry Brook Natural Medicine offers a warm alternative approach to medical care. The practice takes time to get to know all of its patients in order to better treat their medical or emotional problems. Its approach is to consider the whole person and provide hope.

Starry Brook is a one-stop shop, providing services for the entire family. The staff treats patients with a variety of methods from prescriptions to nutrition. They offer services such as acupuncture, massage therapy, diet counseling, and the Emotional Freedom Technique.

Recently two new members have joined Starry Brook Natural Medicine team. Starry Brook owner Dr. Robyn Giard is excited to welcome Alicia Rossman, RD and Rosalyn Hardy, LMT to the practice. These practitioners will help expand Starry Brook’s capabilities by bringing their own unique skills to the table. Rossman specializes in nutrition counseling and provides private yoga sessions for Starry Brook patients. Hardy provides rehabilitative massage therapy.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Celebrates January as National Mentoring Month

By Mary | Jan 14, 2014 | in

January is National Mentoring Month at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Seacoast! BBBS is proud to have so many dedicated “Bigs” who volunteer their time to “Littles” in need of advice, guidance and perspective. The young kids involved in this program are paired with reliable advisers who act as real-life siblings, mothers, fathers, and role-models.

Big Brothers Big Sisters wants to thank the 300-plus Big Siblings who put in tremendous effort each and every week. These individuals deserve recognition for all of their hard work as mentors. They spend countless hours creating memories, telling stories and building genuine friendships with children who face hardships in their home or school life.

The “Big” Sisters and Brothers meet and converse with their “Littles” about their lives and encourage them to explore the world and seek out opportunities for their future. Adult mentors have incredibly positive impacts on their matches and are essential to the BBBS organization.

Great Works Chiropractic Gives Back to the Community

By Mary | Jan 14, 2014 | in

SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — Great Works Chiropractic & Wellness is a Green Alliance Business Partner determined to help individuals live healthier lives by realigning their bodies with a gentle, drug-free approach. Dr. Seth LaFlamme, the founder of Great Works, strives to help his patients reach their optimal potential by creating a balance of body, mind and spirit. He and wife, Dr. Brianna Duga, provide a holistic solution for back ailments, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, asthma, joint pain, and a variety of other illnesses.

Dr. Seth starts at the root of his patients’ health problems, the nervous system. He has a firm grasp of the body’s self-regulating processes. Our bodies can easily be bogged down when we make poor health choices and then choose to ignore the consequences.

Acorn School's Green Story

By Madelaine | Jan 14, 2014 | in

Did you know that every business/organization in The Green Alliance undergoes a full and transparent Sustainability Certification? GA takes a look at what makes the business green and where they have room to improve. Check out Acorn School's Green Story below and learn more about what makes this nature-based school green! To read all of Acorn School's certification documents, click here

To say that the Acorn School isn’t your typical pre-K and kindergarten would be an understatement. At any given time, you could find yourself walking through a Native American Village, U.S. post office, Serengeti plains or an ocean abyss – the kinds of classrooms that not only engage a child’s creative capacities, but make the process of learning as fun as possible.

Launched in 1972 by Rebecca Shepard, Acorn found its permanent home when it purchased a plot of land in Stratham, New Hampshire in 1975. In 1987, the school officially became a nonprofit, with a volunteer Board of Directors including parents of current and former students. Through the years, Acorn has remained steadfast in its efforts to maintain a low student-to-teacher ratio, providing more one-on-one interaction, communication, and personal growth

Today, the school uses its beautiful surroundings to help forge a curriculum and philosophy aimed at stirring within their students an appreciation for the natural world. From their comprehensive commitment to the 3 Rs – reduce, reuse, and recycle – to composting and maintaining a robust garden, Acorn’s green focus promises to be an educational staple for years to come. Meanwhile, their beautiful outdoor tree house classroom – built with the help of Little Green Homes, and dedicated to the memory of Candy Ray, a former teacher – gives students a chance to make nature a classroom they’ll never forget.

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

By Herb | Jan 13, 2014 | in

Green Alliance

GREAT BAY 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.

A Green Alliance member, the Stewards have recently announced a new campaign — and one with teeth — to help reduce one of the biggest sources of nitrogen deposition in the Bay. “We’ve set up a partnership to reduce pollution, particularly nitrogen, from residential sources,” Wellenberger says. Called Soak Up the Rain Great Bay, it partners GBS with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services’ Soak Up The Rain New Hampshire campaign. As the name implies, the goal of Soak Up the Rain is to reduce the amount of pollution carried into waterways by surface runoff.