In the past month I have seen the GA hit the refresh button in a BIG way. The word of the month has been ENGAGEMENT. We've ramped up our social media sites, a new Green Alliance Mobile App is set to launch this summer, and we're building a Green Families club where like-minded parents can come together and share ideas on green living. If you are not a member yet, please join our community today!
We all have a strong distaste for boring and awkward green expos; so on April 20th the Green Alliance and Earthtec will be hosting a Party For the Planet: Sustainability Celebration and Expo. I don’t think we’ll have to twist any arm’s to join us for live music, a free raw bar, local beer, green vendors, and speed dating with green entrepreneurs! Join the GA and get into this event absolutely FREE!
I am reminded daily of the excitement and respect that our community has for the Green Alliance and what we do, and it makes coming to work nothing short of rewarding. So, thank you!
GA Assistant Director
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Celebrate Earth Day weekend with Party for the Planet!
This year, one of the Seacoast’s most anticipated Earth Day events will be hosted by a business whose commitment to the planet is about as tangible as it gets.
On Friday April 20th, from 6-10pm, Earthtec Outfitters – in conjunction with Green Alliance – will hold a Party for the Planet at its West Road warehouse, located directly behind the Market Basket along Lafayette Road (Route 1).
Live music, beer, a free raw bar, and green vendors abound highlight a night eagerly anticipated by Earthtec owner Dennis Randall. Mere months after launching his store’s new downtown Portsmouth retail location (located on Congress Street), Randall hopes the Earth Day soiree will help refocus attention to Earthtec’s flagship location.
“We’ve held a handful of similar events here, and the crowds were always enthusiastic,” says Randall, whose store specializes in a line of fashionable, durable outerwear made from recycled plastic bottles. “We felt it was a good way to remind people of the great green community we’re apart of, while giving them a little more space than our downtown storefront might provide.”
The evening’s events will pivot on a group of mini seminars presented by a select group of Green Alliance Business Partners, says GA Director Sarah Brown. Brown, who launched the Portsmouth-based “green business union” and consumer discount co-op four years ago, hopes the event will be as much about celebrating accomplishments as it will acknowledging future challenges..... Read more here!
Use your Green Card to save 10% on everything at Earthtec! Or save $250 on a solar hot water system from SEA Solar Store! Click here to find out more!
EcoMovement goes back to school
EcoMovement Consulting and Hauling is well known amongst homeowners and businesses in the seacoast area for their unique composting programs. But now owner Rian Bedard has a new clientele: students.
Thanks to a growing demand by school administrators to have a composting program implemented in their schools, recycling education is about to reach a whole new level. As of the end of February, there were five schools that had partnered with the Portsmouth-based EcoMovement: East Kingston Elementary, Dondero School and New Franklin School in Portsmouth, and Traip Academy and Horace Mitchell Primary School in Kittery, Maine.
Jim Eaves is the principal at East Kingston, a school that already has solar panels installed on its roof. For his part, Eaves, couldn’t be more enthusiastic about getting a composting program at his school, especially when other such attempts – for one reason or another – never quite came to fruition.
“Right now the composting program is focused on the school cafeteria, and it’s already helped significantly reduce our trash,” said Eaves of the new program. “We not only fill fewer trash barrels every day, but the program has allowed us to switch to a smaller dumpster.”
Eaves notes that there are even bigger things planned for the program than simply composting the waste collected from lunch every day. One goal is to place small composting bins in each of the classrooms of every grade level....read more on our GA blog by clicking here!
Use your Green Card to sign up for residential compost pickup and get one month FREE from EcoMovement! Click here to learn more!
For eZee Bikes, Spring can't come soon enough
Considering New England’s dearth of winter snow, it’s shocking to think we’re already two weeks officially into Spring. But for the folks at eZee Bikes in Exeter, longer days and final thaws can’t come soon enough.
