In today’s economy the average household is always looking to bring in the most cost effective products. With all the expensive new high-efficiency appliances on the market, it’s hard to know whether buying new or used appliance will prove to be the better investment. Often times used appliances are the more viable option.
Some people choose to donate or recycle their appliances simply because they want to upgrade to a new color or style of refrigerator or dishwasher. It’s not always because their old appliance is obsolete. Browsing your options of used appliances can be highly beneficial. At Bill’s Appliance Service, all appliances are evaluated and serviced to ensure that they work properly.
Bill’s also offers a wide selection of used furniture. Furniture is a little less complicated when it comes to weighing the pros and cons of its efficiency. A comfortable couch is a comfortable couch, no matter who has sat on it before you. So why not save some money? Stop by Bill’s to browse used furniture and appliances that could make a great addition to your home.
Green Alliance members save 10 percent on all appliances, services, and accessories at Bill's! To join the GA, click here.
No need to purchase a sailboat or convertible to cruise around in style this spring. A more affordable option is available. EZ Bikes & Scooters in Exeter offers various brands of electric bikes, scooters, and motorcycles that you’re guaranteed to enjoy. The EZ Bike team will share its expertise and knowledge of its products to ensure that you find the vehicle that’s right for you.
Scooters are an affordable and simple way to get from place to place. Traveling by scooter saves incredible amounts of gas money. The average scooter gets around 80 to 100mpg. Regular riders fill up their tank about once every week to two weeks. The average fill-up costs about $6.00.
But more importantly, they’re fun.
Scooters can make the simplest of trips around town become fun adventures. Soak up the sun and feel the wind in your hair while you travel to your destinations. Finding a riding buddy who also has a bike or scooter can make for a fun new hobby. Best of all, the world is your parking lot! The compact size of bikes and scooters makes parking easy and convenient.
Anyone with a valid drivers license can drive a 50cc scooter or electric bike. 50cc scooters will go about 30mph. Advanced riders with a motorcycle license have the option to get something a little more powerful. EZ Bikes & Scooters offers models with up to 300cc. These models can go up to 80mph!
We’re pleased to announce that Climate Counts has renewed for another year with the Green Alliance!
Since 2007, Climate Counts has brought companies and consumers together to address the looming issues associated with climate change. Its website is a wealth of knowledge for the consumer looking to see which companies put forth the biggest effort to reduce their impact and fight global warming. You can read their scorecard report to keep up with dozens of international brands, tracking their changes and initiatives from previous years in an easily digestible chart. It is the ultimate source for the conscious shopper who wants to use their buying power as a statement in support of positive environmental change.
BY HEIKKI (HERB) PERRY
Green Alliance Staff Writer
GREENLAND, N.H — Practicing sustainability as much as pursuing profits, a Seacoast company is trailblazing an ecological path for its industry.
Together, Riverworks Printing founder Jeff Cutter and print manager Danis Chamberlin have greatly impacted the large-format print industry with their green thumbs. Riverworks began its journey with the idea that individual passions like Cutter’s own for fly-fishing should be displayed and stored in photo form. Wall Shotz were the original frame-able works of art that resulted. The environmentally friendly fabric was designed to reflect the hobbies of customers in a clear, eye-catching manner.
Cutter sells images printed on Riverworks eco-fabric to fly fishermen who engage in a catch-and-release sport, enlarging the photos and manufacturing them with an adhesive so that they can be put up on their walls. They are repositionable: You can pull it off the wall in one place and stick it to the wall somewhere else, still sticking after hundreds of moves. Riverworks transforms the average photograph into a life-like masterpiece.
The eco-fabric wall decals are one of Riverworks’ most unique products and arguably its most important, said Chamberlin, also noting that they are non-toxic. “They are manufactured with no harsh chemicals or toxins, which means not using polyvinyl chloride, glycol ether, phthalates, or formaldehyde in the adhesive.”
By Jim Cavan
Six years ago, Acorn Organic Salon opened with a single mission in mind: to provide customers with a bevy of animal-friendly, sustainable products and services that spoke to the Seacoast region’s ever-greening sensibilities.
Since then, the Dover staple has survived and thrived thanks to a love and loyalty lacking in today’s increasingly impersonal commercial landscape.
