Blog : May 2014

adaptDESIGN Finds the Creative in the Specific

By Magill | May 20, 2014 | in

By Jim Cavan

A cursory glance through adaptDESIGN’s scrolling online portfolio paints a picture of a company for which size and scale mark the makings of a masterpiece—gorgeously grand New England homes gently guided towards their platonic ideal.

But as a recent Portsmouth project proves, Bob Cook and Paul Fowler are just as prone to parlay even small renovations into something bigger, better and bountifully more beautiful.

It began as many architectural undertakings begin: by way of a referral from an earlier adaptDESIGN client. That project, also located in Portsmouth, yielded an exemplar of Cook and Fowler’s grander gambits—from 1920s Dutch colonial to a beacon of modern design and practicality.

Lynne S., by contrast, was less concerned with an all-out overhaul as she was a particularly pressing problem: how to turn a three-bedroom, 1940s Cape into a space capable of accommodating four children and her own mother.  

Isles of Shoals Memorial Day Cruise and Weekly Cruise Ticket Giveaway!

By Katie | May 20, 2014 | in

The Isles of Shoals Steamship Company and the Green Alliance are working together all summer long to give members and future members deals on local island adventures! Each week we will be posting a story on Monday, with details of how to win a free ticket from the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company! This week, we'll be giving the ticket to the first person to become a Green Alliance member and email confirming that they have joined.

Are you familiar with the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company, and the many cruises they offer throughout the summer? Enjoy Memorial Day aboard the Thomas Leighton, and kick off summer with an expertly narrated Isles of Shoals and Portsmouth harbor tour with the added bonus of a guided walking tour on Star Island! Disembark and explore Star Island with a knowledgeable narrator or get adventurous and explore on your own. This cruise provides approximately 1 hour on Star Island.  

Green Collar Careers: Dr. Robyn Giard of Starry Brook Natural Medicine

By Theresa | May 19, 2014 | in

Dr. Robyn Giard, of Starry Brook Natural Medicine, is a leader in the rapidly expanding field of alternative and natural medicine. Along with prescribing medications and ordering labs as a primary care physician, Dr. Giard offers her patients acupuncture, botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, counseling, and homeopathy. “When I meet with a patient, I consider more than just their symptoms,” says Dr. Giard. “I think about my patients in a holistic way. What is the root cause of their health issue? Could it be an emotional problem, or an environmental one? It’s important to think outside the box.”

Theresa Conn (TC): What do you like most about your job?
Robyn Giard (RG): I love that I can make a difference in a patient’s quality of life. The old medical model of more drugs for health clearly doesn’t work. On top of making us dependent on pharmaceuticals, we now know it has an impact on our environment through urinary excretion of medications. Starry Brook Natural Medicine offers alternative methods for our patients to get well. I get really excited when patients realize they’re in charge of their own health, and they start to make their own, healthier changes!

The Annual Green Alliance Summer Cruise

By Sam | May 19, 2014 | in

Every year, the Green Alliance holds its Isles of Shoals Steamship cruise, and this year's is coming right up! Mark your calendars for Thursday, July 10th, and join us as we set sail on the Piscataqua with music, complimentary hors d'oeuvres, cash bar, and all your Green Alliance friends! The cruise leaves at 7:30, so make sure to jump onboard early! The ship will dock at 9:30, but will stay dockside until 10, so you can continue to enjoy the party well after sunset. We're pleased to be partnering with New Hampshire Public Television to put on this event, so you'll be enjoying the company of us and the folks at NHPTV as well!

Spring an Opportunity To Refresh and Brighten With Sustainable Paints

By Craig | May 19, 2014 | in

By Heikki (Herb) Perry
Green Alliance Correspondent

Spring is in full swing and a homeowner’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of spring cleaning.

“Spring is a great time to empty the closets, de-clutter, move the furniture and get your walls and ceilings painted,” says Sean Sturk, owner of Minute Men Painters. “And since there will be new colors of nature outside, why not put new colors on your home, a change that can significantly impact your psyche and make you feel better?”

Established in 1998, Minute Men Painters is a Portsmouth-based painting company committed to providing reliable, professional and sustainable services to every improvement project in the paint arena. Minute Men typically works on jobs within a 30- to 40-mile radius from Portsmouth, an area that includes Southern Maine down to Newburyport.

Film Unbound presents: Portsmouth Short Film Event

By Ali | May 19, 2014 | in

Grab your popcorn and settle in for an evening of short unique films presented by Film Unbound. This media production company creates films, promotes artists with potential, and gives production demonstrations to invested parties.

Each month Film Unbound puts on an event known to the seacoast locals as the Portsmouth Short Film Nights (PSFN). This event generates a lot of attention from the public and is looked forward to by many. At the end of the night audience members get the opportunity to personally ask questions to the filmmakers. Making the experience personal and educating for filmmakers and entrepreneurs looking to expand their business. For all those aspiring producers film submissions are always welcome and are free to the filmmakers!

The PSFN has traveled around Durham and the city of Portsmouth. They have visited numerous bars and restaurants including The Press Room, several Strawberry Banke locations, and the Portsmouth Public Media.

Green Alliance Members Spring Cleaning Blowout Deals

By Ali | May 19, 2014 | in

April showers have brought May flowers, which means summer is just around the corner! The Green Alliance is kicking off the season with the annual Spring Cleaning Blowout sales. A select few of the GA’s Business Partners are offering springtime discounts on their services. No more procrastination, the end of the deals are approaching on May 31st for all Green Alliance Members!

You are a Green Alliance member, aren't you?

If you're not, there is no better time to sign up than right now. Just a look at all the deals we have!

