Blog : February 2011
It almost sounds like a tired cliché to suggest that Green Cabinetworks has something for everyone, but it comes with the territory when your specialties range from custom millwork to specialty storage to green cabinetry to exquisite home furnishings.
The Dover-based company, which is a division of Vigilant Woodworks, can easily boast of its prowess in woodworking and cabinetry, as their staff includes tradesmen with years of experience under their belts. And while the company is known for producing exceptional woodwork for its commercial clients, homeowners can now beautify their own dwellings by tapping into Green Cabinetworks’ expertise.
“People understandably think of us in terms of our work for commercial clients like restaurants, banks and educational institutions, but our expertise with wine racks and cellars, cabinetry, desks and cigar humidors can really transform a home,” said Ben Adams, Director of Marketing at Green Cabinetworks. “And for individuals who suffer from respiratory ailments, they’ll be glad to know that we use soy-based, formaldehyde-free glues and adhesives, since studies have shown a strong association between formaldehyde exposure and problems with indoor air quality. This is a big concern for many parents, and we want our products to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.”
Indeed, even the most stunning products that Green Cabinetworks produces are held to strict environmental standards. They are affiliated with organizations such as the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the Architectural Woodwork Institute, and Wood is Green. They’re also certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and are one of the few FSC Chain of Custody certified woodworking facilities in the country. Green Cabinetworks sources FSC-certified wood whenever possible, which ensures the wood has met sustainable forest management practices, as well as strict chain-of-custody certification procedures. They also emphasize the use of water-based stains and finishes, and they recycle all wood scrap, either through composting or using the wood to heat their facility during the winter.
The Home Builder’s and Remodelers Association of New Hampshire will be presenting their 44th annual NH State Home Show on March 4th, 5th and 6th at the Radisson Center of New Hampshire in Manchester.
If you'd like to save money and resources on your home, be sure to attend this show, which will feature a Consumer Energy Pavilion sponsored in part by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Green Card holders will receive a discount at the door of 4 dollars when they participate in donating a food product to the food drive for the New Hampshire Food Bank. This promises to be a great way to learn about making your home more efficient through a plethora of workshops and seminars that will include some of Green Alliance's very own business partners. For more information about the event or to make a reservation, click here or call 603-505-8342.
The Green Alliance will make an appearance, so be sure to check out their booth on Saturday, March 5th, which we will share with Business Partner, 92.5, The River. What a great match, as The River features Green Alliance's wonderfully helpful Green Tips! Also manning a booth with information on green building supplies will be Chrisopher Ring of Greenovations.
"To all who love our Earth - our shared lifeboat in space - and hope to protect and preserve it." The Community Chorus at South Berwick is a 60 voice chorus that features members from throughout Seacoast New Hampshire and Maine. They are preparing their Spring Concert that they have titled Our Island Earth and will be performing on Saturday. April 9th at 7pm at Trinity Lutheran Church in Newington, New Hampshire and on Sunday, April 10th at 3pm at Marshwood High School, South Berwick, Maine. For more information about the event, visit their website at www.CCSB-SING.org, or call 207-384-7059.
This concert is exciting on a number of levels! The music to be performed includes music from the 16th century madrigals all the way up to music set to the inspired thoughts of an Apollo astronaut. To be highlighted is the premier performance of This Fragile Blue Orb, a piece written for this occasion by Dr. Harry Moon, the CCSB Music Director and Conductor.
The CCSB hopes to stimulate the interest of naturalists, environmentalists and musicians and to invite your presence and support. Make sure to look out for the Sierra Club, who will have a table at both events! Other environmental organizations will be featured, including York Wildlife Center and the Blue Ocean Society. What a great way to show appreciation and awareness for our Earth, and "devotion to living appreciatively, communally, responsibly."
Tom Hemenway’s wakeup call came in the form of rejection - from his physician.
“He basically threw me out,” recalls Hemenway, the owner of Exeter-based eZee Bikes New Hampshire, New England’s largest electric bicycle dealership. “The doctor said he didn’t want me as his patient anymore.”
