Blog : Green Initiatives

Thinking about a zero-energy home?

By Sam | May 28, 2014 | in


Kittery Community Market Kick-Off

By Magill | May 28, 2014 | in

Come join Kittery Community Market as they celebrate the beginning of their second season with Start Your Garden Day. Local farmers will be offering a great variety of seedlings along with their expert knowledge on gardening. This is the perfect way to make time for your garden and learn tips that will yield a successful growth.  In addition, Shapleigh Middle School's Green team will be selling seedlings that have begun to sprout in their school green house.

The money that they raise will be used to support the groups gardening efforts at the middle school. Last year the Green Team raised $100 at Kittery Community Market which allowed them to put in raised beds at the school this spring!

The Green Cocoon

By Sam | May 23, 2014 | in

Have you thought about how easy it is to go green when installing insulation? Each set of The Green Cocoon's spray foam has about 2,000 recycled plastic bottles in it, and it costs the same as any other spray foam insulation! Watch this awesome video directed by Mary Boland and listen to The Green Cocoon talk about their business.

RE/MAX on The River Spotlight Series

By Sam | May 21, 2014 | in

Check out this awesome video of GA's Ron April as he features The Green Cocoon on his RE/MAX on The River green business spotlight series! Video by Mary Boland.

SENH Habitat for Humanity ReStore Green Fact

By Magill | May 20, 2014 | in


Green Collar Careers: Dr. Robyn Giard of Starry Brook Natural Medicine

By Theresa | May 19, 2014 | in

Dr. Robyn Giard, of Starry Brook Natural Medicine, is a leader in the rapidly expanding field of alternative and natural medicine. Along with prescribing medications and ordering labs as a primary care physician, Dr. Giard offers her patients acupuncture, botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, counseling, and homeopathy. “When I meet with a patient, I consider more than just their symptoms,” says Dr. Giard. “I think about my patients in a holistic way. What is the root cause of their health issue? Could it be an emotional problem, or an environmental one? It’s important to think outside the box.”

Theresa Conn (TC): What do you like most about your job?
Robyn Giard (RG): I love that I can make a difference in a patient’s quality of life. The old medical model of more drugs for health clearly doesn’t work. On top of making us dependent on pharmaceuticals, we now know it has an impact on our environment through urinary excretion of medications. Starry Brook Natural Medicine offers alternative methods for our patients to get well. I get really excited when patients realize they’re in charge of their own health, and they start to make their own, healthier changes!

Commute Green

By Ali | May 15, 2014 | in

Green Alliance is supporting Commute Green! Tomorrow, May 16th is the Seacoasts 12th annual bike or walk to work day! When you ride your bike or walk to work, stop in at one of eleven free Commuter Breakfasts around the region along the way. Enjoy your delicious free breakfast and sign-in to enter a raffle of great prizes donated by local businesses. Breakfast locations include Dover, Durham/UNH, Exeter, Kittery, Newmarket, North Hampton, Pease TradePort, Portsmouth Downtown, Rye and Stratham. Join the tour de Breakfast and stop at all of the ones in Rockingham County. Click here to register!

Guest Blog; NH Homeowner: Solar is “The Best Thing I’ve Ever Done”

By Magill | May 15, 2014 | in

 This is a guest blog by ReVision Energy about a home install in Dover, NH.  As a GA partner you can save $250 on a ReVision solar energy system (either PV or hot water) as well as $250 to "pay it forward" to a GA non-profit. 

Self-described as a “Conservative card carrying member of the Sierra Club,” Mark Boren has a passion for protecting the environment that derives from a college civics class. “The professor told me, ‘If you take one thing away from this class, it’s this – if you care about something, do something about it,’ and for me that was that something was the environment,” Mark says. “But it took a lot of years and buying my own home before I could do something big.

 Something big, in this case, was a triumverate of systems: solar hot water, solar electricity, and air source heat pumps, which combine to evict oil from the Borens’ home and nearly eliminate their electric bill.

Severe Weather and Business Planning Workshop

By Madelaine | May 8, 2014 | in

HAMPTON — What measures can you take to protect your business and educate your employees from severe weather? What do more frequent storm events and severe flooding mean for our seacoast business community? These are important questions that the Severe Weather and Business Planning workshop can help you answer! The Green Alliance is co-sponsoring this workshop with NH Businesses for Social Responsibility.

Up to 40 percent of businesses that are impacted by a natural disaster never reopen. With New England’s harsh ever-changing weather conditions it is especially important for the businesses in this region to be prepared. At this workshop attendees will learn Ready Rating approaches to protect property, road access and essential services during severe weather events. There will be presentations and discussions about severe weather to help you make a plan to protect your business.

This workshop will take place on June 17th at the Oceanfront Pavilion at Hampton Beach. Coffee and refreshments will be available. This is a free event and registration is required. You can register for this workshop by clicking here.

Green Collar Careers: Richard Luff, President of Sagamore Golf, Inc.

