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Two Ceres Street Embraces Sustainable Design

By Madelaine | Jan 21, 2014 | in

PORTSMOUTH — Two Ceres Street provides a warm and elegant dining experience. Chef Dennis Maggera's menu features an eclectic array of dishes that utilize local ingredients and seasonal selections. The menu is changed and added to frequently to keep up with what’s fresh and locally available. Two Ceres Street not only includes more sustainable options in its cuisine, but also in virtually all aspects of its dining room.

The bar and shelves, and the vanity in the bathroom are all made from paper stone derived from 70 percent post consumer recycled paper. The bar front and table tops are Kirei board, a strong, lightweight, and environmentally friendly substitute for wood made from rapidly renewable and reclaimed agriculture fibers such as sorghum.

The wine and bar cabinetry is made from reclaimed wood gathered from 100-year-old wooden doors. All of the metal work is done by local blacksmith Peter Hapney; art work done by Lisa Grey and the fabric is all handmade and local; wool rugs are all sustainably harvested and furniture is FSC certified and the plan is to build wood tables from reclaimed materials.

Even the finest details reflect its commitment to sustainable and local design. Decorative glass pieces containing local sea glass, beach stone, and no-water moss line the windows. A piece of a 100-year-old silver maple that was uprooted in a storm on the Great Bay hangs on the wall as a charming piece of art.

Starry Brook Natural Medicine in Exeter expands holistic care and insurance coverage options

By Sam | Jan 21, 2014 | in

EXETER - For Starry Brook Natural Medicine, a naturopathic doctor's office in Exeter, NH, there are always options beyond the ordinary for medical treatment. Recently, the business has expanded to include two new practitioners to bring a wider range of holistic healing to the Seacoast.

Starry Brook is a standard family practice. According to H.B. 351 in New Hampshire, naturopathic doctors are classified as primary care providers. The practice takes insurance plans, can prescribe medication, and can diagnose medical conditions. The difference with Starry Brook is its reliance on holistic and natural medicine to provide solutions to medical problems that may not be wholly solved by mainstream medicine. Starry Brook offers everything from acupuncture to hydrotherapy. More recently, it has expanded its services to include Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT, and nutritional counseling.

Dr. Robyn Giard, owner of Starry Brook, makes sure that a patient's first visit is thorough enough to accurately assess their overall health, whatever issue might be particularly concerning them and tackle how they would like to improve.

“The average doctor's visit with a corporate practice is seven minutes, which is not nearly enough time to complete a proper diagnosis. At Starry Brook, we take the time necessary to know each and every patient fully,” explains Dr. Giard. “We'll spend an hour with our new patients to really focus on what they're struggling with in order to pinpoint what the cause really is.”

Cheri Valentine is an Emotional Freedom Technique specialist, which is a form of alternative counseling, utilizing healing energy to help her clients discover inner guidance and strength.

Conservation Law Foundation's Sustainability Report Card

By Madelaine | Jan 21, 2014 | in

Did you know that every business/organization in The Green Alliance undergoes a full and transparent Sustainability Certification? We want to be sure that everyone knows what each business has accomplished and what they are still working toward when it comes to green business practices. Check out CLF’s Report Card below to see how they scored!

 

To read the Conservation Law Foundation's full Sustainability Evaluation click here

Green Alliance members who become CLF members for $75 can receive their choice of a sustainability-related book autographed by the author! To become a GA member click here.

Green Maids Focuses on Improving Health with Safe and Eco-Friendly Cleaning Service

By Sam | Jan 20, 2014 | in

You see the labels in the supermarkets: toxic, poisonous, hazardous. All things that end up on countertops or poured down the drain, and these chemicals can put the health of you, your family, and your local ecosystem in danger. But is it possible to clean your house effectively without these hazardous chemicals? Green Maids is a cleaning service based in York Harbor, ME, that is making strides towards greener cleaning practices on a daily basis.

