Blog : Green Initiatives

Gundalow Company hosts Flotilla to Benefit the Wood Island Life Saving Station Restoration Effort

By Anne | Jul 16, 2015 | in
Saturday, August 1st, from 4 to 5 p.m. the Gundalow Company is hosting a Flotilla to support and raise awareness for the Wood Island Life Saving Station restoration effort. 
“Flotilla” is a word of Spanish origin that refers to a fleet of ships; typically made up of marine vessels. In this case it refers to a marine parade lead by the Gundalow Company’s Piscataqua from Fort McClary State Park at Kittery Point to the Wood Island Life Saving Station. Participation is free, open to the public, and all varieties of marine vessels are encouraged to join. 
The Wood Island Life Saving Station is rich with national history. Between 1848 and 1915, the U.S. Life Saving Service was a humanitarian organization that acted as a first responder to shipwrecked passengers and mariners. In 1908, the Wood Island Life Saving Station was built as one of the facilities to meet this safety need. During WW2, the station was repurposed by the government as a unit of the coastal defense system. In 1973, the building was given back to the town of Kittery and remained largely untouched until 2011 when the Wood Island Life Saving Station Association was formed in order to restore the dilapidated relic. 
The ultimate goal in restoring the building is that it becomes a functional maritime museum making it a valuable education tool and seacoast attraction. According to an article in the Portsmouth Herald, as of early July, the WILSSA has raised enough funds, through a combination of public and private grants, to restore the exterior of the building. However, the funds to renovate the interior still need to be raised. 
The Gundalow Company is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the maritime heritage and environment of the Seacoast. It’s no wonder they are hosting the flotilla and leading the parade with their own gundalow Piscataqua to support this great cause.

Soak Up The Rain With Great Bay Stewards

By Sam Lane | Jul 16, 2015 | in

Great Bay Stewards is running the Soak up the Rain Great Bay, a pivotal effort towards utilizing ground water properly. Rain gardens allow for natural management of ground water runoff by reducing nutrient pollution with a proper environment for plants to filtrate runoff. Soak up the rain will promote proper runoff management techniques for the state of New Hampshire and places surrounding.

Throughout New Hampshire residents are introducing rain gardens, rain barrels, planting trees and other raining soaking tactics to help promote runoff management. Soak up the rain provides first hand advice on how to help promote runoff management. With these incredible practices, SOAK is reducing on site pollution and providing mapped sites of locations being managed properly so those interested know how to get involved and see areas already addressed.

One of the latest rain garden installations was done at the Woodsman Museum in Dover, NH, conveniently finished before the beginning drops of rain before a rainstorm, a nice way to see the benefits of all the hard work undergone to install the garden.

Local Businesses Team Up To Reduce E-Waste

By Sam Lane | Jul 15, 2015 | in

By Anne Twombly

The fast pace of technological change coupled with the short lifespan of modern consumer goods leaves many individuals and businesses with obsolete electronics. These unwanted electronic goods, known as e-waste, are often carelessly discarded, causing an unwitting environmental and health threat. But two local businesses are coming together to bring awareness to this issue and offer a sustainable opportunity for retiring unwanted electronic goods.

On July 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., local e-cycler, MetalWave, is extending its electronic recycling services to the entirety of Pease Tradeport tenants and their employees mostly free of charge at Redhook Brewery.

To give some perspective as to the scope of this service to the community, the Tenants Association at Pease, or TAP, encompasses just under 100 businesses and approximately 6,000 employees - all of whom are eligible to participate in the July 21st e-cycle fest.

“After last year’s success,” said Jim Jubb, Business Development Manager at MetalWave. “We’re pleased to partner with Redhook and TAP for the second annual event, we know this kind of thing is meaningful on so many levels.”

MetalWave at Redhook, will accept a majority of electronic devices including: PCs, laptops, servers, keyboards, projectors, phones, copiers, PC Boards, cables, cords, wires, CPUs, cell phones, VCRs, DVDs, test equipment, game consoles, fluorescent light bulbs, A/V, metal scrap, car batteries, and small refrigerators.

