May, glorious May! As I write this the sun is peaking through the clouds after many days of much needed rain. My youngest daughter and I planted seeds last weekend and are now watching the soil for new sprouts. May is the month to celebrate and honor our mothers, which by the way, includes Mother Earth.
Much of who we are is shaped by our mothers and some retrospection this month has me realizing just how much my own mother contributed to my environmental values. We'd like to hear from you on how your mother influenced your vision for greener living; post your stories to the GA Facebook page! We'd also like to offer you and your mothers a very special Green Alliance Mother's Day deal: join the GA by Sunday May 13th and enjoy $10 off – get the Green Card for your mother or yourself!
Or even better, join the GA at the regular price on our join page and then stop by before Mothers Day to pick up your Green Card and a Green Mothers Survival Bag filled with $100 of GA goodies! What better gift to give your green mom!
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Honoring your Mother (Earth)
We at the Green Alliance have been thinking about how our mothers influenced our commitment to green living. While the verbiage of “going green” didn’t exist when we were little, the women in our lives embodied, and continue to embody, the spirit the Green Alliance strives to live out.
“My mother was respectful and conserving of every resource used in my childhood and she always took the time to explain to me why that was important. I realize now that this organic conservationist attitude was really the spark for all of my environmental advocacy,” says GA founder Sarah Brown.
Indeed, the word “gratitude” kept coming up our recent conversations surrounding Mother’s Day. Whether it was Sarah’s mother explaining the “why” of green choices, Jim’s mother passing down the notion of stewardship or Becky’s mom teaching her how to advocate for what’s right, we certainly have much for which to be thankful.
Given the huge debt we feel towards our mothers, it’s only natural that we should offer a special deal in their honor! We are offering a discounted GA membership for $25! As you ponder the best gift for the green Mom in your life, consider something that honors and builds upon the sustainable foundations she laid for you.
Prefer something bigger that’s already gift-wrapped? Purchase our membership at the regular price ($35) online and then stop by our downtown Portsmouth office for a free Green Mom Survival gift bag filled with $100 worth of GA goodies. If your mother has inspired you to live a life that honors our planet, tell her thank you with the gift of a Green Alliance membership and Green Mom Survival tote!..... Read more here!
Use your Green Card to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars at nearly 100 local green businesses -- or get that last minute gift for Mom! Click here to find out more!
Chinburg's Laurel Court harkens to past, future
At first glance, Laurel Court – a plot of 19 home-ready lots in Portsmouth – appears a thoroughly contemporary cluster development, with the soon-to-be constructed craftsmen and bungalow style homes all built to high performance, energy efficient standards.
In fact, the schematics of the tight-knit neighborhood actually harken to another Port City staple: Atlantic Heights, the charming, tree-lined neighborhood near the 1-95 bridge, and the country’s first ever federally funded housing project.
The historic streetscape features and rooflines of the near century-old Atlantic Heights – undergoing a renaissance of late – may have served as an aesthetic inspiration for Laurel Court. But the latter’s incredible green features have helped render it a decidedly 21st century template.
The brainchild of Chinburg Builders, Laurel Court was conceived of as the next logical step for a company already a decade into an ever-growing green focus. Building on the success of their Devon Woods development – a neighborhood of 12 Energy Star-certified homes located in Kittery – Chinburg’s goal was to create a community where every home went above and beyond even the loftiest benchmarks of energy efficiency.....read more on our GA blog by clicking here!
Green Card holders receive $250 toward any of Chinburg's green upgrade options, including flooring, lighting, low or no-VOC paints, Richlite or concrete countertops, or an on-demand hot water system! Click here to learn more!
Mary's Dogs offers sustainable adoption alternative
Every dog that comes to Mary Doane through her adoption program, Mary's Dogs, has a unique story; Mary too, has traveled an interesting route to arrive where she is today. Her journey began with the study of Ecological Theology in seminary school at Boston University.
In 2001 Mary embarked on a project that encompassed the spiritual connection between human beings and the natural world. Project Nature is the manifestation of Doane's belief that the well being of individual creatures promotes sustainability and conservation on the whole.
