Set your Sights on Back to School with Harbor Eyecare Center

By Anne | Aug 12, 2015 | in

According to the American Optometric Association, 80% of learning is visual. Visual acuity, or ability to discern letters and numbers from various distances, is an absolutely essential component of effective learning. Comprehension and retention of information relies heavily on visual health and function. In the spirit of bolstering scholarly pursuits, Harbor Eyecare Center is offering a special “Back to School” discount of 25% off a complete pair of glasses to teachers and students. Additionally, the Harbor Kids Sports Package, including recreational specific frames with single vision polycarbonate lenses, is now on sale. This package is a perfect utilitarian accessory to any fall student-athlete’s competition kit.

Harbor Eyecare Center’s friendly physicians and opticians offer a wealth and duality of expertise on both the function and fashion components of proper eyewear. Choose new frames from a variety of name brand frames and return to class in style this fall. One such brand offered, Modo, is an Italian designer eyewear company that has differentiated itself from other high fashion brands by offering a sustainable and socially responsible line of frames, the Eco line. Frames from this green line are made of bio-based

or recycled materials to ease the environmental burden of global commodity production. Each set of frames sold additionally fuels socially responsible programs to address vision and health needs around the world. The campaign “Trees for the Future” plants one tree in Cameroon, Africa for every Eco frame sold. To date, this initiative has facilitated the planting of over a million trees in the region, nourishing the soil and empowering local farmers with a sustainable income source. The second charity that the Eco line supports is “Buy a Frame, Give a Frame” which matches each frame purchase made by donating a full set of glasses to a needy vision patient in Nepal.

In addition to actively seeking out and carrying products with social and environmental benefits like the Eco line by Modo, Harbor Eyecare Center as a business, has committed to sustainability through addressing operational consumables and waste diversion in-house. The facility has implemented a comprehensive office recycling program in addition to sourcing office supplies from green vendors. Harbor Eyecare Center is a Green Alliance Business Partner.

The 3rd Annual Dover Mini Makers Faire

By Sam Lane | Aug 12, 2015 | in

On Saturday August 29th, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., be sure to make it to the 3rd annual Dover Mini Makers Faire. The event is comprised of interactive demos, building sessions and lots of other fun activities to get you and your kids’ brains in gear. The event is located in Henry Law Park in Dover, NH. Both new and returning local businesses, university services and public groups will be attending, each with their own slice of inventiveness to share. All makers and creators are encouraged to attend to perform, showcase a project, or to simply show off something cool that you’ve invented! Early bird sign-up is open now for those who hope to hop on the opportunity as soon as possible. Early bird ticket pricing are being sold for $8 per person.

Returning groups Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and University of New Hampshire will be demonstrating Remotely Operated Vehicles as part of the Office of Naval Researched STEM Outreach Program. Attendees will get the chance to drive their own Remotely Operated Vehicles in a 1000-gallon tank or even in the Cocheco River. Portsmouth Public Library will also be returning to the Faire prepared with a few hands-on projects for all to try.

Tell Your Friends! Spread the Word About the Green Alliance

By Katelyn | Aug 11, 2015 | in

Hey Green Alliance members! Have you told your friends and family about the Green Alliance? Share a little about the GA, like the benefits of shopping with local and environmentally conscious businesses, and how the Green Alliance aims to create the kind of communities we all want to live in.

Are you not yet a member of the Green Alliance, but are interested in joining the GA community? Take a look at the various memberships we offer, what you get by joining the Green Alliance, and some special summer offers to take advantage of!

Becoming a member of the Green Alliance entitles you to discounts with our long list of local and green Business Partners ranging from landscaping, building, and heating companies to restaurants and fitness centers. Are you interested in starting a new home improvement project? We have the guys for you- save big with local businesses like 10% off services with Purely Organic Lawncare or 5% off all paint jobs with Minute Men Painters. Stop by some of your local favorites like the Portsmouth Brewery, Redhook Brewery, and Poco's Bow Street Cantina and take 10% off your bill.

