As I write this, a heavy white snow continues to fall upon the red bricked buildings of downtown Portsmouth, NH. A real taste of winter just a few weeks before the start of spring on March 20th. This coating of fresh powder arrives just in time for next week's Green Alliance/92.5 The River Ski Party at Shawnee Peak on Friday, March 9th.
GA members can ski or ride all day and night for just $9.25! Join us for a fun filled day of skiing and riding, great green company, food, drink, and entertainment. Just RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Not a GA Member? JOIN today, start saving at nearly 100 local green businesses, and come along for next Friday's snowy extravaganza! Become a Lifetime Member and we'll even throw in two free all day lift tickets to Black Mountain.
After winter's last hurrah, we'll be hosting the third installment of our Green Business Learning Series on March 22, right here at the new GA Headquarters in Portsmouth. Elise Weeks and Megan Keough of Pixels & Pulp will provide insightful tips on how to use graphic design to make your brand beautiful and appealing. This month's workshop will be free and open to the public, so come on down and enjoy some complimentary snacks and wine, while you learn from the cutting edge team that designed the GA website!
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Ski and party with the GA for just $9.25 next Friday!
March typically finds New England residents raring for the warmth and comforts of spring. But with winter having hardly arrived here in the Northeast, chances are many will take the next six weeks or so to get some much-needed use out of ski and snowboard about the region’s myriad snow-capped hubs.
Luckily, Shawnee Peak is one resort planning to save one of its best weekend events for that most unpredictable of months. And the GA plans to make it more than worth your while! Together with Green Alliance and 92.5 The River, Shawnee will play host to a day of great runs, sweet tunes, and evening revelry at their Bridgeton Maine resort on Friday, March 9th.
The first 100 Green Alliance members to RSVP will receive a special event coupon good for a $9.25 all-day ski pass! From noon until 10pm, snow buffs can enjoy Shawnee’s pristine, scenic slopes, grab a scrumptious bite at Blizzards Pub, and take some down time to enjoy free live music, giveaways, and much more.
Not a GA member? Click here to join, and start saving today at dozens of local green businesses. If you are a member and would like a $9.25 lift ticket, RSVP to email@example.com by Monday, March 5th.
After wearing out boards or legs, guests are invited to join GA staff members, Business Partners, and consumer members in Blizzards Pub for an Apres Ski Party -- enjoy good food and libations while Adam & The Waxmen’s ecclectic music stylings help you wind down.... Read more here!
Use your Green Card to save 20% on a lift ticket, 25% on an appetizer, and 50% on a rental package at Shawnee Peak! Click here to find out more!
Favorite Foods' stance for local rings true even today
If one of the most successful restaurants in America came knocking at your door, eager for your business, would you turn them away? For most, and particularly for an independent food supplier, shunning that kind of opportunity – while perhaps noble – would be an awfully tough pill to swallow.
But that’s exactly what Favorite Foods did when – back in 2004 – the Somersworth-based food distributor told Applebee’s to take the proverbial hike, in the process shunning a potentially lucrative distribution deal.
For those trained in the more traditional facets of business development, such a move would appear – at the very least – to be entirely counterproductive, and at worst suicidal. But Favorite Foods isn’t your typical business, and nor was it founded on typical principles.
Launched in 1987 with little more than “a van and a plan,” Favorite Foods aims to provide local, independent restaurants with everything from small-wares, paper products and cleaning chemicals to dry groceries, meats, dairy products, and frozen goods.
Additionally, the company offers comprehensive consultation to restaurants on menu design, customer tastes, costing, and business development strategies.
In an era where Sysco and a handful of other large, national conglomerates have come to dominate the food distribution industry, the Somersworth-based Favorite Foods has staked much of their claim – and success – on bucking that very trend....read more on our GA blog by clicking here!
Businesses can earn up to a 10% discount on their first 8 weeks worth of purchases from Favorite Foods! Click here to learn more!
The case for the $25 light bulb
When Philips unveiled their new line of EnduraLED lighting, they weren’t pulling any punches.
“The new LED lighting from Philips is here, and it can change everything,” boasts one brochure on display at The Lighting Center by Rockingham Electric in Newington, a business partner in the Green Alliance.
The first LED replacement for a 60-watt incandescent light bulb, the EnduraLED A19 certainly looks different than a traditional light bulb. When it’s not lit up, it’s yellow.