Mary's work through Project Nature, and now Mary's Dogs provides education for people about the importance of kindness and humane treatment of all species. Here in the United States only 1 in 10 dogs has a home and nearly 3.7 million dogs are euthanized in shelters annually. Through adoption the number of culled animals can be drastically reduced.
Seeking out adoption over purchase from a breeder is more sustainable in a number of ways. By adopting a four legged friend, businesses like Mary's can continue to grow and provide homes for deserving dogs. Taking on a pet is a big decision and by using Doane's program the adoption serves a larger purpose- you are loving a dog that already exists instead of having a dog created.
Supporting adoption sends a message that more stringent practices of breeding are necessary. Inviting a rescue dog into your family allows for more orphaned canines to be welcomed into the system and placed into loving homes....read more here!
Receive a FREE gift basket -- complete with informational books, organic shampoo, wipes, and other accessories -- when you adopt a dog through Mary's Dogs! Click here to learn more!
Jenaly Technology rolls out new Cloud service
Throughout its 15-year history, Jenaly Technology Group has staked much of its claim on providing convenient information technology (IT) solutions geared at helping businesses not only save money, but reduce their carbon footprint as well.
Whether it’s encouraging the digitization of paperwork, consolidating technology to reduce electricity use, or advocating for non-toxic “solid ink” printing capabilities, Jenaly’s sustainability-driven approach has been as effective as it is all-encompassing.
But seldom has Founder M.J. Shoer been this excited about a potentially game-changing product or service.
It’s called “Cloud Computing,” and it’s quickly changing the way businesses everywhere – and in every conceivable sector – operate.
In fact, Shoer is so convinced of the Cloud’s potential, he recently decided to invest in a company squarely on that technology’s cutting edge: TOGL (www.toglcloud.com). Co-founded by Shoer, TOGL focuses on the delivery of Cloud related products and services that provide IT professionals a comprehensive suite of solutions for managing their data and materials.
In a phrase, the Cloud is like carpooling with computers, allowing businesses to share one central server, helping reduce the energy load of all.
Yesterday, Jenaly hosted an intensive two-hour Cloud workshop designed to introduce the fast-growing technology – and TOGL itself – to interested consumers and business owners alike..... read more here!
Use your Green Card and save 10% on all services with Jenaly Technology! Click here to learn more!
Ridgeview gives modular homes 21st century feel
For decades, modular homes have had to combat a number of ill-founded stigmas regarding everything from aesthetics to efficacy to durability.
But improved technologies, combined with a growing green orientation, are helping shine a distinct 21st century light on the century-old method.
It was precisely that combination of trends that compelled the Deerfield-based Ridgeview Construction to partner with one of the country’s foremost experts in modular design, in the hopes of spearheading a modular revolution of sorts here in the Granite State.
Located in Wingdale, New York, Westchester Modular Homes was founded in 1986 to meet rising demand for housing in the Northeast. In early 2000, Westchester became the nation’s first modular home company to be 100% employee owned.
Years before joining the Ridgeview team, Matt Silva held his first home construction job under Westchester’s roof. Ever since, he’s been eager to bridge the gap between two traditionally differing construction philosophies, in such a way as to bring out the best of both approaches.
“Modular construction in and of itself is a great way to build because it drastically reduces site impact,” explains Silva, now serving as Director of Marketing for Ridgeview. “It adds up to less time spent on the site, fewer materials being brought in, and thus substantially less waste in the long run.”....read more here!
Use your Green Card to receive 10% off all labor with Ridgeview Construction! Plus, GA members who purchase a year-round Home Maintenance Plan will receive a $200 credit towards a home energy audit! Click here to learn more!
Great works reveals green nature of chiropractic
When I first decided to pay a visit to Dr. Seth LaFlamme at Great Works Chiropractic & Wellness in South Berwick, I was doing it to write a Green Alliance profile about the young doctor’s thriving practice – that’s it. At 29, I was certain my relatively healthy, active lifestyle meant my look-over would entail nothing more than a quick exam, a thumb’s up and a gusto-laden “keep it up!”