21 Puppies Want to Go Home!

By Rich | Aug 10, 2015 | in

One of our favorite business partners, Mary’s Dogs of Northwood NH, specializes in placing mixed breed dogs (aka mutts, the most delightful breed of dog in my opinion) into their new forever homes. Mary currently has 21 dogs up for adoption including – puppies. Not much makes the heart feel more warm and generous than helping find a new home for a puppy. Try to resist. Babe. Barbie. Raven. Brody....21 Puppies want to go home!

If you are looking for a new family companion, check out Mary’s dogs GA profile, website, or facebook and peruse the stupendous selection of pups ready and available to adopt today! Mary’s dogs are healthy, happy, vaccinated, and ready to go. Mary puts it so well:

“Our dogs are good old fashioned, follow-you-to-the-moon-and-back, loveable mutts. They’re “a mix of a mix and mix”. You’ll be adopting a one of a kind, mixed breed wonder. We’ve got them in all shapes and sizes. If you want to know the truth, we’ve loved every dog we’ve rescued. We’re sure you’ll love them too. A rescue dog is a great dog, plain and simple. If you love them, they’ll love you right back. And remember, when you rescue a dog, you save two lives: the one you bring home and the one who takes their place in our rescue."

Beer & Oyster Party at the Franklin Oyster House

By Sam Lane | Aug 6, 2015 | in

Tonight, August 6, at 5:30 p.m. the Franklin Oyster House welcomes all to join them for the Beer and Oyster Party. If you care to start things off with a drink you’re in luck, as there will be six 5-ounce beer samples from Smuttynose Brewing Company and Great Rhythm Brewing Company. Some of the brews included are Smuttlabs' Cherry Short Weisse and Oak Tripel, Smuttynose's Vunderbar Pilsner and Great Rhythm Resonation Pale Ale. Each beer will be paired with a variety of six locally sourced oysters. The pairings cost $34, but jump on the opportunity quick as there is only standing room available. During the event WXGR 103.5 will provide music to accompany the good eats.

As any local beer drinker would tell you, Smuttynose brews some of the top beers in New England. Active at fun, local events such as the Beer and Oyster party, Smuttynose makes a tremendous effort to be involved lsocially, as well as consciously. At their new sustainable and eco-friendly facility in Hampton, NH, you can find the Smuttynose staff brewing locally prized craft beers such as the ever so secret Smuttlab brews and old favorites like Old Brown Dog Ale and Bouncy House IPA.

Dover Cultivates Good (Green) Health

By Craig | Aug 5, 2015 | in

By Kristyn Lak Miller

It’s easy being green, and being healthy, in Dover, New Hampshire. About a dozen fitness companies are members of the Greater Dover Chamber of Commerce; several restaurants in the city serve local, seasonal, organic fare; and wholesome events are commonplace, from road races and farmers’ markets to Apple Harvest Day.

But the city of Dover also appreciates its green spaces and the active lifestyles of its residents.

“Dover has a lot of open park space, indoor and outdoor pools, an indoor hockey arena, and other recreational activities for children and adults,” said Katie MacKinnon, Membership and Business Resource Manager for the Greater Dover Chamber of Commerce.

In addition, The Dover Community Trail and Cocheco River Walk encourage outdoor fun, and is making Dover more walkable through signs showing the distance from that point to the next landmark.

“The majority of our clients are from Dover, and we’ve found that the Dover community is very health-conscious, with a big demand for what we’re doing,” said Jon Arnold, owner and CEO of Integrated Fitness of Dover LLC.

Arnold and his team of trainers work with clients to help them lose weight, build muscle, eat healthier and meet personal goals for a more balanced lifestyle.

“We welcome all fitness levels, from body builders to those who need to lose 200 pounds,” said Arnold. “We also address the emotional and mental aspects of weight loss; we get involved in a way other gyms can’t, or won’t—for example, a trainer will go to a grocery store with a family to help them shop, and then will go to their home to discuss exercise and lifestyle.”