And at around $25 a pop, its price tag may seem a bit out of the ordinary. But then, this isn’t your grandparent’s light bulb.
In awarding the EnduraLED A19 the very first Lighting for Tomorrow Prize, the American Lighting Association, Consortium for Energy Efficiency, and U.S. Department of Energy heralded it’s ability to “save a business or commercial property up to $120 over the course of the life of the lamp.”
These savings stem from the EnduraLED’s ability to use only 12.5 watts of energy to produce the same amount of light, 806 lumens to be precise, as a 60-watt incandescent light bulb. ...read more here!
Business Learning Series continues with Pixels & Pulp
Back in January, the GA hosted the first installment of its Green Business Learning Series, an on-going program designed to help area business owners and community members foster idea-sharing and creative marketing strategies.
In that seminal presentation, Mirjam IJtsma, owner of Cultural Chemistry, gave an engaging, all-encompassing look at “company culture,” highlighting the ways in which businesses of every size can get the most out of their employees by better defining the workplace’s unique goals, values, and dynamics.
Last month that honor fell to Bridget Sprague of Be Good Branding, who spoke on the importance of effective branding – it’s conception, development, and how it can help you build trust and meaningful relationships with your customers.
On March 22nd, the spotlight will turn to Megan Keogh and Elise Weeks, founders and Co-Owners of Pixels & Pulp, an all-encompassing graphic design company specializing in sustainability-driven solutions for clients of all sizes and in every sector.
Weeks and Keogh, who launched Pixels & Pulp in 2008, will present on “Executing Your Brand Strategy.” Specifically, the two intend to discuss how small companies can best employ their brand strategy in an effort to attract – and more importantly keep – customers.
“Part of what we want to do is to build off Bridget’s great presentation on brand development, and kind of show how best to execute those ideas in the marketing materials,” explains Elise Weeks. “Once you have your audience, your budget, and your brand all set – then what? We want to give people solid ideas on those next steps to take.”... read more here!
GA members receive 15% off all design services with Pixels & Pulp when they purchase a Green Card! Click here to learn more!
Eco Broker expects big things from USGBC
As the Seacoast’s first-ever certified “GREEN” REALTOR®, Hillary Gaynor knows a little something about sustainable construction. Over the years, she’s brokered dozens of deals for real estate clients based on the merits and features of green homes and properties throughout the region.
But as the newly elected Vice Chair of the U.S. Green Building Council’s New Hampshire chapter (USGBCNH), Gaynor is gaining experience in a sector whose growth and vitality is inextricably linked with her own.
“From the get go, I wanted to connect with an organization that had a similar mindset and perspective on a lot of the things that I care about,” recalls Gaynor, who received her Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from UNH and worked in the field for years before switching to realty full time. “Now, I’m trying to expand that to include other like-minded organizations throughout the state.”
Founded in 1993, the USGBC is a non-profit trade organization tasked with promoting sustainability in how buildings are designed, built, and operated. The organization’s Granite State chapter was created in 2009, with Gaynor as one of its founding members. Since then, the USGBCNH has grown to include 91 members from a variety of industry sectors.
Gaynor says she first got involved with the group – prior to its official chapter certification – after being designated an accredited professional by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Right away, she was inspired by the burgeoning group’s efforts to bring green building practices and issues directly to the fore....read more here!
Green Alliance members receive a FREE energy audit for their new home from Hillary Gaynor! Click here to learn more!
New app turns solar power into entertainment
Want to monitor the status of your solar hot water tank? There’s an app for that, and Tim Sullivan is taking full advantage of it to show people just how cool his solar hot water tank really is.The app, developed by Apple and available for most smart phones, shows the temperature for both the solar panels as well as the water tank itself.
“You could be out with friends and family, and you fire up your phone and say, ‘Check out how much hot water we’re making,’” says Sullivan about the app.
As the beneficiaries of one of the first installations conducted by SEA Solar Store of a system of this kind, having a solar hot water tank made Sullivan and partner Candace Perreault “feel like the cool kids” in the neighborhood. Indeed, the decision to go solar is one they’re both satisfied with and eager to share with others.
“While the system was being installed, one of our neighbors walked by and told us how awesome she thought it was,” recalls Sullivan. “And she actually ended up getting one of her own three months later.”
