Local Bottler and Recycling Organization Team Up to Tackle Glass Recycling Problem

By Katelyn | Dec 7, 2015 | in

By Josh Rosenson

Bedford – A partnership between a large NH company and a state-wide non-profit has the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England (CCNNE) and New Hampshire the Beautiful (NHtB) leading the way in helping to solve the growing problem of recycling glass products.

Ray Dube, sustainability manager for CCNNE, is also a member of the NHtB Board of Directors. He summed up the glass recycling problem – an issue he says people are often shocked to learn exists – as consisting of two main challenges; public insistence on glass for certain products and the incredibly costly process of transporting and then recycling it.

The challenge glass poses begins with the marketplace, because while most vendors have been trying to move away from glass, they immediately run up against consumer preference for glass. CCNNE, for example, uses glass for less than one percent of its products. But the liquor industry, in particular beer and wine purveyors, continues to struggle to sell products that are not in glass bottles after decades of the perception that glass holds a more quality product.

But while consumers have come to expect certain liquids in glass containers, most don’t realize just how costly glass can be, and just how much glass can add to the carbon footprint of a product. Dube explains. “The first part of the problem is the weight of the bottles on the trucks for transport,” adding that about half of each truck carrying glass bottles is empty due to weight limits on highways. While trucks can only be half-filled with glass, a truck can be filled full with plastic bottles.

900 Degrees of Giving Back to the Community

By Katelyn | Dec 5, 2015 | in

By Michael McCord

The award-winning 900 Degrees Neopolitan Pizzerias restaurants in Manchester and Epping have already gained recognition for consumer popularity and for leadership in green business practices. But owner Priscilla Lane-Rondeau said that giving back to the community has been a core of the business she started in 2007 and the program of Raising Dough has been a success that has benefited hundreds of large and small organizations.

“The main reason we started it is that it’s wonderful to connect with people who support 900 Degrees everyday,” Lane-Rondeau said. “It’s one of the cool things about owning a restaurant, the ability to give back to the community on a whole new level.”

Recently, 900 Degrees hosted an evening fund-raiser in Epping for the Mark Kay Foundation, the national organization which was founded in 1996 and dedicated to eliminating women’s cancers and domestic abuse. The organization has awarded more than $60 million to various programs over the past two decades. Though the 900 Degrees proceeds for the event were modest in comparison, Lane-Rondeau said that the reasons for all the events boil down to simple formula.

“We raise awareness and money for great causes and our customers have a great time and a great meal,” she said. “So many groups have reached out to us and they are usually over the moon with how the events have turned out. They have really taken charge with publicity and spreading the word.”

Integrated Fitness Offers Course for Aspiring Personal Trainers

By Katelyn | Dec 4, 2015 | in

Do you have a love for fitness and always dreamed of becoming a personal trainer? Well here is your chance. Jonathan Arnold, Founder and CEO of Integrated Fitness of Dover and Epping, introduces his new program “So You Want to be a Trainer?.” This weekend course is designed to help both those new to personal training and those looking to build a better business.

Jon Arnold will explain how he became a top trainer in the field and how he was able to leave his traditional gym job paying only $11 per hour to running a personal training business that thrives from personal training and fitness programs! The success of Integrated Fitness of Dover has led to the development of multiple fitness facility locations and aided a handful of personal trainers in the development of their own successful and profitable personal training businesses.

Integrated Fitness is a fitness facility focused on whole body wellness and aims to help clients not only lose weight, but also build muscle, develop better nutrition habits, and meet their own personal goals.

Give a Green Alliance Membership for Only $20 or Keep it for Yourself!

By Katelyn | Dec 2, 2015 | in

The holiday season is in full swing and many of us are contemplating what to get for those hard to shop for people on our lists. A membership with the Green Alliance is the perfect present for environmentally conscious friends and family members and will allow them to take advantage discounts all year long with their new membership. Or buy one for yourself to take care of all your shopping needs with the $20 discounted membership!

A Green Alliance membership is not a onetime gift to be enjoyed during the holiday season, but instead a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year. Members receive discounts at 100 local and sustainable businesses that aim to be more environmentally friendly while producing reliable goods and services. The wide variety of Business Partners means that every new member is sure to find a use for their Green Card.