Green Alliance and Kittery Community Market to Host Families Celebration

By Katelyn | Aug 3, 2015 | in

KITTERY - The Green Alliance and Kittery Community Market come together to host the Green Families Celebration and Market, a day of fun featuring the traditional farmers market vendors and new family friendly vendors and activities. Discover the Green Families community on Sunday, August 23.

This year, the Kittery Community Market added new venders and sponsors. One new sponsor is the Green Alliance, a union of local and regional businesses that have sustainable initiatives at the core of their business model, and consumer members looking to shop with eco-friendly businesses.

The event is focused on bringing together the local community, especially families, as well as the regular market crowd with live music, face painting, a scavenger hunt, games and prizes for the kids. As its own weekly summer event, the Kittery Community Market is held Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in downtown Kittery at Post Office Square featuring local produce, foods, and crafts. On August 23 the market will expand with the addition of sustainable vendors from the Green Alliance, along with a post celebration meet-up at nearby Tributary Brewing Company.

The Green Families Club (GFC) was created with the goal to inspire younger generations to care about sustainability and value the environment. Its formation was a natural response of research and trends found by the Green Alliance about members.

Green Collar Careers: Eolian Renewable Energy Chief Executive Officer, Jack Kenworthy

By Craig | Aug 3, 2015 | in

By Ken Johnson

Wind is a vast, natural, and renewable energy. Despite being used as a power source for centuries, it wasn't until 1888 that Charles Brush first harnessed its potential to create electricity.

Eolian Renewable Energy, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, carries on Brush's work on a much larger scale. Brush's first wind turbine powered one home. Eolian's current project in Antrim, New Hampshire, will power about 12,500 average New Hampshire homes when completed.

The Antrim Wind Project is a venture that Jack Kenworthy, CEO of Eolian Renewable Energy is incredibly proud of. Not just because of the clean, renewable energy that it will create for the state of New Hampshire, but also for the many other innovative elements built into the project including vast amounts of forestland that the project will permanently conserve.

“It's a project we believe is really the best sited wind project in the state of New Hampshire,” Kenworthy said. “It has enjoyed long standing support from the town of Antrim, which is difficult to achieve, and we are very proud of our ability to have garnered and maintained that support over so many years. And we continue to have a very strong and positive relationship with both the leadership and the residents of the town.”

Not only will the Antrim project provide clean renewable energy, due to agreements with the town of Antrim, the Harris Center for Conservation Education and the individual land owners, it will also permanently preserve 908 acres of valuable open-space forest, including 100 percent of the project ridge line.

Are your Pets Tired of Ticks? Looking for Natural Alternatives?

By Rich | Jul 30, 2015 | in

By Rich Collins

New England is graced with somewhat unusual climate conditions – harsh winters often followed by beautiful, somewhat dry spring. But with these weather patterns come an onslaught of biting insects – ticks in particular – that target pets and their owners across the East. It’s well known that ticks carry Lyme and other types of debilitating diseases, as they lie in wait on tall grasses readying themselves to hitch a ride on cats and dogs. Pet owners often have their dogs and cats vaccinated against ticks; however, the nightmarish insects can still travel into our homes via pets and feed on humans.

So what can homeowners do to protect their dogs and cats, as well as themselves? The first solution is to avoid grassy or wooded areas entirely. But during the summer months, it’s not feasible to avoid the outdoors throughout the seacoast and the Great Bay (a known tick hotbed) area.

To determine what options are available, it’s best to turn to professionals. Locally, The Natural Dog and Holistic Cat offer choices on a variety of natural products, from holistic pet foods to natural flea and tick remedies. Co-owned by husband and wife team Dawn and Jeff Price, The Natural Dog is a holistic and organic pet supply store specializing in direct, personal customer service, advice, and a host of natural product alternatives. Located at 801 Islington Street in Portsmouth’s revitalized “West End” neighborhood in Gallagher Plaza, the store is a local resource for pet owners who prefer a more holistic approach or have dogs and cats with special diets or needs.

