If we don’t mind saying so ourselves, we’ve been noticing lately that the Green Alliance and the local green economy we are helping to build, is really on the upswing!
From hosting billionaire climate change activist Tom Steyer at GA HQ last week, to hitting the 100 mark last month on GA Lifetime members, we are beginning to see the fruits of our labors. We work hard every day to make the green economy a reality, from inspiring businesses to embrace sustainability, to educating citizens about the importance of sustainable business, to nearly 4,000 members pulling out their Green Cards at over 100 sustainable companies in our region to get their GA discount and effectively say “we support your business because we like your values." Won't youjoin our community of sustainable entrepreneurs and green-minded citizens?
This month we continue to bring the business and citizen community information they need to be both profitable and socially responsible with our November 20th Green Business Learning Series, on social media, hiring and firing, and getting the most out of your employees.
We also are in the throes of a self-education on the new Benefit Corporation designation which comes to NH Jan. 1st – read below for more info and look for further details on this as the GA moves to become a Benefit Corp ourselves and engage other businesses to follow suit.
Green Alliance Forum on Social Media and Employee Engagement
“One of the things we have found that most of our partnering businesses struggle with, is using the ever-changing social media landscape to help grow a business or a brand and the other common problem area for many small biz owners is hiring, firing and managing existing employees,” explains Sarah Brown, GA Director and founder. “So we thought we’d bring folks together with experts in these fields and help to get them educated on strategies that work!”
The Green Alliance's Green Business Learning Series, to be held on Thursday November 20th, will bring social media and human resource experts together with the sustainable entrepreneurs that are hungry for this knowledge. The event, to be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the GA’s headquarters at 75 Congress St., Suite 304 in downtown Portsmouth, hopes to provide business owners with some useful tools to tackle both social media and staffing conundrums. Read the rest of the story here.
Climate Change Powerhouse and Philanthropist Tom Steyer at GA
Last Friday, Green Alliance headquarters had a very special visitor!
For those who aren’t familiar, Tom Steyer, billionaire philanthropist and environmental advocate, is the founder of NextGen Climate, an organization that supports candidates who take interest in environmental issues. He is traveling across the country speaking about the importance of environmental legislation, and the importance of the role of business in climate change action.
Steyer spoke to a full room of business owners and non-profits. Many of our Green Alliance business partners were there, including but not limited to: Seacoast Energy, Blue Ocean Society, Progressive Asset Management, Newmarket Dental, Great Bay Stewards, Eolian Energy, and more. The discussion ranged from the impending transition to renewable energy as the dominant source of power, to the small steps people can take in their local community to make positive changes for the environment. Read the rest of the story here.
Print Bounces Back with Decidedly Green Stride
In the world of direct mail marketing, print was long considered best in class. Business was still decent enough when The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General reported 213 billion pieces of mail were handled in 2008. That was then. Today most direct mail marketing is distributed digitally.
While digital, offers a cheap and quick point of entry, it falls short at providing evidence that it works. Complaints about unwanted banners, pop-up ads and unrequested email have skyrocketed. Indicators point to an overload of online messages being sent to folks who don’t want to hear them. Toss in security breaches or computer viruses and the world of online marketing is not only plagued by too much noise, it is now all-out interruptions.
Consumers fed-up with bloated in-boxes come as no surprise to John Sobczak. An industry veteran, with Hampstead, N.H.-based RAM Printing, a leader in sustainable printing methods, including FSC paper and soy-based inks, Sobczak says he personally gets more than 200 emails a day. Read the rest of the story here.
Your GA Membership saves you 5% off all printing services with RAM!
MetalWave, Inc., QA Cafe, and the Green Alliance collaborated to recycle a bunch of electronics! Watch the video below: (redirects to youtube.com)
900 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria was featured on Phantom Gourmet! Watch the video below: (redirects to youtube.com)
Local Painting Company Leads Green Revolution
During the infancy of the American colonies, a grassroots militia calling themselves the Minutemen spearheaded the American Revolution and fought for the change that lead to the formation of the United States. Today, Sean Sturk and Chris Tufts lead a revolution of their own on the same soil those colonial men and women did centuries ago, even borrowing the revolutionist's name.
Tufts and Sturk are the owners of Minute Men Painters, a green painting company ushering in a revolution in the industry with environmentally-friendly paints and lacquers for their residential and commercial projects. Minute Men Painters use latex-based, waterborne paints and lacquers, a change from the oil-based paints commonly used in homes. However their biggest obstacle isn't the size of the project, but people's resistance to change. That's why Tufts said part of the Minute Men process is to educate their customers to the advantages of waterborne products.
Minute Men test their products before bringing them to the job site. They work with the manufacturers to understand exactly how the new paints work relaying that information to their customers. Read the rest of the story here.
