Blog : Green Initiatives

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Mary's Dogs

By Corey | Jan 27, 2015 | in

Who: Mary's Dogs

What: At the head of the pack when it comes to dog rescue and adoption, Mary's Dogs, and Mary's Dogs Inn, has helped hundreds of dogs find forever homes throughout the state of New Hampshire. Started in her own home in Deerfield, Mary Doane had a focused and clear goal when she launched her business; to foster a dog rescue and adoption process aimed at rescuing and placing dogs as well as helping both pet and family transition into a new life.
Doane studied ecological theology in seminary school at Boston University. In 2001, she embarked on a project that encompassed the spiritual connection between human beings and the natural world. Doane's background helps her to educate others about the importance of the humane treatment of all species. In 2014 Doane opened Mary's Dogs Inn, a canine daycare and boarding house that fulfills a state-required quarantine needed for dogs rescued from high-kill centers in the South. Working with these Southern shelters, Doane emphasizes finding the perfect home environment for each and every dog, regardless of age, breed, or temperament. In doing so, she seeks to enlighten potential adopters about the dog overpopulation crisis, and how they can do their part to help ease the burden currently being wrought on countless shelters around the country.

Local Business Rethinks Auto Fuel

By Mike | Jan 22, 2015 | in

Often times, family businesses put their own success before forward thinking. As an offshoot of Proulx Oil and Propane, Proulx AutoGas is not one of those businesses. Founded by Joe Proulx back in 1944, the company initially had its eyes set on moving on from coal to something a little more eco-friendly. Shortly afterwards, Proulx brought propane into the equation- a fuel source that is cleaner than standard oil to this day.

Today with Proulx AutoGas, Proulx is bringing business fleets- including police cruisers, school buses, airport shuttles, and limos -to a new level of energy efficiency. AutoGas burns 70% cleaner than standard gasoline, and is used by over 18 million vehicles worldwide, including over 50% of all cars in Australia. With less than 5% of all vehicles in America running on AutoGas, Proulx is working on catching our cars up to speed.

Local Oil Company Paves the Way for Cleaner Fuel

By Mike | Jan 22, 2015 | in

Often times, family businesses put their own success before forward thinking. Proulx Oil and Propane is not one of those businesses. Located in Newmarket, Proulx Oil and Propane has been at the forefront of providing cleaner fuel sources for over 70 years.

Founded by Joe Proulx back in 1944, the company initially had its eyes set on moving on from coal to something a little more eco-friendly. Shortly afterwards, Proulx brought propane into the equation- a fuel source that is cleaner than standard oil to this day.

Today, owner Jim Proulx has made a commitment of fully utilizing cutting-edge technology to provide the New England area with much greener and safer fuel sources. One of these technologies includes HeatForce, a fuel additive that cleans the heating system, prevents rust and corrosion, and keeps fuel running fresher and longer. With HeatForce, customers make fewer service calls, saving money on repairs.

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Harbor Eyecare Center

By Sarah Mahoney | Jan 20, 2015 | in

Who: Harbor Eyecare Center

What: After its 2011 renovation, Harbor Eyecare Center moved to become a more sustainable business, incorporating efficient upgrades, instituting a comprehensive recycling program throughout the office, selling frames made of recycled materials and Miru contact lenses, which boast a two-thirds less carbon footprint than competitors' contact lenses.

Co-owner Dr. Sarah Hudson admits that at the beginning of her career in 1998, concern for the environment and sustainability was not a pressing issue in the eye care industry. As that bar has risen, however, Harbor Eyecare Center has not only kept up but has become a leader as one of the region’s top socially responsible and environmentally aware eye care practices.

Staff members at Harbor Eyecare Center believe that personal wellness is connected to communal and environmental health. In an effort to support the community, Harbor Eyecare's staff members volunteer their time to events, organizations and charities, such as Families First Health and Support Center, providing vision screenings during Portsmouth Children's Day and giving eye examinations to athletes at the New Hampshire Special Olympics as well as taking part in the 3K Walk for Sight, sponsored by the New Hampshire Association of the Blind.

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Kennebunk Savings

By Corey | Jan 12, 2015 | in

Who: Kennebunk Savings

What: The principles that defined Kennebunk Savings Bank when it was founded in 1871 still hold true today. As an independent, mutually owned organization, Kennebunk Savings prides itself on being responsive to its local market, community and customers. A key commitment to meeting those community needs is Kennebunk Savings’ signature program, the Community Promise, a pledge to contribute 10 percent of its earnings back to nonprofit organizations.