Now, Laura McKay and her crew are setting their sites on the next big challenge: a new Sixth Street storefront opened in December – right below a well-traveled natural foods store and a mere stone’s throw from Acorn’s flagship haunt on Central Avenue.
According to Mackay, the impetus for the move was twofold: more space, and greater visibility.
“We saw it as a fresh start,” says Mackay. “At the old location, even though we were right on Central Avenue, we were kind of blocked by the trees. Here, while it’s more residential, we’re right in front of a four-way intersection, so the visibility is even greater. And the fact that we have a space that fit what we were looking for.”
The impact of a more intimate space – economically as well as environmentally – cannot be discounted: According to Mackay, she’s paying hundreds of dollars less per month on electricity. That’s no small thing when you’re trying to run a small business.
1. Wood burns best when the moisture content is less than 20 percent. You can purchase a wood moisture meter to test the moisture content of your wood before you buy or burn it.
2. Season wood outdoors through the summer for at least 6 months before burning it. Properly seasoned wood is darker, has cracks in the end grain, and echoes a high-pitched "tinny” sound when smacked against another piece of wood.
3. Never burn coated, painted, pressure-treated, ocean driftwood, plywood, particle board, or any wood with glue on or in it. They all release toxic chemicals when burned.
By Michael McCord
Green Alliance Writer
Carrie Barron, the co-producer of the 20th annual Seacoast Home & Garden Show, says that with each passing year the popular event has attracted more green vendors and even greater consumer interest in sustainable goods and services.
The 2014 Seacoast Home & Show is slated for its typical spring welcoming dates of March 29 and March 30 at the Whittemore Center on the campus of the University of New Hampshire in Durham. Last year, the event drew a record crowd of more than 6,500 and Barron, along with fellow co-producer Beth Alles, believe the 2014 show will be just as popular to consumers seeking a diverse range of ideas, good and services for their homes.
In 2013, the show unveiled a large gardening marketplace, more artisan space, a Meet the Chef Series and green-focused seminars as part of its regular programming. Overall more than 220 exhibitors are expected and one trend has organically emerged – the growing number of vendors who offer sustainable services and products to meet consumer demand. “More consumers care about sustainability and how it helps the local economy. They want local grown produce and to work with local companies. There are a number of local companies that are new and different,” Barron explained.
The organizers of the Seacoast Home & Garden Show have partners with the Green Alliance, the Portsmouth organization committed to connecting green-minded consumers with the businesses striving to decrease their environmental footprint. For the second straight year, the two organizations will work closely to spread the word about a wide range of sustainable services right in our regional neighborhood.
Barron said the partnership has tapped into the network of Green Alliance members and business partners and added a growing roster of green-minded vendors to the show. The Green Alliance businesses that will be at the 2014 show include Green Alliance itself, Eco Firebox, Green Cocoon, Proulx Oil and Propane, EZ Bikes, Yankee Thermal Imaging and Seacoast Energy Alternatives.
By Jim Cavan
Few regional calling cards resonate with more authority than Granite State, that steadfast New Hampshire nickname that serves as much as a reflection of the state’s people as it does the endless bounty of rock below.
During the 19th century, New Hampshire boasted one of the country’s largest – if not the largest – granite industries in the country. Even today, the town of Milford – still known colloquially as “Granite Town” – houses one now-defunct quarry made famous for its part in helping construct the U.S. Treasury Building, whose New Hampshire-borne pillars can still be seen on the back of the ten dollar bill.
But while the granite mining industry has since largely fallen by the wayside, one New Hampshire company is determined to make sure that both narratives – of a people’s resourcefulness, and of a proud state’s namesake – continue to thrive.
Adam Bennett is the owner of Windham-based Colonial Stoneworks, which provides services ranging from simple walkways and stairways to elegant fireplaces. On the surface, the services and skills Bennett offers might not seem that different from others in his field. Rather, it’s how the 28-year-old does it that sets him apart from the pack.
By Michael McCord
Green Alliance Correspondent
“I’m living the dream” is one of Candace Lord’s favorite sayings. It also expresses a charitable philosophy for Green Cocoon, the Salisbury, Mass.-based sustainable insulation company where Lord is general manager. “We want to help others live the dream,” Lord said.
