Blog : Green Initiatives

Sustainable Landscaping

By Patrick | Apr 11, 2014 | in

By Jeff Beeman

Jeff Beeman is the webmaster of EnergyMattersNH.org, an offshoot of the Lakes Region Community College Energy Services and Technology Department. EnergyMattersNH hopes to raise awareness of issues relating to sustainable energy options and education throughout New Hampshire.

When you hear about sustainable living practices, you may think about reducing your environmental impact through ecofriendly steps like recycling, energy efficient renovations, upgrading to Energy Star appliances, etc., but an often overlooked area of sustainability is landscaping. Sustainable landscaping encompasses many different aspects of landscaping from planning a project which uses less damaging products to selecting the proper plants for your specific ecosystem. Here is just a small introduction to some of the steps you can take when landscaping sustainably:

Design

There are many different aspects of landscape design that can be used to make a property more sustainable, for example windbreaks –rows of trees and shrubs -are helpful to reduce heating expenses in nearby buildings and aid in preventing erosion. Designing a driveway with permeable paving materials will allow storm water to run through instead of over a driveway, allowing for a more even distribution of water to the earth and root system below.

More and more homeowners have begun to see the benefits of residential “green roofs:” vegetation planted in a layer over an existing roof. They provide a great source of extra insulation to keep heat in, and conversely work to drastically lower the temperature of a roof in the summer which saves on cooling expenses. And they look great too!

Spring Deals from our Business Partners!

By Madelaine | Apr 8, 2014 | in

Visit individual Business Partner pages to view discounts.

MEat is Bringing Local Sustainable Meat to the Table

By Madelaine | Apr 8, 2014 | in

In a world where the number of independent farms is dwindling, and most meat products come from huge far away factories, a culinary entrepreneur is offering a better option for bringing meat to your table.

Jarrod Spangler has worked in kitchens around the country, from Boston to San Francisco. He graduated the Culinary Institute of America has also studied the art of old world butchery and charcuterie in Italy. After years of research, experience, and planning, Spangler is proud to announce that he is opening “MEat,” a whole animal butcher shop focused on offering meat from 100% locally and humanely raised animals.

Nowadays when we purchase meat from a chain grocery store or restaurant, we don’t really know where it came from. MEat will serve as an outlet for local farms in Maine and New Hampshire, so you will always know where your dinner is coming from. MEat will source only from the highest quality independent farms that take pride in their work and care about their animals’ well being. All meat will be humanely raised, it will contain no hormones or antibiotics, and animals will be cage free. MEat will also offer cured meat like salami and prosciutto.

Adapt Design Makes Workplaces Brighter

By Madelaine | Apr 1, 2014 | in

PORTSMOUTH — Connoisseurs of Green Design, Bob Cook and Paul Fowler have the expertise to make your design dreams a reality. Their design firm, Adapt Design, offers a wide range of design services. Adapt Design not only conceives of sustainable homes from the ground up, but it can design renovations that will maximize your workspace as well.

Adapt recently designed a stylish sustainable office space in downtown Portsmouth. The office features simple yet effective architectural choices that save resources and expenses. The design incorporates “day-lighting.” Large windows and skylights were installed for natural light to pour in, dramatically reducing the need to turn on lights during the day. The upper-half of the largest wall in the office is made with glass. This allows natural light to fill the office. The bottom half of the wall remains closed and maintains visual and acoustic privacy for employees.

This recent project exemplifies Adapt’s core values, keeping in mind how its designs will impact the collective future. To reduce its carbon footprint Adapt utilizes techniques and resources most appropriate for the region where a project is located. This “creative practicality” produces many benefits. Practical choices like these, along with designing to utilize space to its full potential, allows Adapt Design's work to be flexible to future living and climate changes.

Green Collar Careers: Julie Cole, Vice President of Merchandising at Favorite Foods

By Theresa | Mar 31, 2014 | in

Favorite Foods of Somersworth, N.H. is a leading regional food distributor. Largely serving local restaurants, Favorite Foods provides everything from groceries to paper and chemicals for their customers. Vice President of Merchandising Julie Cole, 41, believes that her company does a lot more than distribution.

“What sets Favorite Foods apart is our commitment to the success our customers,” she said. “By integrating sustainability into our business, we’ve added an additional layer of value and support for everyone we do business with.”

Theresa Conn (TC): What do you like most about your job?
Julie Cole (JC): Well, there’s a lot to like. I would say my favorite thing is the impact I can have at a daily basis at Favorite Foods.

I interact with so many different people every day: customers, restaurant managers, manufacturers and our own internal staff. Each interaction is an opportunity to help someone.