A GA membership is an affordable gift for everyone on your list, and for the discounted price of $20 (regularly $35), it is sure to pay for itself over and over.

Global Warming Pushes Maple Trees, Syrup to the Brink

By Katelyn | Dec 2, 2015 | in

Sarah Brown, Director of the Green Alliance recently completed a story on climate change and its impact on the maple syrup industry in the Northeast for National Geographic's 'The Plate'. Check out the intro below and read the full story on 'The Plate'.

The polar bear is a powerful symbol of the effects of climate change in the Arctic. Here in New England, our symbol may soon be the sugar maple tree. Tapped for syrup for centuries and famous for its fall foliage, the sugar maple is stressed to the point of decline and many scientists studying this beloved tree believe rising temperatures are the cause.

Maple syrup’s use as a food was first recorded in the early 1600s, when French writer Marc Lescarbot noted that Native American tribes “get juice from the trees and distill it down into a very sweet and agreeable liquid.” The syrup lore goes like this: A chief threw a tomahawk at a tree and noticed the rich syrup dripping from it. His wife cooked that evening’s venison in the sweet syrup, and the rest is history.

But what is a uniquely North American product is also an exceptionally picky one, dependent on a narrow and highly specialized climate of freezing nights and mild days. In the 1950s and 60s, eighty percent of the world’s maple syrup came from the U.S., 20 percent from Canada. Today it’s the opposite.

Another Year to Give Thanks... For Holiday Deals!

By Katelyn | Nov 26, 2015 | in

Mike Bellamente is the Dircetor of Climate Counts, an organization bringing together consumers and corporations to reduce greenhouse gases. This piece was originally published in the Huffington Post

With each passing year, retailers become increasingly audacious in their quest to exploit the holiday season for profit. Come Halloween signs of Christmas abound, and by the time Black Friday rolls around, the yuletide shopping season is already in full flight. But what began as a well-orchestrated marketing ploy of the early 2000s, Black Friday has seeped into Thanksgiving Day as a time when families across the country dart away from their turkey dinners to join the herds in search of discounted prices.

Ironic as it may seem, we have successfully displaced one of the rare occasions for family gathering and reflection (Thanksgiving) with the chaos that comes with shopping for another rare occasion for family gathering and reflection (Christmas). I can hear the Grinch turning in his grave... "What if Christmas doesn't come from a store?" he thought, "What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?"

But who is really to blame here? The big box retailers who are simply accommodating an insatiable demand for crap, or rather the crazed, group-thinking public who are more than willing to claw over one another for holiday shopping deals. While some may offer a curmudgeonly sneer to the Wal-Marts and JC Pennys of the world, it is really no different than blaming oil companies for climate change as we steer our SUVs toward the nearest Exxon station to fill up on two-dollar gas. "EPA LOL" as one license plate in a nearby town so aptly put it. "BLK GLD" reads another. Oi. Never mind the "L."

Go Green This Black Friday!

By Katelyn | Nov 24, 2015 | 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 occurred, 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." 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. Whether you opt to become a GA Member and take advantage of these generous discounts this season, or are just looking to score the best products available, we urge everyone to think locally.

Get a Jump on New Year's Health Resolutions

By Katelyn | Nov 24, 2015 | in

By Kristyn Lak Miller

Don’t wait until the New Year to make a resolution to lose weight.

“We’ve created a unique and effective way to kick-start good health, before 2016 even begins, with our 6-Week Fat Burner Classes,” said Jon Arnold, owner and CEO of Integrated Fitness of Dover LLC. “Imagine, you can be healthier, and weigh less, by New Year’s Eve.”

Offered at both Integrated Fitness’ nontraditional gyms—on Dover Point Road in Dover, NH and at Epping Commons on Calef Highway in Epping, NH—this 6-week program consists of two weekly group workouts that challenge participants with a variety of exercises including cardio, body weight exercises, and resistance training; they also employ a combination of newer training methods which help fire up metabolism.

