The Alliance GAzette : December 2015

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Dear GAzette Readers, 
We’ve been busy here at the GA since we started in 2009. Over the years we’ve helped businesses large and small share their sustainability stories, and consumers make greener choices. It’s been a successful, busy, sometimes chaotic, but always rewarding experience. Now it’s time for a change.
The GA is taking some time this winter to assess before re-emerging next year under new leadership a little smarter, a little different, and with a renewed zest for what we do best. Yes, I’m stepping aside as Director, but I have hand-picked my successor to carry the GA forward. The fact is, you have all been incredibly important as members of the GA community, and have all played a critical role in advancing our mission.  I’m confident the incoming Director will take the GA in new and exciting directions I could only dream of.
As my three daughters get older, I realize it won’t be much longer before they’re off on their own; I’m refocusing my energies towards them in their final years at home before they leave the nest for college. I’ve also gone back to my journalism roots and am writing for National Geographic’s The Plate!  Check out my first story here.
I hope you understand why this change is important not just for me but also for the organization. Though I’m saying goodbye to you as Sarah Brown, Director of the Green Alliance, I’d like to say ‘hello’ to you as Sarah Brown, friend, supporter, colleague and fellow green citizen.
Sarah Brown
Director and Founder

Green Business in Our Community

You Say Goodbye, and I Say Hello

As I search for the tone that will no doubt act as the all-important first impression to many Green Alliance friends and supporters, I am at once hopeful of where the GA is heading and more than a little bummed by the departure of my dear friend, Sarah Brown.

As I am sure many of you will agree, Sarah is the Green Alliance, and it’s hard to imagine the organization without her passion and dynamic personality. To that end, I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to Sarah for the community of like-minded people she has established over the last seven years. I hope you will join me in raising a glass to the indelible legacy she leaves behind, while wishing her nothing but success in wherever her journey leads from here.

While I will soon be taking the reins from Sarah as the incoming director of the GA, my involvement with the organization extends back several years. Save for a brief hiatus working with environmental groups in Washington DC, I have been a card-carrying member of the Green Alliance since the beginning. I have also served on the GA advisory board since my return to New Hampshire, and I am proud to say that the Green Alliance company scorecard was in essence modeled after the rating system developed by Climate Counts, a national nonprofit I presided over from 2011 to 2014. Read more here.

The Gift That Keeps on Giving All Year Long

How is your holiday shopping going? Are you at a loss of ideas for your environmentally conscious friend? Or have you spent far too much money and need a way to save? A Green Alliance membership makes the perfect gift for friends, family, or yourself, and right now you can join as a new member for only $20! Read more here

Natural Pet Store Offers Healthy and Raw Alternatives

“Just like how we encourage ourselves to eat, or our families to eat, for our pets we want to look for foods that are less processed, that are free from chemicals and additives and colorings and artificial ingredients,” says Dawn Price, a registered dietitian who has worked in the pet food industry since 2002. “Unfortunately, when foods get in the hands of these large companies that use those [artificial] ingredients, that’s what ends up getting put into some foods.”

This fall, Price has introduced a few new lines of raw organic and natural food selections for dogs at her store The Natural Dog and Holistic Cat. Read the full story here

Futuro Construction Builds an Energy Efficient "Passive House" 

In Newmarket New Hampshire a “Passive House” is nearing its completion date as a Portsmouth based construction firm puts on the finishing touches.

Futuro Construction specializes in building high performance residential homes. This forward thinking company has been in business since 2011, and is continually pushing the boundaries by taking energy efficiency and sustainability to a whole new standard. Read the full story here. 

Conservation, Construction, and Community

Living in a well-built space that’s just the right size. Being within walking distance to amenities. Knowing neighbors by name.

“When it comes to choosing a home, traditional values are making a comeback,” says Jen Chinburg, Marketing Director for Chinburg Properties, the 30-year-old development and construction firm in Newmarket. “There’s a real interest in returning to priorities-driven, thoughtfully-constructed, community-based residences, downtown and beyond.” Read the full story here.

Save Money this Winter with a Free Heating System

Having an efficient home heating system is key for comfortable temperatures, and Aucella Heating & Cooling wants to ensure your comfort this holiday season, throughout the long winter, and for many years to come. Once again, Aucella is giving away a free heating system ($5,000 value) to a local family; enter before December 21 for your chance to win! Read more here

Integrated Fitness Issues Health Challenge

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 69% of Americans age 20 years or older are overweight or obese. Yet, despite a booming diet industry and annual New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight, that percentage is expected to reach 75% by 2020.