Indeed, owners Tom and Teresa Hemenway have been chomping at the bit to begin promoting their brand new line of Sym gas-powered scooters. Widely considered some of the best on the market, the Taiwan-produced Syms are – like rivals Honda and Vespa – renowned for their incredible gas mileage, which typically falls in the neighborhood of 120 miles per gallon.
With gas prices this summer expected to reach the painful highs of a few years ago, Hemenway has been eager to once again promote the wallet-friendly virtues of these two-wheeld wonders.
“Just last week we filled up our sedan – not a huge car, by any means – and it cost us close to 60 dollars,” recalls Tom Hemenway. “Then you think about these Sym scooters, and it costs maybe six or seven bucks to fill up.”
Hemenway believes the time has never been better for people to invest in scooters – particularly here in New England, where the relative lack of sprawl and more tightly-knit downtown areas had helped spurn a cycling renaissance of late.
“What’s more green than riding a bike or a scooter?” Hemenway says rhetorically. “We’re seeing them more and more in the cities, and I think they’re only going to get more popular in the next few years.” ...read more here!
Green Alliance members receive $100 off any bike or scooter at eZee Bikes! Click here to learn more!
Trip to India 10 years in making for Green Lotus owner
Spending a month in a foreign country – diving headlong into the more ethereal aspects of its history, culture, and traditions – would understandably impart a kind of culture shock in most.
Lona Kovacs felt it much more coming home.
Kovacs, owner of Green Lotus Yoga Studio in Dover, recently returned stateside after a five-week trip to India. Spending most of her time in the southern Province of Mysore, Kovacs immersed herself fully in the various accoutrement of Ashtanga, a yogic tradition rooted in some of India’s most ancient texts.
According to Kovacs, it was a trip nearly a decade in the making – one the longtime student says was necessary in order to take her studio, and her practice, to the next level.
“My life has been so full over the past few years, between opening the studio and my other pursuits, it was hard to find the time,” recalls Kovacs, who opened Green Lotus in 2009. “I knew that once I got the studio up and running – once that community had been built and sustained – that I needed to go to India to make sure I was staying connected as a practitioner.”
Most – including Kovacs – credit Patthabi Jois, who died in 2009 at the age of 94, with helping popularize the millennia old Ashtanga, inspiring new generations of yogis eager for a more traditional yoga practice emphasizing the physical, psychological, and spiritual alike. While in Jois’ native Mysore, Kovacs tasked herself with reinforcing all three, studying ancient Sanskrit, learning millennia-old chants, and practicing every day.... read more here!
Use your Green Card to get your first 30 days at Green Lotus Yoga Studio for just $30! Also, save $10 on a 10-class punch card, or $5 on a 5-class punch card! Click here to learn more!
Solar tech "old hat" for Atlantic Green Energy owner
It’s hard to imagine an industry spoken of in more futuristic, 21st century terms than the renewable energy sector.
Given the enormous leaps – in terms of both efficacy and affordability – made by solar, wind, geothermal, and other green-driven technologies in recent years, such narratives would seem fitting.
But ask Jack Haritas, co-owner of the Seabrook-based Atlantic Green Energy, and he’ll tell you the ideas and concepts are as tried and true – and rooted in old fashioned American ingenuity – as it gets.
A native of Tewkesbury, Massachusetts, Haritas remembers spending quite a bit of time in the garage workshop of his father, who worked as a heating contractor. Too frugal to justify cranking up the heat in the virtually un-insulated workspace, the elder Haritas – along with his apprenticing son – would simply grin and bear hour after chilly hour toiling and tinkering away.
One day, Jack had an idea: Why not build a makeshift solar furnace, using little more than spare shop parts? An avid reader of Popular Mechanics and Popular Science, the younger Haritas knew enough about the physics of solar technology to pull it off.
“Garages were never well insulated back then, and ours certainly wasn’t,” recalls Haritas. “We just needed something to help heat the space when the sun was shining – not much more than that.”....read more here!
