Blog : Green Initiatives

Royce's Bootcamp Is Back

By Sarah Mahoney | Mar 23, 2015 | in

Back by popular demand, Royce's Bootcamp is now being blended into FitCamp at the Integrated Fitness of Dover. This class is focused on balance training and calorie loss in individuals. Balance training is important, especially when you are recovering from any sort of injury or to try to avoid any future injuries. Focusing on lower leg and foot musculature can be vital for athleticism as well. This training is part of Integrated Fitness' goal to help clients reach an overall more sustainable and healthy lifestyle.

Jonathon Arnold is dedicated to helping people change their lives. His goals for his clients at Integrated Fitness is whole body health and wellness no matter their experience level. He believes that we can all live more sustainable lives through proper education and exercise. He is committed to working with clients to help them lose wright, build muscle, and maintain an overall healthy lifestyle. Integrated Fitness trainers are specially certified to help clients reach their goals and there are 4 personal trainers and 2 group exercise instructors on staff for any type of training you prefer. They also offer one-on-one nutrition consulting and a nutrition class as part of the Weight Loss Challenge Program. They provide an encouraging and comfortable atmosphere that clients can work towards their goals and work hard in a safe environment.

Businesses Come Together at Weather Preparedness Forum

By Mike | Mar 18, 2015 | in

By Mike Bizier

PORTSMOUTH- If this past winter has taught us anything it’s that weather is getting more and more extreme. Last Thursday, the Green Alliance hosted Weathering Change, a business preparedness forum held at their office of 75 Congress St, Suite 304, uniting over 30 businesses to tackle the issue of resiliency in the face of harsh environmental conditions brought about by climate change.

The event was put into motion by Roger Stephenson from the New Hampshire Coastal Adaptation Workgroup, an organization aimed at educating the public on resources they can use in the event of an environmental disaster and Marsha Haines from the Vermont and New Hampshire branches of the American Red Cross. The two organizations collaborated with the Green Alliance which helped to tap in to its community of sustainable entrepreneurs and green-minded citizens.

The event itself began with a brief introduction by Stephenson followed by presentations from various guest speakers. These speakers were from a wide range of business backgrounds including MJ Shoer of Jenaly Technology Group, Ray Dube from Coca Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England (CCNNE) and Clark James from the Smuttynose Brewing Company. Each of these unique guests brought a different perspective and approach to this very serious issue.

Green Alliance & Redhook Host Party for the Planet

By Craig | Mar 18, 2015 | in

Join us as we partner with Redhook Brewery to celebrate Earth Day 2015 on April 22 at the Green Alliance & Redhook Party for the Planet! Throw away those Wednesday, hump-day, blues and come out for a fantastic night honoring that big rock we're all floating on, our planet, Earth.

From 6 - 9 p.m., enjoy free food from Redhook's locally-sourced, all-natural kitchen, amazing raffle prizes, live music from the seacoast's Humble Bee and a cash bar featuring Redhook's sustainable brews on tap. Cover for the party is $5, but if you're a Green Alliance member you get in for free. Make sure you have your Green Alliance member card with you when you come. Not a member? Join today! If you're planning to attend, which you totally should, please RSVP to Sarah at sarah@greenalliance.biz. If you forget to RSVP you can check-in at the door. The party will be upstairs at Redhook's facility located at 1 Redhook Way in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

In addition to the evening's festivities, Redhook will also be part of an Earth Day drop-in clean-up at the Pease Tradeport from 4 - 6:00 p.m. The clean-up will be run by Redhook and other tradeport businesses, but the public is welcome to attend. Please contact Tietjen Hynes at Tietjen.Hynes@craftbrew.com if you'd like to participate. Report to the Redhook facility to receive your clean-up bag and site location. Every time you fill your bag, you will receive one raffle ticket toward the Party for the Planet's raffle, which includes a free case of Redhook beer. That's right, a free case of beer!