          Since 1994,the Community Promise program has contributed more than $9.5 million to organizations that provide arts and culture, civic programs, educational, environmental and human services.Kennebunk Savings also strives to be a green bank, providing customers with up-to-date technology such as mobile and online banking to reduce client commutes and paper waste. Kennebunk Savings has replaced all incandescent lights with high efficiency CFL and LED alternatives at its branches, along with instituting a company-wide recycling program and initiative to print less paper. All plumbing fixtures are energy efficient, requiring less water, and programmable HVAC units further prevent energy waste. Additionally, Kennebunk Savings takes strides to ensure both the outdoor lawn treatment and indoor cleaning products at its branches are either natural or organic. The company also conducts regular giveaways for its used furniture and office equipment, donating office supplies to Ruth's Reusable Resources in South Portland, Maine, and unused furniture to nonprofit organizations.

Just One Thing Voting Now Open

By Mike | Jan 8, 2015 | in

Can we count on your vote?

Since May the New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility (NHBSR) has collected video and written testimonials for their Just One Thing campaign. Now NHBSR wants you to vote for the best submissions. NHPTV will produce the winning Just One Thing stories that will air on the network in March and April of 2015. The three categories winners will be judged on are: most creative sustainability solution, greatest community impact and greatest employee impact.

Voting is open now through January 9. There are three separate categories to vote for different forward-thinking sustainable businesses. You can read our story in the first category under the question: What story shares a creative approach to a sustainability challenge or opportunity? Read our story and vote now by clicking here!

Sustainability Common Thread amongst Entrepreneurs at Portsmouth Dojo

By Ken | Jan 7, 2015 | in

By Mark Quirk

When Bill Buckley and Tom Pray met it was nothing short of fate in every sense. The two, both owners of local businesses, found an instant connection in their backgrounds, beliefs and common core values of sustainability. The timing was perfect too. Bill wanted to train in karate (which Tom teaches), while Tom wanted to practice the Taiji and Qigong that Bill is passionate in teaching. Now they both offer their services, as well as yoga, under one roof at Gateway Taiji, Qigong & Yoga studio on 875 Islington St. It’s a sort of one stop shop for martial arts and meditative healing based exercise.

“This is unique,” said Pray, who has been teaching Shotokan Karate since 1987. “You don’t find that blend of teaching anywhere.”

Gateway Taiji, Qigong and Yoga is a center for practicing and exploring the ancient energy arts. Its large studio provides a spacious, sunlit, inviting environment for ongoing classes and special seminars in a renovated mill building. A major focus of the renovation was to improve energy efficiency. The original concrete and asphalt roof was replaced with a lightweight foam and rubber solution. The exterior walls were filled with the same foam. These improvements are expected to substantially lower the building’s heating costs. The lights in the new studio are all LED, further reducing the energy footprint of the building. The space also operates on solar power. Last but not least, students learn and practice in 100 year old historical site given new purpose and life.

Healthy Ways to Ride Into the Future

By Sam | Jan 6, 2015 | in

Contrary to belief, some late-night commercials do have value. Just ask Tom Hemenway, co-owner of EZ Electric Bikes & Scooters. One evening, as he watched television, an ad for an electric bicycle came on. After being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, Hemenway was thinking about different ways he could exercise to lose weight. Whether it was fate, or coincidence, the commercial not only got Hemenway to take his health seriously, it inspired him and his wife to open their business.

Hemenway heavily researched and bought an electric bike. After one ride, he fell in love with it. The Hemenway’s wanted other people to have the same experience and it wasn’t long before they added EZ Bikes & Scooters as a sister company to their existing business, Autosounds of NH.

Retirement community offers sustainable facilities, green culture

By Sam | Jan 6, 2015 | in

What began as a homegrown idea in the heads of Rosemary Coffin and Maryanna Hatch has turned into a constantly growing community. RiverWoods at Exeter is a nonprofit organization that focuses on high-quality care. Since opening in 1994, the Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) has expanded to three campuses, hundreds of apartments and cottages, as well as several dining and exercise facilities.

RiverWoods is a perfect place for the earth-conscious retiree. Outfitted with timed LED and CFL lights, resident-run recycling program, a solar thermal system which aids in heating hot water. And every day, they’re planning for future improvements.