Large name-brand cleaning products can be corrosive and damaging to humans and animals. Organicconsumers.org reports that these chemicals can cause both acute and chronic symptoms, ranging from respiratory irritation, headaches, and allergies to even contributing to the development of cancer. In addition, chemical cleaners that are washed down the drain often do not break down organically and end up in our water supply, affecting our drinking water and aquatic wildlife.

Owner John O'Brien is committed to providing a kid, pet, and earth-friendly cleaning service with Green Maids.

“Dust, pet dander and things like that can aggravate allergies; I cannot stress enough the importance of a clean home when it comes to good health,” said O'Brien. “Keeping up with your home or cleaning it in a professional manner will really help to keep it maintained to improve the overall health of your family.”

O'Brien says that chemicals like 2-butoxyethanol, phosphate and ammonia, chemicals commonly found in traditional cleaning products, are linked to conditions like allergies, asthma, liver and kidney damage, blood disorders, and more. Green Maids uses products that employ the natural cleaning properties of fruits and vegetables. If the maids leave your home smelling like lemon or orange, you'll know it's not a chemically synthesized scent – the actual oils and peels of these fruits are in their cleaning supplies.

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Two Firms’ Natural Alliance Promotes Dogs’ Health, Safety and Happiness

By Herb | Jan 20, 2014 | in

Two local companies that are dedicated to bettering dogs’ lives are collaborating in ways that benefit each firm, and by doing so, they are furthering the causes to which they strive to assist.

The Natural Dog and Holistic Cat in Portsmouth has created a synergistic alliance with Deerfield-based Mary’s Dogs Rescue & Adoption, improving the health, well-being, safety, and happiness of rescued dogs and generating good will and business for a leading-edge pet supply store.

Dawn Price, a registered dietician and pet food industry expert, with her husband, Jeff, opened The Natural Dog, Inc. in Newburyport in 2005 and The Natural Dog and Holistic Cat in 2013, which is also helping Mary’s Dogs. Both stores are committed to providing the most healthy, all-natural, organic, green and responsibly manufactured pet foods and supplies out there. The Natural Dog stands as a beacon of what’s possible when nutrition, sustainability, and good old-fashioned localism stand at the fore of a business’s ethics.

Both Dawn and Jeff Price pride themselves on meticulously researching the best products for their customers’ pets. For them, quality trumps popularity, every time, which is why they work with companies that are either local, family-owned, or do a handful of things well.

Today, both locations boast a bevy of green, all-natural products, including bamboo and hemp collars, lead-free bowls, beds and toys made from recycled materials, premium cat and dog foods (including the Seacoast’s largest selection of raw foods), natural shampoos, biodegradable waste bags, beds, snacks, biscuits, herbal and whole food supplements, flower essences and more.

Mary’s Dogs Rescue & Adoption has a strong reputation for saving dogs stranded in shelters, looking for the right match between dog and owner, and following up the placement with expert advice to new owners to ensure the match is a lasting one. But if a match is not a good one — and sometimes they’re not, said Mary Doane, owner of Mary’s Dogs — the search will start anew for the right match. As it turns out, almost 100 percent of the dogs Mary’s Dogs rescue eventually end up in the right house.

GREEN STORY: Gundalow Company Sails Into History

By Jim Cavan | Jan 20, 2014 | in

Every business that joins the GA undergoes a thorough, 20-question Evaluation, complete with Report card and -- as you're seeing here -- a Green Story! Congratulations to the Gundalow Company for being the latest Business Partner to complete the process. As you'll soon see, they did very, very well!

Ever since they first began working on the rivers the Piscataqua Region in the mid 1600’s, gundalows have been thought of as the tractor trailer trucks of their time.

Designed to move along with the tides, these locally unique vessels – essentially flat-bottomed cargo barges up to 70 feet in length – helped to shape the commerce and trade of the entire Seacoast region, transporting goods and people before roads and bridges became viable options.

Founded in 2002, the nonprofit Gundalow Company aims to connect residents of the Seacoast and beyond with this historic icon of river commerce, while instilling a sense of environmental stewardship for the Piscataqua region’s cherished waterways.