Classes begin November 30, 2015, with weekly schedules and class options that differ between both locations. “Here in the Epping studio, for example, our classes will change weekly to challenge everyone and to offer variety,” said Susan Brisson, owner and CEO of Integrated Fitness of Epping. “We’ll rotate through strength training on the Swiss Ball, Boot Camp-style workouts, and TRX Fitness routines.”

Shop Small Business Saturday with 900 Degrees

By Katelyn | Nov 24, 2015 | in

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are favorite days of the year for avid shoppers and holiday gurus alike. These two days are focused on big box stores and online retailers; however Small Business Saturday aims to bring holiday shoppers to local retailers. Shopping with small and local businesses keeps money in the community and helps grow the local economy.

900 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria is grateful for its customers and growth in the past eight years at both the Manchester and Epping locations and encourages residents to shop at small businesses like 900 Degrees. To celebrate Small Business Saturday, 900 Degrees invites you to share a selfie in front of your favorite small business to show your support. Just post your Shop Small Saturday selfie to the 900 Degrees Facebook for your chance to win a $50 gift card to either of their locations.

The restaurant offers a variety of gift ideas for the holidays, like their famous chocolate rocks, 900 Degrees wine glasses and shirts, and gift cards. Additionally, from now until December 15, buy $25 in gift cards and receive a $5 voucher for yourself or buy $100 in gift cards and receive a $25 gift card!

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Minute Men Painters

By Katelyn | Nov 23, 2015 | in

In an industry progressively moving toward chemical-free products, Minute Men Painters leads the charge in using environmentally friendly paints, varnishes and finishes. Co-owners Sean Sturk and Chris Tufts made the decision to switch when a co-worker started to lose his sense of smell after being exposed to the harsh chemicals in oil-based paints.For Sturk, it was an eye-opening experience and one he didn’t want to subject his customers to.

According to the EPA, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, frequent headaches, nausea and can also damage the liver, kidney and the central nervous system. With little difference in cost to the homeowner, Minute Men Painters uses water-based, no or low-VOC paints as a default.

Containing anywhere from 50 percent to 90 percent water, the environmental impact from water-based paint is significantly less than oil-based paint. Minute Men not only paints the interior and exterior of buildings and homes, they've expanded their scope of work to include finish work on cabinets as well as fine furniture painting and antique glazing.

Wishing You a Green Thanksgiving

By Katelyn | Nov 23, 2015 | in

As we prepare for family to arrive to celebrate Thanksgiving, our friends at Maine Interfaith Power and Light have put together a few tips for a more eco-friendly and healthy holiday.

Consider replacing your traditional meat dish with creative, vegetarian alternatives. The New York Times recently published its annual roundup of tasty vegetarian fare for Thanksgiving. Also, find fabulous Tofurky recipes courtesy of Farm Sanctuary (Turkey rescue). See what a vegan holiday menu looks like, courtesy of Robin Robertson — one of America’s bestselling vegetarian cookbook authors. Yum!

If you eat meat, look for free-range organic options at your grocery store using the Environmental Working Group’s Meat Eater’s Guide to Climate Change. These are from animals that are fed grains or grasses that are organically grown and free of synthetic pesticides, and thus require less fossil fuel energy.

A USDA Organic label ensures that the meat was not produced with pesticides, irradiation, hormones, antibiotics, or bioengineering and a Certified Humane label ensures that the turkey was raised in humane conditions. Find a grocer near you that carries Certified Humane meat. You can also consider a heritage turkey, or choose from a variety of sustainable fish.

Rockingham Green Offers an Alternative to the Typical Subdivision

By Katelyn | Nov 23, 2015 | in

By Kristyn Lak Miller

NEWMARKET, N.H. – “For many years, people built their homes on two or more acre lots,” says Steve Fournier, Newmarket Town Manager. “People wanted privacy and green space around them. The problem is that, by doing so, people did not know their neighbors. Rockingham Green creates the neighborhood atmosphere again.”

A few miles from downtown Newmarket, adjacent to Rockingham Country Club, Rockingham Green is a lifestyle community designed and built by Chinburg Properties, the 30-year-old development and construction firm based in Newmarket.

Set on 25 acres, with 40 acres of conservation land, this expansive space might have become a Wal-Mart if the town hadn’t stepped in. “We wanted to preserve our natural resources and wetlands,” says Diane Hardy, Newmarket Town Planner. “We asked Chinburg if they’d be interested in working on a community. Thankfully, the answer was ‘yes’.”