Take, for example, our “Spotlight” series; we do promotional work for our customers. Every two weeks, we choose a local restaurant to highlight through radio, online and print marketing. I love using my advertising skills to help out our clients.

Harbor Eyecare Center Presents a Community Enhancing Dual Front

By Patrick | Mar 26, 2014 | in

BY PATRICK MARTIN
Green Alliance Staff Writer

PORTSMOUTH -- Running a successful business is no simple feat. So when an organization takes it upon itself to go above and beyond, those efforts should be acknowledged.

Harbor Eyecare Center (HEC) in Portsmouth is one of those businesses. This eye care center houses several professionals who hold themselves to a higher degree of environmental and social responsibility, all the while offering the latest and greatest in eye care and eyewear.

Dr. Sarah Hudson is co-owner of the Portsmouth-based practice. “At HEC we take being a part of our community and a responsible business very seriously. We know our patients are our neighbors and many of our friends have become our patients and vice versa.”

Dr. Hudson admits that at the beginning of her career in 1998, concern for the environment and sustainability was not a pressing issue in the eye care industry but as that bar has risen, HEC has not only kept up but actually become a leader as one of the region’s leading socially responsible and environmentally-aware eye care practices.

Hudson says that professionals and manufacturers of eye care products have come a long way since the old days when sustainability was not integrated into the industry and now “companies are making concentrated efforts to become greener.”

Free Gardening and Compost Workshop

By Madelaine | Mar 25, 2014 | in

 

Join Acorn School on March 31st at 7:00 p.m. for a workshop on gardening and composting. This event is free and open to the public.

 

Get Two Tickets to Seacoast Home and Garden Show for Half-Off

By Madelaine | Mar 25, 2014 | in

Today’s Limelight Deal; Get two tickets to the 20th annual Seacoast Home and Garden Show for the price of one! The show will take place on March 29th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and March 30th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Whittemore Center Arena at University of New Hampshire. That’s $8 for two tickets, half off the normal price. A big thank you to Seacoast Media Group for offering this great deal!

At this year’s show, hundreds of local vendors will come to showcase their latest and greatest home-related products and services. Shop for flowers, garden supplies and tools or stop by to meet some of the areas best culinary chefs. The show will include seminars to educate attendees on home improvement ideas. The Green Alliance will have a booth set up so be sure to come find them. Green Alliance Card Holders can receive complimentary admission for 2 guests when they present their green card!

Click here to get the Limelight Deal!

NHBSR Spring Conference

By Madelaine | Mar 25, 2014 | in

New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility is a close friend of the Green Alliance. It will be holding a one-day conference filled with practical and inspiring sustainability ideas you can incorporate into your workplace. You will participate in thought-provoking discussions on topics that are important to you and your business. Through these discussions and one-on-one meetings, you’ll gain practical knowledge. You’ll also receive advice from Sustainability experts.

Sustainability leader Seth Goldman, the Co-founder of Honest Tea, will be one of the NH business leaders attending the conference. This will be an opportunity to interact and share ideas about corporate responsibility with other New Hampshire business leaders and peers. You will find the perfect "Just One Thing" to jumpstart your business's sustainability. The networking and connections that you will make at this conference are invaluable.

This is your chance to transform your company into a sustainable and successful organization. Save the date! The conference will take place on May 12th, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord.

Green Collar Careers: Seth LaFlamme, D.C., Owner of Great Works Chiropractic

By Theresa | Mar 24, 2014 | in

Great Works Chiropractic in South Berwick, Maine offers a unique approach to healthcare. “At Great Works, we treat underlying problems, not just outward symptoms,” Seth LaFlamme, 36, explained. Shying away from typical drug-based treatment, LaFlamme uses traditional chiropractic methods to help his patients get well. With minimal waste production and a focus on sustainability, Great Works Chiropractic is a great example of how the healthcare industry can “go green.”

Theresa Conn (TC): What do you like most about your job?
Seth LaFlamme (SL): Conventional health providers mostly just work towards relieving a patient’s complaints, but at Great Works Chiropractic, we focus on neurostructural connection. The brain controls the body; it regulates the nervous system, muscles, organs, everything. It can be tempting to treat a symptom like back pain or headaches with drugs, but that doesn’t solve the underlying problem.
Think of it this way: if your house was on fire, would you just pull the batteries out of the screaming smoke detector? No. You’d fix the big problem and be grateful that you were alerted to it in the first place. At our practice, we treat our patients based on the principle that if we can restore the integrity of the nervous system and its supporting structures, the body will do the healing itself.
It’s amazing to hear a patient who has been struggling with pain for years say, “I didn’t know life could be this good.”
I also really enjoy working with kids. They’re so in touch with their innate selves. My wife is also a chiropractor, and we both have advanced pediatrics training. It’s gratifying to work with kids who are excited to come to our office. Don’t get me wrong, working with adults is great, but there’s something special about helping a stereotypical “sick kid” become healthy and be off to a good start.