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Newmarket Dental

By Mike | Mar 18, 2015 | in

What: Referred to as "New Hampshire's Greenest Dentist," Dr. Nate Swanson, owner of Newmarket Dental, earned the distinction when he first designed his business to create as little waste as possible.

From there he began looking at the actual tools of the trade; the toothbrushes, floss, seat covers and other dental implements. He replaced traditional toothbrushes with 100 percent recyclable and bio-degradable ones (made from recycled Stonyfield yogurt cups); switched from plastic seat covers to corn-based slip covers; changed from conventional plastic cups to corn-based cups and switched to floss with a recyclable container. He also gave his offices a green renovation including: LED lighting, eco-wool upholstery, low or no-VOC paints, end and conference room tables made from a locally sourced, naturally felled maple tree, as well as countertops and cabinets from Corian, a longer-lasting material than wood or plastic. He also added motion-sensing LED lights, a recycled synthetic floor that looks like aged wooden boards and LEED-certified cabinetry in the examination rooms. Dr. Swanson exhaustively researched the products before incorporating them into his renovation to ensure they met his high eco-friendly standards. Newmarket Dental also uses digital records, X-rays and recently incorporated digital health histories, filled out by clients on an iPad, in lieu of paper.

Seacoast Home & Garden Show Has a Green Focus

By Mike | Mar 12, 2015 | in

DURHAM, NH- With the snow finally melting and the last remnants of winter fading away, there’s no better time to prepare for outdoor activities. To celebrate the arrival of spring, the Whittemore Center at UNH will be hosting the 21st annual Seacoast Home & Garden Show Saturday, March 28th from 10:00- 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 29th from 10:00-4:00 p.m. Featuring a wide variety of activities and over 200 vendors showcasing the latest in remodeling, kitchen and bathroom, and outdoor landscaping products and services, the best part of the Seacoast Home & Garden show is that nearly a third of the vendors have sustainable goods or services on offer. 

At the Garden Marketplace, guests will find all the essentials they need to spruce up their garden including planters, seeds, and flowers. Churchill’s Garden Seminar series will also give out plenty of tips on garden maintenance. For those with an eye for the culinary arts, the Artisan Marketplace will offer unique specialty foods, while the TASTE Meet the Chefs Cooking Series will give visitors the opportunity to learn new recipes from some of the Seacoast region’s top chefs.

Of the many vendors who will be present, attendees can expect to find tons of local, green names; one of the remodeling companies to attend is Futuro Builders, a LEED AP accredited company from Portsmouth specializing in cutting edge new builds, remodels and downright eye-poppingly beautiful structures. Attendees will also probably be familiar with Aucella Heating and Cooling, a company from Strafford NH that specializes in a wide range of unique options for heating and cooling such as smartphone-controlled thermostats.  Aucella has pledged to only install systems that function at 95% efficiency or above.

Green Story: Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England

By Craig | Mar 11, 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. The final part of the evaluation is the Green Story. Check out Coca-Cola Bottling Company's Green Story below.

The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England, a franchise of its parent company, is leading the way in sustainable practices for a large-scale manufacturing and distribution facility. Based in Londonderry, New Hampshire, CCNNE is proud of their sustainable efforts to reduce the company's carbon footprint in the creation and delivery of its products.

In an industry that has been around for over 100 years, and 40 plus years working out of their New Hampshire location, CCNNE wants to stay relevant long into the future. It is one of the many reasons CCNNE takes their sustainability initiatives seriously, with long-term focused projects such as switching from wooden pallets to reusable plastic pallets.

"It's more of an investment up front, but it pays us back over time and we’re using a lot less of a resource," says Mike Elmer, Coca-Cola of Northern New England's Director of Capabilities.

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Performance Business Solutions, LLC

By Ken | Mar 9, 2015 | in

WHAT: Performance Business Solutions is about saving green, and that includes saving the environment as much as saving money.

