Blog : December 2014

Sustainability is at Local Bottling Company's Core

By Craig | Dec 31, 2014 | in

You may have seen your name on a can or bottle of Coca-Cola. It's part of the company's Share a Coke campaign. And during the holidays, those familiar polar bears are on television screens and aluminum cans across the globe. But what happens to those bottles and cans once they're empty? For its part here in New Hampshire, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England (CCNNE), an independent bottler, ensures they're doing more than just talking about recycling programs.

CCNNE's sustainability manager, Ray Dube, knows what you're going to say about the brand before you do. He's heard it all before; that some people have a perception that Coca-Cola is harmful to the planet because of the plastic it manufactures, or all the water used in the bottling plants, or the emissions given off by delivery trucks. But Dube doesn't shy away from those perceptions. He recognizes that yes, as a large manufacturing company, CCNNE is responsible for having an impact on the environment. That's why Dube travels across the region to schools, college campuses, public events and various conferences to educate people about the many sustainable initiatives CCNNE has taken to counter that impact over the last 18 years.

"We were sustainable before people realized what sustainability was," said Dube. "It was just the culture of the company that started back in the seventies."

"We are a company that uses a lot of resources, a lot of water, a lot of fuel for shipping and a lot of electricity. And like other businesses we have the same cost pressures as everyone else," said Mike Elmer, CCNNE's director of capabilities. "The more we can reduce our dependence on any of those resources, it's very good for the community and the environment and for our ability to operate long term."

NH Solar Garden Helps Customers Net Profits

By Craig | Dec 31, 2014 | in

By Mark Quirk

Andrew Kellar was way off his mark when he estimated his new company, NH Solar Garden, would work on about 1 megawatt worth of projects in its first year. Not even close.

Today, after opening the business last January, NH Solar Garden is working on 22 projects around the state that when done will produce close to 7 megawatts of power for its customers. Business has been booming, thanks in part to a favorable new law passed by the state earlier this year that allows for group net metering.

“This has been much further beyond my expectations,” Kellar said.

In fact, Kellar said his company has developed as many megawatts in its projects over the past seven months as the state has in the past seven years. NH Solar Garden, which tries to keep all of its business dealings local, is pumping money as well as clean energy into the local community.

“That's one of the important pieces to the process, to feed the local economy,” Kellar said.

New England's Biggest Summertime Pest Meets Its Match

By Craig | Dec 31, 2014 | in

They might not be something most New Englanders think about this time of year, but come mid-summer green-heads, deer and horse flies are all anyone talks about. From the North Shore of Massachusetts up the coast of Maine, each July many a beach day, or backyard cook-out is ruined by these flies constantly biting and terrorizing. But Tom Pray of Ecotech Pest Control Services has developed a solution that could finally alleviate one of the summer's biggest backyard woes. He calls it the Fly Cage.

Pray's invention, which mimics the appearance of a four-legged animal, is completely environmentally-friendly. Built with recyclable materials, the Fly Cage is meant for residential and commercial use.

"There are no chemicals or pheromones or anything," said Pray. "Its a visual trap so it will catch the biting flies known as green-heads, deer flies, horse flies; it will catch them without using anything but a visual lure to bring them in."

That visual lure is a buoy, black in color, with a shimmering exterior that attracts the seasonal flies. The flies are drawn in, acting on their natural behavior to attack the underside of large animals like deer and cattle. Once the flies realize their mistake they fly straight up, toward the light coming through the top of the trap, getting caught in its mesh netting and perish. The netting works like a lobster trap allowing the flies to enter, but not exit.

Meet a Green Alliance Business: MetalWave, Inc.

By Katie | Dec 31, 2014 | in

Who: MetalWave, Inc.

What: With business offices in North Hampton and a full resource recovery and recycling center in Amesbury, Mass., MetalWave, Inc. services the greater Seacoast corridor for environmentally-friendly electronic and resource recycling. MetalWave provides commercial and residential customers, with a transparent, domestic and cost-effective downstream for end-of-life e-waste recycling. Their services ensure the complete erasure of personal data and full transparency in recovery and disposal, affording customers the security of knowing exactly where their e-waste goes. MetalWave's recycling program keeps harmful contaminants, such as lead, mercury and flame retardants, from leeching into the soil and drinking water. To spread awareness, they host a variety of town-wide recycling events throughout the region. These events allow residents to safely dispose of e-waste, such as old IT products, printers, laptops, servers and PCs, smart phones, tablets and PDAs, televisions and land-line phones. MetalWave boasts responsible recycling certifications being both ISO and OSHAS certified as well as BAN e-Steward and R2 certified. Few recyclers have achieved all of these top-level certifications proving that the company is committed to the highest standards of security and sustainability with a process that requires knowledge, understanding and sensitivity toward every item recycled.

2014 GA Holiday Bash

By Katie | Dec 29, 2014 | in

On Tuesday, December 23, the GA community took over the Lounge at the Portsmouth Brewery for a night of merriment. Oh, what a party it was! 

