Blog : February 2015

What does your winter need? Some summer!

By Sam | Feb 5, 2015 | in

Even if it weren’t snowing as much as it has been, it’s about that time of year when we start yearning for the summer breeze to wash over our faces as we enjoy dinner out on the harbor. Poco's Bow Street Cantina and Two Ceres Street martini lounge are currenty offering summery specials that you can enjoy by their roaring fireplace.

This fall, Poco’s unveiled their new heated deck. The deck is closed now, but inside, the lounge at Two Ceres Street is cozy and warm with a fireplace and deep chairs. Not ony that, but they have a new menu of small bites and appetizers, as well as a happy hour on Thursday and Friday from 4-7, featuring $5 glasses of wine, $5 featured Martinis and $3 draughts.

Right now is a perfect time to visit the decks. And, if you have a Green Alliance Card, you can get 10% off all food and drinks any day of the week!

Want to feel like it’s summer again? On Thursdays and Fridays from 4-7, enjoy $3 drafts, ½ priced appetizers and pitchers of sangria!

Two Ceres Street and Poco’s Bow Street Cantina are one of the forerunners of sustainable restaurants on the seacoast -  why they're a Business Partner of the Green Alliance. Not a Green Alliance Member yet? Join right now for our special snowstorm discount and start saving!

Find a farm to fill your fridge with CSA Days at the Winter Farmers’ Market

By Katie | Feb 5, 2015 | in

Take your mind off the chilly temperatures and start thinking about the upcoming growing season when Seacoast Eat Local brings CSA Days back to their Winter Farmers’ Markets in February. The first CSA Day Market will be at Wentworth Greenhouses in Rollinsford on February 14th. The second will be February 28th at Exeter High School. The Winter Farmers’ Markets run from 10am till 2pm. Mark your calendars and show your love for local food!

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a business model for farms that is shaped by the direct link between consumers and growers. A consumer can purchase ‘shares’ up front, which provides much needed early season capital for the farmer to plan and plant for expected markets. The ‘shares’ are then used for fresh food throughout the season. As more people see the value in buying food from local farms, CSA programs have continued to grow and evolve, giving customers lots of choices and an opportunity for everyone to find their perfect CSA match.

Tonight on NHPTV: Windows to the Wild Explores Mountain Day at Colby Sawyer College

By Craig | Feb 4, 2015 | in

Tonight on NHPTV's Windows to the Wild, host and adventurer Willem Lange explores the slightly guarded secret of Mountain Day at Colby Sawyer College. It's part of a tradition that dates back 150 years and begins with the ringing of a bell. Mountain Day's date is a secret, but Lange and his crew were allowed to join as classes end and students and faculty come together to hike Mt. Kearsarge.

Windows to the Wild starts at 7:30 p.m. on NHPTV. If you miss the episode tonight, you can watch it online at

You can also read Lange's journal entry of the trek on his A Yankee Notebook blog here.

Windows to the Wild airs Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.

Local Companies Work Together to Better Seacoast, Planet

By Mike | Feb 4, 2015 | in

By Krystin Miller

Each day, roughly 1,785 people rely on COAST’s fleet of 24 buses and trolleys to get where they’re going throughout the seacoast region. And the Cooperative Alliance for Seacoast Transportation (COAST) works with RiverWorks Printing for much of its strategic, and sustainable, printing needs. Working together since 2009, these two local businesses strive to save the planet while also saving seacoast residents money.

“As a sustainable transportation provider, it’s very meaningful for us to work with like-minded businesses that are focused on increasing the sustainability of their business operations,” says Rad Nichols, Executive Director for COAST. “RiverWorks is a reliable and professional partner. They’ve been very accommodating in meeting our unique printing and installation needs, and they stand behind their work, which has been of the highest quality.”

