Meet a Green Alliance Business: The Green Cocoon

By Madalyn | Oct 14, 2014 | in

Who: The Green Cocoon

What: Launched in 2007 by plastics engineer Jim Materkowski and his business partner, the late Peter Strattner, both men saw room to grow an insulation business that was more than just a financially viable and energy-efficient service, but also something that provided environmentally sustainable options. Since that time, The Green Cocoon has grown to include a number of insulation services; such as spray-foam made from soybeans and recycled plastic bottles, recycled denim and a cellulose insulation made from recycled newspapers. Spray-foam insulation has grown in popularity over the years for its energy-efficient savings and is often applied to a home's basement or attic space where most energy is lost. The Green Cocoon offers a product that meets the strict requirements of traditional spray insulations to guarantee efficiency, but remains a completely green company.

Where: 141 Bridge Road, Salisbury, Mass.


Local Builders Make Century-old Home Sustainable

By Sam | Oct 13, 2014 | in

How do you renovate and rebuild a century-old home for sustainability, but keep its historic properties intact? It takes a lot of planning. In an effort to preserve the city’s rich heritage, Portsmouth has strict standards about renovation in the historic district. Those standards established the framework for how one family is renovating their early 1900s, South End house into a high-performance home that marries energy efficiency and sustainable building materials with a dedication to preserve the historic integrity of the house and the neighborhood.

“This project showcases how houses that have existed for centuries can be updated to make them more comfortable and energy efficient without losing their historic character,” says EcoSound Builders' Ethan Korpi.

For Zev Yoga, Sustainability Extends Far Beyond Business Practices

By Katie | Oct 13, 2014 | in

For years, couple Jonas Zev and Amylyn Amberger have referred to themselves as “first generation farmers," a term they based on their disproportional amount of farming experience after acquiring a plot of farm land in Eliot, Maine. Today, they are quick to point out that the “first generation farmers” label does not accurately describe who they are or what they envision for Shilo Farm's future.

The Ambergers, owners of Zev Yoga Studio, admit to being not really farmers (though, after visiting their home and seeing the yard filled with goats, chickens, bees, flowers and herbs, one would beg to differ), but rather stewards, with dreams of offering guests a glimpse into the peaceful rhythms of a working homestead. Part of that experience comes as Jonas and Amylyn ready to open their farm as a bed and breakfast this winter. The finished project will be unlike any B&B in the area.

NH Social Venture Innovation Challenge

By Patrick Haigis | Oct 10, 2014 | in

In only its second year, the New Hampshire Social Venture Innovation Challenge is already powerfully demonstrating the keen interest of students and community entrepreneurs in helping address some of society’s most pressing social and environmental challenges, and their creativity in designing novel, sustainable, business-orientated solutions.

The Social Venture Innovation Challenge invites individuals and teams from across the state of New Hampshire to identify pressing social and/or environmental issues at the state, national or global level, and then find an innovative business-oriented approach to solving them. Finalists from around the state will compete on December 15 in Durham, New Hampshire for cash prizes to help them launch their innovative idea. 

The Social Venture Innovation Challenge is designed to be an “innovation accelerator” and to encourage participants to develop original, innovative proposals (versus detailed business plans) in the form of a three-minute video and two-page paper. Proposals may describe the development of a new enterprise or a new entrepreneurial initiative for an established social business.

For more information about the event and to register to compete click here.

Free Home Energy Workshop in Rye

By Madalyn | Oct 10, 2014 | in

Button Up NH and the city of Rye are hosting a free home energy workshop on November 19 from 6:00 pm- 7:30 pm. The event will be held at the Rye Public Library at 581 Washington Rd.

Many homes have leaks around windows and doors, so it is important to assess the extent to which your home is (or isn't) energy efficient. Assessing the energy efficiency of homes and buildings save on unnecessary, excessive expenses spent on heating.

Learn how you can make your home more energy efficient by beginning to understand the science to building. There will also be a number of do-it-yourself energy saving tips that you can use in your home.

Button Up will be partnering with Energy Star and participants are can take part in a home performance with the Energy Star Program. There will be $100 energy audits with up to $4000 in incentives.

A Canine Home Away From Home

By Madalyn | Oct 9, 2014 | in

Mary's Dogs Inn has a new website, make sure you check it out visit here!

By Michael McCord

Mary Doane, the founder of Mary’s Dogs, is pleased her rescue and adoption organization has grown from her home in Deerfield to a two-story, 1800s federal-style house and property along Route 4 in Northwood near Coe-Brown Academy.

