Blog

Two Green Innovators Cooperate for a Greener New England

By Emily | Jul 16, 2014 | in

By Heikki (Herb) Perry

The collaboration of two eco-minded firms has helped each to profit while also advancing the cause of environmentalism.

RAM Printing was one of the earliest Business Partners and a sustainability leader in the the Green Alliance when the green business union and consumer co-op was first formed in 2009. The Green Alliance works to grow businesses that demonstrate environmental and social responsibility while building a community of consumers who will patronize those businesses.

RAM Printing has been following sustainable printing practices since 1989, well in advance of the current green trend. As “early adopters,” RAM set the standard in New England, and nationally, for the greening of the print industry, on the cutting edge of creating a product and service that was different from anything else on the market. It has strived to provide the consumer with a better product, while minimizing its footprint and succeeding financially.

“New materials emerge as technology changes,” says RAM account manager John Sobczak. “We continue to invest in those technologies that are environmentally friendly. In most cases, because of technology, recycling and new products, many of the ways of doing business are done at reduced costs, which we pass on to the consumer. It’s a win-win for the customer, a win-win for RAM, and a win-win for the environment.”

Community Toolbox's New August Hours

By Clay | Jul 15, 2014 | in

Community Toolbox, a Portsmouth non-profit who strives to build a safe and healthy homes for everyone, has new hours starting this August. Their current, regular hours will remain the same, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Starting on August 6, through the remainder of the month, Community Toolbox will remain open until 6 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Community Toolbox operates under the belief that homeowners shouldn't be forced to choose between paying for home repairs, buying groceries or paying their mortgage. This mindset is why Community Toolbox has started their Fix-It Program along with their two other supporting programs, the Retail Outlet and their Deconstruction Service. Together these three programs aim to improve and the living conditions for people struggling in the community.

At the core of Community Toolbox is their Fix-It Program - a volunteer based service that provides qualifying residents within 30 minutes of Portsmouth the necessary repairs for their homes. Each job is done correctly and up to code including; grab bar installation, small electrical jobs, accessibility fixes and more.

The Retail Outlet funds Community Toolbox's Fix-It and DeConstruction programs. Open to the public, the Retail Outlet allows individuals to purchase new or reclaimed building materials such as cabinets, doors, windows, tile, appliances and welcome donations from contractors and individuals.

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Cultural Chemistry

By Clay | Jul 15, 2014 | in

Who: Cultural Chemistry

What: For Cultural Chemistry it’s all about efficiency. Mirjam IJtsma, launched Cultural Chemistry in 2011 with the desire to help businesses run a more positive and dynamic work place. Part of Cultural Chemistry’s success depends on its sustainable in-office environment as well as passion for working to help the natural environment.

Originally from the Netherlands, where environmental responsibility is a crucial community pillar, IJtsma brings her country’s environmental concerns to the work place, educating both her employees and her clients on the value of executing a sustainable company culture. This includes not wasting resources, building green teams and integrating sustainability and responsible practices to make a company more successful, resourceful and more desirable to work for.

IJtsma’s unique services mimic what a traditional human resources department might be tasked with, but a fraction of the cost. The result is an affordable, unique, dynamic look into your company’s most complex inner workings, and the strategies and solutions that can help take it to the next level.

Green Alliance, Ultra Geothermal Giant Yard Sale!

By Amanda | Jul 15, 2014 | in

The Green Alliance is so much more than you may be aware of. Not only do we represent an avenue for green-minded citizens to get great discounts at 115 local, sustainable businesses, we are also event planners, (perhaps you heard about our sold-out cruise last week that very well may have been the party of the summer?!). We are also deeply devoted to charitable giving. There are so many reasons to become a member of the GA!

On Saturday, July 26 from 9-4, the GA is teaming up with Ultra Geothermal and Get it Going to organize a charity event very close to our hearts. Melissa Aho, owner of Ultra Geothermal, is hosting a yard sale July 26 to raise money to help with medical bills following her brother's diagnosis of Leukemia. The yard sale will be held at Ultra Geothermal Headquarters; 358 Route 4, Barrington (just off the Lee traffic circle). You can learn more about Travis Aho here.