Unfortunately, Sullivan knows not everyone is as easy to influence. He recalls many people asking how long the system would take to pay for itself – something which Sullivan sees as a no-brainer. “It starts making hot water immediately,” exclaims Sullivan. “So it’s already paying for itself.”
However, Sullivan attests that “it’s not just about saving money, it’s about not burning oil,” something that the solar hot water tank allows him to do even in the middle of a cold, rainy day in January....read more here!
Green Card holders save $250 on a solar hot water or PV system, as well as 10% on all in-store items, with SEA Solar Store! Click here to learn more!
No snow, no problem for Wade Landscaping
When your business depends on steady snowfall for much of its seasonal earnings, you’d think an eerily warm winter stretch would risk hemorrhaging the bottom line.
But for Brian Wade, owner of Wade Landscaping, higher temperatures have only meant broader opportunities for his all-seasons service.
“This has been one of the busiest winters ever, by far,” says Brian Wade, who founded his Dover-based company in 2007, before adding with a chuckle, “and to be honest, it beats spending your days and nights plowing snow.”
Particularly, Wade and his crew have focused on brush and lot maintenance for homes and small businesses. Not only have these projects benefited other local companies such as Cornerstone Tree Care – who can transform scrap wood into mulch – they also allow outfits like Wade to get a head start on the comparatively gangbusters spring cleanup season.
“This will put us in a much better position to really go all out once spring rolls around,” explains Wade. “Having that head start will only mean more business in the future.”
But Wade’s work hasn’t been limited to brush, leaves, and other natural debris. They’ve even taken to helping clear litter from the lots of businesses like Panera Bread. “They’re a very important client for us, so how their property looks is going to reflect on us,” says Wade. “So we’ve spent some time there picking up garbage and just trying to make it look nice for people passing by.”... Read more here!
Use your Green Card to save 10% on all Wade Landscaping services and get a FREE aeration! Click here to find out more!
Energy Efficiency Mortgages offer flexibility, opportunity
For years, those who wished to bolster their home’s energy efficiency often had to take out additional loans, or recoup what they could from the myriad government rebates available for certain retrofits or improvements.
Now, the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) is offering a way for homeowners – both existing and prospective – to bundle energy efficiency improvements into their mortgage. Aptly named Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEMs), the tools allows for the borrower to increase their mortgage to cover energy related improvements, and can be used for existing homes, new construction and refinancing.
For existing homes or condominiums, applicants can receive up to 5% of the appraised value of the home, or 5% of 115% of the median home value (determined county by county), whichever is less. While 5% of anything might not seem like much, Ed Henningsen, owner of the Eliot-based Henningsen Inspections, says that can add up to significant improvements to a home’s efficiency.
“New heating plan, better insulation – there are a number of things you can achieve with that extra 5%,” says Henningsen. “In most every instance tacking that extra little bit on ends up being more than worth it down the road.”... check out the full story in our blog by clicking here!
Join the GA and save 15% on an energy audit, 10% on a home inspection, and 10% on a radon mitigation test with Henningsen Inspections! Click here!
Winter pruning helps protect trees
Spring fever is arriving a bit early this year thanks to a largely snowless winter, and early March is the perfect time to invest in preventative tree care that will help keep trees healthy and green all spring and summer long.
“Because the leaves are gone, late winter provides an opportunity to clearly see the structure of a tree, and identify what should be removed for its health,” according to Portsmouth arborist Micum Davis of Cornerstone Tree Care.
“The dormant season is also the best time to trim a tree from a biological standpoint, in large part because harmful funguses are also dormant right now too,” he says.
“Certain trees are prone to diseases, and pruning a tree when its dormant means there is no risk of damage,” agrees fellow tree care specialist Chris Kemp of Suntree Tree Healthcare, based in Eliot, ME.
Structural and deadwood pruning act as a sort of preventative healthcare for trees.“When you leave a dead branch on a tree it is just a portal for decay,” Davis explains. “Structural pruning gives a trees a head start in realizing its ideal form aesthetically and structurally.”
That kind of preventative care is particularly important today, as climate change, disease, and invasive species combine to pose new threats to local tree species.“I’ve definitely noticed an increase in tree diseases,” Kemp reports. “Changing weather patterns are affecting trees...”Read more in our blog by clicking here!
