Blog

Rock the Block at the Kittery Block Party

By Sam Lane | Jun 9, 2015 | in

On June 20th, come be a blockhead in the beautiful seacoast town of Kittery! This all day event is sure to be a party not to be missed, offering an array of entertainment, food, local art displays and much more.

The day will kick off with a daytime festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Live entertainment such as a performance by the US Navy Band and live African Drumming will be in action during the festival. Bring the kids down for barrel train rides, pony rides, a touch tank activity and a lineup of exciting games. Further into the evening, at 5 p.m., the annual 5k race will be held on an entirely new course. The first 100 registrants will receive a runner’s gift bag. At 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. local bands, artists and poets will be rocking and talking out at the Foreside Music Fest in 6 various locations downtown. In addition to the music festival, the local Talent Show begins at 7 p.m. and will be held in the classic Kittery Dance Hall.

A Field Trip to Remember

By Sam Lane | Jun 9, 2015 | in

By Michael McCord

A group of Traip Academy sophomores had an eye-opening experience during a recent field trip to Mary’s Dogs Inn.

The students from the Kittery, Maine school worked hands-on in every operational facet at the facility which is a boarding facility and quarantine stopover for rescue dogs from the South.

Mary Doane, who founded Mary’s Dogs in 2011, said she was happy to have the 10 students spend a full school day at the facility. It was the first field trip of its kind to the facility which opened in 2014. The field trip came at the end of a quarantine period for many of the 20 dogs in residence and Doane said the students saw how important and involved canine rescue work can be.

“They brought great energy and curiosity. It was so interesting to have that many young people around the Inn at the same time,” Doane said. “They were all helpful and got to take part in all the activities. They also learned about the mission of Inn and how we are doing what we can to change the culture (of often speedy euthanasia) in the South.”

The idea for the Mary’s Dogs field trip was initiated by Melinda Shofner, a school counselor at Traip Academy. Students take part in a Learning Service Project program which combines real-world experience with community service. Shofner has been a volunteer at Mary’s Dogs since February of 2014 and she thought it would be a great experience for the students.

Green Jobs - Purely Organic seeks Lawn Care Specialist

By Rich | Jun 9, 2015 | in

Our Business Partner, Purely Organic Lawn Care, is looking for a commercial/residential lawn treatment specialist to apply their Organic minded lawn care solutions in New Hampshire/Maine.

Professional licensure is preferred, but training may be provided for interested candidates.

REQUIREMENTS:

· Valid driver’s license with clean driving record

· Professional appearance and attitude

· Excellent oral and written communication skills

· Ability to lift up to 50 lbs.

· Able and willing to work in various weather conditions

Learn more about this position at Purely Organic Lawn Care here

More Green Jobs are listed on the GA Green Jobs page here

Solar Arrays and the Future of the New England Farm

By Sam Lane | Jun 9, 2015 | in

By Craig Robert Brown

Just east of the New York border sits the town of Pawlet, Vermont, a community of roughly 2,000 residents. It is a town built on the backs of New England farmers, but Pawlet, like other communities in Vermont, struggles to keep its farming community vibrant today. However, Jack Bingham, of Seacoast Energy in Barrington, New Hampshire, has offered a solution to the town's disappearing farmland.

Making use of a 10 acre hay field leased to a cattle farmer, Bingham, along with a project partner in Vermont, purchased the land to build a large Photovoltaic (PV) solar system. The array will provide energy credits to offset costs at medical centers in nearby Rutland. But in a small town like Pawlet, news travels fast.

Bingham got word that there was growing dissatisfaction amongst residents based on a perception that the array displaced valuable farm land. Bingham was at first surprised by the reaction, but he did some research and discovered that Vermont residents are in a battle over farmland being sold to solar developers and utility companies.