With over 70 guests in attendance, all of whom are active in the Green Alliance community, whether as members or as our green Business Partners, the atmosphere was electric! Guests were asked to bring food donation items in exchange for a free beer, and we were proud to drop off two big boxes full of donated goods to Footprints Food Pantry the following day. The donations will help families who struggle financialy and are unable to consistently supply necessary meals for their families, though the holiday season and beyond. 

Happy Holidays from the Green Alliance!

By Sam | Dec 24, 2014 | in

To our Business Partners, thank you for allowing us to promote your businesses; we wouldn't be here without you! To our Members, thank you for supporting us and our Businesses, all of us couldn't do it without your support!

To all our followers: why not make 2015 the year you start shopping green? Join the Green Alliance today at a discounted rate of $25 and start saving money at all our awesome businesses!

GA Director Sarah Brown featured on Portsmouth Community Radio

By Sam | Dec 24, 2014 | in

Michael Cameron, founder of the New Hampshire Brand Project, recently had GA Director Sarah Brown on his radio show which airs weekly on WSCA-LP Portsmouth Community Radio. New Hampshire Brand Project was started as a way to promote the New Hampshire brand, as well as the businesses and culture in the state to encourage more people to move to the state or contribute to the local business movement.

Jim Siverts is the founder of marketing automation platform Hatchbuck. Siverts says it can be used by businesses to track, understand, and create targeted marketing based on a customer's interests.

"It's like email on steroids," said Siverts. "It allows business owners to automate their follow-up for their customers and learn from their behavior with their interaction with the content."

Sarah Brown explained the what the Green Alliance does in one swift sentence:

Environmental Diaper Service Company Expands to All Laundry

By Sam | Dec 24, 2014 | in

By Patrick Haigis

Green Earth Baby Works  has established a reputation as an alternative to plastic-based disposable diapers. They take your used cloth diapers, clean them, and return them good as new. For years, they have been successful as an environmentally friendly cleaning service. Now, by popular demand, Green Earth Baby Works is expanding to offer linen and laundry service to local environmentally conscious commercial enterprises.

This summer, Green Earth Baby Works grew its operation to include additional machines and staffing to support the Green Earth Laundry Works (GELW) pilot program, which is now open for business. The program offers the same local environmentally conscious laundry service to businesses in the Seacoast area and southern New Hampshire.

Given the company’s background in environmentalism GELW is able to run with the same sustainable values as Green Earth Baby Works. GELW pays special attention to water heating and usage and reducing harsh chemicals and processes to make sure they are minimizing environmental harm every step of the way. They are also reviewing Ozone Systems to dramatically reduce energy costs and the reduction of chemicals. 

GELW is a customizable service for local businesses and commercial enterprises. At this time, they are limiting the number of customers so that we can assure that the high level of customer service is maintained. For customers, it is almost as if you have your own personal service at your disposal- at lower the cost.

Kim Leo, founder of Green Earth Baby Works and GELW, is working tirelessly to ensure the new project’s success.

“We’re very excited for our newest expansion,” said Leo. “Our commitment to green means, as we grow, we are working with our customers to keep our impact on the environment as small as possible. We do this by geographic routing, energy efficient machines and environmentally friendly detergent. “

GELW is currently accepting environmentally conscious clients interested in affordable and environmentally-friendly laundry care. So far, the company has worked with hotels, spas and salons, athletic facilities, some medical facilities, and food service companies.

You can call or email GELW to discuss your needs and get an exact quote.

Next Generation of Wood Pellet Burners Becoming a Smart Heating Choice

By Katie | Dec 23, 2014 | in

By Michael McCord

Jack Bingham, the owner of Seacoast Energy in Barrington, New Hampshire, practices what he preaches. When he talks to commercial or residential clients about the financial and environmental benefits of a wood pellet burner, he cites personal experience.

Late last year, Bingham installed a WoodMaster mini-boiler in his home as a test and was impressed by the results. “It’s amazingly practical and there’s no price comparison to oil,” said Bingham who founded Seacoast Energy in 2008. “We made hot water on that system all summer and I cut my $880 propane bill in half.”

Bingham has done a lot of research into the wood pellet burner industry and said the new generation of products merges the best in European design and efficiency. “The Europeans are way ahead of us,” he said, in part because of the greater popularity and regulatory push in European Union countries to increase biomass fuel use.

Bingham admits that he “pestered” Minnesota-based Northwest Manufacturing, the maker of the WoodMaster line of wood furnaces, to create a smaller and more affordable indoor wood pellet boiler. The WoodMaster folks not only listened but they delivered.

Need a Last Minute Gift? Prelude Has You Covered!

By Katie | Dec 22, 2014 | in

The clock is ticking... Do you still need to finish up your holiday shopping? Let Prelude Help! Stop by the downtown Portsmouth store to cross everyone off your list!

Whether you're looking for stocking stuffers or big-ticket items, Prelude's impressive inventory will meet your needs! Prelude proudly boasts the finest names in soaps, lotions, body and bath care. Not only that, but the products are top-quality organic and natural products, the ultimate treat for the body. Brands such as Crabtree and Evelyn and Dr. Hauschka make the perfect gift for someone who needs a little pampering this season. 