After studying Philosophy, English, and Humanities at the University of Maine at Farmington, Dr. Seth – his preferred title – chose to follow his now-wife, Briana, to Atlanta, where the latter planned to study Chiropractic at the field-renowned Life University, the largest school of its kind anywhere in the world.
Motivated as much by his own neck and back pain as he was the thrill of something new, eventually LaFlamme decided to give chiropractic a try for himself. He never looked back.
Today, Dr. Seth owns and operates Great Works, located in his native South Berwick’s charming downtown. In attempting to dissuade the masses from the stigma that chiropractic concerns little more than “neck pain, back pain, and headaches,” Dr. Seth has prided himself on a holistic alternative to the prohibitively expensive, symptom-centric medical world.
“Our bodies are inherently regenerative – blood cells are replaced every 120 days; our stomach lining every five days – which makes it all the more important that we stay in tune with its finer workings, functions, and rhythms,” he explains...check out the full story in our blog by clicking here!
Join the GA and receive a FREE initial consultation and examination at Great Works Chiropractic & Wellnness! Click here!
Zev Yoga shows sustainability begins within
The term sustainability means a variety of things to different people. For Jonas at Zev Yoga, sustainability grows from inside the individual and extends to the community through the personal changes the individual experiences.
The foundation for his concept of sustainability is two-fold. The first aspect is concerned with the physical self. Regular yoga practice eases the stress and repairs the damage it has done to the human body. Some poses are extremely beneficial in increasing spinal flexibility and improving cardiovascular health, allowing for the body to function more efficiently.
At Zev Yoga, located in Portsmouth and Exeter, Jonas Amberger teaches Ashtanga Yoga. This method involves synchronizing breath with a progressive series of postures. Ashtanga emphasizes the nourishment of all body systems and promotes inner and outer sustainability as well as enhanced quality of life.
Even in the most basic yoga sessions breathing and the preservation of breath are crucial to a successful experience. The elevated awareness of the body, how it is moving and how all of its parts are working cohesively generates a heightened consciousness of the natural world. According to Jonas,
“Human beings are part and parcel with nature, the physiological stillness achieved through yoga allows for close examination of one’s relationship with the natural world”...read more here!
Green Card holders pay only $5 for the first 5 classes! Get unlimited membership at Zev Yoga for only $25/month for a 12-month membership! Click here to learn more!
Socially Responsible 401Ks a growing trend
During the 18 months between October 2007 and March 2009, millions of Americans – many of those at or near retirement age – watched helplessly as the growing financial crisis ate into their pensions and retirement funds.
By late 2009, state pension funds alone had contracted as much as $1.2 trillion dollars, throwing into even higher relief a financial collapse that had affected just about every sector of the economy.
The chief culprits, of course, are now all too familiar. In particular, investment firms with money tied to mortgage-backed securities, credit default swaps, and other complex financial instruments, had suddenly found their own balance sheets immersed in red.
As such, it was inevitable that pension and retirement plans – both public and private – would eventually bare an undue brunt of the overall financial system’s faulty wiring. Now, pension and retirement fund planners are beginning to look to alternatives that are not only safer, but also speak more accruately to a company’s social and environmental values.
According to the Social Investment Forum (SIF), 65% of the 160 socially responsible mutual funds outperformed their benchmarks in 2009. Meanwhile, a majority of large cap socially responsible investment (SRI) funds – those which deal with companies valued in the billions of dollars – outperformed the S&P 500 over the past ten years.
That’s good news for long-term retirement instruments like 401(k)’s and IRA’s with an SRI focus, says Mike Smith of the Progressive Asset Management Group (PAM Group)... Read more here!
Your Green Card gets you a FREE portfolio review and a $50 gift certificate to the GA Business of your choice from Progressive Asset Management! Click here to find out more!
Refinery apprentice proud of centuries old tradition
Most of us are familiar with internships. Chances are, a lot of us have had one – an unpaid one, even.