According to a report by the Brattleboro Reformer, Vermont's House Natural Resources and Energy Committee (HNREC) is in the midst of this difficult issue as it reviews a series of bills and testimonies on locating sites in the state "where installations such as solar panels and wind turbines ought to be built, and how to balance the interests of the state, town governments, landowners and developers." In the same report, Rep. Mike Herbert, R-Vernon, also a HNREC member, said that after listening to the debate, it's clear "that people in Vermont want to have more say in the siting and developing process."

Local Businesses Come Together to Host Annual Summer Cruise

By Sam Lane | Jun 9, 2015 | in

 By Katelyn Monroe

The Green Alliance and New Hampshire Public Television are partnering once again to host a summer kick off cruise aboard the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company's M/V Thomas Laighton. On June 13, the businesses and guests will sail down the Piscataqua River taking in the sights of the New Hampshire seacoast.

Local rock band, Humble Be, will perform live and 900 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria will supply complimentary hors d'oeuvres for guests in addition to the Isles of Shoals Steamship Co.'s (ISSCo.) two cash bars on the boat.

Admission for the party cruise is free for Green Alliance members, but new members are encouraged to join the Green Alliance to attend. If you are not yet a member, but are interested in attending the party cruise, you can become a member and get a ticket for the cruise in the process.

Those planning to attend can join for the discounted price of $25 then RSVP to katelyn@greenalliance.biz to reserve their spot. Or they can also join at the dock on the night of the cruise.

According to Green Alliance Director Sarah Brown, last year nearly three hundred guests attended the cruise bringing together green-minded citizens and businesses owners alike, many of whom are interested in networking and learning from each other.

"Last year's cruise was a phenomenal success," says Brown. "We sold out the boat and it gave business owners and consumers a chance to meet and talk about sustainable issues."

The Green Alliance, an organization with upward of 100 Business Partners, works to increase the profits of companies, large and small, that have the least impact on the environment. Both NHPTV and Isles of Shoals are Business Partners with the Green Alliance and have been for several years. The collaboration partnership has helped to spread awareness about both businesses and their environmental initiatives.

Meet Anne Twombly, the newest member of the GA Team!

By Rich | Jun 4, 2015 | in

Hello, I’m Anne Twombly, the new Marketing Assistant at the Green Alliance. I just graduated in May from the University of New Hampshire with my Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Painting and a minor in Business Administration. I studied visual arts in college because I’m interested in the potential for art and design to affect us as individuals, enhance our experiences, and essentially draw emotion from us. I am interested ultimately in applying this aesthetics education to creative business.

While at UNH, I was a member and eventually captain of the Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field teams. I thoroughly enjoyed the community and camaraderie involved in being part of my team under the larger umbrella of the Athletic Department. The experience of Division 1 athletics in college has instilled in me a profound belief in the transformative power of collective focus, integrity and service.

Join Us for the Green Alliance and NHPTV Summer Cruise on the Isles of Shoals Steamship Co.

By Craig | Jun 4, 2015 | in

Watch our video below! Make sure to RSVP to katelyn@greenalliance.biz if you plan to attend on June 13!

SnAPPii offers new discount to Green Alliance members and Business Partners

By Anne | Jun 4, 2015 | in

 A strong presence across all digital platforms is essential for any businesses to compete in today’s market. Many businesses recognize the pressing need to translate their existing web content into an easily navigable mobile app in order to engage and expand their consumer base, however the inherent challenges of building a new app can be, at the very least, daunting. 

Since 2011, SnAPPii of Rochester, NH has been challenging the preexisting methods of app creation for businesses with their unique mobile app development service. SnAPPii offers a variety of fast, inexpensive, codeless and custom app creation options for firms looking to expand their presence to mobile devices or streamline administrative efforts internally.  

Many businesses want to enter the mobile app game, but don’t have the resources or the time to build their own native app from scratch, or to hire an outside firm to do so. SnAPPii offers businesses a variety of premade customizable native apps, simplifying and streamlining the process of app creation. Empowering businesses to “draw” rather than code their app, naturally reduces production time and subsequently costs. Because the apps are cloud based and available through both the Apple Store and Google Play, consumers can readily engage the apps across all devices.