As the seven-year-old company continues to grow, it has also become deeply involved in greater Seacoast region community and beyond. For the second straight year, Green Cocoon will be the main underwriter for the 8th annual Hope for Youth Gala to support Seacoast Youth Services in Seabrook. The event includes live and silent auctions, dancing and games and will be held March 22 at the Ashworth by the Sea hotel in Hampton. All proceeds will go to Seacoast Youth Services which provides a wide range of outreach programs for youths and their families.
“This is an awesome event and we have seen firsthand that Seacoast Youth Services is an organization to back and be very proud of,” Lord explained. “They (Seacoast Youth Services) approached us and we are glad they did. They have a unique type of engagement that gets through to kids. We saw kids build a boat and the amount of labor they did. I know it sounds corny but these kids truly are our future and we want them to succeed.”
Founded in 2007 by Jim Materkowski and the late Peter Strattner, Green Cocoon specializes in green insulation for both residential and commercial applications. Lord says the company has become “the go-to” provider for clients seeking a sustainable solution to the common need for quality insulation. “We are now in an echo chamber of referrals from contractors who call us to work on increasingly complex projects. We also hear directly from homeowners who are building a new house and want us to insulate us,” she said.
Green Cocoon is a business partner of the Green Alliance in Portsmouth and the company has boasts a wide range of sustainable insulation options from spray-foam made from soy beans and recycled plastic bottles to BATT insulation fashioned from recycled denim, and also a line of recycled newspaper cellulose. Lord says the company has also made a quite broken through to customers on the financial side by offering a remarkable ten-fold return on investment for a combination of sustainable action and cash savings.
According to the National Business Research Institute, 66 percent of employers said they experienced the negative effects of bad hires in 2012. Depending on the position, a mistake of this kind could cost anywhere from $25,000 to $300,000. But are bad hires the result of poor workers, or are businesses just not getting in touch with the right people?
Manchester-based human resources firm Cultural Chemistry plans to revolutionize the construction industry’s hiring process.
“Over the years, we’ve noticed that in the construction industry, when firms are hiring, everybody is looking for the same people,” said Mirjam IJtsma, owner of Cultural Chemistry. “But not everybody fits in a certain company’s culture.”
While trying to fill a project manager position for Ridgeview Construction, IJtsma was inspired by how difficult it was to engage constructionprofessionals. Her initial instinct was to send Ridgeview to an industry career fair, only to learn that one did not exist in New Hampshire.
Encouraged by Shane Carter of Ridgeview Construction, IJtsma and her staff have organized two career fairs that will bring construction employees and employers face-to-face under one roof. The first will take place March 15 in Portsmouth, and the second April 5 in Manchester.
This fair is designed to give employers and professionals the chance to meet in person and get a feel for whether or not they are a good fit without running the risk of learning the hard way. Bringing similar businesses together and engaging them in a discussion about their employment needs is a new concept for the construction industry.
PORTSMOUTH — Coalescing grace of human form with beauty in craftsmanship and expression, two local concerns are synergizing their respective strengths to feature local artistry.
The Drift Gallery now has exhibition space at Zev Yoga.
The idea seemed a suitable fit for both organizations’ principals. A few months ago, Jonas Zev Amberger, owner and teacher of Zev Yoga, contacted Ali Goodwin, the director and curator of Drift Gallery in Portsmouth, with an idea to collaborate. Jonas Zev and his wife Amylyn wanted to take further advantage of Zev’s beautiful studio space. It seemed fitting as the studio in a past life was once an Art Gallery. The partnership brings a new installment each month to Zev’s studio space. Public artist receptions will coincide with Portsmouth’s First Friday Art ‘Round Town gallery walk.
“There is confusion about energy supply choices, a lot of headlines about energy markets in the news, and people are wondering if they should switch to a competitive supplier. The answer is that switching makes a lot of sense for many consumers.”
— Christophe Courchesne, Conservation Law Foundation
RYE — Christophe Courchesne of Conservation Law Foundation and Julie Lapham of ENH Power will be making a presentation, “The Power to Choose: Your Options for Electricity” on Thursday March 6th at the Rye Public Library, starting at 6:45 p.m. Sponsored by the Rye Energy Committee, the presentation will aim to help attendees make choices about their energy use and suppliers with information regarding how they can save money and take advantage of new, cleaner options.