Just this past year, the world's population hit and then quickly surpassed the 7 billion mark. One of the many concerns regarding the surging swell of humanity is the need for sustainable agriculture. The recession has seen soaring food prices and decreased purchasing power.
Worldwide organizations like the United Nations, local co-ops, businesses, and individuals are all seeking solutions to the same issues on different scales. Here in Northern New England we are fortunate to have many green-minded organizations that offer answers to some of the pressing and crucial questions about sustainability, agriculture, and community.
The Northeast Organic Farmers Association of New Hampshire (NOFA-NH) is a commanding force on sustainable community agriculture. NOFA-NH is proud to invite everyone who has a vested interest in the future of their food to join them in their effort. To that end, they'll be hosting their third annual conference this Saturday in Kingston, NH.
If you count yourself among those concerned about these and related issues, the 10th Annual NOFA-NH Winter Conference is an event you simply cannot afford to miss. For Conference Director JoAnne Russavage the core of the event involves ting community and building local connections. JoAnne explains that the famous potluck functions as the event's beating heart, representative of NOFA-NH's broader mission...Read more in our blog by clicking here!
Join BOTH the GA and the Northeast Organic Farmers Association of New Hampshire for just $50! Click here!
Building Energy '12 aims at building blocks for future
‘The Only Way to Predict the Future is to Design It’ may only be the title of the keynote speech for the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) Building Energy 2012 conference, but it undoubtedly encompasses the spirit behind the entire three day event.
NESEA is an organization built on membership and driven by the increasing support of responsible energy use in the building sector. The Building Energy 2012 conference brings together professionals in the renewable energy and high performance building field and 170 vendors for a premier networking, educational and social event.
Building Energy 2012 is a cross-disciplinary conference, and NESEA welcomes both those with extensive experience, as well as those new to the building field. Attendees can choose from 12 different tracks such as Renewable Energy, Green Financing and What the Pros Want to Know. Combined, the tracks will consist of 80 different sessions and workshops including Energy Basics, The State of Affordable Housing and The Future of Natural Gas.
The Green Alliance's own James Petersen of Petersen Engineering is heavily involved with the conference behind, and in front of the scenes. Last month Petersen was re-elected for a second term as Board Chair for the NESEA Board of Directors. Petersen is also a co-chair of the Health Care track, a recent addition to the conference...Read more in our blog by clicking here!
Join the GA as a Sustaining Member and never have to renew! Save at 100 local green businesses for life, plus we'll throw in two free all day lift tickets to Black Mountain! Click here!
Mar 2-3– Portsmouth Brewery Tour – Times Vary, 56 Market Street, Portsmouth. Step into our fish bowl brewery to see where Kate the Great and 5 C's IPA are brewed. It is going to be a great time. Please arrive a little bit early so we don't start without you! For more information on the Portsmouth Brewery visit their website. Mar 2-3 – Smuttynose Brewery Tour – Times Vary, 225 Heritage Avenue, Portsmouth. Come see how and where the magic happens at Smuttynose Brewery. Smuttynose tours are both complimentary and comprehensive and offer a lot of insight on the brewing process. Visit their website for more info. Mar 3 – Tenth Annual NOFA-NH Winter Conference – 8am to 4pm, 17 Danville Road, Kingston, NH. This year's conference is hosted by Sanborn Regional High School. The campus can be found at 17 Danville Road, in Kingston, NH. Winter Conference is a community based event, centered on local agriculture, green business, and sustainability. Sarah Brown, director and founder of the Green Alliance, will be speaking at the event. Check out the whole story (including registration details) in our Green Alliance Blog. Mar 4 – Seacoast Local Fish Benefit Dinner – 4:30 to 7pm, Cole hall, 291 Mast Road, Durham, NH (UNH). Area chefs, fisherman, and researchers will be present as guests join the conversation and learn about the hurdles and opportunities for our local economy. Buy online tickets here. $70 at the door. Only 100 tickets to be sold. Proceeds go to Seacoast