Ethan Korpi: A builder’s dedication to sustainability

By Sam Lane | Jun 4, 2015 | in

By Michael McCord

Ethan Korpi, co-founder of Eco Sound Builders in Portsmouth, has custom home building in his DNA. Or at least it seems that way. His father, Roger was a builder for decades before starting Eco Sound Builders with Ethan in 2007. The legacy of Roger’s work can be found throughout New Hampshire's Lakes Region, while Ethan runs the southern division of the company, with partner Peter Robie, creating a new legacy in the seacoast region and southern Maine.

What sets Eco Sound Builders apart in the industry, Ethan Korpi explained, is their drive to build homes that are as individually unique as they are environmentally responsible. According to Korpi, energy conservation and construction waste management are key elements for all their new home and restoration projects.

“We seek to create high performance homes for the next generation of efficient energy use,” Korpi said. “We believe that homes new and old should stand for generations; to come and perform at the highest level of energy efficiency as possible.”

Not limited to new buildings, Eco Sound will renovate existing, older structures to bring them up to the company's high standards of performance. Recently, the building company renovated an older building in Portsmouth's historic South End district, keeping within the city's tight regulations for work on historic properties, while making the home green and energy efficient. While renovating the Portsmouth property, Eco Sound performed periodic blower door tests and added thermal envelope wrapping to help the home achieve Passive House standards for air-tightness. Along with the added 13KW solar PV array, the home is expected to achieve a Net Zero HERs Rating.

Craft Brew Alliance Proves Sustainability Pays Off

By Sam Lane | Jun 4, 2015 | in

By Mike Bizier

The Redhook Brewery in Portsmouth is a popular brewpub destination for many in the seacoast region. Aside from providing customers with quality craft beers, the pub is also known for its sustainable initiatives, such as using natural, locally-sourced ingredients for their menu. What customers might not be aware of is that Redhook's Portsmouth location is part of the Craft Brew Alliance, a larger national brewing company that also puts sustainability at the forefront of its business priorities.

Formed in 2008 through a merger between Redhook’s headquarters in Seattle, Washington and Widmer Brothers Brewing in Portland, Oregon, Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) keeps sustainability at the core of its business model; for both its brewing practices and dining operations on both coasts. With the addition of the Hawaii-based Kona Brewing Company in 2010 and Omission Beer, a gluten free brand in 2012, Craft Brew Alliance has become one of the largest and most sustainable brewing companies in the United States. 

Last year, the CBA released what is now an annual report to raise awareness of their sustainable goals. By releasing the report publicly, CBA hold themselves accountable for meeting their objectives and being fully transparent.

"For a long time we have had this commitment and we have been taking action towards reducing our carbon footprint, but we haven’t necessarily been talking about that publicly," says CBA's sustainability manager Julia Person. "Now we’re starting to see companies release sustainability reports and talking about this, and I think if this continues to happen, it will push more and more companies to do the same."

On Earth Day, April 22nd of this year, the company released their second annual sustainability report. Last year, CBA was able to meet all five of its intended goals, which included achieving a five percent savings across all utilities, reducing the impact of materials used while increasing packing efficiency, earning a third party green certification, and tracking company greenhouse emissions.

Become a Green Alliance Business Partner

By Anne | Jun 3, 2015 | in

At the Green Alliance, we believe sustainability should have visibility.

It’s always a great time to join our community of green businesses.With a network of thousands of Green Alliance consumer members, interested in supporting green initiatives, products and services, accessing your target market has never been easier.

Becoming a Green Alliance Business Partner bolsters, compliments and expands the marketing initiatives of your firm. Benefit from increased visibility through Green Alliance social media, email and print channels.

Learn more about all that the Green Alliance can do for your business here.
 