“We have a wonderful, relaxed feel at the Inn,” Doane said about the property that can board as many as 10 dogs at once. “Dogs who come to stay with us will feel like they're at home.”

This home offers canine daycare and boarding and fulfills a quarantine need for the dogs rescued from high-kill centers in the South. A 2012 New Hampshire state law mandated a 48-hour quarantine period for dogs at a licensed facility before heading to an adopting family.

Doane supported the law but knew when it was passed by the New Hampshire legislature that her operating model would have to change – and would require an actual facility rather than the improvised methods she had employed since founding Mary’s Dogs in 2011.

The Great Bay Stewards Great Bay 5K

By Madalyn | Oct 9, 2014 | in

Join the Great Bay Stewards for the 16th Annual Great Bay 5K! The 5K starts at 9 a.m. on October 25 at Stratham Hill Park and finishes at the Great Bay Discovery Center in Greenland, N.H. It is the last race in the Seacoast Series Road Race.

The Great Bay 5K was voted one of New England’s Top Ten Favorite 5K’s by Run New England and is a very beautiful and scenic course. The race is mostly down hill and many competitors will receive their personal best times on this course! Also, long-sleeve tech race shirts will be provided to the first 800 runners for registering, from Get it Going.

All Green Alliance members who register for the race will also receive a free t-shirt, either adult or kids size, your choice!

The event includes cash awards for the top male and female who have the fastest finishing times overall. In addition, the first male and female runners to cross the one-mile mark with the fastest times will receive an award for winning "The Mackenzie Mile". If you do not want to run the 5K, there is also the option of registering for the competitive walking division within the race!

Green Collar Careers: Tietjen Hynes, Water Quality Engineer, Redhook Brewery

By Anna | Oct 9, 2014 | in

A Dartmouth graduate, Tietjen Hynes helps to lead Redhook Brewery’s Portsmouth facility on a sustainable path to better business growth, profitability, operations, food and of course, great beer. The 30 year-old Water Quality Engineer enjoys working with her colleagues to come up with innovative ways to make Redhook Brewery a greener business.

Redhook opened their Portsmouth brewing facility and restaurant in 1996 in order to provide the east coast with fresh, high quality beer. Since then, Redhook has made great strides towards greener brewing, such as composting spent hops and reclaiming heat at the end of the brewing process to use towards brewing the next batch. Tietjen has helped Redhook cut down on their electric usage by installing motion sensors in the bathrooms and storerooms, and through the use of low energy LEDs and CFL light bulbs. Recently, the company began offsetting every kilowatt of energy used with wind power credits.

Located at Portsmouth’s Pease Tradeport, Redhook Brewery is known both for its food as well as its beer. The menu shows a commitment to sustainability through locally sourced food, healthy options and an extensive composting program for food waste.

The Green Families Club Connects Like-Minded Environmental Families

By Katelyn | Oct 9, 2014 | in

While many people argue that adverse effects from human-caused environment degradation will not be felt for several years (and, probably not in their lifetime), families throughout New England are stepping up. Children are being taught environmental ethics more and more, by participating in enjoyable activities that help make their home a little bit greener. From harvesting their own vegetables, to adopting rescue pets, green families are sprouting up and making a change to ensure a healthy environment for future generations.

The Green Families Club began in July 2012 and is based off of the same ideals as the Green Alliance (GA), built on the foundation of uniting environmentally conscious families in the GA. The goal is to give families better access to the green and sustainable options that are available to them in the New Hampshire Seacoast area. Members of the Green Families Club (GFC) can receive savings at more than 100 area businesses and are able to attend exclusive events hosted by the Green Alliance. In addition, this group serves as a way for families to meet others who have similar interests and share the desire to be more sustainable in their everyday lives.

A Look at Smuttynose's New Brewery

By Patrick Haigis | Oct 8, 2014 | in

Smuttynose’s newest brewery at Towle Farm has recently opened and is producing fine beers while still keeping true to the company’s strong environmental values. The 14-acre property houses areas for brewing at a 60,000 to 65,000 barrel capacity as well as a taste bar and restaurant. Here’s a quick look at the technical details of what really makes this brewery sustainable.

The building was directionally oriented to capture as much sunlight as possible, while lots of windows, solar tubes and an LED-lit on-demand lighting system further reduce the electrical need to light the facility. The LED banks include motion sensors and light level sensors and only turn on to compensate for a difference between natural light and specified amount of lumens needed for the space.

The new building is also reducing energy use through improvements in their compressed air system, variable frequency drives and installation of an ambient vaporizer to provide “free-cooling” to the warehouse. The site also has a system in place to capture waste heat from the glycol refrigerant system and apply the heat to with process water or interior spaces.