“It’s time for a different approach to weight loss,” said Jon Arnold, owner and CEO of Integrated Fitness of Dover LLC. “Instead of going it alone or trying yet another fad diet, we encourage people to improve their health by losing weight through building muscle and eating better."  Read the full story here

Spruce Creek Woodworks: Born out of Business
Common Sense and Sustainability

Chris Redmond and Jeff Stacy launched Little Green Homes (LGH) in 2007. In the fall of 2014, they recognized a need for and added a custom cabinetry and woodworking shop at their Greenland space called Spruce Creek Woodworks (SCW).

Redmond said LGH was running into too many complications with cabinet orders. Whether they were issues with lead times, deliveries or imperfections in the cabinets, the problems persisted. Enter the SCW solution. Read the full story here. 

Newmarket Dental: A Leader in Green Dentistry

Nate Swanson was trained to be a dentist but his green epiphany was prompted by a simple observation: it was all about the trash.

Almost a decade after he purchased Newmarket Dental, Swanson has scripted a green approach to dentistry. In the process, he has created a working homage to both sustainability and the bottom line. “If there’s a green option that’s not ridiculously more expensive, I will take it,” said Swanson. Read the full story here

Grassroots Green

Local Bottler and Recycling Organization Team Up to
Tackle Glass Recycling Problem

A partnership between a large NH company and a state-wide non-profit has the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England (CCNNE) and New Hampshire the Beautiful (NHtB) leading the way in helping to solve the growing problem of recycling glass products.

Ray Dube, sustainability manager for CCNNE, is also a member of the NHtB Board of Directors. He summed up the glass recycling problem – an issue he says people are often shocked to learn exists – as consisting of two main challenges; public insistence on glass for certain products and the incredibly costly process of transporting and then recycling it. Read the full story here

900 Degrees of Giving Back to the Community

The award-winning 900 Degrees Neopolitan Pizzeria restaurants in Manchester and Epping have already gained recognition for consumer popularity and for leadership in green business practices. But owner Priscilla Lane-Rondeau said that giving back to the community has been a core of the business she started in 2007 and the program of Raising Dough has been a success that has benefited hundreds of large and small organizations. Read the full story here

Less Like an Acorn, More Like a Giving Tree

Who or what a child becomes as an adult can often be tied directly to their upbringing. Their roots, so to speak. At the Acorn School in Stratham, New Hampshire, this is precisely why it is so important to instill values such as environmental consciousness and community giving into the little minds attending school every day.

“We really focus on acts of kindness and generosity in our little universe,” says Crystal Hardy, Acorn School Board Member, “It’s important for us to reinforce the same value structure that they’re being taught at home.” Perhaps this is why, when the holiday season arrives each year, the Acorn School sets its sights on spreading their own brand of joy through a series of events focused on giving back to the community. Read the full story here

Don't Overlook an IRA Opportunity

It’s never too early to start planning for your future. It’s a common saying that rings true in the financial world and certainly applies to those planning for retirement. That’s one of the reasons investors and financial advisors alike agree that when planning for your retirement one of the best things you can do is set up an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

Locally, Mike Smith, a Financial Advisor with the Progressive Asset Management Group’s (PAM Group) Newmarket branch, notes that setting up an IRA account is something people should always consider when it comes to long-term financial and retirement planning. Read the full story here
Sampling of Upcoming Events (Visit our events calendar for the full listing)

December 18 - Whoo's There: Winter Owl Prowl Series
385 Mountain Rd, Cape Neddick, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. 
York Center for Wildlife introduces adults to native owls each month.
Learn more here.

December 19 & 20 - Strawberry Banke Candlelight Stroll
Strawberry Banke, 100 Marcy St., Portsmouth
See life as it was 350 years ago and take in American history, traditions and holiday celebrations. Click here for times and more info. 

December 19 & January 2 - Newmarket Farmers Market
Pick up produce and local goods on the first and third Saturday of the month. Click here for more info.

December 20 - House Party with Governor Martin O'Malley
181 Drew Rd., Madbury, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m. 
GA Business Partner, Cornerstone Treecare, will host Governor Martin O'Malley at the home of owner, Micum Davis. The evening will include snacks, wine, and and beer, while the Governor gives a few remarks and answers questions. Email Jennifer Wilhelm to attend.

December 31 - Blue Ocean Society's New Year's Eve Celebration
170 Ocean Boulevard, Hampton, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Visit and interact with marine life in Blue Ocean Society’s two 100-gallon touch tanks at the annual family friendly event. Learn more here

December 31 - First Night Portsmouth
Market Square, Portsmouth, Beginning at 4:00 p.m. 
Ring in 2016 at the family friendly festival held at venues throughout downtown, including ice sculptures, fireworks, and dancing. Click here for more info. 

January 10 -23 - Permaculture Design Course

Mayto, Mexico (West Coast)
Join former Seacoast residents Dan Gair & Holly Hunter at Rancho Sol y Mar, their working ranch and Sustainability Education Center in Mexico for a hands on permaculture course. Learn more here

For more info on these and other local events, see the GA events calendar.