Local Businesses Come Together to Host Annual Summer Cruise

By Katelyn | Jun 3, 2015 | in

By Katelyn Monroe

PORTSMOUTH - The Green Alliance and New Hampshire Public Television are partnering once again to host a summer kick off cruise aboard the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company's M/V Thomas Laighton. On June 13, the businesses and guests will sail down the Piscataqua River taking in the sights of the New Hampshire seacoast. Local rock band, Humble Be, will perform live and 900 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria will supply complimentary hors d'oeuvres for guests in addition to the Isles of Shoals Steamship Co.'s (ISSCo.) two cash bars on the boat.

Admission for the party cruise is free for Green Alliance members, but new members are encouraged to join the Green Alliance to attend. If you are not yet a member, but are interested in attending the party cruise, become a member today and you will receive a ticket for the cruise in the process.

Those planning to attend can click here to join now for the discounted price of $25 and then RSVP to katelyn@greenalliance.biz to reserve their spot. Or they can also join for $35 at the dock on the night of the cruise, but the Green Alliance's director, Sarah Brown suggests new members should join and RSVP in advance, as last year the cruise sold out before the event.

Green Story: RiverWoods Retirement Community, A Sustainable Cut Above the Rest

By Sam Lane | Jun 3, 2015 | 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. Your can read RiverWoods Retirement Community’s full certification documents here. Below is part 3 of the Green Alliance Sustainability Certification, otherwise known as the Green Story.

One of the Green Alliance’s newest members is probably one of the least understood within the Seacoast. If you think you know RiverWoods, think again. It is the product of a group of Seacoast-area residents, who were not happy with the options available to them when they retired – so they built their own!

More than 20 years ago, RiverWoods was founded as a Continuing Care Retirement Community by people who wanted to create an active community of adults who cared about each other and the world around them. Today, RiverWoods is nationally accredited, and has three campuses on 200 wooded acres in Exeter.

The beauty of the community is that people enter when they are 62 or older, and live active, independent lives. If at any time their health changes, they need assisted living or skilled nursing, it is available, for no increase in fee, right within their campus.

With 65 free fitness classes offered weekly, more than 50 committees on topics as wide-ranging as Political Action to DuplicateBridge, and miles of wooded trails, the three RiverWoods campuses teem with energy and opportunity to get involved. Regular group outings for golf, skiing, tennis, birding, and kayaking take advantage of all of the natural beauty the Seacoast has to offer. Many more residents volunteer at over 150 local organizations

6 Tips to Get a Green Lawn, In a Green Way

By John | Jun 3, 2015 | in

By Kristyn Lak Miller

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. – The quest to have a green lawn is a deep-rooted desire for many Americans, growing the lawn care industry into a multi-billion dollar business in the United States.

“As the saying goes, ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’, but we think it’s more important that the grass is healthier on your side,” said Jason Lefebvre of Purely Organic Lawn Care, based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. “The beauty is that, with the advancement of organic lawn care practices and products, your healthy lawn can also be gorgeously green.”

Lefebvre shares six tips for getting a naturally green lawn:

Local Insurance Company Focuses on Environmental and Economic Sustainability

By John | Jun 3, 2015 | in

By Katelyn Monroe

PORTSMOUTH - Jon Merwin started his business by following in his father's footsteps. A decade ago, Merwin was fresh out of college and set out to start his own insurance agency focused on providing reliable insurance and customer service to its clients. Today, not many insurance agencies are known for their sustainability efforts and community giveback. But on the Seacoast, Merwin's Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance (PAI), celebrating its tenth anniversary in June, remains ahead of the industry.

Merwin graduated from the University of New Hampshire, and soon passed the Property & Casualty exam, licensing him to become an insurance agent. He began his career by opening a branch location in Laconia, New Hampshire under Insurance Express in June 2005 and was the sole employee for the company, sharing a small office space with another business.

Starting with a blank slate and no clients, Merwin worked his way up and began writing home and auto insurance for family and friends. As Merwin's reputation grew, client referrals slowly trickled in. It wasn't easy going in those early days, according to Merwin.

“Over the course of a few years I learned the ins and outs of the insurance agency business, often times by learning from my own mistakes,” he said.