Greenland-based RiverWorks Printing was founded in 2009 and has worked on many projects with ATA (Alternate Transit Advertising), which focuses on exterior bus advertising aimed at helping raise money for thirteen public transit systems throughout New England, including COAST. It was through ATA, that RiverWorks was introduced to COAST. Specializing in large-format commercial printing for its local and national clients, RiverWorks has forged a unique, green niche to provide a full suite of eco-friendly, sustainability-driven options, from biodegradable banners and recyclable posters to fully recyclable banner stands.

Smuttynose to Open Hayseed Restaurant in Hampton This Month

By Craig | Feb 4, 2015 | in

Last May, Smuttynose Brewing Co. settled into their new home located at 105 Towle Farm Road in Hampton, New Hampshire. Built on an old farmstead, the larger, more sustainable facility has preserved and honored much of the farm's original structures on-site while also expanding the company's distribution. Part of its preservation includes turning the former farm-house into a restaurant that offers sustainably sourced food. Word of Smuttynose's new restaurant spread throughout the seacoast and state almost as soon as the brewing company purchased the property years ago. Since announcing last year to the public what Smuttynose's lastest dining venture would be, people have waited excitedly for the restaurant to open.

The company is happy to announce that Hayseed Farmstyle Restaurant will open in mid-February.

When it opens, the restaurant will seat 95 with additional seating for 35 in the seasonal beer garden. Hayseed's design will incorporate much of the sustainable practice that has long been at the forefront of Smuttynose's business model. Its zinc-topped bar is made of natural wood, including red oak taken from the restaurant's Towle Farm location. Menu items will include ingredients sourced from local seacoast farms and fisheries, and from gardens at Towle Farm. And, of course, it will have beer on tap. With over two dozen taps featuring Smuttynose, Smuttlabs and select guest beers, the restaurant will also offer cask conditioned beers, vintage bottles from the Smuttynose Big Beer Series and growlers to go.

“I make simple, wholesome, delicious foods that aren’t hard to understand, even if they’re a little different from what you’ve seen before,” said Executive Chef Kevin Hahn. Hahn comes to Hayseed as the former co-owner and chef at Pepperland Café in South Berwick, Maine, and has won the People’s Choice - Best Chef award at the 2009 and 2010 Spotlight Awards. However, Smuttynose chose Hahn for his versatility, straightforwardness and familiarity with beer and beer cuisine.

Join the GA with the Special Winter Snow Discount

By Katelyn | Feb 4, 2015 | in

Blustery winter snow storms continue to roll through the Northeast with frigid temperatures and no end in sight, while we are left wondering if we will ever see the ground again. On the bright side, the snow has left prime conditions for skiiers and snowboarders who are flocking to mountains across New England to take advantage of the snowfall. Whether you love the snow or dread it, we can agree that the best way to make it through the cold is to celebrate with a special reduced price membership! The Green Alliance is offering this $25 winter snow membership to new members who join by the end of the day Friday, February 6, 2015.

This discounted price allows new members to join as a regular Green Alliance member or a Green Families Club member and receive special savings at 100+ local sustainable businesses. In addition, members stay connected with our monthly GA newsletter, blog, and events calendar, featuring all you need to know about environmental happenings in the Seacoast area.

GA Director of Media, Craig Brown, Moving Toward a More Sustainable Lifestyle

By Katelyn | Feb 4, 2015 | in

Green Alliance members have most likely heard of Craig Robert Brown, Director of Media, as he frequently posts good reads to the GA Blog and is often featured in area publications such as Fosters, Seacoast Online, and Portsmouth Patch. Here at the Green Alliance, Craig (on the right of the picture) works to promote Business Partners and their sustainability initiatives through his writing and various social media outlets. So we know he publicizes the environmentally conscious decisions that others make, but what does Craig do to reduce his own environmental footprint?