Local Wind Farm Project Finds Green Partner

By Rich | Jul 9, 2015 | in

By Mark Quirk

The benefits of the Antrim Wind Energy project continue to grow, and this time the beneficiary is the New England Forest Foundation. It’s good timing for the new collaboration as the Antrim project currently is up for re-review after being tabled in 2013.

Portsmouth-based Eolian Renewable Energy has eliminated one turbine and significantly reduced a second to meet earlier requests presented by the state of New Hampshire. Supporters and opponents alike agree that this project is a bellwether on the future of larger scale wind projects in the state.

Antrim Wind Energy (AWE) recently pledged to make a payment of $100,000 to the New England Forest Foundation (NEFF), which will be awarded once the wind farm project in Antrim receives the remaining necessary approvals and proceeds to construction. The money is earmarked to permanently conserve valuable working forestland in southern New Hampshire. The payment and the resulting land conservation will be in addition to 908 acres of contiguous forestland already conserved in the vicinity of the wind project.

“We saw an opportunity to expand the mitigation,” said Jack Kenworthy, chief executive officer of the seacoast’s Eolian Renewable Energy LLC, the parent company of AWE. “We wanted to reach out to a group that had substantial experience in conservation and NEFF has that.”

Improving New Hampshire Transfer Stations One Town at a Time

By Katelyn | Jul 8, 2015 | in

Residents across New Hampshire recognize improvements made at their town transfer stations, new facility signs, and the iconic blue bags used to pick up liter along roadways, but who is behind these efforts to beautify the State? New Hampshire the Beautiful (NHtB) is a collaborative non-profit organization comprised of members of New Hampshire food and beverage companies who are working to combat littering problems, improve recycling and environmental programs, and educate residents.

NHtB offers recycling grants and signs for municipalities, anti-litter programs, and recycling assistance to towns and schools. Communities in New Hampshire are able to apply for funding to help purchase recycling equipment, including collection bins, balers, crushers, and other equipment that assists them in achieving higher diversion rates.

"Years ago, NHtB realized the poor conditions of New Hampshire transfer stations and resolved to improve both them and town recycling efforts," said John Dumais, a member of NHtB's Board of Directors. This has become one of the main programs administered by NHtB, in which they travel to municipalities throughout New Hampshire and subsidize the costs for recycling equipment and directional signs to improve town transfer stations.

Keep Your Home Cool this Summer with Yankee Thermal Imaging and Aucella

By Katelyn | Jun 29, 2015 | in

Yankee Thermal Imaging (YTI) and Aucella Heating and Cooling have teamed up to offer summer discounts for Green Alliance members only! Don’t miss this opportunity to get a great deal and save money all summer long. As a GA member you get exclusive discounts with local, sustainable businesses throughout the year, but as an added bonus here are two specials to keep your home cool and comfortable this summer and cozy and tight next winter.

Building inefficiencies waste money and energy. Yankee Thermal Imaging is offering GA members an incentive to conduct upgrades to increase home energy efficiency. YTI will conduct an energy audit at the normal price, which will then be refunded to the homeowner when they implement qualifying energy upgrades. YTI will also help residents to access available rebates to help offset the cost of upgrades. Click here for more information.

Regular maintenance keeps air conditioners running efficiently, reduces unnecessary energy use and extends the life span of the unit. Aucella Heating and Cooling is offering all GA members 50% off unit maintenance (originally $139.00). Aucella’s comprehensive checklist ensures that the system is in compliance with manufacturers guarantees and is ready to be used throughout the summer. Click here to learn more.

Integrated Fitness' Sustainability is About More Than Just Exercise

By Craig | Jun 23, 2015 | in

Integrated Fitness is all about whole-body sustainability – from nutrition education to its popular Weight Loss Challenge program, and community giveback. But the local fitness center makes environmentally conscious decisions in each aspect of its operations both big and small.

For its facility on Dover Point Road in Dover, Integrated Fitness purchases repurposed second-hand fitness equipment, their gym and yoga mats are made with recycled materials, CFL lighting is used in the offices, much of their client billing is done electronically, the location is heated with natural gas, and Integrated Fitness uses recycled paper products for printed materials. Traditional membership gyms typically use harsh chemicals to clean equipment, and often use paper towels to wipe down mats and seats. Integrated Fitness, which is not a membership gym, hired a green cleaning company to service their facility once a week. The cleaning company uses eco-friendly products that are just as effective as traditional cleaning products, but reduces clients' exposure to harmful chemicals.