GA Members receive save 5% on all exterior and interior paint services with Minute Men!
Green Collar Careers: Jesse Ware
Jesse Ware is the founder of Futuro, an environmentally friendly construction company. The company takes pride in building healthy, energy independent homes at affordable prices. For Ware, becoming a sustainable builder came naturally; it runs in the family. Ware credits his father for passing down his interest in green construction. “It’s something I grew up with,” according to Ware, “and something I’m excited to spread.”
Theresa Conn (TC): What do you like most about your job?
Jesse Ware (JW): I love my job! I love everything about it. I like building clean, energy-efficient spaces for people to live or work in. I also really like learning about new developments that can be applied to my business; the sustainable construction field is booming right now. It’s a good place to be.
TC: Where did you go to college? Does your college education help with your current job? What skills from college most prepared you for the work you do now?
JW: I spent some time at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. I was a little lost down there; I took some Liberal Arts classes, but I wasn’t sure that was what I wanted to do. I came home after a year and spent the summer working with my father. I’m a second-generation builder. Dad was a builder, a real visionary. He was out there in the 70’s and 80’s building energy efficient homes during the energy crisis. I grew up in a household where my father was keeping up on all the new building technologies. That rubbed off on me. I ended up thriving in the construction industry, and I still love it today. Read the rest of the story here.
Join the Green Alliance and get one FREE 275 Watt Solar Panel with a Zero Energy New Home from Futuro (minimum 5KW solar array).
Ridgeview Construction Honored at Cornerstone Awards The Annual Cornerstone Awards are presented yearly to recognize excellence in all areas of the building industry including design, remodeling, new construction, landscaping and special features. Ridgeview Construction was one of the companies honored at the ceremony, receiving three awards for their commitment to sustainable construction.
Ridgeview was a Gold Winner for the Modern Lake Home category, which highlighted the best complete teardown and build of a modern lakefront home and Historical Farmhouse Modernization, which focuses on the updating and modernizing of a historical farm. Ridgeview was also given the Silver Winner award in the net-zero Home category.
Shane Carter, Ridgeview's President, is proud of the recent recognition. "We are so happy and honored to receive three awards this year," he said. "The Cornerstone awards are meaningful because they are peer judged anonymously. We are so grateful to our amazing customers that choose us to partner with them on their sustainable home building process.”Read the rest of the story here.
GA Members receive a free onsite green design consultation and a free upgrade to Ridgeview's state of the art 3D Design on any new construction or remodeling project with a design and build contract!
Performance Business Solutions Joins the Green Alliance
We're happy to welcome Performance Business Solutions as the latest Business Partner in the Green Alliance!
Founded by Jeff Hiatt in 1995, Performance Business Solutions (PBS) has helped businesses start, or grow, their sustainability initiatives. At its core, PBS is about saving green - that includes saving the environment as much as saving money. Hiatt works with clients to reduce costs and save money by changing the way they purchase different services for their business. One way in which his clients go green is by upgrading buildings with energy efficient systems to reduce their carbon footprint and lower energy costs. In doing so, Hiatt is able to help large companies grow or expand their sustainability operations.
With a comprehensive business model that includes researching and implementing tax credit eligible programs, utility company rebates, LEED certification, reducing a client's reliance on fossil fuels and more, PBS is a leading resource for businesses and commercial property owners looking to become more environmentally conscious. Read the rest of the story here.
Starting January 1, 2015, qualifying New Hampshire businesses can join corporations in over 25 states with a benefit corporation legal status. The Green Alliance, along with W.S. Badger Company, Inc. and Nearby Registry hope to be among the first in the state to adopt this status. This new legislation will help companies include both the public and the environment in their business plans in a new, defendable and promotable way.
Companies that choose benefit corporation status pledge to make a tangible, positive impact on the environment and the community. Businesses designated as benefit corporations make a commitment to meet higher standards of corporate purpose, accountability and transparency. These companies account not only for profit in their business plan but also include people and the environment in what is known as the triple bottom line.
Becoming a benefit corporation can help community oriented businesses target and promote their values, such as community building, environmental awareness, sustainable practices and more. It can also provide marketing opportunities and legal benefits to help companies reach like-minded customers and retain their values over time. Read the rest of the story here.
Combating Rising Fuel Prices and Staying Environmentally Conscious
Last year, with some of the most frigid winter months on record, homeowners felt left in the cold by high home heating costs. But this winter the U.S. Energy Department predicts lower home heating costs for customers. This prediction comes as crude oil prices dropped to an average of $3.41 a gallon in September, 29 cents below the month of June's average. That number is estimated to continue to drop to an average of $3.14 a gallon in December, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's (EIA) short-term energy and winter fuels outlook for the 2014 and 2015 winter season.
