Blog : Green Initiatives

Green Families Club

By Madelaine | Jan 16, 2014 | in

The Green Alliance (GA) was launched in 2009 with what seemed at the time, a clear-cut goal: to bring green-minded businesses and consumers together, thereby helping prove the efficacy of sustainable products and services while supporting the local economy. To date, that overarching mission has helped the GA grow from a handful of local businesses – Simply Green Biofuels and Purely Organic Lawncare, specifically – into a union of over 115 companies of every shape and size, and from across industries and sectors.

Propelled by this green critical mass, the Portsmouth organization launched the Green Families Club (GFC) on July 25th 2012.

Designed to serve as a clearinghouse for consumer education and family-friendly local events, the GFC allows area families an opportunity to meet and network with like-minded folks who share the common goal of going green, while saving a little at the same time.

Great Bay Stewards Hone Efforts to Reverse Decades-Long Decline of Unique Estuary

By Herb | Jan 13, 2014 | in

By BILL BURTIS
Green Alliance

GREAT BAY ESTUARY — How do you know Great Bay? Perhaps you’ve been in it in a swimsuit or a wet suit, a kayak or a boat. Maybe you’ve hiked its shoreline, fished it from a bridge or rocky outcrop. Or you’ve just enjoyed its sunlit glimmer or sea smoke, catching site of an eagle enjoying lunch on an ice floe.

Whatever your connection, you know that the Bay and its collection of seven rivers shape the topography and the culture, whether human or natural, of this beautiful place, and are a key part of what makes living on “the Seacoast” unique.

Sadly, the Great Bay Estuary, as an ecosystem, has been in steady decline for decades because of increasing pollution from development in the towns in its watershed. The biggest single current threat to the health of the Bay is nitrogen, which promotes algal growth; algae, in turn, threaten one species vital to the overall health of the Bay — eelgrass.

“The eelgrass is our canary in the coal mine. Algae are winning the war right now due to the excess of nitrogen in the estuary,” says Peter Wellenberger, executive director of the Great Bay Stewards, a volunteer-based organization working to prevent shoreline erosion, invasive plant growth, or increased nitrogen levels from human-caused water runoff, and is committed to protecting Great Bay for plants, animals, and people alike. “We are continuing to see a decline in both eelgrass cover and especially in the density of the beds,” Wellenberger says.

A Green Alliance member, the Stewards have recently announced a new campaign — and one with teeth — to help reduce one of the biggest sources of nitrogen deposition in the Bay. “We’ve set up a partnership to reduce pollution, particularly nitrogen, from residential sources,” Wellenberger says. Called Soak Up the Rain Great Bay, it partners GBS with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services’ Soak Up The Rain New Hampshire campaign. As the name implies, the goal of Soak Up the Rain is to reduce the amount of pollution carried into waterways by surface runoff.

Yankee Thermal Imaging and Green Alliance Home Assessment Special

By Sam | Jan 7, 2014 | in

The Green Alliance and Yankee Thermal Imaging are offering a special discount for home energy assessment! Join the Green Alliance today to receive this discount.

In an Industry Where Waste is Rampant, Vector5 a Green Beacon

By Jim Cavan | Jan 6, 2014 | in

Walk into any large trade show or expo, and the thought is liable to cross your mind: Once the party’s over, what happens to all this stuff?

It’s a question the folks at Vector5, which recently completed an official “sustainability evaluation,” are working hard to address.

Launched in 2006 by four Massachusetts entrepreneurs – who between them touted more than five decades of combined experience – the Fitchburg-based Vector5 stands today as the Bay State’s premier tradeshow display company, providing materials and strategic consulting across industries and sectors.

From marketing and graphic design to building services and production capabilities, Vector5 suite of skills combines industry expertise with a distinct, customer-driven approach.

But while a successful tradeshow display can often mean the difference between bustling crowds and traffic passing by, one side effect in particular had proven vexing for Vector5 and others in what Founder Buddy Miller describes as “a pretty wasteful industry”: A lot of superfluous materials.

“It’s been the elephant in the room for our industry for a while now,” says Miller. “So we decided a few years ago to start exploring and pursuing ways to mitigate that as best we could.”

In 2012, Vector5 joined Green Alliance (GA), a Portsmouth, New Hampshire based company that certifies and promotes sustainability-minded businesses, while connecting them to the region’s ever-growing green consumer base.

Frugal Consumers Opt to Harness Earth’s Warmth to Heat (and Cool) Their Homes

By Herb | Jan 6, 2014 | in

BARRINGTON, N.H. — Although the technology is more expensive up front, geothermal energy’s down-the-road savings are practically unrivaled.

Depending on local geologic conditions, however, one method of harnessing geothermal energy can prove superior to the other, and that’s where Barrington-based Ultra Geothermal has made its mark.

Studies have showed geothermal energy to be four to five times as efficient as standard heating oil, making it one of the most long-term cost-efficient energy solutions anywhere. Adding to this outstanding efficiency, geothermal systems may save a homeowner 60 to 70 percent in heating costs, and 70 to 80 percent in cooling costs. When federal-sponsored tax incentives and interest-free loans are added to the mix, many price- and sustainability-conscious consumers opt for a geothermal system.

Geothermal heat pumps have been in use since the late 1940s, according to Energy.gov. They use the constant temperature of the earth as the exchange medium instead of the outside air temperature. This allows the system to reach fairly high efficiencies (300 to 600 percent) on the coldest winter nights, compared to 175 to 250 percent for air-source heat pumps on cool days.

There are four basic types of ground loop systems. Three of these — horizontal, vertical, and pond/lake — are closed-loop systems. The fourth type of system is the open-loop option. Which one of these is best depends on the climate, soil conditions, available land, and local installation costs at the site.

Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance Seeks to Personalize Insurance Plans

By Sam | Jan 3, 2014 | in

Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance owner Jon Merwin puts the individual insurance buyer at the top of his list. That's why when he was reviewing Sarah Brown's auto and home insurance, Merwin suggested that she move from Tower Group Companies to Hanover Insurance Group, saving her $24 a year on her premiums. It may seem like a small amount, but Merwin's personal willingness to go the extra mile for his clients is what keeps them happy.

“Jon found another company for me that offered the same thing for less money, without me asking,” said Brown, owner and director of The Green Alliance. “This is the type of insurance agent that everyone needs.”

Merwin is dedicated to saving the most money possible for his clients, simply because he believes the fine details and personal touch is what makes his business unique. Brown agrees, saying that big-box insurance companies don't offer the same level of personalization or transparency with their policies.

Metalwave Receives 2 New Certifications; No. Hampton Recycler Steps Up Capacity to Protect Public From E-Waste

By sarah | Dec 19, 2013 | in

Green Alliance Business Partner MetalWave recently received two new certifications in responsible e-waste disposal. This is exciting news for a company already on the forefront of making electronic waste more eco-friendly.

MetalWave, an electronic recycling company, follows strict guidelines to ensure the electronic waste it handles is properly disassembled, shredded, and recycled. In 2012, Metalwave was ISO14011 and OSHAS 18001 certified. These two premier standards ensure environmental hazards are minimized in potentially toxic areas. On top of already having these two certifications, MetalWave recently completed both BAN e-Steward and R2 certifications.

“Our mission is to do electronic recycling with as much integrity as possible,” says Julie Wiggin, CEO and president of MetalWave. “Although completing our certifications was expensive, we’re dedicated to being as transparent as possible to prove our commitment to making e-waste environmentally friendly.”