Apprenticeships, on the other hand, are often thought of as relics of the past. With roots tracing back to the Middle Ages – bakers, blacksmiths, and shoemakers being just a few of the more common examples – apprenticeships had for centuries functioned as a common way of bequeathing the next generation of workers the skills and trades of the times.
While the term has faded more than the practice, one New Hampshire company is taking up the apprenticeship mantle with equal parts perspective and pride.
Located in Seabrook, The Refinery is a cutting-edge concrete design company specializing in green techniques and products – sinks, tables and countertops, primarily.
Launched in March 2010 by Patrick and Kate Simons, The Refinery emphasizes the use of GFRC, or glass-reinforced concrete. Unlike traditional concrete, GFRC incorporates glass fibers, cement and sand in a mixture that is just as strong as traditional concrete, creating a product that is as eye-catching and sustainable as it is built to last.
Until a few months ago, The Refinery was the definition of a two-person show, with Patrick handling production and installation, Kate handling the business end, and both splitting design and sales duties.....Read more in our blog by clicking here!
Join the GA and save 5% off all Refinery Concrete projects! Click here to learn more!
NHBSR Spring Conference right around the corner
New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility is a network of New Hampshire businesses that have acknowledged the importance of environmentally conscious business practices.
On May 14th, NHBSR is holding their annual Spring Conference that is focused on promoting social responsibility in the workplace, local communities, and the environment. This year's Spring Conference is titled Walking the Talk: The Profitability of Values. The Spring Conference opens with a keynote address from a leader in the realm of corporate social responsibility.
This year's keynote speaker is Andrew Winston of Winston Eco-Strategies. Winston is a globally-recognized expert on how businesses can become more profitable by adopting more environmentally sound business practices.
"We're really excited," Michelle Veasey, Executive Director of the NHBSR, said. "He's got a wide range of experience from fortune 500 multi-national businesses to small companies. He offers a broad perspective on how sustainability positively impacts the bottom line and positions businesses to excel in a resource-constrained environment."...Read more in our blog by clicking here!
The GA is proud to partner with over a dozen local and regional nonprofit organizations!Click here to learn more about our Friends and Advocates!
GA Businesses team up for Arbor Day event
Portsmouth has a history of being a “tree-friendly city.” In fact, in July of last year it was recertified as a Tree City USA for the 12th year in a row by the National Arbor Foundation. Portsmouth repeatedly receives this recognition because of its investment in street trees and its use of native species in various areas such as public parks.
Last Friday was Arbor Day and here in Portsmouth members of the Seacoast Arborist Collaborative continued the city’s tree-friendly tradition with an Arbor Day celebration at Prescott Park by donating their time to care for the trees.
SAC invited members of the community to come visit the celebration by checking out the "Arborist's Perch" where there was an arborist on hand all day to answer questions about trees, tree care, and Arbor Day.
Local arborists The Organic Arborist, Northeast Shade Tree and Green Alliance business partners Cornerstone Tree Care and Suntree Tree Healthcare were in attendance at the celebration, marking the fourth year in a row of local arboricultural camaraderie and volunteerism... Read more in our blog by clicking here!
Use your Green Card to save 10% on tree removal services from Cornerstone Tree Care or Suntree!Click here to JOIN the GA today and start saving at fabulous local businesses!