But deep down, Hemenway understood the doctor’s frustration with him. Despite his success as a business owner, he had developed poor lifestyle habits, and was diagnosed as diabetic. “My grandmother passed away from diabetes, and I was probably headed for the same fate. Or I was looking at taking a needle full of insulin every day.”
So Hemenway started a personal journey that would culminate in he and his wife opening eZee Bikes on Epping Road in Exeter. Initially, he stopped smoking, quit drinking, improved his diet, and jumped on his son’s 21-speed bike. “It was a great start,” said Hemenway. “But I found it hard to ride the bike, between changing gears and battling hills, which was a big challenge for me. It was a real disincentive to getting on the bike.”
Fortunately, Hemenway happened to view a late-night infomercial advertising a bike that automatically changed gears. Intrigued, he started researching alternative bikes, and discovered an electric bike that allowed the rider to pedal and get exercise, while being able to engage an electric motor on demand. “It completely brought the fun back in biking for me,” exclaimed Hemenway. “And I knew other people would agree if I could just get them to try it. These bikes are an absolute blast to ride, and as riders get stronger and healthier, they can use more of their own power, and less of the motor. But it’s great to know that the motor is ready to go for hills, or if you get tired.”
It’s a busy winter for the Center for Wildlife in Cape Neddick, Maine. This winter has been the worst for owls in Maine, and the Center for Wildlife is seeking support to provide medical care for their heaviest load of injured owls ever. The Center usually sees less than 10 owls each winter, which is why they are requesting donations to help cover the costs of rehabilitating these owls, nearly all of whom have been hit by cars. To donate, click here. Or mail a check to: Center for Wildlife, P.O. Box 620, Cape Neddick, ME 02902.
The Center for Wildlife has also been popping up with other projects in the Seacoast area in collaboration with Green Alliance's own Portsmouth Brewery and ReVision Energy. With a combination of efforts from Portsmouth Brewery’s Kate the Great scratch ticket funds, and Revision Energy’s Check-in for Charity Program, the Center has secured $10,500 in grants! The Center asks that you support these two local businesses, as “they do a lot to support us and our planet!” Click here to learn more about the Center for Wildlife and their great programs.
If you were to poll 100 eco-friendly business owners on the reasons they decided to go green, you’d be likely to hear some explanations more than others.
For many it was the simple recognition of the region as a burgeoning eco-conscious consumer market. For others it might be a decades-long dedication to environmental activism. For still others the motivation may be purely economic.
But for one Seacoast company, “going green” is a duty that is as timeless as it is necessary.
Launched in late 2010, the Seacoast-based Visions Kitchens and Design is a full-on kitchen design company specializing in cabinets, countertops, closet systems, and more. They’re also one of the few companies in New England who specialize in green design.
Impressive? Sure. But there’s one thing that sets co-owners Nathan Johnson and Ernest Proper apart from the pack: both tout a deep Native American ancestry. Lakota, to be more specific (Johnson is Hunka – or adopted – Lakota, while Proper is Lakota Oglala and Miq Mac).
Yet while that fact alone may set them apart from most business owners in the area – let alone green business owners – it’s what the Lakota have to say about the environment, and man’s place in it, that truly shines a light on Johnson and Proper’s business model.
“According to the Lakota tradition, the Earth is our Mother, and we operate our business with that in mind, absolutely,” explains Johnson. “The Lakota always ask the question ‘how are we impacting the environment seven generations ahead?’ So by doing whatever we can to reduce our carbon footprint is our way of looking ahead to future generations.”
By Maria Gallucci, SolveClimate News
Republicans in New Hampshire's legislature took their first step toward withdrawing the state from a regional carbon trading program this month, passing a bill out of committee that advocates say may have enough support to override a potential veto by Gov. John Lynch.
The move is representative of a nationwide trend by newly GOP-dominated state legislatures and governors' seats to repeal climate change and renewable energy policies.