Local Solar expert sees promise in PPAs

By Sam | Mar 21, 2014 | in

By Jim Cavan

Though the cost of solar technology has been on a gradual decline for years, the size of the investment, coupled with a stalled economy, has kept the calculus constrictive—particularly for small businesses.

Jack Bingham, owner of SEA Solar Store in Barrington, thinks he might have a solution.

It’s called a power purchase agreement (PPA), and it’s slowly changing the way businesses are approaching the prospect of going green by virtually eliminating the up-front cost.

Here’s how it works: Rather than pay for the system outright and recoup the savings over time—typically from seven to 10 years—purchasers instead pay the equivalent of a monthly mortgage, while saving on the cost of their utility, be it hot water or electricity, in real time.

Jenaly's Green IT item of the Month

By Madelaine | Mar 20, 2014 | in

Jenaly Technology Group is unique IT firm, committed to providing affordable solutions for businesses, and making sustainable choices. Jenaly makes a conscious effort to do all it can to reduce its carbon footprint. It is a strong advocate of digitalizing documents (their own and those of their clients) in order to save paper. It advocates recycling and makes its green tips and advice public on its website. Each month it recommends a different “Green Item.” These items are simple eco-friendly items that you can incorporate in your every day life.

This month's green item is compostable egg cartons! Egg cartons can be a helpful tool for getting a jumpstart on your spring gardening. Plant seeds from your favorite spring fruits and vegetables, and place them in a windowsill to soak up the sun. When spring comes around, you can cut out the individual cups and transfer the pants directly into your garden. In the meantime, these little plants will brighten up those cold days as they sprout little signs of springtime.

Free Parent Workshop at Acorn School

By Madelaine | Mar 18, 2014 | in

STRAFFORD —The Acorn School is a delightfully unique pre-k and kindergarten school. It places importance on engaging your child’s creative side, and making sure that they have fun while they learn. It emphasizes the importance of nature and the environment in its curriculum. It maintains a robust garden, and composts all useable food and paper scraps. It reduces, reuses, and recycles whenever possible. Acorn School has also collaborated with other green businesses to complete projects. Needless to say, this school cares about its environment, and educating its students and community.

At the end of this month the Acorn School will hosting a free parent workshop. This event will feature Rian Bedard from Mr. Fox Composting, and Pat Ridder from Nature’s Wonders.

Mr. Fox Composting is a local business that educates and services households, businesses, and schools. It takes food waste and utilizes it to create compostable soil for gardens. Compositing expert, Rian Bedard from Mr. Fox will be offering his knowledge during the first portion of the workshop. This portion will focus on compositing. Participants will learn the ins and outs of composting and how to integrate it at home with their families.

As Gas Prices Rise Scooters and Electric Bikes Offer Practical, Economical and Fun Alternative

By Madelaine | Mar 18, 2014 | in

By Michael McCord

For the past few years, Tom Hemenway of EZ Bikes & Scooters in Exeter has offered curious customers a seemingly irresistible offer. “If you take a test ride and don’t have the time of your life and whoop and holler a little, I’ll give you $20.”

There has been an increase in whooping and hollering since Tom and Teresa Hemenway created EZ Bikes & Scooters in 2009 as an expansion of Autosounds of NH, their original auto electronics business. With gas prices continuing to rise along with a greater cultural embrace of alternative and much greener forms of transport, their scooters and electric bicycles offer a sensible and increasingly popular solution.

“They are a lot more popular in Europe and China and in states like California,” Tom said about electric bicycles. “They are still relatively new and people still don’t know a lot about them and what they are capable of. We have a lot of fun educating customers and once they take a test ride, they immediately have fun and feel their benefit.”

Redhook 10% Tuesdays

By Madelaine | Mar 11, 2014 | in

Last year, the Redhook Ale Brewery created the “10% Tuesday” give-back program to show support for 12 local charities. General Manager Ryan Colwell thought this program was the best way to build closer relationships with neighboring non-profits.

Part of Redhook’s mission is to provide support for the local Seacoast community. This past year, it donated 10 percent of its profits every Tuesday night to a particular New Hampshire non-profit organization. Redhook wanted all of the money from “10% Tuesdays” to go towards the farmers and local community who deserve it. Hosting “10% Tuesdays” was simply another green initiative Redhook decided to tackle.