Since 1995, Jeff Hiatt has worked to help his clients reduce costs and save money by changing how they purchase different services for their business.  Having previously served on the board of directors for the New Hampshire chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, Hiatt focuses on vetting the sustainable proposals of solar installers, green power companies and deregulated energy supply to help his clients reduce their expenses.  In doing so, Hiatt is able to help small, mid-size and large companies grow their sustainability operations.

One way in which his clients go green is by upgrading their buildings with energy-efficient systems to reduce their carbon footprint and lower energy costs. With a comprehensive business model that includes researching and implementing tax credit eligible programs, utility company rebates, helping with LEED certification and reducing a client's reliance on fossil fuels through solar, wind and geothermal systems, PBS is a leading resource for businesses looking to become more environmentally conscious.

Whittemore Center to host the Seacoast Home & Garden Show

By Mike | Mar 5, 2015 | in

The Whittemore Center at UNH will be holding its 21st annual Seacoast Home & Garden Show March 28 from 10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. and March 29 from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Sponsored in part by The Green Alliance, the Seacoast Home & Garden Show will feature over 200 different vendors showing their latest products and services for remodelling, gardening, and landscaping. The show will also have a Garden Marketplace, an Artisan Marketplace, and the Meet the Chefs Series- a seminar where the Seacoast region's top chefs will teach attendees new recipes and excellent cooking tips, along with offering some of their culinary creations. 

The price of admission ranges by age: Adult tickets cost $8, Senior tickets (ages 65 and up) cost $6, and Youth tickets (ages 6-16) cost $5. Admission is free for children under the age of six. The Green Alliance itself will be attending this event along with two of its business partners. 

Green Alliance members will receive two tickets for the price of one along with other give aways! Not a member? Join here! 

Winter Is Still Growing Season for Acorn School Students

By Corey | Mar 5, 2015 | in

STRATHAM – Appreciating nature is about embracing all its variability. Especially in New England, it can be sunny and 45 degrees one day, then snowy and freezing the next. Loving nature is wishing for the first elegant snowfall of the season, despite spending hours shoveling the driveway for weeks to come. It is the excitement of seeing the smallest of flowers in bloom, regardless of spring showers having you carry an umbrella at all times. It is the summer sun wrapping you in a warm embrace, even though the beads of sweat are dripping faster than can be controlled. And although you have to pack away all your swimsuits, the irresistible crunch of stepping on leaves of orange, yellow, and red will surely compensate the goodbye of another season.

With the winter still sending mounds of snow our way, it’s inevitable for students especially to get a case of cabin fever. However, wintertime is no exception when it comes to getting the students of Acorn School outside and enthusiastic about learning. A winter day at Acorn finds students and teachers sledding on a “magic carpet” or taking a walk down their nature trail to see what changes the cold weather has brought to the trees and animals.

The pre-K and kindergarten children of Acorn School learn to connect with the environment at an early age, with each student being encouraged to enjoy the benefits that come with each different season. Finding home in Stratham, N.H., the school has taken advantage of its beautiful surroundings to form a curriculum and philosophy that instills a sense of environmental appreciation in their students. The students of this unique school are exposed to their surroundings through nature-based learning. Much of the learning is done through the experience of being outside, whether it is composting, gardening, or visiting animals. In addition to the school’s initiatives on outdoor education, Acorn is highly committed to being an example of the three R’s – reduce, reuse, and recycle.

How to Save Your Roof This Winter

By Craig | Mar 2, 2015 | in

By Mark Quirk

Proper insulation has taken on a whole new level of importance this winter. Not only has it been essential to keep the heat in and the cold out for comfort, but it has also been crucial to the safety of homeowners. That's because the roof of a properly insulated house is less likely to collapse under the pressure of snow and ice dams.

Ice dams form when an inordinate amount of heat escapes through the roof, a striking indication that the roof and attic are poorly insulated. As ice builds up, weight and pressure increase, sometimes leading to a collapse causing thousands of dollars in damages and putting homeowners at risk.

“Proper insulation is the most important thing,” said Candace Lord, general manager at Green Cocoon, Inc. “Not only for your comfort but your safety, too.”