The House Science, Technology and Energy Committee on Feb. 16 voted 13 to 5 along party lines to end New Hampshire's participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a carbon market between 10 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and the first mandatory emissions trading plan in the country.
Supporters say the GOP-backed bill, HB 519, would help loosen the pinch on ratepayers' wallets. But opponents, including Republican leaders of clean energy firms, sharply disagree, saying it could end up forfeiting more than $60 million in energy savings and dry up millions more in funding for alternative energy and efficiency programs.... read the full story here!
In a relatively small town like Portsmouth, having two community radio stations might seem like one too many.
Not so says Rob Connelly, Director of WXGR (101.5 FM). Connelly, who launched the world music-focused station back in 2004, thinks that both WXGR and Portsmouth Community Radio (106.1 FM) have succeeded based with two different – though mutually beneficial – formulas.
“So far I think everyone is happy with how it turned out [having two radio stations],” explains Connelly. “There’s been a perfect symbiosis, because while we’re more like a commercial radio station – at least as far as format – WCSA definitely takes up more of a community radio mantle.”
In 2000, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opened up its licensing process, thereby providing small, non-profit stations like WXGR and WCSA an opportunity to give their community an alternative to the seemingly omnipresent Clear Channels of the radio world.
It’s one thing to have the green light to broadcast content. But finding air space that isn’t already occupied by another station is a horse of an entirely different color. Connelly found this out the hard way, searching and scouring for a location before settling on a little swath of land in nearby Eliot. Today the signal covers a geographical triangle stretching from Ogunquit, Maine west to Farmington, New Hampshire and south to the Massachusetts border.
Greenovations has teamed up with the very best, dense pack paper cellulose insulation installers to provide one more resource to their eco-conscious customers. While many new insulation materials such as closed cell and open cell foams provide excellent thermal properties, no other insulation available in the region is as healthy, safe and friendly to the environment on multiple levels as paper cellulose by National Fiber. NF paper cellulose has r-value equal to spray foams such as Icynene, resists air flow, provides the least sound transmission, incurs no outgassing after installation, and is a superior fireblock, especially compared to highly flammable spray foam and fiberglass. National Fiber cellulose is hygroscopic, so if there is a failure in your homes envelope that cause a leak into the insulation, paper cellulose will spread the moisture and wick it out. (No other insulation will do this.) Paper cellulose is also treated with borate, a naturally fire retardant mineral that pests don't consider yummy. And National Fiber paper cellulose is made from 82% recycled news print (the NY Times, mostly). As for the carbon footprint, no other insulation comes close. While the embodied energy of NF paper cellulose is 750btu/lb, the emodied energy of fiberglass is 12,000btu/lb, and for spray foam 30,000btu/lb. Finally, National Fiber Cel-Pak (paper cellulose) is manufactured just 127 miles from Portsmouth in Belchertown, Massachussetts. If your building a home with LEED certification, NF Cel Pak is usually the best choice for earning points.
This is a product that Greenovations stands behind. In fact, business owner Christopher Ring, a licensed National Fiber Installer, has installed it in his own home. Connect to the Greenovations blog to read about their ongoing energy retrofit of the 1998 home that Ring recently bought. To learn more about Greenovations, click here.
By: Sarah Zoë Patterson of Seacoast Eat Local
Knowing where your food comes from and how it is grown can be challenging. But for many people, joining a CSA or Community Supported Agriculture farm provides an easier avenue, letting them get to know the farmers growing their food and return week after week to the same farm. It is an ideal connection to knowing what you're eating and many farmers in the greater seacoast area offer CSA shares with ample opportunities to participate. This year, get fresh, local food all summer long and really get to know your farmer by purchasing a Community Supported Agriculture share from a local farm.
Seacoast Eat Local will be hosting CSA Day at the Market at their upcoming Winter Farmers’ Market on Saturday, February 26th, at the Wentworth Greenhouses in Rollinsford. Residents will have the opportunity to learn more about CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), meet the farmers offering shares, and sign up for the 2011 season. Sixteen CSA farms are signed up to take part in this event, representing over 1,500 available shares in our region.
by Emily Bowers
If you’re interested in “greening” your home, you’ve now got a place to go to learn how.