May 4 – “Hit the Decks” Portsmouth — All Day, Portsmouth Decks. Each deck restaurant -- including the GA's own Pocos ! -- will host their own specials throughout the day. Take advantage of one of Portsmouth's best pastimes! Click here for more info! May 4 – Free Screening of “The Last Mountain” – 7pm, Phillips Exeter Academy. The film includes stunning footage of the practice of mountaintop removal mining, and bears dramatic witness to the social, public health, and environmental damage wrought by coal and power companies. For more info on the event contact Christopher at firstname.lastname@example.org. May 5 – Children’s Musem 5K Road Race & Fun Run– 9am, 6 Washington Street, Dover, NH. This race is a fundraiser for the Children's Museum of New Hampshire. Register now by clicking here. May 6 – Children’s Day in Portsmouth – 12 to 4pm, Downtown Portsmouth. GA partner Isle of Shoals Steamship Co. will be offering rides aboard their vessels for attendees. Beginning in 1990, Portsmouth Children’s Day has provided family fun to thousands of people; this year alone, over 10,000 children are expected to attend. So stop by, have fun, and support a GA Business! May 12 – Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, NH– 7am, Strawbery Banke, Portsmouth, NH. In addition to the actual race, there will be t-shirts and goodies for the first 1,800 participants, prizes, and a raffle and silent auction. Kids can enjoy activities such as crafts and face painting and their own Kids for the Cure Fun Run. The GA is a race sponsor and will be working with Komen Race for the Cure to green up the event! For more information about the race and Susan G. Komen foundation visit the website here! May 12 – Portsmouth Sustainability Fair – Portsmouth High School, NH. This year’s Sustainability Day is going to be different than years past, with a new focus on community conversation, education and networking. Sustainable Portsmouth is planning some great indoor and outdoor activities such as a used clothing exchange, bicycle tours to Hodgson Brook restoration project and a slow-foods, locally grown breakfast event! For more info on Sustainable Portsmouth, click here! May 13 – Mothers and Others Against Hunger’s Mother’s Day Dessert and Tea – 1 to 4pm, York County Shelter Programs, Alfred, Maine. Tea and coffee, apple crisp and ice cream, mixed berries shortcake and an array of scrumptious desserts from the Bakery at Notre Dame will be served. Fancy non-alcoholic Shirley Temple and Roy Rogers drinks will be available for the children. Please contact Mary Doyle at 207-793-2759 or email email@example.com May 14 – NHBSR Spring Conference in Portsmouth: Walking the Talk – 8am, 250 Market Street, Portsmouth. Walking the Talk: The Profitability of Values is designed to appeal to businesses across the spectrum of sustainable/socially responsible business operations. GA members will receive the NHBSR member discount if you enter Green Alliance Member under the additional info section on the registration page. To learn more or to register, visit NHBSR's website. May 18 – Seacoast Bike to Work Day – All Day, everywhere. Stop in at one of ten free Commuter Breakfasts and sign-in to enter a raffle of great prizes donated by local businesses, including Papa Wheelies. Breakfast locations include Dover, Durham/UNH, Exeter, Lee, Newmarket, North Hampton, Pease TradePort, Portsmouth Downtown, Rye and Stratham. Click here to register! May 19 – Fourth Annual Help for Homeless 5K Run / Walk-a-thon – 9am, Mother’s Beach, Kennebunk, Maine. All proceeds will go to funding the York County Shelter Programs and their pledge to fight hunger. For more info, click here! May 20 – Sixth Annual Kittery Fire Association 5K – 9am, Kittery, Maine. The Green Alliance is proud to once more sponsor this green event. You can link to registration directly here. For more info please also contact the Race Director at firstname.lastname@example.org. May 31 – York Center for Wildlife Annual Showcase and Auction – 6pm, Spring Hill, South Berwick, Maine. Beer and wine tasting, light refreshments and desserts. The event will feature the Green Alliance's own Sarah Brown as the keynote speaker to discuss the growing network of sustainable businesses and environmental initiatives on the seacoast. There will be an array of items for auction, including a GA membership package (valued at $60). June 1 – GA Summer Party Cruise aboard the Thomas Laighton – 7 to 9:30pm, 315 Market Street, Portsmouth, NH. What could be a better way to kick off the summer than with a Green Alliance party cruise? Join Green Alliance business representatives, Green Card holders and GA staff for live music, dancing and drinks. We'll cruise around Portsmouth Harbor taking in the sites and the wonderful company of our green-minded friends.The cruise is free to all Green Alliance Green Card holders. Please RSVP to email@example.com to reserve your spot! This fantastic party cruise is a membership drive! If you're not a member of the Green Alliance, join today at the discounted price of $30 (normally $35) on the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company web site.
Check out more awesome local happenings on our GA Events page by clicking here!