By Ken Johnson
Efforts to become a more green and sustainable culture proliferate the news these days, but often that information is lost amongst the headlines. Though political coverage of climate change and rampant ecological disasters make the front page, seldom were stories about companies incorporating greener business practices given top-billing. Sarah Brown noticed this lack of attention in the media and decided that it had to change if communities were going to become more sustainable. In response, Brown established the Green Alliance, an environmentally-conscious business union, that raises the awareness of sustainably-minded businesses and helps connect them with green-minded consumers.
“We decided from day one that we wanted an outlet for people, whether they were business owners or consumers, to put their money where their values were,” Brown said. “And we wanted people to realize that going green didn’t have to mean going broke; that going green could actually save you a little of it too and for businesses it could increase their profits.”
Brown, who has worked for CNN, at the New York bureau, NBC, as a Moscow bureau assignment desk editor, and for Associated Press TV, as a Moscow bureau producer, started The Green Alliance in the living room of her Kittery, Maine, home in 2009. When it started, The Green Alliance had two Business Partners, Simply Green Biofuels and Purely Organic Lawn Care. Now, the Green Alliance, headquartered in Portsmouth's historic Franklin Block Building, boasts upward of 100 Business Partners and nearly 4,000s individual community members.
By Michael McCord
Ray Dube of Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England likes to call sustainability innovations “no-brainers,” because one never knows how even a small act can evolve into something special.
But Dube knows. As the sustainability manager at Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England (CNNE), he’s seen it happen many times and never takes it for granted. CCNNE is known throughout the region and in the industry for the depth and breadth of its sustainability initiatives including recycling, energy efficiency and better resource management.
The widespread sustainability measures at CCNNE’s state-of-the-art bottling plant in Londonderry, its 10 distribution centers (in New England and upstate New York), and its fleet of more than 500 vehicles have added up.
But sometimes it’s the little things that give one pause. During an educational event at a Vermont middle school, Dube, who’d logged over100 similar presentations in 2014, discussed the value of the half-dozen syrup barrels he brought with him.
Looking to make a transition to a more healthy lifestyle that goes beyond just dieting or a boring and endless gym workout? Check out Integrated Fitness at the Grand Opening of their new Epping Location on September 12, from 9 - 2. Integrated Fitness offers a unique and holistic exercise program that builds both strength and community!
Driving to work each day, it is hard not to notice the countless gyms that keep popping up in each town. While large, corporate fitness facilities offer cheap monthly memberships, there is no personal connection and very little focus on customer service. However, Integrated Fitness of Dover was launched in 2010 with exactly that in mind. The team of personal trainers helps clients live a more sustainable lifestyle by working with them one-on-one and in a group setting to lose weight, build muscle, and eat healthier for a more balanced lifestyle.
The Integrated Fitness holistic health model has been so successful and well received that they are expanding with another location in Epping. On September 12, IF of Epping opens its doors with fun fitness activities from 9 - 2; all are invited. Find out whats on offer with the personalized and community based Integrated Fitness approach at the September 12 Grand Opening.
In addition to strength training, body building and dietary programs, Integrated Fitness also offers its widely popular Weight Loss Challenge. This fall, the popular Weight Loss Challenge starts anew at their Dover location, as well as the new Epping location. The Epping facility will provide the same customer focus and a comfortable atmosphere dedicated to personal training and group classes
The ten week Weight Loss Challenge will begin at both the Dover and Epping locations on September 14, right after the Epping facility is set to open. Classes are taught with a mixture of cardiovascular and resistance training to help tone the body and build muscle, no matter the current fitness level. In addition to the exercise regimen, the program includes nutrition education for overall whole body health. Since the program began, Integrated Fitness has helped participants lose more than 4,250 pounds!
By Michael McCord
When Rick and Wendy Lang of Highland Hardwoods saw their new solar systems go on line at their facility, they watched with a feeling of accomplishment, checking off another sustainable goal for their company.