Thursday February 3rd marked the second installment of Greenovations’ Green Home Seminar series at the Porstmouth Public Library.
About 35 people showed up to listen to Christopher Ring of Greenovations, a supplier of eco-friendly and home-healthy interior goods, and Randy Trainor, owner of C. Randolph Trainor, LLC, an eco-friendly interior design company. The two talked about the alternatives available for eco-friendly and healthy home interiors.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air quality is the number one environmental health problem in the U.S. Indeed, the air inside a typically American home can be 2-5 times more polluted than air along urban streets. These harrowing facts were presented early in the evening, giving the audience some idea of why they should be interested in finding eco-friendly alternatives for their homes.
Special interest was paid to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) within the home. According to the EPA, VOCs can come from paints and lacquers, varnishes and waxes, building materials and furnishings, office equipment, air fresheners, cleaning supplies, and dry-cleaned clothing. In addition to causing irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat, inducing nausea and damage to internal organs, some VOCs are also carcinogenic.
One of the take-home messages of the event was that these potentially damaging VOCs can be avoided if one makes careful decisions when building, renovating, and furnishing home interiors.
Ring, a former teacher, started Greenovations in May of 2010 and created the Green Home Seminar series as an educational initiative. His store, located in the Bowl-O-Rama plaza on Route 1 in Portsmouth, is stocked with samples of recycled glass and concrete tiles, 100% recycled paper and cardboard countertop material, formaldehyde-free flooring materials, and recycled cotton insulation made mostly discarded blue jeans.
Pixels & Pulp is a print and digital graphic design studio that integrates sustainability and community involvement into every aspect of their fine artistic work. P&P are the official graphic designers of the Green Alliance and more specifically designed the beautiful, creative and dynamic GA site as it is seen today. Learn more about P & P at www.pixelsandpulp.com.
By Elise Weeks and Megan Keogh of Pixels & Pulp
Some time ago, we were introduced to Lucy's Love Bus—the vision of a very brave twelve-year-old girl named Lucy to start a program that would provide free integrative therapies to children undergoing cancer treatment. Lucy, herself, found comfort in acupuncture, massage and Reiki while she was undergoing treatment for her cancer.
Today, Lucy's mom Beecher Grogan carries on Lucy's legacy and runs the organization. When Beecher approached us to help her with a new website, we wanted to give her a great site that would help the organization get the recognition it deserves and help as many kids as possible! We called our amazing friends and web developers webmeadow and together we decided there was no choice but to donate our services to this project.
Two days after the new site launched, Lucy's Love Bus received over $300 in donations and parents were already using the online application form to apply for financial help to provide integrative therapies to their children fighting cancer.
As far as projects go, this was by far one of the most rewarding, emotional and inspiring we have ever had the pleasure of working on. It makes us reflect on how lucky we are to be doing something we love with amazing friends and colleagues for wonderful causes. Check out the new site and pass it on to someone you love.
The republican leadership in both the House and Senate have begun an attack on the Clean Air Act and are attempting to limit the EPA's ability to regulate emissions and pollution - an attempt that the Green Alliance and thoughtful business leaders all over New England are strongly against. The following is a letter that Sarah Brown sent to all of the Senators and Congressmen from New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts. We encourage individuals and business owners all over New England to get involved by letting their Senators and Congressmen know that they expect them to support the Clean Air Act and to make sure that the EPA has the necessary power and legislation to regulate emissions and pollution.
Dear Kelly Ayotte:
As a business owner that works with nearly 100 green-minded businesses in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts, I strongly urge you to aggressively defend the Clean Air Act.
The Green Alliance is one of many organizations working each day to remake and invigorate the New England economy. We understand that environmental performance is at the forefront of the new economy. By supporting the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) implementation of new clean air standards to spur our economy, protect our health by reducing harmful air emissions, and promote a cleaner environment, you will be supporting our businesses across New England.