Courchesne is an attorney at Conservation Law Foundation. CLF has been working to protect New England’s environment since 1966, using law, science, policymaking and the business market to create innovative solutions to our region’s most pressing environmental challenges.
As part of its work to advance a clean energy future for New Hampshire, CLF helped initiate the EmpowerNH campaign, which is encouraging New Hampshire residents to consider making the switch to a competitive electricity supplier and provides supplier-neutral information resources on consumer options. EmpowerNH partners include environmental groups like CLF and competitive suppliers like ENH Power. The coalition also includes the Seacoast’s own Green Alliance, a green business union and consumer co-op that works to educate businesses and consumers on sustainability, and local renewable energy company ReVision Energy. EmpowerNH believes that choosing a competitive supplier benefits New Hampshire residents, businesses, the state’s economy, and its environment.
Did you know that every business/organization in The Green Alliance undergoes a full and transparent Sustainability Certification? GA takes a look at what makes the business green and where they have room to improve. Check out Chinburg Properties' Green Story below and learn more about what makes them green! To read all of Chinburg Propertie's certification documents, click here.
Founded in 1987 by University of New Hampshire graduate Eric Chinburg, Chinburg Builders has since grown to become one of the Seacoast’s most trusted and recognizable building companies in the areas of residential and commercial construction. Over 25 years the company has expanded into land development, general contracting and property management. The company recently changed its name to Chinburg Properties, with the tagline: Develop, Build, Manage, to more accurately reflect the expansion of the business. Along the way, the company has embraced a decidedly green ethos and progressive development philosophy oriented to the region’s unique history and local heritage.
In 2002, Chinburg began devoting more attention to building Energy Star homes featuring myriad efficiency-guided measures and features. In 2010, the company made a commitment to begin rendering all of their new homes to Energy Star standards. The latest green milestone was the successful development, build out and sale of 19 homes at Laurel Court, Portsmouth’s first 100% high performance home neighborhood. These homes earned an average of 52 points on the HERS rating system, with an average energy savings of $1,200 per year per home.
In 1997 Eric Chinburg developed a vision and a passion for the redevelopment of New Hampshire’s crumbling mill buildings. Chinburg Properties has now recycled historic treasures paramount to the Granite State’s unique industrial and architectural legacies, including Newmarket Mills in Newmarket, Millport in Portsmouth, Washington Mills and Cocheco Mills in Dover, and Canal Street Mill in Somersworth; 11 mills in all. “We’ve learned a lot in the process of saving these buildings,” says Jen Chinburg. “Newmarket Mills is the culmination of this knowledge, fixing abandoned buildings that are falling apart but have inherent beauty and restoring them to a place of usefulness and importance in the community.”
Green Cocoon offers eco-friendly and energy efficient insulation products for clients around New England. Launched in 2007, Green Cocoon found a niche in an industry not known for being kind to the environment. By offering innovative insulators such as soy-based spray foam, cellulose and denim, Green Cocoon has gained a loyal following. Their high-performance products offer supreme moisture protection, are long-lasting and have been proven to be safe for people, animals and the environment.
General Manager Candace Lord, 29, started work with Green Cocoon in 2011. Lord is passionate about the work her company does. “I love that we can help people and the environment,” Lord said. “Our products save our clients money by reducing their heating costs, which softens their impact on the planet. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Theresa Conn (TC): What do you like most about your job?
Candace Lord (CL): I love meeting people and building relationships with our clients. I also like that every day is so different. I get bored quickly, but luckily my job keeps me on my toes. On any given day, I could be doing accounting in my office, pitching our product over the phone or networking at mixers. I do 50 different things all the time, and I cherish that.
Through the years, The Lighting Center at Rockingham Electric has always taken it upon itself to do more than just provide customers with the largest selection of residential lighting products in Northern New England.
Instead the company prides itself by operating various programs and initiatives that make it easier for seacoast residents to become more energy efficient.
The Lighting Center offers a wide range of services to their customers including free lighting audits for their commercial clients, a wide selection of energy efficient lighting, as well as sharp discounts for clients who choose to convert their lighting to fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). However, not all the services they provide involve making sales.