Beyond the body goods, Prelude also offers unique jewelry, hats, scarves, watches, and so much more. For the holiday season Prelude is open from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., to help those last minute shoppers!

Just One Thing Voting Now Open

By Craig | Dec 22, 2014 | in

Can we count on your vote?

Since May the New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility (NHBSR) has collected video and written testimonials for their Just One Thing campaign. Now NHBSR wants you to vote for the best submissions. NHPTV will produce the winning Just One Thing stories that will air on the network in March and April of 2015. The three categories winners will be judged on are: most creative sustainability solution, greatest community impact and greatest employee impact.

Voting is open now through January 9. There are three separate categories to vote for different forward-thinking sustainable businesses. You can read our story in the first category under the question: What story shares a creative approach to a sustainability challenge or opportunity? Read our story and vote now by clicking here!

Help us grow the green community throughout the state by voting and showing support for the Green Alliance. We work hard to bring awareness of our green-minded Business Partners to the local community and beyond. By voting for us in the Just One Thing campaign, you're helping promote the local businesses we work with to a wider audience. Like Green Alliance Business Partner, Cultural Chemistry whom you can vote for under the Greatest Employee Impact category.

Green Collar Careers: Green Maids Owner, Johnmark O’Brien

By Anna | Dec 18, 2014 | in

By Anna Murphy

Johnmark O’Brien, owner of Green Maids, has been cleaning up grime since 2009. O’Brien started his green cleaning company with the mission to keep harmful chemicals out of the community and local environment's waste-stream. It was a mission O'Brien embarked upon while a college student. Based in York Harbor, Maine, Green Maids now services the New Hampshire seacoast as well as southern Maine.

To ensure his company promotes and uses only the best products, O'Brien conducted years of research on the dangers of household cleaning products and the chemicals they release into the air, water and soil. He has also developed a highly effective Green Clean process that removes dirt and household pollutants and is safe for humans and animals. All cleaning products used by Green Maids must either be Green Seal Certified or guaranteed to be all natural, biodegradable, earth friendly, non-toxic and safe for home and office use. Green Maids uses only products that have not been tested on animals and come from environmentally responsible manufacturers and retailers. The Green Maids cleaning team makes their rounds in a Toyota Prius hybrid.

Breaking Out of the Disposable Cycle

By Madalyn | Dec 18, 2014 | in

In the throwaway culture that modern Americans live in, it is important to recognize those companies that break free from the mold. Green Earth Baby Works is one such company that is making a difference by reducing unnecessary waste and offering a healthier alternative to disposable diapers.

Right now through Dec. 31, Green Alliance members save 5% off of 12 weeks of cloth diaper service, 10% off of 26 weeks, and 15% off of 52 weeks.

Using and cleaning cloth diapers has never been easier with Green Earth Baby Works. Their laundry service reaches from Portland, Maine down through Gloucester, Mass., the seacoast region out to Concord down through Salem, Nashua, and the Manchester area. Leo host Cloth 101 classes in her store introducing people to her unique line of products, and showing how “using cloth” has never been easier!

Owner and operator of Green Earth Baby Works, Kim Leo is an advocate for using cloth diapers, as a more sustainable and healthier alternative to disposable diapers. Green Earth Baby Works offers a wide range of cloth diaper products, accessories, and services and is the only cloth diaper service in New Hampshire. “I’m trying to make having cloth diapers as accessible as possible. I’m not into up-selling products or cutting corners. I want to find out what works for you, work with you to achieve that, while saving you money and helping the environment at the same time,” says Leo.

Green Community Leaders

By Katie | Dec 18, 2014 | in

Allow me to reintroduce our newest level of membership, the Green Community Leaders.The launch of this new level occurred in November, and we were thrilled to get our very first Green Community Leader, Tom Boisvert. 

Tom has been a part of the GA for many years, assuming roles at important local businesses, including the launch of Community Toolbox and their community-centric Fix-It Program. Always there to land a helping hand while being a steward to the environment, it was only fitting that Tom lept at the opportunity to show his devotion to the GA. 

Now, Tom asks you all to join him, (they say it's lonely at the top, after all).

Since 2009 the GA has seen tremendous growth; signing over 100 Business Partners while gaining over 3,500 individual members from Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts including over 115 Lifetime Sustaining Members. With this growth we realized we are surrounded by dedicated, green individuals and families in our local communities. We want to continue to grow, and we want Green Community Leaders (GLC) to help us grow.

We recognize the amazing efforts of citizens all around us, who strive to make their community more environmentally conscious. Whether through educational efforts, or proactively fighting for eco-friendly policies, these individuals show a leadership we are proud of, and they should be too.

Green Families Club Celebration: A Recap

By Sam | Dec 18, 2014 | in

This past August, we were able to capture some great footage of our Green Families Club Celebration. Check out the video! If you're not a member, you can join here.