Green Alliance members save 10% on all in-store items at Atlantic Gren Energy! Click here to learn more!
In wake of MF Global debacle, Flaim preaches perspective
When former New Jersey Governor and M.F. Global CEO John Corzine confided in front of a Senate Finance Committee in late 2011 that he wasn’t quite sure how $1.2 billion of his former company’s holdings had suddenly disappeared, it was a statement as incredible and dark as the near four-years financial context in which it unfolded.
Four years removed from the collapse of AIG, Lehmann Brothers, and the near sinking of myriad other Wall Street powerhouses, the mysterious circumstances surrounding MF Global’s out-of-nowhere bankruptcy had many wondering how far our country’s financial regulatory system had really come.
For his part, Eric Flaim, Financial Advisor with Ameriprise, counts himself as someone at once shocked and disappointed by MF Global’s wholly suspicious collapse.
“When I first heard about it, I remember thinking how unbelievable it was that something like this could happen,” says Flaim, a principal in Ameriprise’s Flaim, Chace & Associates, located in Portsmouth. “Especially after the heightened regulation that was supposed to take place after the 2008 collapse, it just didn’t make sense.”
The details of the scandal are still quite hazy. We do know a few things, however: MF Global had made a number of high-risk, highly-leveraged investments, highlighted by heavy wages on European debt; and over $900 million their accountholders’ money had disappeared virtually overnight.
“Basically, there was a loophole that existed after the new regulations had been put in place, which allowed companies to invest in high-risk ventures,” notes Flaim. “But the fact is that transactions like this should have been regulated, and they should be regulated even today.”....read more here!
Green Card holders receive $200 towards financial planning with Ameriprise's Eric Flaim! Click here to learn more!
Rain garden latest green feature at Regeneration Park
When Simply Green turned an abandoned Route 1 Toyota dealership into a thriving green-oriented business campus – aptly named Regeneration Park – they recognized one of the biggest challenges would be figuring out what, exactly, to do with the expansive, worn down parking lot.
Joel Bobbett and the rest of the Simply Green team knew they wanted whatever measure they took to be in keeping with Regeneration Park’s impressive green ethos, which already included myriad recycled materials, efficient lighting and heating, and other measures.
It was getting from here to there that posed the real challenge.
Not only did the company have to take into account the many acres of adjacent wetland and corresponding wildlife; they had to do so in a way that could both accommodate and account for a heavy traffic burden punctuated by the fantastically popular Demeter’s Steakhouse, one of the park's cornerstone businesses.
“It was a unique balance we had to strike,” recalls Bobbett, Simply Green’s Director of Marketing. “But whatever plans we came up with, we wanted them to be as green and low-impact as possible... Read more here!
For most businesses, the opportunity to celebrate 25 years of open doors and happy customers is a testament to sticking to what you do best.
It's one Clay Hill Farm is proud to embrace. Their next opportunity to do that will be on April 22nd, when they host an Earth Day celebration complete with a locally-sourced dinner, scavanger hunt, local music, and much more.
For Jennifer Lewis-McShera, co-owner of Clay Hill Farm, the York, Maine restaurant hitting its Silver Anniversary has just as much to do with the ways in which they’ve embraced change – particularly of the green variety.
“We’ve always been a family business, and in a lot of senses we’ve always done things the same way, and are proud of that,” says McShera, who’s managed the events in the 220-year-old farmhouse-turned restaurant and bird sanctuary since 1986. “It’s just that now a lot of those old fashioned values – taking care of the land, doing things locally – have much more of a modern flavor.”
Originally built in 1780 as a working farm, today Clay Hill stands as a 220-seat restaurant and special events venue nestled amidst acres of rolling lawns, protected coastal woodlands, and gorgeous gardens.
One of the first businesses in Southern Maine to be certified as an Environmental Leader by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Clay Hill is as dedicated to promoting and advancing environmental awareness and stewardship as they are to plating a perfectly rare rib eye.... check out the full story in our blog by clicking here!