The Green Cocoon is an environmentally-friendly insulation company located in Salisbury, Mass., that services much of the New Hampshire seacoast and southern Maine.

Lord said the best way to prevent ice dams from building up on the roof, and avoid possible collapse, is to use a spray foam insulation on the ceiling of the attic or top floor of the house. Using the proper insulation will regulate the way the snow melts and keep ice dams or large icicles from forming.

Ice dams form when snow melts and runs down a sloped roof settling near eaves, freezing again when temperatures drop. The snow also melts from warm air vents through un-insulated parts of the roof. As the ice continues to melt and freeze, it builds up and forms an ice dam.

“The only way to stop that from happening is to spray foam,” Lord said.

To Have and Have Not: Renewable Energy Policies Face Opposition in the New Hampshire House and Senate

By Ken | Feb 27, 2015 | in

By Craig Robert Brown

CONCORD - A series of amended bills that would repeal the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), statute RSA 362-F, are going before the New Hampshire House and Senate.

On February 5, the Republican led committee voted to amend HB-208 presented by State Rep. Richard Barry, R-Merrimack, who originally brought the same concept to the table in 2011 and again in 2012. The amendment would keep New Hampshire in RGGI, but would rebate all RGGI auction proceeds to ratepayers instead of using part of the rebates, as it currently does, to invest in low-income and municipal energy efficiency projects.

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, one of the original 10 northeast states participating in RGGI, pulled his state from the pact in 2011.

The first vote before the House was held on February 18, which resulted in a decision to stay in RGGI with a 201-154 vote to stop investing any of the funding in energy efficiency. The bill will still go before the Senate, where it could pass, before being presented to the governor.

Meet a Green Alliance Business: NHSolarGarden

By Corey | Feb 26, 2015 | in

What: Demand for locally-sourced solar power has grown and NHSolarGarden, one of the first companies to promote group net metering, offers a solution that makes solar affordable for everyone. Founded by Andrew Kellar, NHSolarGarden matches group members interested in purchasing solar power with land and property owners who act as hosts for solar arrays. NHSolarGarden develops a solar array to power one location, the host site, which shares its excess power with another location, like a residence, business or school, through existing utilities like NH Electric Coop, Unitil and Eversource Energy (formerly PSNH). Groups made up of individuals also receive a host's excess energy when they join NHSolarGarden. Members get bi-annual Solar Rebates, equivalent to one cent per kWh off their current electric rate; essentially incurring no upfront costs to invest in local solar and in fact, saving money off their regular electric bill. NHSolarGarden customers keep their same electric bill and enter into long-term plans with fixed-rate programs and never have to worry about rate changes.

By joining NHSolarGarden, group members support the development of clean, local power while bringing economic benefits to local farmers and landowners who lease their land for solar installations. NHSolarGarden will even build separate solar systems for greenhouses so farmers can grow crops year round while generating solar energy on their land. NHSolarGarden also installs arrays on structures including landfills, malls, self-storage facilities, mill buildings and warehouse rooftops and require as little as 7,000 sq. feet for a potential solar lease space. The company handles all development and equipment costs and any utility logistics. NHSolarGarden offers a novel avenue towards energy independence by allowing individuals to invest in locally generated solar power and reduce their electricity costs while doing so.

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Poco's Bow Street Cantina

By Sarah Mahoney | Feb 23, 2015 | in

What: As one of the Seacoast's longest operating family-owned restaurants, Poco's Bow Street Cantina offers all-natural, sustainable menu options and stunning views of the Piscataqua River from its decks and energy-efficient dining room. Established more than 33 years ago at 47 Bow St., husband and wife co-owners, John Golumb and Marlisa Geroulo, have turned Poco's and its sister restaurant, Two Ceres Street, into staples of sustainable dining.