We recognize that our community is greater than just green-minded individuals... it's families, friends, and people looking to help one another; like our collaborative yard sale July 26. We hope you'll both attend the yard sale, and take the plunge to become a card carrying Green Alliance member, if you have not already done so.

Site Structure Landscape's Green Story

By Clay | Jul 15, 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 Site Structure Landscape’s Green Story Below.

Site Structures Landscape, Inc. Bringing “Green” Back to Landscaping

Site Structures Landscape, Inc. offers customers a winning combination of innovative lawn care, honest work, and green alternatives in an industry known for harmful use of pesticides and chemicals. Owner Charlie Bourdages launched the Eliot, ME company in 1996. Since then, he and his team have found a myriad of ways to incorporate sustainability into their landscaping (lawns, gardens, etc.) and hardscaping (stone, pavement, and brick) practices. New clients meet with project managers Ben Woods and Curt Rose to discuss their "green” options. According to Nicole Tracy, the office manager of Site Structures, their commitment to sustainability came about naturally. “It’s simple; we live here,” she explains. “We want to be responsible members of our community. By treating our planet well, we’re helping both the environment and the people in the communities we serve. It’s the backbone of what we do.”

Site Structures has found many creative ways to make their business practices more sustainable. They are huge proponents of chemical free lawn care, and promote their environmentally friendly services in their pamphlets and monthly email blasts. Site Structures is also a member of Seacoast Buy Local. Whenever possible, they source their building and lawn care materials locally, supporting our New England economies and decreasing their carbon footprint. They also purchase their business cards and uniforms from local vendors.

At their home base in Eliot, Site Structures has made special efforts to go green. Recycling is complete and thorough, and the Site Structures team is diligent with their water conservation efforts. Much of their office furniture has been reused, and some of the desks are repurposed doors. Their CFL lights and efficient heating systems are on timers, which aid in energy conservation. Printing is minimal in the Site Structures office, but when they do print, they use their Energy Star printers and copiers.

Green Alliance Continues Artist in Residency Program with Photographer Lenka Flaherty

By Amanda | Jul 15, 2014 | in

The Green Alliance offices in historic downtown Portsmouth host their fifth artist, Lenka Flaherty, as part of Green Alliance’s Artist and Residency program. Flaherty, a gifted photographer, said she finds her inspiration in the natural environment. She describes finding her enthusiasm for photography as she traveled throughout Europe with her parents as a young child.

“I used to love to watch my parents take pictures, and would love when I got to push the buttons myself,” she said.

Today Flaherty does much more than push buttons on a camera, her talent as well as her passion for photography is evident in her work.

Raised in the Czech Republic where she earned her Masters degree in Environmental Engineering, Flaherty moved to the United States in 2003. She pursued her passion for photography by continuing her education at the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester. Although Flaherty never received a degree in photography, it is not an accurate reflection on her natural skill and eye for photography, which is evidenced by her work.

As friends and family took notice of Flaherty's breath-taking work they started asking her to do portraits of their children and hired her for weddings. Flaherty, modest in her success and talent, at first declined. It was her impression she would look unprofessional without a degree in the medium. However Flaherty's opinion changed as she started to work for friend's weddings and she was able to build a portfolio and market herself as a professional photographer. Flaherty soon realized the joy of wedding photography.

“I love it, I love everything about it, it's such a happy day and special event for everyone involved,” she said.

Harbor Eyecare Center's Green Story

By Clay | Jul 14, 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 Harbor Eyecare Center’s Green Story Below.


Harbor Eyecare Center Has an Eye for Sustainability

Vision Source Harbor Eyecare Center has found a way to integrate environmentalism into the optometry industry. Founded in 1998 by Dr. Amy Pruszenski, Harbor Eyecare has grown into a successful practice with three doctors and several full and part time employees. As time went on, both Harbor Eyecare and the environmentalism movement grew. With the addition of Dr. Hudson and the expansion of their practice (both in customers and with a significant remodeling), Harbor Eye Care became interested in finding a way to “go green.” According to Office Manager Debbie Tufts, the choice was simple. “We wanted to take care of the planet, and do our part,” she explains. “We knew that it was becoming a popular movement, and we were excited to find ways be a part of it.”