Sustainability is at Local Bottling Company's Core

By Craig | Dec 31, 2014 | in

You may have seen your name on a can or bottle of Coca-Cola. It's part of the company's Share a Coke campaign. And during the holidays, those familiar polar bears are on television screens and aluminum cans across the globe. But what happens to those bottles and cans once they're empty? For its part here in New Hampshire, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England (CCNNE), an independent bottler, ensures they're doing more than just talking about recycling programs.

CCNNE's sustainability manager, Ray Dube, knows what you're going to say about the brand before you do. He's heard it all before; that some people have a perception that Coca-Cola is harmful to the planet because of the plastic it manufactures, or all the water used in the bottling plants, or the emissions given off by delivery trucks. But Dube doesn't shy away from those perceptions. He recognizes that yes, as a large manufacturing company, CCNNE is responsible for having an impact on the environment. That's why Dube travels across the region to schools, college campuses, public events and various conferences to educate people about the many sustainable initiatives CCNNE has taken to counter that impact over the last 18 years.

"We were sustainable before people realized what sustainability was," said Dube. "It was just the culture of the company that started back in the seventies."

"We are a company that uses a lot of resources, a lot of water, a lot of fuel for shipping and a lot of electricity. And like other businesses we have the same cost pressures as everyone else," said Mike Elmer, CCNNE's director of capabilities. "The more we can reduce our dependence on any of those resources, it's very good for the community and the environment and for our ability to operate long term."

New England's Biggest Summertime Pest Meets Its Match

By Craig | Dec 31, 2014 | in

They might not be something most New Englanders think about this time of year, but come mid-summer green-heads, deer and horse flies are all anyone talks about. From the North Shore of Massachusetts up the coast of Maine, each July many a beach day, or backyard cook-out is ruined by these flies constantly biting and terrorizing. But Tom Pray of Ecotech Pest Control Services has developed a solution that could finally alleviate one of the summer's biggest backyard woes. He calls it the Fly Cage.

Pray's invention, which mimics the appearance of a four-legged animal, is completely environmentally-friendly. Built with recyclable materials, the Fly Cage is meant for residential and commercial use.

"There are no chemicals or pheromones or anything," said Pray. "Its a visual trap so it will catch the biting flies known as green-heads, deer flies, horse flies; it will catch them without using anything but a visual lure to bring them in."

That visual lure is a buoy, black in color, with a shimmering exterior that attracts the seasonal flies. The flies are drawn in, acting on their natural behavior to attack the underside of large animals like deer and cattle. Once the flies realize their mistake they fly straight up, toward the light coming through the top of the trap, getting caught in its mesh netting and perish. The netting works like a lobster trap allowing the flies to enter, but not exit.

Environmental Diaper Service Company Expands to All Laundry

By Sam | Dec 24, 2014 | in

By Patrick Haigis

Green Earth Baby Works  has established a reputation as an alternative to plastic-based disposable diapers. They take your used cloth diapers, clean them, and return them good as new. For years, they have been successful as an environmentally friendly cleaning service. Now, by popular demand, Green Earth Baby Works is expanding to offer linen and laundry service to local environmentally conscious commercial enterprises.

This summer, Green Earth Baby Works grew its operation to include additional machines and staffing to support the Green Earth Laundry Works (GELW) pilot program, which is now open for business. The program offers the same local environmentally conscious laundry service to businesses in the Seacoast area and southern New Hampshire.

Given the company’s background in environmentalism GELW is able to run with the same sustainable values as Green Earth Baby Works. GELW pays special attention to water heating and usage and reducing harsh chemicals and processes to make sure they are minimizing environmental harm every step of the way. They are also reviewing Ozone Systems to dramatically reduce energy costs and the reduction of chemicals. 

GELW is a customizable service for local businesses and commercial enterprises. At this time, they are limiting the number of customers so that we can assure that the high level of customer service is maintained. For customers, it is almost as if you have your own personal service at your disposal- at lower the cost.

Kim Leo, founder of Green Earth Baby Works and GELW, is working tirelessly to ensure the new project’s success.

“We’re very excited for our newest expansion,” said Leo. “Our commitment to green means, as we grow, we are working with our customers to keep our impact on the environment as small as possible. We do this by geographic routing, energy efficient machines and environmentally friendly detergent. “

GELW is currently accepting environmentally conscious clients interested in affordable and environmentally-friendly laundry care. So far, the company has worked with hotels, spas and salons, athletic facilities, some medical facilities, and food service companies.

You can call or email GELW to discuss your needs and get an exact quote.

Just One Thing Voting Now Open

By Craig | Dec 22, 2014 | in

Can we count on your vote?