Pursuing sustainable, eco-friendly initiatives helps Integrated Fitness reduce its carbon footprint and provides clients with a sense of comfort during their sessions with trainers. Founder Jon Arnold works with clients to help them lose weight, build muscle, eat healthier and meet personal goals for a more balanced lifestyle. To lead these comprehensive, and sometimes rigorous, classes, Integrated Fitness's trainers are specially certified to help clients reach their individual health goals.

Franklin ground zero for New Hampshire solar revolution.

By Rich | Jun 18, 2015 | in

By Michael McCordNH Solar Garden

If all goes as planned, the largest municipal solar project of its kind will go online in Franklin later this year.

The agreement between the city of Franklin and NhSolarGarden will lead to the development of portions of 40 acres of currently unused land and generate more than 10 megawatts of power annually. It could go online as early as September.

Franklin city councilor and former mayor Tony Giunta has a unique perspective. Giunta is with Nobis Engineering of Concord and his company is handling the site development of the project which he believes put Franklin at the forefront of municipal energy policy.

“Franklin has constantly been criticized for being a community that’s struggled finding an adequate tax base ever since the booming mill industry left in the 1970s and 1980s,” Giunta explained. “Franklin is showing the region, the state, the country, and the world that large solar installations are economically viable. We don’t have to wait five years from now or ten years from now.”

NhSolarGarden, founded by green entrepreneur Andrew Kellar in 2013, has continued to accelerate the development of municipal and nonprofit solar projects. NHSG has over 40 megawatts currently being developed with 25 project sizes ranging from 200 kilowatts to 10 megawatts, according to Kellar.

Socially Responsible Investing reaches new asset high

By Sam Lane | Jun 16, 2015 | in

By Michael McCord

The popularity of Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) for investors who want to express their progressive values has reached a new high.

According to the most recent trends report by The Forum on Sustainable & Responsible Investment (US SIF), the total of U.S. assets under management using SRI strategies dramatically increased by 76 percent from the period of 2012 to 2014. Overall, those SRI-strategy assets rose from $3.74 trillion at the beginning of 2012 to $6.57 trillion at the start of 2014.

The explosive growth of SRI-targeted investing does not surprise Mike Smith, the Newmarket-based representative for the Progressive Asset Management Group (PAM Group).

“We’ve been watching this trend for a while and this comprehensive report really puts it into perspective,” Smith said.

Since US SIF began tracking SRI trends in 1995 – the recent report is its 10th edition – SRI assets have grown 929 percent, or an annual growth rate of 13.1 percent.

“The assets engaged in sustainable, responsible and impact investing practices at the start of 2014 represent nearly 18 percent of the $36.8 trillion in total assets under management tracked by Cerulli Associates, ” the report stated. “These assets now account for more than one of our every six dollars under professional management. The individuals, institutions, investment companies, money managers and financial institutions that practice SRI seek to achieve long-term competitive financial returns together with positive societal impact.”

MetalWave: Electronic Recycling Pioneers

By Sam Lane | Jun 9, 2015 | in

Unfortunately, because a global market exists for e-waste components and broken down electronic devices, the United States often sends theirs to developing nations, where lax environmental standards of toxic substances lead to significant environmental degradation. However, MetalWave, Inc. stands out among the rest in the recycling game. No short road is taken to properly process and reclaim products brought to their facilities, supported by experienced product knowledge provided by MetalWave staff. Based out of Amesbury, Massachusetts, Metalwave serves as an ideal end-of-life waste recycling resource, utilizing a multitude of cost effective, domestic and transparent practices and management solutions to get rid of your electronic waste.

Computers, printers, televisions and cell phones are just a few of the products taken in by MetalWave. When disposed at landfills, electronic waste corrodes over time along with the hazardous materials inside. These contaminants include lead, cadmium, mercury and many more. At MetalWave facilities, these products will eventually be disassembled and recycled without compromising human health throughout the process.