Harbor Eyecare offers two notable products that combine fashion and sustainability. Modo glasses, frames that are sourced from recycled materials, offer a sustainable alternative to customers interested in the environment. The company plants a tree for every pair that is sold. Modo also features a “Buy a Frame Give a Frame” program that pledges to provide a free pair of spectacles to someone in need for each pair that is sold.

For contact lens wearers, Miru contacts are a green alternative. The contacts are minimally packaged, and the brand strives for a carbon footprint that is 2/3 the size of their competitors. The lack of packaging also translates into savings for customers; Miru contacts can cost up to $20 less than traditionally packaged contacts.

What's For Dinner on Wednesday

By Ali | Jul 14, 2014 | in

“What’s for dinner on Wednesday?” is an ongoing theme at the Rye Farmers Market. Every Wednesday from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. you'll find delicious seasonal recipes as well as new and exciting dinner ideas with local, fresh ingredients offered at that day's market. From flowers, fruits, and vegetables to farm fresh poultry and bison the Rye Farmers’ Market has everything you’ll need to serve up dinner not only on Wednesday night but for the rest of the week! All of the farmer's market recipes will be listed on the Rye Farmer's Market Facebook page, or by clicking here.

Leslie Stevens from Goss Farm explains that, "If we can teach people just a little about the importance of eating local food, then we are having the desired impact of raising consciousness about food sources and environmental issues and giving people more control over their food choices." This a common goal of each vedor at the market.

Endless Summer Party Cruise, a night to remember!

By Katie | Jul 14, 2014 | in

We could not have asked for a better night on Thursday! We are so grateful that nearly 300 people from the Green Alliance Community joined us aboard the Thomas Laighton, filling the boat with a beautiful energy, and making the night one we will not soon forget! With the sunset as a perfect backdrop and the sweet sounds of Humble Be, the atmosphere was everything we had hoped for. There was even a proposal onboard! What a special night all the way around. 

Of course, we have so many people to thank for this. First and foremost, our wonderful GA Community, who includes both our individual members and business partners. Of our business partners, we are extremely grateful to the folks of NHPTV for helping to fill the boat, and for bringing a great energy to the table; and Isles of Shoals Steamship Company, for not only providing us with a beautiful cruise but for also providing superior service throughout the night for our guests. 

We are looking forward to many more memorable events!

Lower Your Carbon Footprint the Simple Way

By Ali | Jul 14, 2014 | in

Simply Green is not your average home fueling company, in fact they are far from it. The company was started in Stratham, New Hampshire in 2007 and has sown the seeds of biofuel across the seacoast, providing environmentally-friendly fuel to the community. This summer, they have extended their role in the community even further and are proudly sponsoring Rye Youth Softball and Kittery Little League. As one of the Seacoast’s most iconic symbols of green progress, they offer locally derived 100% recycled vegetable bioheat and biodiesel as an oil and petroleum diesel alternative for your home or car.

Smuttynose Celebrates 20 Years!

By Craig | Jul 10, 2014 | in

A lot of great things were released in 1994. Oasis debuted their breakout album, "Definitely Maybe," The Lion King and Forrest Gump were in theaters, and Smuttynose Brewing Company released their first beer, Shoals Pale Ale, to the public.

On Sunday, July 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Smuttynose will celebrate 20 years of brewing some of the Granite State's finest beer with vintage beer tastings, Smuttifacts about the past, brewery tours, and of course, there will be birthday cake.

Smuttynose first made its mark brewing out of their original Portsmouth-based facility before moving to a much larger brewery in Hampton this spring. During the tours, visitors will get the chance to learn all about Smuttynose's sustainability initiatives at the new location. The facility was built on farmland featuring a pre-Civil War barn, two carriage houses and a ninteenth century farm house, which was moved 85 yards from its original placement. The farmhouse will become a restaurant featuring dishes inspired by the slow-food movement and is set to open this fall.