By Theresa | May 8, 2014 | in

Sagamore Golf, located in North Hampton, NH and Lynnfield, MA, has found a way to integrate sustainability into an industry that historically has not been known for being environmentally friendly. By using predominantly natural and organic fertilizers and limiting pesticide use as a last resort in turf maintenance, Richard Luff, 46, has perpetuated his family’s successful business while still protecting the planet. According to Luff, “We look at ourselves as stewards of the land and how we treat the golf course not only has an impact on the immediate property but it has an impact on the surrounding area and beyond.”

Theresa Conn (TC): What do you like most about your job?
Richard Luff (RL): I love seeing the hard work of all of our staff pay off. As President, I do a lot of the planning behind our business. However, at the end of the day, it’s the people on the ground who make things happen. Nothing makes my day more than hearing from a customer what a great time they had out on the course or how well they were taken care of by our staff.

TC: Where did you go to college? Does your college education help with your current job? What skills from college most prepared you for the work you do now?
RL: I went to the University of Vermont and got my bachelors in History and Geography. While my studies did not directly correlate to my job today, the processes you learn while in college when it comes to handling the work load certainly do. The most important thing I learned in college was prioritizing. When you’re in school, you have a million things to do… If you don’t figure out how to multitask, you will probably struggle. Those skills are vital to running a business as well. I remember I also really enjoyed doing small group projects. In retrospect, managing those group projects is just like managing a business. You have to know how to interact with people, how to encourage productivity without taking too much control.

Great Bay Stewards Green Story: Protecting New Hampshire’s Precious Coast

By Theresa | May 8, 2014 | in

Over four decades ago, the Great Bay Stewards organization was formed by a group of environmentalists determined to prevent the development of an oil refinery along New Hampshire’s pristine coastline. Since their success, the Great Bay Stewards have grown and transformed into one of the Seacoast’s most steadfast and hard-working conservation organizations. The Great Bay Stewards also act as a ‘friends group’ to the Great Bay Discovery Center and the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (GBNERR).

In the mid 1990s, the Stewards spearheaded an effort to convert the former Pease Air Force Base into a National Wildlife Refuge. They were also instrumental in the implementation of the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The Reserve is one of just 28 in the nation, and offers immeasurable opportunities for environmental education and research.

Marcom4 Green Story: Bringing Sustainability to the World of Marketing

By Theresa | May 8, 2014 | in

Marcom4, a marketing collective comprised of four New Hampshire women, has found a way to incorporate sustainability into their business model. Andrea Knowles, Jane Marlow Cutter, Kara Stere, and Dannielle Sargent have come together with years of combined marketing experience to offer top-notch branding, messaging, content, and strategy services to their clients.

Marcom4 shares office space with RiverWorks Printing, a large-scale eco-friendly printing company based in Greenland, New Hampshire. In an industry known for excess waste, RiverWorks Printing provides customers with a full suite of eco-friendly options, from biodegradable banners and recyclable posters to banner stands made from bamboo. Although a majority of their work is done online, Marcom4 does their printing almost exclusively with RiverWorks. The Marcom4 team also designed RiverWorks’ new logo.

RiverWorks Printing is also a member of the Green Alliance. “When we heard about the Green Alliance from RiverWorks, we knew that we had to find a way to get involved,” explains Andrea Knowles, Director of Media Strategy.

adaptDESIGN Green Story: Redefining Green Architecture

By Theresa | May 8, 2014 | in

AdaptDESIGN, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, takes pride in bringing sustainability into every aspect of their architecture firm. Robert Cook and Paul Fowler, cofounders of Adapt, specialize in designing beautiful homes that complement the land they are built on. By focusing on three fundamental aspects of architecture - creative practicality, durability, and regionalism – Adapt designs homes that please environmentalists and architecture lovers alike.

For Cook and Fowler, creative practicality comes with constant assessment of the size, scale, and program of each project. By considering how a building will naturally fit into a site, Adapt can maximize energy efficiency. For example, many homes designed by Adapt have large southerly windows that take advantage of passive solar heating. According to Cook, creating energy-efficient buildings is not a far fetched dream; “it’s just good design. We design homes that fit the build site.”

Seacoast Gardening Club on the Cutting Edge of Sustainability

By Ali | May 7, 2014 | in

By Michael McCord
Green Alliance Correspondent

PORTSMOUTH – An upcoming meeting of the Piscataqua Garden Club will have a very green theme.

The May 13 event will include presentations from three business partners of the Green Alliance, the Portsmouth organization that connects green-driven consumers with more than 100 green-minded businesses. The unique meeting was organized by the conservation committee of the Piscataqua Garden Club and will take place at Service Credit Union in Portsmouth. The three Green Alliance presenters will be Site Structures, EcoTech Pest Control Services, and Green Maids.

“This is part of our mission as an organization,” said Deb Chag, co-chair of the club’s conservation committee. The Piscataqua Garden Club was founded in 1926 and boasts a membership ranging from Biddeford, Maine to Hampton, New Hampshire. The Green Alliance presentations, Chag explained, will be an environmental education platform to better inform members on conservation issues.

Brixham Montessori Builds Vernal Pool Viewing Deck for Students

By Sam | May 5, 2014 | in

Kids are naturally adventurous. They play in the mud, get their clothes dirty, and are often fearless about their surroundings. But how do you engage this sense of discovery in an educational setting?