Craig is a writer, and naturally you would think that means endless drafts, editing, and tossing before the finished product. While in graduate school at the University of New Hampshire, he switched from regular printer paper to a recycled blend to cut down on the impact of countless peer reviews. He still uses recycled products, but now sends as much as he can digitally to eliminate paper waste. At the same time, Craig has introduced Seventh Generation cleaning products and Ecos laundry detergent as a part of his efforts to reduce harsh chemicals in the household. Although he does not mind using these products to load the dishwasher and washing machine, Craig claims that “folding and putting away dishes is not my favorite. I want to build a laundry folding, dish stacking robot that would run on a sustainable energy source. But that's a dream.” 

The Green Alliance Hosts Business Preparedness Event

By Craig | Feb 4, 2015 | in

Extreme snowstorms, sub-zero winter temperatures and rising water levels. Climate change is a reality we all must face as individuals and as businesses. To help prepare your business for the unforeseeable, we're hosting Weathering Change, a business preparedness forum on March 12 at 75 Congress Street, Suite 304, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire from 6 - 8 p.m. Complimentary sandwiches, beer and wine will be provided.

In conjunction with Marsha Haines of the American Red Cross and Roger Stephenson of NH Coastal Adaption Workgroup, the event will include speakers from Jenaly Technology Group, The Green Cocoon and Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England. Each will present their individual business preparedness plans in the event of potentially devastating weather events.

Jenaly's IT expert, MJ Shoer, will discuss the digitization of documents; how businesses can safeguard their most important files should natural disasters and extreme weather cause physical damage to a company. Shoer will discuss backing-up files and Cloud storage as an alternative to storing important documents on-site on servers or as hard copies. Jenaly is one of the most trusted IT services in the seacoast region, as well as one of the greenest. The company provides sustainable solutions to different tech questions and offers alternatives to industry standards, such as methods to conserve energy, digitizing documents to reduce waste and solid ink technologies.

Candace Lord of The Green Cocoon will be on-hand to discuss her company's soy spray foam insulation which can help guard against hurricane weather and offers moisture protection. Coca-Cola of Northern New England's (CCNNE) sustainability manager, Ray Dube, will discuss not only his company's preparedness plan in the event of extreme weather, but also CCNNE's extensive sustainability and recycling programs.

Email to RSVP and make sure to mark your calendars!

EZ Bikes in Green Alliance for another year

By Sam | Feb 3, 2015 | in

We’re happy to announce that EZ Bikes and Scooters will be with the Green Alliance for another year! That means another great year of storytelling and another great year of discounts.

In case you don’t know, EZ Bikes and Scooters offers an array of electric bikes, scooters, mopeds and more. An electric bike is one where the rider controls whether or not to pedal with their feet or use the motor, so it can be used to zip somewhere fast or just for exercise!

More Saving This Spring

By Sarah Mahoney | Feb 3, 2015 | in


Click here to view a list of our Green Businesses that offer discounts to members only.

Interested in becoming a member of Green Alliance? Join here!

For Building Owners Who Made Energy Efficient Upgrades, 2014 Was a Good Year

By Craig | Feb 3, 2015 | in

If you're a business or apartment complex owner who made substantial energy efficiency upgrades to your property last year, you will be glad to learn 2014 was a good year for reducing your taxes. On December 16, 2014, Congress passed the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, which reinstated the Energy Policy Act of 2006. The reinstated act enables tax incentives for businesses and building owners for 2014. President Obama signed the bill when it was presented to him.

What does that mean for business owners? According to Jeff Hiatt of Performance Business Solutions, this could be a substantial benefit to your business.

The Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (TIPA) reenacted a 50 percent bonus depreciation for energy efficient commercial buildings, and energy deductions. This allows building owners to take up to $1.80 per square foot for efficiency upgrades they made during 2014. Apartment building owners could get up to a $2,000 per unit Federal Tax Credit.

Why was the Energy Policy Act ever "off the table?" It's a puzzling question that started at its outset in 2006. At that time, the law stated that if a building owner made efficiency upgrades to buildings, he or she could take either a deduction or tax credit for having made that improvement to the building. That policy was in place until December 31, 2013 when it was supposed to "sunset," or disappear. However, this past December, Congress decided to act as if the sunset never occurred and reenacted the policy.