CCNNE: A Proud Sponsor of the Special Olympics

By Katelyn | Jul 28, 2015 | in

The Coca-Cola Company is one of the most well-known businesses across the globe, but the iconic drink company is not always thought of as a leader in sustainability and community initiatives. Coca-Cola and its regional bottling facilities are continuously finding new ways to give back to the community and have become increasingly environmentally friendly.

The Special Olympics was founded in 1968 and the Coca-Cola Company has been a global sponsor since the organization was established. In the Northeast, the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England (CCNNE) has worked with the Special Olympics for decades and provides refreshments for the athletes and volunteers.

While CCNNE is responsible for beverages at the New Hampshire Special Olympics events, the volunteers also run the softball throw, tennis ball throw, and mini-javelin. CCNNE employees continue to participate with the Special Olympics to give back to the community and have found that it is a great team building experience and way for employees and their families to connect with each other.

Redhook Brewery hosts Seacoast Salutes, Military Appreciation Day and Fundraiser

By Anne | Jul 23, 2015 | in
Redhook Brewery in conjunction with Service Credit Union will be hosting Seacoast Salutes, a military appreciation day and fundraising event, on Sunday July 26th, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  This day-long festival will be held on the Redhook Brewery grounds to celebrate and honor the dedication and sacrifice of military personnel and their families. 
The day will start will an opening ceremony hosted by local radio personality, Greg Kretschmar, from WHEB’s “Greg and the Morning Buzz”. Four local musical acts; Evan Goodrow, Black Agnes, Badwolf and Gretchen and the Pickpockets, will be performing throughout the day in addition to intermittent skateboard and BMX exhibitions courtesy of Rye Airfield. This headlining entertainment will be punctuated with sports activities, children’s games, and raffles. Barbecue will be available from Foster’s Clambake and Catering.
The event is predicted to be the largest military appreciation day of its kind in New England with 3,000 anticipated guests.  Proceeds raised will benefit the New Hampshire Military Assistance Foundation as well as the New Hampshire Air National Guard’s Chaplains Emergency Relief Fund. Admission is free for active duty military and their immediate families. Tickets are $15 for the general public. Veterans will enjoy a reduced admission price of $10. Tickets can be purchased either the day of the event or online at

Driving Change in Transportation

By Sam Lane | Jul 22, 2015 | in

By Anne Twombly

Any Seacoast local will tell you, parking in Portsmouth can be a challenge, especially among commuters who also cope with increases in gas prices. And with the city’s recent decision to build a new $23.2 million parking garage with funding in part from increased parking fees at meters and the High-Hanover garage, drivers are turning to different forms of transportation.

Local electric bike and scooter dealer, EZBikes and Scooters of Exeter has been meeting this growing demand for alternative transportation on the Seacoast.

After nearly 30 years of providing mobile electronic services through his business Autosounds of NH, Tom Hemenway, expanded his business six years ago to include electric bikes. One year later, he and his wife and co-owner Teresa Hemenway, added gas powered scooters to the mix.

“The electric bikes business has grown, but not as fast as scooters,” Teresa said. “We found that there really was a need for scooters.”

Demand for the electric bikes rose when gas prices began climbing rapidly. The average electric bike consumes an incredible 1 kilowatt-hour for every 100 kilometers, achieving close to 2,000 miles per gallon, while the average scooter gets 80 to 100 miles per gallon.

Local Golf Course Engages in Groundbreaking Stormwater Management Lessening Environmental Impact To Great Bay

By Sam Lane | Jul 22, 2015 | in

By Rich Collins

A joint conservation effort between Sagamore-Hampton Golf, the NH Department of Environmental Services, and UNH has put one NH golf company at the forefront of conservation of Great Bay.

Though it appears at times as no more than a mere trickle of water, Cornelius Brook is a small stream that flows quietly through the Sagamore-Hampton Golf course. Its significance lies in the fact that its ultimate destination is New Hampshire’s Great Bay, which has been succumbing to pollution pressures in recent times. The Great Bay is one of the most important estuaries in the country, and named as one of 28 US EPA, Estuaries of National Significance.

