Blog : Green Maids and Visions Kitchens to cleanup Hampton Beach
With literally tons of litter being left behind on New Hampshire’s beaches, there is a real need for local volunteers to help cleanup after the over 1 million people who visit popular Seacoast destinations like Hampton Beach each year.
That’s why two local eco-minded entrepreneurs, Johnmark O’Brien of the York Harbor-based Green Maids and Nathan Johnson of Visions Kitchens and Design in Hampton, plan to celebrate Earth Day a bit early this year by organizing a beach cleanup at Hampton Beach on Sunday, April 15, 2012. They invite local residents and visitors alike to come out and volunteer from 10:00 to 11:30 AM.
“I take my dog for walks on these beaches and am always picking up trash as we go,” says O’Brien. “It just seemed like a good idea to do more to help keep our beaches free of pollution.”
“Plus, keeping our beaches clean helps to keep our oceans clean, and we all know how important our oceans are,” adds Johnson.
The duo is reaching out to local green groups like the Green Alliance and Blue Ocean Society, both headquartered in Portsmouth, to help make the beach cleanup a success.
Last September, over a thousand volunteers turned out to pick up more than 8,000 pounds of trash as part of the annual New Hampshire Coastal Cleanup organized by the Blue Ocean Society. The tally included a mind boggling 28,109 cigarette butts and filters. Recognizing that success, Johnson and O’Brien plan to donate $1 to the Blue Ocean Society for each person who shows up to volunteer at their beach cleanup on April 15th, up to $500.
“Clean beaches play a big role in our local economy. I read one study that found visitors to Hampton Beach spent around $175 million in a single year,” says Sarah Brown, Director of the Green Alliance. “We're inviting all our members to join our friends at Green Maids and Visions Kitchens as they cleanup this iconic beach."
O’Brien has plenty of experience with cleaning. Started in 2009, his company Green Maids provides residential and commercial cleaning services with a sustainable twist.
“Many of today's traditional household cleaning products release harmful chemicals into the environment,” O’Brien explains. “These chemicals often find their way into our air, water and soil when we wash them down our drains. They can deplete the ozone layer and be damaging to plants, animals and humans.”
“We only use products that are all-natural, biodegradable, non-toxic, earth friendly and safe for the environment,” he says. “These products are derived from things that you'd find naturally, such as plants, corn and coconut and also contain essential lemon oils.”
Since launching Visions Kitchens & Design in 2010, Johnson and his business partner Ernest Proper have been working to green customers’ kitchens by using eco-friendly building materials like bamboo, reclaimed wood and recycled countertops. They specialize in design techniques that can help customers achieve LEED certification.
“We offer clean and safe water based finishes on our cabinets,” Johnson notes. “We also use cabinet and counter companies who recycle 100 percent of the water they use.”
Friends for several years now, Johnson and O’Brien are both Business Partners in the Green Alliance, and first met at one of the organization’s networking events for local entrepreneurs. While they come from different industries, both share an interest in doing a business in a way that is eco-friendly.
“We both find importance in keeping the Earth clean and making sure the products we use limit our impact on the environment,” according to Johnson.
“Nathan and I have been trying to think of creative ways to give back to the community and environment for some time now,” says O’Brien. “We’re both excited to make some new friends as we clean up Hampton Beach on April 15th.”