Green Alliance Fact

By Madelaine | Mar 11, 2014 | in

New patients holding a Green Card receive free exam and bitewing x-rays with a cleaning at Newmarket Dental! To join the GA, click here.

Bill's Appliance Service offers Quality Recycled Products

By Madelaine | Mar 6, 2014 | in

In today’s economy the average household is always looking to bring in the most cost effective products. With all the expensive new high-efficiency appliances on the market, it’s hard to know whether buying new or used appliance will prove to be the better investment. Often times used appliances are the more viable option.

Some people choose to donate or recycle their appliances simply because they want to upgrade to a new color or style of refrigerator or dishwasher. It’s not always because their old appliance is obsolete. Browsing your options of used appliances can be highly beneficial. At Bill’s Appliance Service, all appliances are evaluated and serviced to ensure that they work properly.

Bill’s also offers a wide selection of used furniture. Furniture is a little less complicated when it comes to weighing the pros and cons of its efficiency. A comfortable couch is a comfortable couch, no matter who has sat on it before you. So why not save some money? Stop by Bill’s to browse used furniture and appliances that could make a great addition to your home.

Green Alliance members save 10 percent on all appliances, services, and accessories at Bill's! To join the GA, click here

Eco-Friendly Spring Fun

By Madelaine | Mar 6, 2014 | in

No need to purchase a sailboat or convertible to cruise around in style this spring. A more affordable option is available. EZ Bikes & Scooters in Exeter offers various brands of electric bikes, scooters, and motorcycles that you’re guaranteed to enjoy. The EZ Bike team will share its expertise and knowledge of its products to ensure that you find the vehicle that’s right for you.

Scooters are an affordable and simple way to get from place to place. Traveling by scooter saves incredible amounts of gas money. The average scooter gets around 80 to 100mpg. Regular riders fill up their tank about once every week to two weeks. The average fill-up costs about $6.00.

But more importantly, they’re fun.

Scooters can make the simplest of trips around town become fun adventures. Soak up the sun and feel the wind in your hair while you travel to your destinations. Finding a riding buddy who also has a bike or scooter can make for a fun new hobby. Best of all, the world is your parking lot! The compact size of bikes and scooters makes parking easy and convenient.

Anyone with a valid drivers license can drive a 50cc scooter or electric bike. 50cc scooters will go about 30mph. Advanced riders with a motorcycle license have the option to get something a little more powerful. EZ Bikes & Scooters offers models with up to 300cc. These models can go up to 80mph!

Climate Counts Renews with Green Alliance

By Sam | Mar 6, 2014 | in

We’re pleased to announce that Climate Counts has renewed for another year with the Green Alliance!

Since 2007, Climate Counts has brought companies and consumers together to address the looming issues associated with climate change. Its website is a wealth of knowledge for the consumer looking to see which companies put forth the biggest effort to reduce their impact and fight global warming. You can read their scorecard report to keep up with dozens of international brands, tracking their changes and initiatives from previous years in an easily digestible chart. It is the ultimate source for the conscious shopper who wants to use their buying power as a statement in support of positive environmental change.

Banner Year for Eco-Friendly Riverworks Printing

By Herb | Mar 5, 2014 | in

BY HEIKKI (HERB) PERRY
Green Alliance Staff Writer

GREENLAND, N.H — Practicing sustainability as much as pursuing profits, a Seacoast company is trailblazing an ecological path for its industry.

Together, Riverworks Printing founder Jeff Cutter and print manager Danis Chamberlin have greatly impacted the large-format print industry with their green thumbs. Riverworks began its journey with the idea that individual passions like Cutter’s own for fly-fishing should be displayed and stored in photo form. Wall Shotz were the original frame-able works of art that resulted. The environmentally friendly fabric was designed to reflect the hobbies of customers in a clear, eye-catching manner.

Cutter sells images printed on Riverworks eco-fabric to fly fishermen who engage in a catch-and-release sport, enlarging the photos and manufacturing them with an adhesive so that they can be put up on their walls. They are repositionable: You can pull it off the wall in one place and stick it to the wall somewhere else, still sticking after hundreds of moves. Riverworks transforms the average photograph into a life-like masterpiece.

The eco-fabric wall decals are one of Riverworks’ most unique products and arguably its most important, said Chamberlin, also noting that they are non-toxic. “They are manufactured with no harsh chemicals or toxins, which means not using polyvinyl chloride, glycol ether, phthalates, or formaldehyde in the adhesive.”