“We have always appreciated nature’s wonderful resources and tried to be environmentally responsible business owners,” said Rick Lang about the specialized lumber supply company he started in 1986 on Route 125 in Brentwood. “Going solar reinforces our commitment to manage our natural resources, not only for ourselves but for future generations as well.”
Seven months in the making, Anne Holliday, the lumberyard’s CFO of 20 years, working with Highland Hardwoods to expand its sustainability, first conceived the installation project. After researching state grants, rebates, and looking for local solar installers, Holliday chose Jack Bingham of Seacoast Energy in Barrington for the project.
Bingham installed solar panels on the Highland’s two roofs covering large lumber storage areas in April. Bingham and his crew finished installing the last of the 550 panels a few months later.
It was important to Holliday to reduce the company’s dependence on fossil fuels.
“Fossil fuel is running out,” said Holliday, “and we sell a product that must be sustainably harvested. Any way you look at it, green is important.”
Peace groups from across New England including Veterans for Peace, Peace Action Maine, and Seacoast Peace Response are organizing a peace walk from Ellsworth, ME to Portsmouth. This march will span most of the Maine coastline beginning in Ellsworth on October 9, and ending in Portsmouth on October 24.
The focus of this two week journey is on militarization of the seas, the impact of the United States military on sea life and climate, and the need to transition from the military to alternative energy production like wind turbines. The organizations hope to bring awareness to the impact the government and military have on our oceans and educate citizens about the overall costs of war.
All are welcome to join for part or the entire walk. Local sponsors are also needed to provide meeting space and overnight accommodations in Portsmouth on the night of October 23.
Sadly, summer will soon set sail, but the good news is that autumn is on its way and bringing with it vibrant colors, crisp weather and pumpkin flavored everything. Fall foliage is at its peak for only a few short weeks, and the Green Alliance wants to get on the water to take advantage of this short lived beauty.
On October 15 from 5:00 - 6:30 p.m., sail the Piscataqua River and Portsmouth Harbor with the Gundalow Company and Green Alliance. Join the Green Alliance as a new Sustaining Member and get four free tickets aboard the Fall Foliage Sunset Sail!
A Sustaining Membership is a lifetime individual membership and gets you unlimited GA Business Discounts, Green Alliance events and cutting edge environmental information. Sustaining Members never have to renew and are telling us and the world that they believe in the power of a local green economy.
The Great Bay Stewards, a non-profit, hard-working environmental and conservation organization benefiting the Great Bay Estuary, will be hosting two separate community suppers at Robert's Maine Grill, Wednesday, October 7 and Wednesday October 14th. A community supper is a simple way for nonprofits to raise funds quietly, a portion of the proceeds of meals will go directly to help fund the good work the Great Bay Stewards does for the Estuary around us. No conferences, no committments, no speakers, just eat, realx and Robert's Provides GBS with a monetary portion of sales for that evening. So if you're headed out to eat that week - mark the dates!
Robert's Maine Grill
October 7th and October 14th
326 Route 1
Kittery, Maine (in the heart of the Kittery Outlet District, adjacent to Spruce Creek)
The Great Bay Stewards have been working to prevent shoreline erosion, invasive plant growth, and increased nitrogen levels for decades and is still fully committed to protecting Great Bay for plants, animals, and people alike.
With the end of summer nearing, many seacoast residents find themselves stuck between wishing the season lasts forever and excitement that pesky bugs will begin dwindling away until next year. One local who is no longer worried about biting flies in his yard is Charles Forcey.
As Chair of the Durham Energy Committee, Forcey is at the forefront of energy and environmental issues in town. He is also the newest Sustaining Member of the Green Alliance and celebrated joining as a lifetime member by choosing a free Fly Cage from Ecotech Pest Control as his new member gift!