For 40 years the Clean Air Act has encouraged and facilitated businesses and individuals to succeed financially while minimizing their impact on the environment. The growth of the Green Alliance is proof that businesses can succeed, alongside and in tandem with common-sense environmental protections and legislation that reward the cleanest and most innovative companies and individuals.
Green Alliance represents businesses across the industry spectrum - from printers, to manufacturers, to hoteliers, to restaurants to banks - every one of them able to run profitable business while minimizing their impact to the environment. This approach is far superior to allowing irresponsible polluters to garner excessive profits at the expense of our human health.
Besides making our environment safer and cleaner, EPA's fulfillment of its statutory obligation under the Clean Air Act will help our nation transition to cleaner, more efficient energy resources and protect the public's health care costs alone is estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars.
There is no question that businesses can continue to profit responsibly. While individual green businesses leaders across New England do their part to grow a green economy, we fully expect you, our elected officials, to also protect the people, the economy and the environment.
We call on you to fully defend the Clean Air Act and support the EPA's efforts to regulate emissions and pollution. The New England economy will be the better for it.
Thank you for your consideration and attention to this urgent matter.
We'd sincerely like to thank Matt Knowlton and Brooke Keeler for their support of the Green Alliance. Both Matt and Brooke recently became Sustaining Members in the Green Alliance. A Sustaining Membership is a lifetime membership that helps provide the level of support we need to add more green businesses, across more industries, across more communities than ever before! If you like what you see in the Green Alliance, help us to increase our impact by showing your support. While we understand most can not afford a Sustaining Membership, if the GA is a cause you want to see grow – and you want to help us with the funds we need to move this operation forward and influence more people and business owners – please consider joining Brooke and Matt as Sustaining Members. (have this link to the Sustaining Members page).
Become a Sustaining Member and help us contribute to a more just, sustainable and healthy business community.
In addition to becoming lifetime members of the Green Alliance (no need to renew!), becoming a Sustaining Member of the Green Alliance carries multiple benefits, including:
- · Free Green Alliance tee shirt
- · Permanent acknowledgement of your support on our website
- · A profile in our monthly newsletter
- · A blog post detailing your generosity and green spirit
As we connect with Matt & Brooke more comprehensively, we'll share their stories with you on our blog. But for now, we just wanted to give them both sincere thanks from all of us at the Green Alliance! Matt and Brooke, you're both awesome!
If you're interested in becoming a Green Alliance Sustaining Member, or just want to purchase a traditional one year membership in the Green Alliance, please visit www.greenalliance.biz/join.
And as our hero Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small, thoughtful group of citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
When one thinks cityscape, the first thing that comes to mind is not usually “green”. This is reserved for pristine woods and untouched fields, however in today’s world these landscapes are few and far between and buildings are popping up everywhere.
Luckily, there are people like Christopher Ring to make sure that “green” becomes the term you think of when you consider the built environment. Ring is the owner of Greenovations, a retail building and construction equipment store where, according to Ring, “every single one of the products is manufactured at the highest standards of sustainability.” Green building has been Ring’s passion since he started building green houses with a friend in New York State. Through this experience Ring learned about the positive impact one could have by changing the built world. He decided that the best way to help advance the cause of green building was to provide a catch-all source for everything a truly green home would ever need, and Greenovations in Portsmouth was born.
Buildings and cities can be part of the catalyst for change towards a truly environmentally sustainable world, rather than blight to it. To spread this idea Ring is organizing five seminars to help educate the Portsmouth community on the principles and benefits of creating a sustainable, eco-friendly built environment.
Ring's seminars will offer anyone who is interested a chance to learn the information that they are not getting from conventional builders, a chance to bring the public together with local green building and exterior experts from landscapers to interior designers.
The third installment of the five part series will be held at 7pm on Thursday, February 17, at the Portsmouth Public Library, and will cover landscaping and the detriments of non-native plants. The session will discuss how people can have beautiful backyards while enhancing the environment at the same time and do so without chemical pesticides and fertilizers and minimal water use.