Blog : A very green Seacoast Home & Garden Show

By Patrick | Mar 5, 2014 | in

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.

Last year, Jack Bingham of Seacoast Energy Alternatives hosted a seminar on “Save Money and Energy with Solar Hot Water.” Barron is excited that consumers will be able to meet companies such as the Green Cocoon which is transforming the insulation market in the Seacoast Region with their sustainable options such as spray-foam made from soy beans and recycled plastic bottles to recycled denim and recycled newspaper cellulose. “It’s cool and amazing what they are doing and I think people are going to be excited to find out more,” Barron said.

Green Alliance members will get free admission for two when they flash their GA membership card; a deal that mutually reinforces the sustainability bent of the 2014 show and helps to provide the green-minded consumers that fit so nicely with a serious line-up of sustainability-focused vendors. “We want to provide a small reward, incentive, if you will, to the Green Alliance community – we want to tell them, thank you for investing in and committing to the local green economy and for that we say come on in for free!” ads Barron.

Sarah Brown, the director of the Green Alliance, said the partnership between her organization and the Seacoast Home & Garden Show provides a windfall of benefits for everyone. “The more than 115 sustainable entrepreneurs we work with here at the Green Alliance have the opportunity to be showcased at a show that cares about sustainability,” she said. “Homes and gardens are a crucial source of our environmental footprints. When shows like Seacoast Home and Garden Show advocate greener options and put local green business leaders in front of the public, we really get an educated community that is making better choices for both quality and footprint.”

Brown added that greener options for home and garden are almost always better quality, longer lasting and wiser economic choices.

“With our connection to the green-minded consumer community, we know that consumers in the New Hampshire and greater Seacoast regions are looking for greener options when it comes to goods and services for their homes,” Brown said. “When homeowners start looking to do business with that painting company that offers no VOC (volatile organic compound) paints or the builder that integrates passive solar design and super-efficient windows and heating systems, it makes a difference. When they learn that oil companies like Proulx offer bioheat, or that energy auditor Yankee Thermal Imaging can immediately help make their homes more efficient – this is how we actually start to change the paradigm and help to grow the local green economy.”

As an example of the growing network of sustainable businesses, Barron said a critical partnership with a fellow Green Alliance business partner Marcom 4 has elevated the marketing breadth and depth of the Seacoast Home and Garden Show.

“We took a hard look from a 50,000-foot perspective,” said Andrea Knowles, the director of media strategy at Marcom 4. “They (Barron and Alles) really had some great ideas that were put in place last year and they have run with it successfully. The quality of the vendors at the show is being boosted by the types of programs that consumers are interested in.”

Barron said the sustainability trend is only going to increase and future Seacoast Home and Garden Shows will reflect that. “We are moving step by step to a point in the future when the Seacoast Home & Garden will naturally become 100 percent green,” she said.

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The Seacoast Home and Garden Show is a Business Partner of the Green Alliance. Green Alliance members can get two free admissions to the event when they show their Green Alliance or Green Families Club membership cards. Find out more about the March 29 and March 30 event at http://seacoast.newenglandexpos.com.

Find out more about the Green Alliance and sign up to become a member at www.greenalliance.biz. Green Alliance members enjoy substantial discounts all year long at over 115 local green businesses, many of them in Home and Garden industries – in addition to receiving 2 free admissions to the 2014 Seacoast Home and Garden Show!