Tom Pray, owner of Ecotech, invented the Fly Cage, which mimics the appearance of a four-legged animal and is 100% environmentally-friendly. It is a buoy-like visual trap for biting flies such as green heads, deer flies, and horse flies and draws the flies in, capturing them in a way similar to lobster traps.
Completely collapsible, owners can hand-wash the canvas and mesh netting when storing it for the winter season and the Fly Cage is made of materials that are 100 percent recyclable, from the metal legs to the canvas and mesh.
Zev Yoga Studios offers yoga sessions throughout the week, catering to every level from beginner to expert. Aside from the weekly schedule, the three studios offer unique workshops to help yogis focus on specific practices and exercises. Zev Yoga instructor, Ankati, will host two targeted classes in September at their Dover studio.
On Saturday, September 12, from 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Ankati will lead Flow to Detoxify. This workshop will focus on practices to stretch, compress, and twist toxins from the muscles, organs, and spine to create a more balanced and clean body.
Ankati will also host a session titled Flying Beyond Fear on Sunday, September 13 from 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. She brings arm balance practices to the Zev Yoga Studio to help fellow yogis move from fear into trust. This workshop incorporates a strong, flowing asana practice, emotional and energetic awareness, and breath work for a deeply empowering yoga session.
What: Since successfully launching Taste of the Seacoast magazine in 2003, publisher Keith Lemerise has watched the publication grow from a once-a-year local menu guide found in hotels into a sophisticated bi-annual magazine with feature-length articles, extensive recipes, cooking tips and reviews. Taste of the Seacoast is now the region’s go-to resource for diners, wine and craft beer enthusiasts, and foodies. Anchored by editors Lisë Stern and Jo Donoghue DeCenzo, it was important to Lemerise that the publication be committed to environmental stewardship and offset its carbon footprint. To achieve this, he uses Cummings Printing – a local, Forest Stewardship Council printer – to print each issue on recycled, post-consumer paper.
The magazine is also printed with eco-friendly soy-based ink, which degrades more completely than petroleum-based ink and is easier to remove during the process of paper recycling. In addition to its food and restaurant coverage, the magazine features green-related stories from across the industry. These stories cover restaurants and restaurateurs who have taken strides to ensure their business runs sustainably, from energy-efficient kitchen equipment, to on-site composting, recycling and working with local farmers. Taste of the Seacoast also advertises with local, sustainable restaurants, breweries, farms and food suppliers to get its readers to think differently about their dining options.
The Climate Ride Northeast is a five day, 390 mile bike ride beginning September 17 in Bar Harbor and ending September 21 in Boston. Climate Ride is a nonprofit organization that organizes events to raise money and awareness for environmental issues across the country.
This summer, the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund has joined the Climate Ride Northeast to raise funds to support the work that grassroots groups are doing. The organization has created a team, the Grassroots Fun(d) Riders, to raise money and will be represented by Bart Westdijk, Program Director at the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund.
The Grassroots Fund supports local efforts to create and maintain healthy, just, safe and environmentally sustainable communities. The organization is able to do this by providing small grants, trainings, and resources to grassroots organizations that are working on issues from local food system development to climate resiliency and land/water conservation to environmental justice projects.
The Grassroots Fund is currently supporting a community investment club in White River Valley, VT where members can invest in projects that matter to them in their own community. Additionally, they are identifying and raising awareness about natural gas leaks in Boston and working with city government and utilities to get them fixed and the organization is working with female inmates at the Rhode Island Adult Correctional Institution to learn agricultural skills through caring for a vegetable garden.
NextGen Climate is a community organization focused on bringing climate change to the center of discussion in politics. The organization supports candidates and policy makers across the country who take a stand against climate change to prevent climate disasters and create a safe environment for future generations. NextGen was founded in 2013 by Tom Steyer, an investor and philanthropist, and in just a few short years NextGen has made ground breaking progress in advancing climate action in politics.