A Watershed Moment

By Patrick Haigis | Oct 8, 2014 | in

The Green Alliance is helping to promote the 12th Annual Fall Foliage Fundraiser and will be giving away 2 free tickets to the gala to the first new Sustaining Member to join the GA and email These tickets are valued at $75 each so the first new sustaining member will pay $150 for a membership and event with a combined value of $300! To become a sustaining member click here.

The Strafford Rivers Conservancy and the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire will be celebrating their merger at the 12th Annual Fall Foliage Fundraiser with the theme “A Watershed Moment.” The event will take place on Friday, October 24 at 6:00 p.m. at Portsmouth Harbor Events & Conference Center (100 Deer St, Portsmouth).

The Strafford Rivers Conservancy is a nonprofit land trust dedicated to protecting and conserving the natural resources, beauty and character of the land throughout the Strafford County region of New Hampshire. The Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire’s mission is to protect and sustain the land in our community for clean water, fresh food, outdoor recreation, healthy forests and wildlife. The organization has acquired more than 150 properties, totaling in excess of 9,300 acres of land. Both organizations achieve their missions through the promotion and acceptance of conservation easements, education and the acquisition and stewardship of land.

Best of Taste Bash

By Anna | Oct 7, 2014 | in

The results are in for Taste of the Seacoast’s 6th annual Best of Taste Survey. Come celebrate with the 2014 winners at the 4th annual Best of Taste Bash on November 22 from 7 – 9:30 PM. The editors at Taste have complied hundreds of votes for your favorite eateries, bars, restaurants and more, and chosen winners in over 80 categories. Now they are bringing the winners together for one fantastic night of food and fun at the Portsmouth Harbor Events and Conference Center. Smuttynose Brewery and Costal Home are proud to help present this event highlighting experienced chefs, brewers, bakers, chocolatiers, and other food professionals.

Come enjoy award winning food, fine wine and signature cocktails while benefiting The New Hampshire Food Bank by bidding in the silent auction. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to The New Hampshire Food Bank. At the auction, you can bid on gift certificates to your favorite restaurants, exclusive spirits, specialty wines, craft beer packages, overnight stays and more.

Blue Ocean Society's Halloween Party

By Madalyn | Oct 7, 2014 | in

Blue Ocean Society is hosting a Halloween Party at the Blue Ocean Discovery Center on October 25 from 3:00pm-5:00pm. All are invited to come dressed in costumes to celebrate the season. Maybe even come dressed as your favorite marine animal or sea creature!

There will be a costume parade for everyone to strut their stuff and show off their costumes, so don't miss out on the fun!

During the event there will also be a variety of activities, games, and take-home crafts that might just take kids minds off of candy, maybe. And of course there will be time for families to visit and interact with the Society's tow 100-gallon touch tanks!

Visitors are welcome to stop by or stay for the full two hours. Admission is free but donations are always welcome. For more information go to or email

Meet a Green Alliance Business

By Madalyn | Oct 7, 2014 | in

Who: Aucella Heating & Cooling

What: Started in 2005, Aucella Heating & Cooling has built itself into one of the top HVAC companies in the greater Seacoast region, and it has done so by using top-of-the-line green products. Run by husband and wife team, Fay and Jay Aucella, the business offers installation and service of a wide range of options from the most standard, yet most efficient oil or propane heating systems to the unique options of ductless split heat pumps, hybrid ducted heat pump systems, solar thermal space heat, and domestic hot water systems and wood pellet boilers. Aucella does more than simply install a system, it looks at the home as a whole. Its small, qualified staff calculates operating cost savings for each installation, comparing overall savings and payback periods to the initial investment. Jay’s interest in the HVAC field began in college. He was surprised to learn most people don’t realize how an efficient heating and cooling system can reduce costs and lower environmental impacts. Today, Aucella Heating & Cooling puts environmental and homeowner needs at the forefront of its business.

Where: P.O. Box 598, Strafford


Join the GA, Receive FREE Isles of Shoals Tickets Before Season Ends!

By Katie | Oct 7, 2014 | in

The Isles of Shoals Steamship Company enjoyed a successful summer. After revamping the business model, which included the addition of a new, smaller vessel, the M/V Celia Thaxter, the Steamship Company saw a number of sold out cruises leaving their docks for great adventures on the water. 

Now, with the season's end quickly approaching, the GA would like to give away free tickets to enjoy the last cruises of the season. All new members will receive 2 tickets to the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company, which will need to be used by October 18th--giving you two more weekends to get out on the water! To see all available cruises visit the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company's website