Join the GA and save 20% off Clay Hill Farm's regular nightly menu, and 10% off any Holiday or special events menu! Click here!
GA hosts show for resident artist Friday
Over three years have passed since the Green Alliance (GA) first began bringing green-minded businesses and individuals together. Even today, the GA is continually searching for new opportunities to expand the green community, and illuminate the presence of all the fantastic, sustainable and green businesses operating locally.
To that end, the Green Alliance has teamed up with local artist Suzie Goodwin, the organization's first Artist in Residence. Goodwin's compelling Memorial Bridge paintings are on display throughout the month of April at the new GA Guerrilla Gallery. You can meet the artist in person this Friday night, April 6th, from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the GA office -- then stick around for wine and cheese!
The art being displayed will consist mainly of the Memorial Bridge, along with a painting of the Thomas Laighton steamship. Since Goodwin is an accomplished photographer, and will also be displaying some of her photographs that she took while overseas. The show will allow Green Alliance business partners, members, and anyone else would wants to attend to converse over cheese and wine, while being able to enjoy the back drop of beautiful pieces of art.
The Green Alliance is offering a discount on consumer membership purchases at this show. Instead of the normal price of $35 for an annual membership, the Green Alliance will be offering memberships at $25. Green Alliance members will also be given a 10% discount on all art and photography pieces at the event.Read more in our blog by clicking here!
Join the GA and save 10% on all Suzie Goodwin art and photography! Click here!
The ultimate ride at Papa Wheelies bike swap
It’s only four years old, but it has quietly become one of the Seacoast’s most anticipated April events. It’s the Seacoast Bike Swap, hosted by Papa Wheelies on Islington Street in Portsmouth.
This year’s Swap will take place on Sunday, April 15, 11 AM – 4 PM.
Held rain or shine, this five-hour event allows Seacoast residents to sell their old bikes, receive a store credit towards store merchandise or service, and contribute to number of charitable causes.
The Swap is being led by Papa Wheelies Manager, Josh Pierce. “Four years ago, with the recession really hitting home, we wanted to help folks unload their pre-owned bikes,” explains Pierce. “We never thought it would grow this quickly!”
“If you have an older bike, just bring it to us by Saturday, April 14th, in advance of this year’s Swap on April 15th. We’ll check it out and make sure it’s safe to ride, and if it is, we help you put a price tag on it, and make it available during the Swap,” says Pierce. “If the bike sells, that’s great; if not, you can take it home, or we can donate the bike to the St. Charles Rochester House (an orphanage in Rochester which supports children age 3 - 12), or to Bikes Not Bombs (a non-profit which donates bikes to economic development projects in developing nations).”...Read more in our blog by clicking here!
Use your Green Card to receive $50 off any regularly-priced adult bicycle at Papa Wheelies! Also save $20 off any tune up, receive FREE installation of any accessories, and save 20% on all accessories and clothing!Click here!
Workshops key to Greenovations' education efforts
For Christopher Ring of Greenovations, building is nothing but natural. Started in May of 2010, Greenovations of York, Maine, offers both the expertise and materials for environmentally friendly construction and remodeling. Ring’s commitment to sustainable building has lead to the ongoing success of Greenovations and provides the basis for which he developed his business model.
As a self-proclaimed tree hugger and practicing environmentalist, Ring believes in the power of environmental advocacy through his field of sustainable design. “One of the greatest ways to promote a greener lifestyle is through the built world,” says Ring.
On Tuesday, April 10th, Ring, along with local green design expert, Paul Fowler, will be conducting the second part of a two-part workshop series at the York, ME library. The workshop series is free and open to the public. The first session focused on green home building and design in order to introduce basic design concepts and sustainable building material options. The second session, meanwhile, will offer information on sustainable home interiors and guidance on material selection and health benefits of environmentally friendly design options...Read more in our blog by clicking here!