In 2011 the organization built a new gundalow – The Piscataqua – as a floating classroom for school and youth groups. They also offer two-hour public sails for up to 42 passengers Memorial Day through the end of October. Their daily river tours – which typically last about 2 hours – depart primarily from Portsmouth and are a great way to experience our rivers. They offer a variety of special sails too such as concerts, lectures, sunset sails, private charters, free trips for kids on Saturday mornings, and even brunch on Sundays.

“The gundalow is an icon for the Portsmouth community that sets it apart from nearby regions,” states Executive Director, Molly Bolster. “This is the only place the gundalows existed quite like this and so it inspires a sense of place for people– different from any other coastal community.”

Click here to read the rest of the Gundalow Company's Green Story and see their score!

Colonial Stoneworks: Granite State of Mind

By Jim Cavan | Jan 20, 2014 | in

Few regional calling cards resonate with more authority than Granite State, that steadfast New Hampshire nickname that serves as much as a reflection of the state’s people as it does the endless bounty of rock beneath them.

During the 19th century, New Hampshire boasted one of the country’s largest – if not the largest – granite industries in the country. Even today, the town of Milford (still known colloquially as “Granite Town”) houses one now-defunct quarry made famous for its part in helping construct the U.S. Treasury Building, whose New Hampshire-borne pillars can still be seen on the back of the ten dollar bill.

But while the granite mining industry has since largely fallen by the wayside, one New Hampshire company is determined to make sure that both narratives – of a people’s resourcefulness, and of a proud state’s namesake – continue to thrive.

Adam Bennett is the owner of Windham-based Colonial Stoneworks, which provides services ranging from simple walkways and stairways to elegant fireplaces. On the surface, the services and skills Bennett offers might not seem that different from others in his field. Rather, it’s how the 28-year-old does it that sets him apart from the pack.

Colonial places a heavy emphasis on reclaimed and recycled materials, many of which are local. In many cases, the project fodder will come right from a client’s back yard – literally.

Won't You Be Our Neighbor!?!?

By Patrick | Jan 17, 2014 | in

 

Local Schools Get Acquainted with Big Brothers Big Sisters

By Mary | Jan 17, 2014 | in

PORTSMOUTH — Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Seacoast recently announced its partnership with eight local high schools and four surrounding sites from the Portsmouth area. The School & Site Based Mentoring Program matches Bigs with Littles in the classroom environment. William Allen School is one of the participating schools ecstatic to be part of the program. The guidance counselor at William Allen School, Julie Thompson, claims “it is a resounding success!”

Executive Director Stacy Kramer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Seacoast says, “Being matched in a school or site is a great opportunity for adults who want to give back to the community but don’t have a great deal of time.”

Bigs meet can with their Littles in a comfortable setting during lunch or on the playground after school gets out. The pairs meet for an hour a week to work on homework assignments, read books together, or to chat about family and friends. Bigs from the selected high schools can earn required community service hours while simultaneously influencing the lives of their Littles in a positive way.

Independent Radio Gets the Independent Edge with Favorite Foods' Restaurant Series

By Madelaine | Jan 16, 2014 | in

SOMERSWORTH – Over the past 25 years, Favorite Foods has built a strong reputation for quality products, magnificent customer service, and an emphasis on locally owned restaurants and businesses. Now, they are working with Boston radio station The River to give back to the businesses they serve.

Favorite Foods was presented the New England Food Service Distributor of the Year award in 2013 by the Griffin Report of Food Marketing for their dedication to their clients and to superior food products. Its most recent promotion is called “Operators Edge Promotion Series,” an on-air restaurant review series that spotlights businesses who use Favorite Foods as their distributor.

Every other week, 92.5 The River features a different Favorite Foods restaurant. River personalities Rita Cary and Carolyn Morrell take turns visiting restaurants and reviewing the experience for an advertisement on The River. In addition to an informative review, they also offer listeners a chance to win a Favorite Foods dining and entertainment package. Listeners can register online for a chance to win a gift certificate from a Favorite Foods restaurant and a pair of tickets to a local concert, play, or other event in the area.