The New Hampshire chapter invites all to come learn about climate in politics and participate in demanding action on climate change now. The organization will hold a climate action concert on Thursday, August 27 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Henry Law Amphitheater in Dover. This event will feature three local bands, Pardon the Spins, Harsh Armadillo, and Amulus who will provide music for the evening. Speakers Clay Mitchell, an expert in environmental law and energy projects, and Jackie Weatherspoon, a former member of the New Hampshire Legislature, will discuss the importance of climate action.
The Juice Burger food truck from 7th Settlement Brewery will bring local food to the concert and environmental groups from the area will be present to educate concert goers. Don’t forget to stop by the Green Alliance booth at the event!
Click here to learn more about the NextGen Climate Concert.
By Katelyn Monroe
The Green Alliance and Kittery Community Market come together to host a Green Families Celebration and Market, and a Green Beer Social afterwards on Sunday, August 23. The Green Families Fest and Market from 10 a.m. -2 p.m.will be a day of fun featuring the traditional farmers’ market vendors and new family friendly vendors and activities from the Green Alliance and surrounding community. Discover the sustainable, eco-friendly community that has become Green Families.
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 Alliance Beer Social will be held from 1:30 to 3:30 directly after the market and all green minded citizens are welcome.
“We wanted to hold a summer event that appealed to both children and adults,” said Rich Collins GA Assistant Director. “The market and family fest should have something for everyone both young and old, especially those who care about sustainability and supporting the local green economy. We’ve added the GA Beer Social directly after the market for the adults to enjoy some locally brewed beer in the company of other like-minded residents. Families can come to the market and then hit the Beer Social afterwards or for those who just want to network with green business owners they can come straight to the social and skip the market. We expect many of our green-certified GA business owners and GA members to be in attendance at the beer social so it should present excellent summer connecting.”
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.
“We discovered that a large portion of Green Alliance members are parents with young children who care deeply about the environment and shopping locally; people who had a very real vested interest in safer, greener, more local products and services,” said Sarah Brown, Director and Founder of the Green Alliance.
Join the Green Alliance for a 'Green' Beer Social, an afternoon gathering featuring green minded businesses and individuals. Stop by the Tributary Brewery located at Post Office Square in Kittery, Maine on Sunday, August 23 from 1:30 p.m.to 3:30 p.m. and enjoy a beer with fellow Green Alliance members and Business Partners. There will be live Irish music starting around 2PM from a great group of local players. For more information on the traditional "Irish Session" click here.
Green Alliance Members! Don’t forget to show your Green Card for a special one day only offer of 25% off any12oz pour in honor of this day of celebration.
In February 2015, the Kittery Land Trust closed a deal on 43 acres of donated woodland and fields off of Bartlett Road in Kittery. This addition of protected land in the town added to the efforts to protect Brave Boat Headwaters, a 150 acre plot of valuable land.
A public hearing will be held on Monday, August 24 at 7 p.m. at the Kittery Town Hall to decide whether a bond for Brave Boat Headwaters Preserve will appear on the November ballot. The town is being asked to contribute $350,000 toward a $2 million project through a $275,000 bond and $75,000 appropriation from the Open Space Fund.
The 150 acre Brave Boat Headwaters Preserve will be a valuable open space for residents and visitors to the area, as it will provide a public place for outdoor recreation. Additionally, the land will allow for nature based education opportunities for area children, as well as adults, and the preserve will protect the scenic views between Brave Boat Harbor and Bartlett Road.
The preservation of Brave Boat Headwaters is crucial for the protection of rare and endangered wildlife habitats in the area and will ensure the quality of the water flowing into Brave Boat Harbor.
The Kittery Land Trust asks for the help of its members and supporters to make sure Brave Boat Headwaters is protected. Attend the public hearing on August 24 or write to the Town Councilors in support of Brave Boat Headwaters to keep this area protected for future generations to enjoy.
Click here for more information on Brave Boat Headwaters and the Kittery Land Trust.