Solar Arrays and the Future of the New England Farm

By Sam Lane | Jun 9, 2015 | in

By Craig Robert Brown

Just east of the New York border sits the town of Pawlet, Vermont, a community of roughly 2,000 residents. It is a town built on the backs of New England farmers, but Pawlet, like other communities in Vermont, struggles to keep its farming community vibrant today. However, Jack Bingham, of Seacoast Energy in Barrington, New Hampshire, has offered a solution to the town's disappearing farmland.

Making use of a 10 acre hay field leased to a cattle farmer, Bingham, along with a project partner in Vermont, purchased the land to build a large Photovoltaic (PV) solar system. The array will provide energy credits to offset costs at medical centers in nearby Rutland. But in a small town like Pawlet, news travels fast.

Bingham got word that there was growing dissatisfaction amongst residents based on a perception that the array displaced valuable farm land. Bingham was at first surprised by the reaction, but he did some research and discovered that Vermont residents are in a battle over farmland being sold to solar developers and utility companies.

According to a report by the Brattleboro Reformer, Vermont's House Natural Resources and Energy Committee (HNREC) is in the midst of this difficult issue as it reviews a series of bills and testimonies on locating sites in the state "where installations such as solar panels and wind turbines ought to be built, and how to balance the interests of the state, town governments, landowners and developers." In the same report, Rep. Mike Herbert, R-Vernon, also a HNREC member, said that after listening to the debate, it's clear "that people in Vermont want to have more say in the siting and developing process."

SnAPPii offers new discount to Green Alliance members and Business Partners

By Anne | Jun 4, 2015 | in

 A strong presence across all digital platforms is essential for any businesses to compete in today’s market. Many businesses recognize the pressing need to translate their existing web content into an easily navigable mobile app in order to engage and expand their consumer base, however the inherent challenges of building a new app can be, at the very least, daunting. 

Since 2011, SnAPPii of Rochester, NH has been challenging the preexisting methods of app creation for businesses with their unique mobile app development service. SnAPPii offers a variety of fast, inexpensive, codeless and custom app creation options for firms looking to expand their presence to mobile devices or streamline administrative efforts internally.  

Many businesses want to enter the mobile app game, but don’t have the resources or the time to build their own native app from scratch, or to hire an outside firm to do so. SnAPPii offers businesses a variety of premade customizable native apps, simplifying and streamlining the process of app creation. Empowering businesses to “draw” rather than code their app, naturally reduces production time and subsequently costs. Because the apps are cloud based and available through both the Apple Store and Google Play, consumers can readily engage the apps across all devices.

Ethan Korpi: A builder’s dedication to sustainability

By Sam Lane | Jun 4, 2015 | in

By Michael McCord

Ethan Korpi, co-founder of Eco Sound Builders in Portsmouth, has custom home building in his DNA. Or at least it seems that way. His father, Roger was a builder for decades before starting Eco Sound Builders with Ethan in 2007. The legacy of Roger’s work can be found throughout New Hampshire's Lakes Region, while Ethan runs the southern division of the company, with partner Peter Robie, creating a new legacy in the seacoast region and southern Maine.

What sets Eco Sound Builders apart in the industry, Ethan Korpi explained, is their drive to build homes that are as individually unique as they are environmentally responsible. According to Korpi, energy conservation and construction waste management are key elements for all their new home and restoration projects.

“We seek to create high performance homes for the next generation of efficient energy use,” Korpi said. “We believe that homes new and old should stand for generations; to come and perform at the highest level of energy efficiency as possible.”

Not limited to new buildings, Eco Sound will renovate existing, older structures to bring them up to the company's high standards of performance. Recently, the building company renovated an older building in Portsmouth's historic South End district, keeping within the city's tight regulations for work on historic properties, while making the home green and energy efficient. While renovating the Portsmouth property, Eco Sound performed periodic blower door tests and added thermal envelope wrapping to help the home achieve Passive House standards for air-tightness. Along with the added 13KW solar PV array, the home is expected to achieve a Net Zero HERs Rating.

Craft Brew Alliance Proves Sustainability Pays Off

By Sam Lane | Jun 4, 2015 | in

By Mike Bizier

The Redhook Brewery in Portsmouth is a popular brewpub destination for many in the seacoast region. Aside from providing customers with quality craft beers, the pub is also known for its sustainable initiatives, such as using natural, locally-sourced ingredients for their menu. What customers might not be aware of is that Redhook's Portsmouth location is part of the Craft Brew Alliance, a larger national brewing company that also puts sustainability at the forefront of its business priorities.