Over the years, Golumb has made significant upgrades to Poco's heating energy systems installing an efficient fireplace, a new heat pump system and an energy-efficient furnace for its outdoor lower deck. And during the renovation of Poco's kitchen, Golumb added a more efficient ventilation system to keep the workspace cool during the summer months. Golumb also switched the restaurant's lighting to CFL lightbulbs and installed indoor and outdoor light sensors to reduce energy waste. Golumb also maintains a strict recycling policy at Poco's where all spent materials, including paper, plastic, metal and frying oil, are properly recycled. Additionally, all food scraps are composted and all to-go containers are made of corn-based sustainable materials that can be composted. Golumb and Geroulo advocate supporting farms and agriculture with locally sourced menu items at Poco's, which is also a proud member of Seacoast Eat Local, and include vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options.

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Climate Counts

By Sarah Mahoney | Feb 16, 2015 | in

Who: Climate Counts

What: Originally germinated as an idea from Stonyfield Farm's co-founder Gary Hirschberg in 2007, Climate Counts has become an internationally recognized nonprofit committed to bringing consumers and high-profile companies together to address the negative effects of climate change.

The founding principle behind the cutting edge organization has always been the concept of an informed and engaged public. Because climate change is widely debated politically, Climate Counts decided the best way to bring change to the private sector was to showcase those companies that make a focused effort to be more environmentally conscious. To that end, Climate Counts scores some of the world's largest, most recognizable companies, like Coca-Cola, Nike, Amazon and more, to bring the consumer a transparent look at the efforts these companies make to offset their carbon footprints.

Find a farm to fill your fridge with CSA Days at the Winter Farmers’ Market

By Katie | Feb 5, 2015 | in

Take your mind off the chilly temperatures and start thinking about the upcoming growing season when Seacoast Eat Local brings CSA Days back to their Winter Farmers’ Markets in February. The first CSA Day Market will be at Wentworth Greenhouses in Rollinsford on February 14th. The second will be February 28th at Exeter High School. The Winter Farmers’ Markets run from 10am till 2pm. Mark your calendars and show your love for local food!

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a business model for farms that is shaped by the direct link between consumers and growers. A consumer can purchase ‘shares’ up front, which provides much needed early season capital for the farmer to plan and plant for expected markets. The ‘shares’ are then used for fresh food throughout the season. As more people see the value in buying food from local farms, CSA programs have continued to grow and evolve, giving customers lots of choices and an opportunity for everyone to find their perfect CSA match.

Local Companies Work Together to Better Seacoast, Planet

By Mike | Feb 4, 2015 | in

By Krystin Miller

Each day, roughly 1,785 people rely on COAST’s fleet of 24 buses and trolleys to get where they’re going throughout the seacoast region. And the Cooperative Alliance for Seacoast Transportation (COAST) works with RiverWorks Printing for much of its strategic, and sustainable, printing needs. Working together since 2009, these two local businesses strive to save the planet while also saving seacoast residents money.

“As a sustainable transportation provider, it’s very meaningful for us to work with like-minded businesses that are focused on increasing the sustainability of their business operations,” says Rad Nichols, Executive Director for COAST. “RiverWorks is a reliable and professional partner. They’ve been very accommodating in meeting our unique printing and installation needs, and they stand behind their work, which has been of the highest quality.”

Greenland-based RiverWorks Printing was founded in 2009 and has worked on many projects with ATA (Alternate Transit Advertising), which focuses on exterior bus advertising aimed at helping raise money for thirteen public transit systems throughout New England, including COAST. It was through ATA, that RiverWorks was introduced to COAST. Specializing in large-format commercial printing for its local and national clients, RiverWorks has forged a unique, green niche to provide a full suite of eco-friendly, sustainability-driven options, from biodegradable banners and recyclable posters to fully recyclable banner stands.

For Building Owners Who Made Energy Efficient Upgrades, 2014 Was a Good Year

By Craig | Feb 3, 2015 | in

If you're a business or apartment complex owner who made substantial energy efficiency upgrades to your property last year, you will be glad to learn 2014 was a good year for reducing your taxes. On December 16, 2014, Congress passed the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, which reinstated the Energy Policy Act of 2006. The reinstated act enables tax incentives for businesses and building owners for 2014. President Obama signed the bill when it was presented to him.