Harbor Eyecare Center: Tom Ford Styles Show

By Ali | May 19, 2014 | in

By Patrick Martin 

Since the dawn of spectacles, eyewear has come quite a long way in terms of fashion. From the highly distinguished and aristocratic monocle to the first pair of bifocals, glasses and more specifically frames have become increasingly customizable to each and every individual.

Join Harbor Eyecare Center on May 22 as they celebrate the stylistic side of vision while introducing their new Tom Ford frames line.

Harbor is excited to offer the work of a designer as prestigious as Tom Ford. His work can be seen on the faces of many celebrities including Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, and even Kim Kardashian.

In addition to refreshments, the Portsmouth-based eye care provider will be offering a free frame giveaway and other exclusive deals throughout the evening. Don’t miss your chance to check out the Tom Ford Style Show and get to know your local sustainable eye care professionals!

It's time to Hit The Decks!

By Sam | May 16, 2014 | in

Portsmouth comes alive in the summer, and just like any other season, there is ritual and celebration. Hit The Decks is put on every year by the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, where Portsmouth’s restaurants can celebrate the season of waterfront dining.

What’s in it for you? Two words: drink specials. With dozens of businesses participating, you’ll find something interesting around nearly every corner. So yes, that includes our friends out by the water. Don’t forget to stop by Poco’s Bow Street Cantina and the Portsmouth Brewery for Hit The Decks specials all night tonight!

As always, if you're a Green Card Member, you can save 10% on your bill at the Brewery or at Poco's.

Blue Ocean Society Invites You to Celebrate World Ocean Day

By Magill | May 16, 2014 | in


In celebration of our beautiful home along the seacoast, Blue Ocean Society is launching their first formal event for World Oceans Day! World Oceans Day began in 2002 and is a growing event that honors the marine environment. To celebrate this event, Blue Ocean Society has a weekend filled with beach clean-ups and an award ceremony recognizing groups and individuals who have made efforts to protect the ocean.  

As a advocate for the environment and a Green Alliance Business Partner, Blue Ocean Society works to protect our seacoast waters through research and public action. One of the ways in which Blue Ocean Society involves the public in their efforts is through organized these beach clean ups. To recognize World Oceans Day, the Society is hosting the Aquarion Water Company Environmental Champion Awards followed by a clean up of Hampton Beach on June 7th.   

This is the very first year in which the Aquarian Water Company has presented awards for efforts in the state of New Hampshire. They award individuals, non-profits and companies who have shown great efforts to improve the environment and water quality. The award ceremony will take place at the Seashell Complex in Hampton Beach, located right by the Blue Ocean Society’s Discovery Center. Senator Nancy Stiles will help present the awards.  

Commute Green

By Ali | May 15, 2014 | in

Green Alliance is supporting Commute Green! Tomorrow, May 16th is the Seacoasts 12th annual bike or walk to work day! When you ride your bike or walk to work, stop in at one of eleven free Commuter Breakfasts around the region along the way. Enjoy your delicious free breakfast and sign-in to enter a raffle of great prizes donated by local businesses. Breakfast locations include Dover, Durham/UNH, Exeter, Kittery, Newmarket, North Hampton, Pease TradePort, Portsmouth Downtown, Rye and Stratham. Join the tour de Breakfast and stop at all of the ones in Rockingham County. Click here to register!

Protecting New Hampshire's Hidden Coast

By Ali | May 15, 2014 | in

Summer is beginning to peak out from behind the clouds and the days are getting warmer. For many people this means a trip to the beach, so what better way to enjoy the weather than by visiting the Great Bay!

Many people use what the Bay has to offer, whether aesthetically or for recreational purposes. However, few people realize the important, and necessary, role it plays in the community as well as to the species that live there. This is where Green Alliance business partner, the Great Bay Stewards are stepping in.

Guest Blog; NH Homeowner: Solar is “The Best Thing I’ve Ever Done”

By Magill | May 15, 2014 | in

 This is a guest blog by ReVision Energy about a home install in Dover, NH.  As a GA partner you can save $250 on a ReVision solar energy system (either PV or hot water) as well as $250 to "pay it forward" to a GA non-profit. 

Self-described as a “Conservative card carrying member of the Sierra Club,” Mark Boren has a passion for protecting the environment that derives from a college civics class. “The professor told me, ‘If you take one thing away from this class, it’s this – if you care about something, do something about it,’ and for me that was that something was the environment,” Mark says. “But it took a lot of years and buying my own home before I could do something big.

 Something big, in this case, was a triumverate of systems: solar hot water, solar electricity, and air source heat pumps, which combine to evict oil from the Borens’ home and nearly eliminate their electric bill.

Community Toolbox: People Helping People

By Craig | May 15, 2014 | in

People helping people. It's what Community Toolbox, Inc. does best. Take for example an Exeter woman who uses a wheelchair. She was unable to leave her home because of an incomplete access ramp. With just a few tools and some wood, one of Community Toolbox's volunteers was able to give the woman her life back.

This is just one, small, story out of the many that Community Toolbox can share. They're in the business of helping others live safe, healthy lives without worrying about repairs and renovations that can be too daunting or costly for homeowners to take on themselves.

As a three-fold business, Community Toolbox offers homeowners the chance to make the necessary improvements to their homes without emptying their wallets. The Retail Outlet sells discounted home goods like kitchen appliances, bathroom tiles, cabinetry and more that they receive through donation and through their DeConstruction program - the hand removal of still functional materials for reuse. The DeConstruction Program not only helps individuals, but the environment as well by keeping large quantities of unnecessary waste out of landfills. Sales from the retail outlet support Community Toolbox's Fix-It program, the life blood of the business, who go out into the community to assist with homeowner’s repairs.