Formed in 2008 through a merger between Redhook’s headquarters in Seattle, Washington and Widmer Brothers Brewing in Portland, Oregon, Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) keeps sustainability at the core of its business model; for both its brewing practices and dining operations on both coasts. With the addition of the Hawaii-based Kona Brewing Company in 2010 and Omission Beer, a gluten free brand in 2012, Craft Brew Alliance has become one of the largest and most sustainable brewing companies in the United States. 

Last year, the CBA released what is now an annual report to raise awareness of their sustainable goals. By releasing the report publicly, CBA hold themselves accountable for meeting their objectives and being fully transparent.

"For a long time we have had this commitment and we have been taking action towards reducing our carbon footprint, but we haven’t necessarily been talking about that publicly," says CBA's sustainability manager Julia Person. "Now we’re starting to see companies release sustainability reports and talking about this, and I think if this continues to happen, it will push more and more companies to do the same."

On Earth Day, April 22nd of this year, the company released their second annual sustainability report. Last year, CBA was able to meet all five of its intended goals, which included achieving a five percent savings across all utilities, reducing the impact of materials used while increasing packing efficiency, earning a third party green certification, and tracking company greenhouse emissions.

Green Story: RiverWoods Retirement Community, A Sustainable Cut Above the Rest

By Sam Lane | Jun 3, 2015 | in

Every Green Alliance business undergoes a Sustainability Certification. This certification serves to show everyone what each business has accomplished and what they are still working to accomplish when it comes to green business practices. Your can read RiverWoods Retirement Community’s full certification documents here. Below is part 3 of the Green Alliance Sustainability Certification, otherwise known as the Green Story.

One of the Green Alliance’s newest members is probably one of the least understood within the Seacoast. If you think you know RiverWoods, think again. It is the product of a group of Seacoast-area residents, who were not happy with the options available to them when they retired – so they built their own!

More than 20 years ago, RiverWoods was founded as a Continuing Care Retirement Community by people who wanted to create an active community of adults who cared about each other and the world around them. Today, RiverWoods is nationally accredited, and has three campuses on 200 wooded acres in Exeter.

The beauty of the community is that people enter when they are 62 or older, and live active, independent lives. If at any time their health changes, they need assisted living or skilled nursing, it is available, for no increase in fee, right within their campus.

With 65 free fitness classes offered weekly, more than 50 committees on topics as wide-ranging as Political Action to DuplicateBridge, and miles of wooded trails, the three RiverWoods campuses teem with energy and opportunity to get involved. Regular group outings for golf, skiing, tennis, birding, and kayaking take advantage of all of the natural beauty the Seacoast has to offer. Many more residents volunteer at over 150 local organizations

New Hampshire the Beautiful: State Wide Community Pride and Roadside Cleanups

By Sam Lane | May 27, 2015 | in

The Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA) and New Hampshire the Beautiful (NHtB) have joined forces to deter littering while promoting recycling programs through their continuous state-wide roadside cleanups.

This year, New Hampshire the Beautiful has given away 311 cases of Litter Free Blue Bags, the ones often seen along roadsides during spring clean ups. Each case holds 500 bags. With the help of 1,525 volunteers and DPW workers, the cleanups yielded 8,431 bags of trash and recyclables from over 545 miles of roadways within the state.

Some of the cleanups took place during Valley Pride Day, the annual litter cleanup in the Mount Washington Valley, which served as an opportunity to help remove large quantities of roadside litter throughout Carroll County. NHtB and NRRA's combined efforts during Valley Pride Day have gained recognition in other parts of the state as well as in Maine and even into Canada. This warm reception has led the NRRA and NHtB to ask the state for the first Saturday of May each year to be sanctioned as Community Pride and Litter Awareness Day. Through the charitable efforts of groups like New Hampshire the Beautiful the steps towards a litter free New Hampshire are well under way, the only question is what successes will come next?