Ainsley, 10, student at the Brixham Montessori Friends School in York, shares her discoveries in the vernal pool, situated naturally outside the school.

“There’s some frog eggs this year, there’s a lot of plants. It’s questionable whether there’s poison ivy… We’ll find out.”

The Brixham Montessori School in York has built a wooden viewing platform and a boardwalk for the vernal pools that appear on the school’s grounds in the spring. On the deck, students can lie on their stomachs and cup their hands into the water to view the amphibious life, as well as the surrounding flora. When the school moved to their new location in York, they discovered a new opportunity to educate students using the natural resources right in their yard.

“When we moved here in 2006, we knew there were peepers, but we didn’t know quite how much life [the pool] was supporting,” said Alica Johnson-Grafe. “Since we have tadpoles and frog eggs, there are snakes, a groundhog, different mosses and lichens that we’ll be identifying.”

Newmarket Dental Goes Green In Style

By Sam | May 1, 2014 | in

Let’s face it; dentists aren’t widely regarded as the stylish trendsetters of our society. Nate Swanson of Newmarket Dental, however, has broken the mold by designing a modernized office with a twist, using vintage, reclaimed, and recycled materials. It’s truly a hip design, but the real kicker is its sustainable edge.

The office is a clever combination of vintage décor in a sleek, modern layout, with a monochromatic, industrial color scheme. In the waiting room, magazines and lamps sit on top of reclaimed typewriter stands. Edison-style bulbs hang above the front desk, which is lined with a tin-roof style metal. The walls are decorated with Dr. Swanson’s private collection of antique toothpaste ads and dentist’s charts

The Lighting Center Earth Day Deal!

By Madelaine | Apr 22, 2014 | in

The Lighting Center is offering a special promotion to Green Alliance members from Earth Day, April 22 - 27. Show your Green Alliance card with any purchase and receive a 2-Pack box of Bulbrite Eco Halogen Bulbs (retail value $4.99.) These light bulbs are an eco-friendly alternative to Incandescent bulbs. They are compliant with the Energy Independence & Security Act (EISA) and can be used for residential and commercial applications.

Now through Labor Day, Green Alliance members save 10 percent on everything at The Lighting Center! To join the GA, click here


The Lighting Center Offers Earth Day Deal for Green Alliance Members

By Madelaine | Apr 17, 2014 | in

By Madelaine Swymer

NEWINGTON — The Lighting Center at Rockingham Electric is a regional leader in home and commercial lighting products. It boasts a knowledgeable staff and large selection of indoor and outdoor lighting fixtures and accessories.

The Lighting Center’s success could be attributed to its commitment of bringing the highest quality sustainable products to its customers.

“We won’t sell something that we wouldn’t use ourselves,” said Jim Pender, Owner of Rockingham Electric and The Lighting Center.

This company believes that it has a social responsibility to give its customers access to products that will save them money and also be gentle on the environment.

In that vein, The Lighting Center is offering a special promotion to Green Alliance members from Earth Day, April 22 - 27. Show your Green Alliance card with any purchase and receive a 2-Pack box of Bulbrite Eco Halogen Bulbs (retail value $4.99.) These light bulbs are an eco-friendly alternative to Incandescent bulbs. They are compliant with the Energy Independence & Security Act (EISA) and can be used for residential and commercial applications.

Proulx Oil & Propane pioneers route toward greener-energy future

By Madelaine | Apr 17, 2014 | in

By Heikki Perry

NEWMARKET, N.H. — From the soot and smoke of coal when, in 1944, he first started the company, to cleaner and greener propane gas, Joe Proulx cemented his reputation as a forward thinking and environmentally minded business owner.

Now led by Joe Proulx’s grandsons Jim, John, and Tom Proulx, Proulx Oil & Propane continues to embrace cutting-edge technologies, steadfast customer service and ever-improving more efficient products. Proulx Oil & Propane and its other division, Proulx AutoGas, lead in providing sustainable products.

Proulx AutoGas focuses on fueling propane-powered vehicles and converting vehicles to propane use. AutoGas is propane used as a motor fuel. Proulx Oil & Propane also delivers biofuel and propane to residential and commercial customers in New Hampshire’s Rockingham, Strafford, Belknap, and Carol counties, and parts of Hillsborough County; to York and Oxford counties in Maine; and to Essex County in Massachusetts.

A Solar Breakthrough

By Katie | Apr 11, 2014 | in

By Michael McCord
Green Alliance Correspondent

GREENLAND – When it comes to going green and saving money,thoughtful planning and research can lead to significant change. Consider the case for the New Hampshire SPCA, the state’s oldest animal protection and care facility, which decided in 2008 that it was time to deal seriously with rising costs of energy. And, according to SPCA director Lisa Dennison, it helped immensely when the organization found a strong partner in ReVision Energy.

In 2012, ReVision Energy designed and installed a solar hot water system alongside Froling wood pellet boilers. Dan Clapp, ReVision Energy’s New Hampshire branch manager, said the installations have cut heating costs at the SPCA and slashed their costly year-round domestic hotwater bill with the solar thermal system.