Local and Granite State Fish's efforts to improve the NH Local Fishing Industry. Mar 5 – Kate the Great Day – All day, Portsmouth Brewery, 56 Market Street, Portsmouth. The most unique day on the Portsmouth Brewery calendar begins when they open the doors at 11am. The Kate begins flowing at 11:30 and will run until she's gone. Winning scratch tickets are redeemable for bottle sales. Visit the Portsmouth Brewery website for more information. Mar 6-8 – NESEA Building Energy 2012 – All Day, Seaport World Trade Center, Boston. Learn from some of the most knowledgeable practitioners of the Northeast and beyond, while networking networking, resume matching and mentoring with other professionals in the field. The Green Alliance will be there with a booth, so make sure to stop by for a visit! Learn more about NESEA and Building Energy 2012 at www.nesea.org/be12/, and register for the conference here! Mar 7 – “Manufacturing Stoke” at the Portsmouth Music Hall – 7pm, 28 Chestnut Street, Portsmouth. A film shown in association with NH Surfrider and H(EAT). For more info visit their website. Mar 8 – SEAREI Energy Share and Potluck – 6 to 9pm, 375 Middle Street, Portsmouth. Join SEAREI, the Seacoast Area Renewable Area Initiative for a zero waste potluck dinner. Bring your own plates and utensils! From 7:00-8:00 PM, there will be a presentation on Building Offshore Wind Power by Doug Bogen. Mar 9 – GA & 92.5 The River Ski Day & Apres Party – 12:30 to 10pm, Shawnee Peak, 119 Mountain Road, Bridgton, Maine. Together with Green Alliance and 92.5 The River, Shawnee Peak will play host to a day of great runs, sweet tunes, and evening revelry at their Bridgeton Maine resort on Friday, March 9th. The first 100 Green Alliance members to RSVP will receive a special event coupon good for a $9.25 all-day ski pass! Not a GA member? Click here to join, and start saving today at dozens of local green businesses. If you are a member and would like a $9.25 lift ticket, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Mar 19 – “Food for Thought” Dinner Series with Pete Johnson – 6:30pm, Blue Moon Evolution, 8 Clifford Street, Exeter, NH. Pete Johnson, owner of Pete's Greens, runs a four-season organic vegetable farm supporting communities in north and central Vermont. The $70 registration fee includes a three-course meal with a glass of wine and the seminar. For more info or to register go to www.foodandhealthforum.com, or call 603-380-1080. Mar 22 – Button up 201: Controlling Energy Costs – 6:30 to 8pm, Seabrook Public Library, 25 Liberty Lane, Seabrook.Sponsored by Atlantic Green Energy, a Green Alliance Business Partner, this event is part of the ongoing series of Button Up NH workshops taking place throughout the Granite State this winter. Learn more about Button Up NH Mar 23 – Cheers to Children Wine & Food Fundraiser at Children's Museum of NH – 6 to 9pm, 6 Washington Street, Dover, NH. A winning MINI Cooper raffle ticket will be pulled at this event. Only 600 numbered tickets will be sold at $100 each. For more info, go to www.childrens-museum.org Mar 24-25 – Seacoast Home and Garden Show – 10am, Whittemore Arena, Durham, NH. The Seacoast Home and Garden Show has teamed up with Green Alliance in its pursuit to become more environmentally responsible. Vendors from the Green Alliance community, including Any Season Painting, eZee Bikes NH, Middleton Building Supply, Ridgeview Construction, Suntree Tree Healthcare, will be in attendance, promoting their eco-friendly businesses to the public. Tickets are $8.00 for adults, but if you present a Green Alliance membership card they will give you a $2.00 discount. For more info, visit the event's website. Mar 28 – GA Green Business Learning Series, Session 3: Executing your Branding, with Pixels & Pulp– 5:30 to 7:30 pm, 75 Congress Street (Suite 304), Portsmouth. These 2-hour intensive workshops are free and open to the public. Wine and snacks will be provided, along with the opportunity to network, socialize, and discuss specific issues with other green business owners. All attendees must RSVP to email@example.com. Space is limited. The third and final session will focus on Successful Brand Execution and Creative Differentiation with Elise Weeks and Megan Keogh of Pixels & Pulp. Topics will include making your brand beautiful and effective, as well as insights and tips for creating a unified and powerful brand and executing it online and in print. Learn more at www.pixelsandpulp.com. For more info on the Learning Series or to join the GA to attend the series visit www.greenalliance.biz, email Sarah@greenalliance.biz or call 603-817-4694 to RSVP.