Use your Green Card to save 10% off all stock items! Also save 7% on 700 square feet or more of Ultra Touch recycled denim insulation at Greenovations in York!Click here!
NH's 1st Komen Cure race has green sneakers
The inaugural Komen New Hampshire Race for the Cure® has been a long time coming.The Vermont-New Hampshire Affiliate of the renowned Komen organization will be holding its first NH 5k run or walk, with a start and finish at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, on May 12. In addition to all the trappings of a wildly successful fundraising event; NH’s Race for the Cure has a decidedly local and green flavor. Yours truly, the Green Alliance, is a sponsor for the race, and has organized it's own GA race team!
Since its inception in 1982, Susan G. Komen for the Cure has raised $1.9 billion for breast cancer research, with the Vermont-New Hampshire Affiliate raising $8.1 since its first race in 1993. Attesting to Komen’s “local” mission, 75% of all of the money the VT-NH Affiliate raises – $6.7 million to date – is distributed via grants to regional non-profit organizations, health care providers, hospitals, educational institutions, governmental agencies and breast health advocates for breast cancer education, screening and treatment programs. The remaining 25% goes to breast cancer research.
This concentration on the local community is an integral part of the Komen Race for the Cure model, and it begins with those tasked with the planning and organization of the event. Race co-chairs Marci Francis and Jacqui Bryan, along with Race Director, Barbara Massar, of Pro Portsmouth, are all Seacoast residents.
When asked about other aspects of the Race that make it “local”, Francis answers as if it would be difficult to find any part of the Race that wasn’t local...Read more in our blog by clicking here!
Support New Hampshire's Race for the Cure by joining the Green Alliance Race Team! Sign up for the GA team here!
Apr 6 – Free Family Fun Night — 5:30pm-8pm, Children’s Museum of Dover, The Children's Museum of NH will be open to all at no cost this Friday night, April 6 from 5:30 - 8 pm. Bring your family in to enjoy a night of fun & learning. Click here for more info. Apr 6 –Meet the Artist at the new GA Gallery – 4pm-7pm, 75 Congress Street, Suite 304, Portsmouth, NH. As a part of our newest endeavor with the Green Alliance Artist in Residence Programwe are inviting the community into our office space to view the great works we have on display. The night will feature art from local artist, Suzie Goodwin. Discounted Green Alliance memberships will be for sale as well as 10% off all artwork and photography. The event will offer free cheese and wine and is free to the public. For additional information, check out the Green Alliance blog. Apr 8 – Easter Traditions at Clay Hill Farm –4pm, 220 Clay Hill Road, Cape Neddick, ME. Come join the folks at Clay Hill Farm for a FREE community egg hunt at 4pm. There is also a special menu being offered featuring lavish foods at fair prices! To view the featured menu, click here. Don't forget to check out the Clay Hill Farm Restaurant's page to check out other great discounts! Apr 10 – Green Building Workshop Series--Session II– 7pm,York Public Library. Sustainable Interiors: presented by Christopher Ring of Greenovations. This session will provide guidance for homeowners who want to choose healthy, eco-friendly building materials and furnishings for the spaces they inhabit. An overview of the health hazards of conventional materials will be discussed and guidance will be provided for making home healthy, eco-friendly choices. Apr 11 – Webinar: Engaging Employees in Social Responsibility in a Small Business Environment– 12pm-1pm, online. Register to attend this free webinar brought to you by Mirjam IJtsma of Cultural Chemistry and the New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility 2012 Webinar Series. The webinar will focus on small businesses interested in promoting social responsiblity in the workplace. The topics will address strategic planning, business culture, and more. Click here for more info. Apr 11 – April Green Eggs– 7:30am, McLane Audubon Center, 84 Silk Farm Road, Concord, NH. Green