Since May the New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility (NHBSR) has collected video and written testimonials for their Just One Thing campaign. Now NHBSR wants you to vote for the best submissions. NHPTV will produce the winning Just One Thing stories that will air on the network in March and April of 2015. The three categories winners will be judged on are: most creative sustainability solution, greatest community impact and greatest employee impact.

Voting is open now through January 9. There are three separate categories to vote for different forward-thinking sustainable businesses. You can read our story in the first category under the question: What story shares a creative approach to a sustainability challenge or opportunity? Read our story and vote now by clicking here!

Help us grow the green community throughout the state by voting and showing support for the Green Alliance. We work hard to bring awareness of our green-minded Business Partners to the local community and beyond. By voting for us in the Just One Thing campaign, you're helping promote the local businesses we work with to a wider audience. Like Green Alliance Business Partner, Cultural Chemistry whom you can vote for under the Greatest Employee Impact category.

Vote for the Green Alliance in the Just One Thing Campaign

By Craig | Dec 17, 2014 | in

Can we count on your vote?

Since May the New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility (NHBSR) has collected video and written testimonials for their Just One Thing campaign. Now NHBSR wants you to vote for the best submissions. NHPTV will produce the winning Just One Thing stories that will air on the network in March and April of 2015. The three categories winners will be judged on are: most creative sustainability solution, greatest community impact and greatest employee impact.

The Green Alliance, along with some of our Business Partners and great sustainably-minded businesses, submitted their video and written testimonial this fall. NHBSR will open their voting soon, so check www.nhbsr.org to cast your vote for the Green Alliance once the polls open. Help us grow the green community throughout the state by voting and showing support for the Green Alliance. We work hard to bring awareness of our green-minded Business Partners to the local community and beyond. By voting for us in the Just One Thing campaign, you're helping promote the local businesses we work with to a wider audience.

Coca Cola of Northern New England Teams Up With Local, Sustainable Restaurants

By Katie | Dec 4, 2014 | in

When the Green Alliance signed on Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England (CCNNE) as a Business Partner this past summer, we weren't sure what to expect. It would be a hard sell, we figured, to convince our other 100 green businesses and 4,000 individual members that CCNNE fit the part. From our first meeting with them, we were sold. The company's sustainable efforts are tremendous. In-depth sustainability analysis of their own business has allowed CCNNE to determine different ways they can become more sustainable, while helping their communities do the same. For example, they boast a 93% recycling diversion rate and work closely with Hampton's Foss Manufacturing to process its recycled bottles and turn it into usable material.

Through December 31, CCNNE is teaming up with fellow Green Alliance Businesses, 900 Degrees and UNH Dairy Bar to urge folks to choose small, eco-friendly businesses. At both the Manchester and Epping location of 900 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria, as well as Durham's UNH Dairy Bar, CCNNE will give free Honest Tea to each Green Alliance member who visits these restaurants and shows their GA membership card. That means, in addition to receiving 10% off all items, just by showing a their card, each visitor will receive a complimentary Honest Tea to take with them after the meal. 

IT Recycling Company Finds Success at Portsmouth eCycling Event

By Craig | Dec 3, 2014 | in

On September 29, MetalWave, Inc., an IT recycling company located in Amesbury, Mass., partnered with the Green Alliance, QA Cafe, Axis Business Solutions and Alpha Loft for a multi-town eCycling event at the QA Cafe office's parking lot in Portsmouth. The event was designed to provide a space for businesses and individuals to safely recycle their old or broken IT equipment and personal computing devices such as laptops, tablets and smart-phones.

The event proved a success as residents and businesses brought large quantities of recyclable materials of unwanted office and home IT products. After the event, each item was cataloged and disseminated throughout at the MetalWave facility for refurbishment, data erasing or destruction. As part of the recycling process, MetalWave generates a report card for the total number of items received at events such as the collaboration with QA Cafe.

Known as a Certificate of Recycling, the document breaks down how much product was received at the event in each category. For example, MetalWave received 85 scrapped printers, seven laptops, eight AC adaptors, nine stereos and VCRs and varying amounts of other electronic devices and wired items.

The certificate for the amount of recycled material is one of three offered by MetalWave, according to Jim Jubb, MetalWave's Business Development Manager. Jubb says that the Recycling Certificate is the most common and is made available to all customers. Other documents include a certificate for data destruction, data security and data privacy.

Go Green This Black Friday!

By Katie | Nov 24, 2014 | in

Every year, millions of shoppers swarm to big box stores, on a mission to score the best deals for everyone on their list. Aside from the documented stampedes that have occured, the frustration of finding a parking spot, and so on, there are a number of great reasons to ditch the lines this Friday. 