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Isle of Shoals Steamship Company

By Sam Lane | May 26, 2015 | in

What: With its iconic white 340 passenger vessel M/V Thomas Laighton leading the way, the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company has taken passengers down the Piscataqua River and out to the Isles of Shoals for decades. Each summer, the company offers seasonal daily tours of the Seacoast, and its isles, as well as evening events featuring live music, drinks and food.

Founded by Arnold Whitaker in 1962 as Viking Cruises, today the company is owned and operated by Capt. Jeremy Bell and Capt. Jerod Blanchette. With the addition of a second vessel, the M/V Celia Thaxter in 2014, Bell and Blanchette have made sustainability an integral part of their fleets' design and daily operations.

Recently, the larger, three-deck Thomas Laighton, underwent a full sustainability renovation. All interior lighting was replaced with high-efficiency LEDs that use less mercury and lead than traditional lighting; the new carpet was made from recycled materials and the new ceiling tiles, ceiling grid, and carpet are recyclable. A stainless steel railing system was installed to replace the old railing system, which will last the life of the vessel, and eliminates the need for the epoxy-based paint that was necessary to maintain the old rails. Half of all the demolition waste was either reused, recycled or donated. Both of the vessels also run on a bio-diesel fuel blend from a local supplier and their engine oil waste is recycled.

A Portsmouth Maritime Favorite Gets a Green Make-Over

By Corey | May 25, 2015 | in

By Kristyn Lak Miller

During the summer season, the M/V Thomas Laighton is a common sight plying the waters in and around Portsmouth harbor. This bright white, 340-passenger vessel celebrates the natural beauty of the New Hampshire seacoast; so it’s only fitting that it took a green approach to its recent renovations.

“The first eco-element of the renovation was the demolition of the vessel interior,” says Captain Jeremy Bell, co-owner of the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company, which runs the M/V Thomas Laighton. “We were able to recycle, reuse, or donate about 50 percent of all the demolition materials, including several hundred pounds of steel from the old railing.”

For the renovation itself, all interior lighting was replaced with high-efficiency LEDs that use less mercury and lead than traditional lighting. The new interior carpet is made from recycled content and, along with the new ceiling tiles and ceiling grid, is recyclable. Additionally, when planning the renovations, Bell thought long-term about the ship's sustainability. A stainless steel railing system was installed to replace the old railings. This new system will last the life of the vessel, and eliminates the need for the epoxy-based paint necessary to maintain the old rails.

The Future of New Hampshire's Natural Beauty Begins in the Classroom

By Craig | May 20, 2015 | in

From an early age we're taught the basics of good citizenship, like throwing our garbage in the bin instead of on the ground, or recycling bottles and paper. New Hampshire the Beautiful helps bring the "why" back into the classroom discussion on these issues through different events and educational programs.

New Hampshire the Beautiful has long been an advocate for responsible recycling and waste disposal throughout the state. The non-profit, comprised of a team of grocers and beverage companies, helps towns and cities throughout the state develop recycling programs. The nonprofit does the same for area schools.

To ensure these programs' success, New Hampshire the Beautiful partners with Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA), a non-profit made-up of over 400 state municipalities, individuals and businesses throughout New England, to meet with school administrators and school board directors to develop and implement recycling and waste programs in schools. New Hampshire the Beautiful's board insists every person - from the principal, to faculty, to the janitorial staff - are included in these meetings to ensure they are educated on proper procedures.

Coastal NH Climate Summit: Science to Support Action

By Corey | May 20, 2015 | in

Climate change is a constant threat to New Hampshire's coasts and its citizens. Participate in this year's Coastal Climate Summit to join a collaborative forum among scientists, natural resource agencies, planners, engineers, municipal leaders, watershed organizations, conservation groups, citizens and others concerned about the impacts of climate change in coastal New Hampshire.

This year's theme is Science to Support Action, and its agenda will tackle issues such as assessments of flooded pavements and the challenges and opportunities for municipalities and citizens brought by solar energy.

Participants will be the first updated on the New Hampshire Coastal Risks and Hazards Commission and an update on the Tides to Storms Vulnerability Assessment of New Hampshire's Coast. Discuss the new planning and resiliency-building tools that should be implemented in order to better protect our Seacoast. There will also be presentations with new information and data on salt marshes. The keynote presentation will be Capitalizing on Blue Carbon: New Guidance and Tools for Coastal Managers and Policymakers