And while those numbers have some New Englanders breathing a sigh of relief, it also has many homeowners thinking about the winter to come and wondering if the moderate temperatures seen through the fall will continue. A drastic drop in temperature like last year could send oil prices skyrocketing once again.
Home heating is not an easy market to gamble with. Fuel options – propane, Bioheat, oil – see fluctuating costs each year. Many people choose to switch their home heating option for a cheaper, more efficient product after the previous year's expenses. So what are homeowners in the Northeast to do come this winter season? How can they ensure the lowest expenditure for their home heat, even if the downturn ends and fuel rates climb once again?
For some students, the transition from hours outdoors in the summer to being herded into classrooms may come with a bit of a struggle. Let’s face it, not all kids flourish in a traditional classroom, which may lead to frustrations with school and learning. Acorn School of Stratham allows kids to develop healthy learning habits by fostering their love of outdoors and hands-on activities with education. To celebrate the new school year, and the unique atmosphere The Acorn School has created, they are hosting a Back to School Comedy Night from 5:00 – 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 15 at Portsmouth Gaslight Co. The night includes food, drinks and laughter by comedian Wes Hazard, named one of “5 Boston Comedians to Watch” by the Boston Globe.
The night of the event the Acorn School will announce the winner of their ongoing 50/50 raffle. Only 200 raffle tickets are being sold at $50 a piece for a chance to win $5,000. Ticket purchases for the raffle will help support the Acorn School. The winner will be drawn at the fundraising event on November 15, but participants do not need to be present to win. Those interested in the raffle should contact Chrissy Caron at firstname.lastname@example.org for ticket information. Read the rest of the story here.
Nov 11 – Brixham Montessori Friends School Open House 18 Brickyard Court, York, ME, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
The Open House allows caregivers with interest in the school to come and check out the overall facility and classrooms as well as meet the faculty and staff. The tour of the school allows parents to ask and receive answers to all of their important questions. More info here.
Nov 13 – Prelude Dr. Hauschka Sale! 65 Market St, Portsmouth, 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Prelude is a socially conscious purveyor of fine organic and free trade soaps, lotions, and bath & body products. They are having an amazing two day sale: 10% off all Dr. Hauschka's Skin Care products. The sale will operate on a first come, first serve basis and orders can be made in store or over the phone at (603) 431-0694.
Nov 15 – Acorn School Fall Fundraiser Portsmouth Gaslight Co, 64 Market St, Portsmouth, 5:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Come support the Acorn School for a night out of fun, food, and drinks for their annual fall fundraiser event! Silent and live auctions will take place and feature exciting prizes for the whole family. The money raised at the event will go towards Acorn School's capital expenditures and provide scholarships to students who may otherwise not be able to go to preschool. For tickets to the event click here.
Nov 19 – Button Up NH Free Home Energy Workshop Rye Public Library, 581 Washington Rd, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
At the workshop participants will learn about the science of building and a number of do-it-yourself, energy saving tips. 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 money spent for seasonal heating and cooling. To register for the event click here.
Nov 20 – Green Alliance Presents: Social Media and Employee Engagement for Small Businesses 75 Congress St, Suite 304, Portsmouth, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Are you a small business owner? Do you have questions about social media? What if you need to know how to hire the right person for the job, or fire them if it doesn’t work out? Our Green Business Learning Series will answer those questions for you. Cary Bowman, owner of SocialKitchen, will give a presentation on how to grow a social media following (and sales in the process). Afterwards, Mirjam IJstma, owner of Cultural Chemistry, will speak about techniques to hiring and firing. There will also be a Q&A with the opportunity to network with other businesses. The series is free for GA businesses and members. Email email@example.com to RSVP.
Nov 21 – New Hampshire's Energy Future: Panel Discussion hosted by Dover Chamber Cochecho Country Club, 145 Gulf Rd, Dover, 7:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Come hear from a variety of the voices involved in New Hampshire's energy debate working toward reliable, renewable, and affordable energy. Seating for the panel is limited and advance registration is required. Green Alliance Members receive a member discount with the promo code "GREEN". For more information about the event and to register click here.
Nov 22 – Best of TASTE Bash Portsmouth Harbor Events and Conference Center, 100 Deer St, Portsmouth, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Come enjoy award winning food and take part in a silent auction to benefit The New Hampshire Food Bank. Join the 2014 winners of TASTE magazine’s “Best of TASTE” competition for delicious food, wine, and signature cocktails. Smuttynose Brewery and Costal Home are proud to present this event highlighting over 50 restaurants and other food professionals from the over 80 Best of Taste categories. For more information and to purchase your tickets, click here.
Check out more awesome local happenings on our GA Events page by clicking here!