With that said, we propose "Green Friday" in place of "Black Friday." In fact, the Green Alliance is so excited about Green Friday, that we're going to run our Green Friday special from November 24 through December 1. For the next week, purchase a Green Alliance Membership for only $20, (regularly $35), through our Green Friday promotion! The GA Membership allows you to visit some of your favorite local shops and eateries, (to refuel for more shopping, of course), while enjoying discounts at nearly 100 local, sustainable businesses.

Going Green this Friday not only supports the local economy, at a time when your fellow community members could use the business the most to support their family, but ensures that you are getting great, quality products that are truly unique. Stores such as Prelude, Green Earth Baby Works, The Natural Dog, and nearly 100 more will have the perfect gift for your occassion.

Celebrate Green Friday and Shop Local This Season

By Craig | Nov 18, 2014 | in

You can wait in line in the cold outside the big box stores on Black Friday, or you can shop locally with our Business Partners and call it Green Friday. But why wait until November 28?

We're getting a jump on the biggest holiday shopping day of the holiday season by offering Green Alliance memberships for $20 (that's a $15 savings)! You can purchase this discounted membership starting right now through December 1. Why are we offering such a low price? We want to encourage you to think and shop local this year. With your Green Alliance membership you will save money at nearly 100 green businesses when in the greater seacoast region. And those discounts are available all year long.

Whether you're looking to get a home energy audit, a discount on a solar heating installation, save money on dinner out and more, our membership has a little something for everyone. And our members are given the chance to win prizes and free admission to exclusive Green Alliance events throughout the year.

So how do you get in on the deal? Click here to get your membership today!

Green Story: 900 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria

By Craig | Oct 2, 2014 | in

Every Green Alliance business undergoes a Sustainability Certification. This certification serves to show everyone what each business has accomplished and what they are still working to accomplish when it comes to green business practices. The final part of the evaluation is the Green Story. Check out 900 Degrees' Green Story below.

900 Degrees Turns Up Heat for Green

There are many reasons for why three in five restaurants fail within five years of throwing open the doors: overly ambitious business plans, tough competition, lack of a coherent marketing strategy. The list goes on.

More often than not, however, it’s the daily margins – how much you’re making on every burger, salad, or sundae – that prove the impossible puzzle. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that going green out of the gate is seen by many a restaurateur as a dangerous luxury, a way to all but guarantee a quick-ticking clock to broke and belly up.

Priscilla Lane-Rondeau never bought into that false equivalency, and her business – Manchester’s famed 900 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria, which opened a second location in Epping last winter – is about to go to the next level because of it.

“It’s not like I’m alone on this – customers really do want it,” Lane-Rondeau exclaims. “People go out of their way to tell us how supportive they are of our practices. I even had one woman call me and ask whether any of our ingredients used GMOs. I appreciate that. People are coming here because it’s a green restaurant – because it’s the right thing to do.”

Green Collar Careers: Jesse Ware

By Craig | Oct 2, 2014 | in

By Theresa Conn

Jesse Ware is the founder of Futuro, an environmentally friendly construction company. The company takes pride in building healthy, energy independent homes at affordable prices. For Ware, becoming a sustainable builder came naturally; it runs in the family. Ware credits his father for passing down his interest in green construction. “It’s something I grew up with,” according to Ware, “and something I’m excited to spread.”

Theresa Conn (TC): What do you like most about your job?

Jesse Ware (JW): I love my job! I love everything about it. I like building clean, energy-efficient spaces for people to live or work in. I also really like learning about new developments can be applied to my business; the sustainable construction field is booming right now. It’s a good place to be.

TC: Where did you go to college? Does your college education help with your current job? What skills from college most prepared you for the work you do now?

JW: I spent some time at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. I was a little lost down there; I took some Liberal Arts classes, but I wasn’t sure that was what I wanted to do. I came home after a year and spent the summer working with my father. I’m a second-generation builder. Dad was a builder, a real visionary. He was out there in the 70’s and 80’s building energy efficient homes during the energy crisis. I grew up in a household where my father was keeping up on all the new building technologies. That rubbed off on me. I ended up thriving in the construction industry, and I still love it today.

I think the most important skill you can learn in college is how to communicate effectively. In order to run a successful business, you have to be able to connect with your customers. Even if you’re not a business owner, you can be the face of your company at any given moment. Keeping lines of communication open with customers and your own employees is vital.