Green Families Club

By Madelaine | Jan 16, 2014 | in

The Green Alliance (GA) was launched in 2009 with what seemed at the time, a clear-cut goal: to bring green-minded businesses and consumers together, thereby helping prove the efficacy of sustainable products and services while supporting the local economy. To date, that overarching mission has helped the GA grow from a handful of local businesses – Simply Green Biofuels and Purely Organic Lawncare, specifically – into a union of over 115 companies of every shape and size, and from across industries and sectors.

Propelled by this green critical mass, the Portsmouth organization launched the Green Families Club (GFC) on July 25th 2012.

Designed to serve as a clearinghouse for consumer education and family-friendly local events, the GFC allows area families an opportunity to meet and network with like-minded folks who share the common goal of going green, while saving a little at the same time.

Gateway hosts Chinese New Year celebration

By Madelaine | Jan 16, 2014 | in

PORTSMOUTH — A Green Alliance business partner, Gateway, Taiji, Qigong & Yoga, will be hosting a celebration of The 2014 Chinese New Year in Portsmouth. The event will be held from noon to 5 p.m. on Feb. 1. There will be visual arts, martial arts, children's activities, and acupuncture. Gateway will also hold an open house featuring massage and foot reflexology, brow shaping, and beauty consultations.

2014 is The Year of The Horse. Chinese culture describes the horse as a symbol of nobility, class, speed and perseverance. Specifically, this year is The Year of the Wood Horse. The energy of wood embodies rebirth and growth, high energy, and productivity. Other attributes include fast victories, adventure, and romance.

The day will be packed with exciting events for people of all ages! The celebration will begin with a children's parade featuring a dragon mask created by Newmarket kindergarten students. Following the parade will be various children’s activities, including Chinese brush painting and folk tales. Next, there will be several martial arts demonstrations including Taiji Fan (Marsha Carr) Taiji Sword and Taiji Yang Style Long form (Bill Buckley), plus a dramatic Kung Fu form demonstrated by Jeremy Shaw. There will also be an exciting lineup of Seacoast artists, health practitioners, and martial artists.

Additionally, there will be an open house for the other businesses located at 875 Islington Street. Participating businesses include Face Body Spirit, Jennifer Harrison Skincare, Patrix Salon, Vanish Laser Studio, and Personal Touch Electrolysis. Some of the services offered will be chair massage, reflexology, and skin and beauty consultations.

Winter – Prime Time for Tree Maintenance

By Madelaine | Jan 16, 2014 | in

PORTSMOUTH — Winter is the optimal time for tree and shrub pruning, tree removal, and other services offered by Cornerstone Tree Care. The bare trees and frozen ground make it a great time to do tree maintenance. Frozen ground minimizes landscape damage and allows greater equipment access to trees. With no perennials present, you don’t have to worry about them being damaged during tree work activities.

The lack of leaves on the trees allow for clearer sightings of dead wood, which when removed can help improve a tree’s health. Bare trees also make structural pruning and stand thinning much simpler to execute. Pruning fruit trees now will help improve food production in the future and create good structure. Services like thinning, pruning, and tree removal are also made easier because sap is stored in the tree’s roots this time of year. This makes trunks and braches lighter and easier to handle. This could save you time and money.

Alternative Healthcare Making Strides

By Madelaine | Jan 14, 2014 | in

EXETER — Starry Brook Natural Medicine offers a warm alternative approach to medical care. The practice takes time to get to know all of its patients in order to better treat their medical or emotional problems. Its approach is to consider the whole person and provide hope.

Starry Brook is a one-stop shop, providing services for the entire family. The staff treats patients with a variety of methods from prescriptions to nutrition. They offer services such as acupuncture, massage therapy, diet counseling, and the Emotional Freedom Technique.

Recently two new members have joined Starry Brook Natural Medicine team. Starry Brook owner Dr. Robyn Giard is excited to welcome Alicia Rossman, RD and Rosalyn Hardy, LMT to the practice. These practitioners will help expand Starry Brook’s capabilities by bringing their own unique skills to the table. Rossman specializes in nutrition counseling and provides private yoga sessions for Starry Brook patients. Hardy provides rehabilitative massage therapy.