What does that mean for business owners? According to Jeff Hiatt of Performance Business Solutions, this could be a substantial benefit to your business.

The Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (TIPA) reenacted a 50 percent bonus depreciation for energy efficient commercial buildings, and energy deductions. This allows building owners to take up to $1.80 per square foot for efficiency upgrades they made during 2014. Apartment building owners could get up to a $2,000 per unit Federal Tax Credit.

Why was the Energy Policy Act ever "off the table?" It's a puzzling question that started at its outset in 2006. At that time, the law stated that if a building owner made efficiency upgrades to buildings, he or she could take either a deduction or tax credit for having made that improvement to the building. That policy was in place until December 31, 2013 when it was supposed to "sunset," or disappear. However, this past December, Congress decided to act as if the sunset never occurred and reenacted the policy.

"The good news is, the policy is back in play for 2014," said Hiatt. "The bad news is, people who could have potentially moved on a project, might not have implemented that project because they thought the tax incentive was gone."

Meet a Green Alliance Business: RiverWoods

By Sarah Mahoney | Feb 2, 2015 | in

Who: RiverWoods

What: Located in Exeter, RiverWoods is not a stereotypical retirement community. Founded in 1994 by Seacoast residents, the nonprofit continuing care retirement community offers an impressive list of amenities, including independent, assisted living and skilled nursing, a wellness center, dining rooms at each of its three Exeter campuses, three pools and fitness centers, resident-run country stores and more.

Ahead of the curve in its industry, RiverWoods has a number of sustainability initiatives in place to make it one of the greenest retirement communities in the region. Upgrades to all three campuses include automated heating systems, LED and CFL lighting fixtures and a solar thermal system for heating water in kitchens. All three pools feature saline water instead of traditional chlorine.

RiverWoods also has its own group of sustainably minded environmental activists, known as the Sustainability Committee, who work to further green initiatives at all three campuses and in the surrounding community. The Sustainability Committee is working to increase recycling use throughout its three campuses and educates residents on the follies of using garbage disposals, advocating for individual composting instead.

Local Landscaping Company puts Sustainability First

By Mike | Jan 28, 2015 | in

In an industry known for its use of harmful pesticides and chemicals, Site Structures Landscaping, Inc. breaks the mold by combining innovative lawn care with hard work and green alternatives. Launched by Charlie Bourdage back in 1996, Site Structures has gone on to incorporate a variety of sustainable landscaping practices throughout the southern Maine and New Hampshire seacoast regions.

Specializing in chemical-free lawn care and hardscaping, Site Structure’s green initiatives have been there right from the beginning. “It’s simple; we live here,” explains Site Structure’s office manager Nicole Tracy. “We want to be responsible members of our community. By treating our planet well, we’re helping both the environment and the people in the communities we serve. It’s the backbone of what we do.”

Transporting supplies, plants, and people on a daily basis, Site Structures has taken extra measures to reduce their carbon footprint while on the road. A fleet of trucks running on b5 Biodiesel runs from Site Structure’s office in Elliot, Maine to various locations, while Charlie drives a Prius to different work sites. A strong carpooling culture exists at Site Structures as well, as the team tries to use as little fuel as possible.

Local Business Helps keep Energy under Control

By Mike | Jan 28, 2015 | in

When it comes to energy, you can never be too efficient. That’s the kind of mindset you would expect from Linda Tyring of TVC Systems. As Linda says about her company, “We’re control freaks.” Based in Portsmouth, TVC Systems specializes in Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems; essentially, these are systems designed to adjust and monitor a variety of energy systems including boiler plants, power plants, and utility plants. In the process, SCADA systems help to make these plants more energy efficient.

Founded as Nels Tyring & Associates Inc. back in 1966, TVC was initially formed to market products for manufacturing and process industries. The company started to get involved with programmable systems in 1972, and since then has become heavily involved with designing and installing co-generation and tri-generation systems, otherwise known as CHP.