Cornelius Brook is perhaps no more important than any of the numerous tributaries that feed into the Bay, but thanks to a new joint project that is underway, the water that flows into the Brook will be that much cleaner and free of dangerous fertilizers as it enters the larger Winnicut River on its way toward Great Bay and ultimately the Atlantic ocean.

According to the NH DES website, seven rivers in total carry pollution from 42 New Hampshire and 10 Maine communities into the Great Bay watershed, which comprises of 1,023 square miles. A 2013 State of Estuaries report shows the Bay is in trouble, resulting in 12 of 16 environmental indicators with negative or cautionary trends.

Green Story: Performance Business Solutions, LLC

By Craig | Jul 21, 2015 | in

Performance Business Solutions: Bringing New Meaning to “Saving Green”

Performance Business Solutions (PBS) is a leader in cost-reduction consulting. Much of PBS’ work is centered on cost segregation studies. Essentially, Jeff Hiatt determines where and how clients can save cash. In many cases, energy efficiency and other sustainability concepts play integral roles in PBS recommendations. However, Jeff does not operate under a “one size fits all” philosophy. By working closely with clients, Jeff is able to pinpoint the best solutions for individual companies, which may or may not involve “green” elements. This logic-based thinking, paired with extensive knowledge of tax principles and sustainability, has earned Jeff a reputation as a trustworthy and innovative consultant. Through the course of his work, Jeff has vetted a variety of vendors, and has compiled a list of businesses that offer top-notch services.

“I’ve worked in the green world for many years now,” Hiatt explains. “I understand that these business owners are often bombarded by cold calls, junk mail and spam. They mentally shut down because it all seems like marketing hype and malarkey. When I help them with the depreciation on their buildings, they often ask what else I can do. Then I have an opportunity to explain how green solutions can improve a client’s bottom line.”

When appropriate, Jeff recommends a variety of renewable energy alternatives, including solar, wind, and geothermal. For example, Jeff was integral in a solar installation project at Paragon Communications. The company, which was concerned about its long term energy costs, came to Jeff for a cost segregation study. He recommended a vendor to assess whether solar would be a good fit for the company. Paragon decided that solar energy was right for their situation. They expect to see a return on their investment within the next few years. Jeff does not just tout the merits of renewable energy; he lives in a home that has a geothermal heating system. When recommending geothermal to his clients, Jeff often advises working with Ultra Geothermal, another Green Alliance business.

Jeff acts as an intermediary between a wide variety of clients and sustainable service providers. One great contribution Jeff has made to the New England sustainability scene has been his creation of an informal collaborative network of sustainability professionals. PBS and has nurtured relationships among many businesses across a variety of industries.

RiverWoods Draws Parallels With Blue Zones

By Sam Lane | Jul 21, 2015 | in

By Josh Rosenson

EXETER - Blue Zones have been identified by author Dan Buettner in the book The Blue Zones as areas where populations live longer and enjoy a superior quality of life into old age. Several Blue Zones have been identified around the world such as Sardinia, Italy and Okinawa, Japan, and the areas studied have been identified as sharing six specific characteristics that are believed to aid in the superior quality of life at an older age.
RiverWoods Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in Exeter, also shares many of these Blue Zone characteristics that are suggested to be linked with living longer and healthier in older age.

“RiverWoods is structured in a unique way,” said Cathleen Toomey, RiverWoods’ VP. “People join when they are independent and able to live on their own. They make their home here and gain friends. When and if they need another level of care they can transition to assisted living or skilled nursing, in a private room, with no limit in how length of stay, and no increase in fee. Meanwhile, your community is here to support you. That is the extraordinary benefit of a CCRC.”

There are six key markers in identifying Blue Zones. RiverWoods, with a resident population of 620 residents and 500 employees, incorporates five of these factors.