Comprised of 52 lots, none bigger than .47 acre, Rockingham Green’s custom homes are inspired by classic craftsman style; each, sized up to 2,300 square feet, is conceived in collaboration with project architect Wendy Welton of Art Form Architecture.

“The homes are chosen to complement the layout of the lots, designed to be efficient with space, and built to Energy Star standards to decrease energy costs and increase air quality and thermal comfort—they’re also have great views and are really beautiful,” says Jen Chinburg, the company’s Marketing Director.

Giving Energy Efficiency a Number that Matters

By Katelyn | Nov 21, 2015 | in

By Michael McCord

Since its founding in 2008, Yankee Thermal Imaging has helped hundreds of residential and commercial clients reap maximum benefits from energy efficiency efforts. Recently the New England based company has been working on compiling hard numbers to quantify their financial and environmental effectiveness.

The numbers are in, and the carbon footprint reduction they have helped their customers achieve is impressive. “Collectively, we’ve saved our customers about 1.6 million pounds of CO2 emissions annually since we’ve been in business and counting,” said Cara Eisele, Yankee Thermal Imaging’s business development manager. “We started compiling the data about six months ago, and we are really excited to let our customers know the impact they are making.”

Eisele said the money savings for their customers who follow through with enhanced insulation upgrades and energy saving measures have also been significant. Depending on current fuel prices, she explained, “we estimate customers have saved on average $850 annually on their utility bills, some are higher, some lower.” Translated into a pollution saving metric, Yankee Thermal Imaging estimates the combined CO2 savings achieved is the equivalent of taking between 220 and 240 automobiles off of the road each year.

Green Story: Integrated Fitness of Dover and Epping

By Craig | Nov 19, 2015 | in

Every Green Alliance business undergoes a three part Sustainability Certification. This certification serves to show 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 Integrated Fitness's Green Story below.

Integrated Fitness Offers a Sustainable Approach to Fitness

Jonathan Arnold is in the business of changing people's lives. At Integrated Fitness of Dover and Epping, Jon works with clients to help them lose weight, build muscle; eat healthier and meet personal goals for a more balanced lifestyle.

To lead these comprehensive, and sometimes rigorous, classes, Integrated Fitness's trainers are specially certified to help clients reach their individual health goals. In addition to Jon's expertise, Integrated Fitness has four personal trainers and two group exercise instructors on staff for private, one-on-one training, as well as group sessions that include the Weight Loss Challenge program, Strength Training classes and more. And the trainers at Integrated Fitness go beyond just the physical workout at the studio, with one-on-one nutrition consulting and a nutrition class as part of the Weight Loss Challenge program.

It was a meeting with a nutritionist as a teenager that changed the way Jon thought about what he ate, and helped to build his confidence. That fateful meeting influenced the way Jon continued to think about wellness into his adult years. As a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division, Jon maintained an active, healthy, regimented lifestyle. But when his tour of duty was over, and he returned to civilian life, Jon became complacent and unhealthy.

Don’t Overlook an IRA Opportunity

By Craig | Nov 19, 2015 | in

By Mike Bizier

It’s never too early to start planning for your future. It’s a common saying that rings true in the financial world and certainly applies to those planning for retirement. That’s one of the reasons investors and financial advisors alike agree that when planning for your retirement one of the best things you can do is set up an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

Locally, Mike Smith, a Financial Advisor with the Progressive Asset Management Group’s (PAM Group) Newmarket branch, notes that setting up an IRA account is something people should always consider when it comes to long-term financial and retirement planning. Since their introduction in 1974, the Individual Retirement Account has provided numerous tax advantages to individuals planning for their financial retirement.

If you’re not familiar with the IRA it is a type of investment account that encourages an individual to save for retirement by allowing the assets held in the account to grow tax-free. IRA’s can hold most types of traditional investment vehicles including stocks, mutual funds, bonds, exchange traded funds (ETF’s) and even real estate. In addition, there are many different types IRA’s that are broken down into subgroups providing different advantages available to each subgroup.