Eggs is the Chapter's monthly breakfast forum featuring a speaker and topic relevant to green buildings. Networking and breakfast, featuring a full breakfast - local and creative, will take place from 7:30 - 8:00 followed by a 45-minute presentation and a 15-minute question, answer & discussion period. Attendance is limited and pre-registration with payment is recommended. Attendance is $10 for members and $15 for non-members.For more information, visit the New Hampshire Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. Apr 15 – Papa Wheelies 4th Annual Seacoast Bike Swap– 11am to 4pm, 653 Islington St., Portsmouth, NH. Come out and join the Green Alliance at the Papa Wheelies 4th Annual Seacoast Bike Swap. Whether you're in the market for a used bicycle or just looking around, the bike swap is the perfect event to attend If you are trying to sell your old bike, submissions are being accepted from April 1st to April 14th. For more information, visit Papa Wheelies. Apr 15 – Hampton Beach Cleanup – 10am to 11:30am, Hampton Beach, Hampton, NH. Johnmark O’Brien of the York Harbor-based Green Maids and Nathan Johnson of Visions Kitchens and Design in Hampton are spearheading an Earth Day beach cleanup at Hampton Beach. They invite local residents and visitors alike to come out and volunteer.Johnson and O’Brien plan to donate $1 to the Blue Ocean Society for each person who shows up to volunteer at their beach cleanup on April 15th, up to $500. For more information, please contact Nathan Johnson by emailing email@example.com Apr 20 – Green Alliance Earth Day Sustainability Celebration and Expo – 6 to 10pm, Earthtec Warehouse, West Road, Portsmouth, NH. The event will feature music, beer, sustainability-minded vendors and seminars on sustainable topics.Entry is free for Green Alliance members as is the opportunity to vend for GA Business Partners. Not a member? $20 will get you in the door and also provide a yearlong membership to Green Alliance- $15 off the normal membership price! Click here for more info! Apr 21 – “Whale of a 5K” and “Kids Fun Run” by the Seacoast Science Center– 9:00am, Odiorne Point State Park. Join the local community and support the Seacoast Science Center by participating in the fourth annual Whale of a 5k Race and Kid's Fun-Run. All proceeds will support environmental education efforts.There will also be live music, green activities, and other informational booths at the event to make the day even more enjoyable. Apr 22 – Clay Hill Farm Earth Day Event – 2pm, Clay Hill Farm, 220 Clay Hill Road, York, ME. Join Clay Hill Farm on Earth Day for their FREE Scavenger Hunt at 2 PM. Bring a basket and smartphone! Don't miss the local food and live music from folk duo Kurt Besette and Jenn Kurtz. The event will be hosted by Green Wedding Giveaway winners, Jessica and Tim! For more info, click here. Apr 23 – April Food and Health Forum– 6:30pm to 9pm, Blue Moon Evolution, 8 Clifford Street, Exeter, NH.Amy Cotler is the author of the book The Locavore Way: Discover & Enjoy the Pleasures of Locally Grown Food. Come to hear her 'how-to' presentation to learn everything you need to know to buy, cook, and eat food grown, raised and produced close to home. To purchase a ticket for this event, visit the Food and Health Forum website. Apr 29 – University of New Hampshire Solar Festival 2012 – Boulder Field, University of New Hampshire. Join the UNH community for a fun-filled, environmentally-friendly festival that involves live music and various booths from local vendors. The entire event will be run completely on solar energy provided by a bus with solar panels attached to it.To learn more, visit the Student Environmental Action Coalition website. Apr 30 – 3rd Annual Sustainable Economy Conference– 8:15am to 4:30 pm, The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. The 3rd Annual Sustainable Economy Conference (SEC) brings together the government, business, academic, nonprofit and community sectors for the purpose of creating sustainable communities and a sustainable economy in Massachusetts.There is $95 registration fee. To register, click here. For discount details, sponsorship opportunities, and all other inquiries, emailCrystal@isesplanning.com