"The good news is, the policy is back in play for 2014," said Hiatt. "The bad news is, people who could have potentially moved on a project, might not have implemented that project because they thought the tax incentive was gone."

We Want You to be Featured in Our Meet a Green Alliance Member Column!

By Katelyn | Feb 3, 2015 | in

The Green Alliance has created a new column focusing on our individual members and their efforts towards a more sustainable lifestyle: Meet a Green Alliance Member. We want to hear from our members and learn about how they shop local and make more environmentally friendly decisions every day. Our first story featured Josh Denton, who has worked on sustainability initiatives both here in Portsmouth and beyond, check out his column on the GA Blog and in the January 2015 Green Families Club Newsletter.

As a member based organization, we not only care about, but rely on, how our members choose to shop locally and be more environmentally conscious. It benefits the GA to know more about our members so we can better meet their needs and tailor what we do to best fit what they are looking for in the GA. The background of individual members and what they do in the community is important to us and we enjoy learning how members make choices to live more sustainably. If you are a member interested in sharing more about yourself and interested in being featured on our blog and in a GA newsletter then we would love to hear from you!

Harbor Eyecare Center Sees Green with ECO Eyewear

By Corey | Feb 3, 2015 | in

Portsmouth's Harbor Eyecare Center will be hosting a Girl's Night Out Style Event on Thursday, February 19th from 5 - 7:30 pm. You and your friends can enjoy an evening to shop for fashion eyewear with Harbor Eyecare's team of professional frame stylists. This free and open event features special guest Bobbie Mirabito from New York eyewear company MODO. Mirabito will be showcasing eyewear styles from the entirely new MODO and ECO Collections. ECO is Harbor Eyecare Center's environmentally-friendly fashion eyewear, and is the only brand in the world that makes their frames from 95% recycled materials, with their cases made from recycled water bottles. It is also the only eyewear brand to recieve an Environmental Claims Validation from UL Environment, a world leader in product evaluation. ECO provides tangible support to Trees for the Future, and will plant a tree for every pair of glasses sold.

Meet a Green Alliance Business: RiverWoods

By Sarah Mahoney | Feb 2, 2015 | in

Who: RiverWoods

What: Located in Exeter, RiverWoods is not a stereotypical retirement community. Founded in 1994 by Seacoast residents, the nonprofit continuing care retirement community offers an impressive list of amenities, including independent, assisted living and skilled nursing, a wellness center, dining rooms at each of its three Exeter campuses, three pools and fitness centers, resident-run country stores and more.

Ahead of the curve in its industry, RiverWoods has a number of sustainability initiatives in place to make it one of the greenest retirement communities in the region. Upgrades to all three campuses include automated heating systems, LED and CFL lighting fixtures and a solar thermal system for heating water in kitchens. All three pools feature saline water instead of traditional chlorine.

RiverWoods also has its own group of sustainably minded environmental activists, known as the Sustainability Committee, who work to further green initiatives at all three campuses and in the surrounding community. The Sustainability Committee is working to increase recycling use throughout its three campuses and educates residents on the follies of using garbage disposals, advocating for individual composting instead.

Presentation of Divestment Letter to UNH Administration

By Sarah Mahoney | Feb 2, 2015 | in

"Fossil fuels are history, and renewable energy is our future" is the message that fossil fuel divestment supporters from all around the world are working to spread to as many people as possible. Internationally, renewable energy is cheaper than ever and the climate movement is on the rise. Global Divestment Day is intended to spread the word about taking action and demanding individuals and businesses as a whole to stray from the use of fossil fuels. The goal is to encourage people and institutions to move their public money away from fossil fuels and directly challenge the social license of the fossil fuel industry. College students are expected to hold flash-mobs, vigils, rallies, and sit-ins about their intentions to end their use of fossil fuels and support and participate in the movement of renewable energy. Faith leaders, administrators, business leaders, and individuals in general will work together to show the world that we are serious about the divestment movement and won't stop until we see results.