The Hampton facility offers the brewery 60,000 to 65,000 barrels of capacity - that's roughly between 15 to 16 million pints - depending on brand and mix and also allows for potential growth to 120,000 barrels. It also features LED-lit on demand lighting, lots of windows and solar tubes for ample light. The move from the old facility has also enabled Smuttynose to reduce their air compressor size by half and should be able to save six million kWh during its lifetime. Other sustainable additions in the new facility include reused and recycled materials, storm water treatment systems, variable frequency drives (VFDs), a heat recovery chiller and more.

The celebration's last tour will leave the brewery's Smerch store at 3 p.m., so get there early!

Discount - Green Alliance Members receive 10% on all food (applies to meals for one GA member and guest) at Smuttynose's sister company, The Portsmouth Brewery, located in downtown Portsmouth.

SnAPPii Open House; they’re hiring!

By Emily | Jul 10, 2014 | in

Do you have a passion for smart phones and tablets but don’t know what to do about it? SnAPPii may be able to help you.

Stop by SnAPPii headquarters, 36 Industrial Way Rochester, NH, on July 15th to interview with hiring executives and talk to the team. The event will start at 5 p.m. and go until 8 p.m. with free pizza and beer provided.

SnAPPii is looking for great Sales Reps who are driven, motivated, and have a love for smart phones and tablets. With their rising numbers they are looking for someone who will grow with them and add to their hardworking crew who have thus far helped to develop a unique, ultra-fast platform for making custom mobile Apps faster, better, and less expensive.

Seacoast Energy and Aucella Heating and Cooling Showcase New WoodMaster Boilers

By Magill | Jul 9, 2014 | in

BARRINGTON - Some might say we're blessed to have seasons in New England. From the heat of the summer to the bitter cold of the winter, the region's weather runs the gamut. But that doesn't mean people have to suffer. Two seacoast area companies focused on energy alternatives are coming together to present the newest, cleanest heating technology to get you through the coming winter. On July 19 Seacoast Energy, a local alternative energy distributor, and their installer, Aucella Heating and Cooling, will showcase two of the most affordable and efficient WoodMaster wood boilers and furnaces on the market.

The latest boiler models to be showcased at the event include a WoodMaster mini-boiler and a Flex Fuel Furnace. These WoodMaster models are the most efficient options available from Northwest Manufacturing, a company specializing in clean outdoor wood burning appliances. The boilers utilize biomass to heat homes including the property's water. The Flex Fuel model is a combination of a cordwood and pellet boiler that is 92.5 percent efficient and can heat an entire home at a cost much less than that of propane natural gas and electrical energy sources. For this reason the Flex Fuel Boiler is considered the cleanest, most efficient wood appliance to date.

Riverworks Printing New Eco-Solvent Printer Helps with Large-Scale Jobs

By Magill | Jul 9, 2014 | in

Riverworks Printing constantly seeks to improve upon itself, even as they've become one of the top businesses in their field. As an eco-driven large format printing company, part of that growth includes using the latest in green technology and eco-friendly, biodegradable materials to create print products for homes and businesses.

To keep up with their growing business demands, Riverworks recently added another eco-solvent printer.  The printer is an updated model of the Color Painter Seiko Colorpainter V-64s, the first printer employed by Riverworks. The new Seiko Colorpainter W-64s printer has an increased speed and maintains a rich color density to create high resolution images. Using only IX inks, Riverworks ensures there are no hazardous air pollutants and minimal odor during the printing process.

Post-Landfill Action Network is Hiring!

By Sam | Jul 9, 2014 | in

If you went to UNH in the past few years, you’d probably recognize the name Trash 2 Treasure, the organization that collected unwanted items and resold them in the Whittemore Center, thrift-shop style. Trash 2 Treasure founder Alex Freid has since expanded the reach of the program with the Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN) as a way to encourage other campuses to establish similar programs on their campuses. It’s caught on, and PLAN has gained national recognition and attention. The organization also has many nonprofit sponsors (such as our friends Climate Counts)! Check out more about PLAN at their website.

PLAN is growing as fast as they’re shrinking landfill waste, which means they’re hiring! Do you or someone you know have: strong leadership skills, a passion for environmental issues, and lots of out-of-the-box ideas? Review the job description and apply to alex@postlandfill.org. Act fast though, because the deadline is July 18th.

As always, be sure to regularly check our Green Jobs Board for new opportunities to work with an environmental business or organization!