Blog

Saturday Morning Yoga Series at Integrated Fitness

By Katelyn | Nov 19, 2015 | in

Start your weekend off right with the Saturday morning yoga series led by Jennifer at Integrated Fitness of Dover. She will guide the six week series beginning on November 21 through January 2 (no class December 26) at 9:00 a.m.

Jennifer Lake, an experienced yoga instructor and personal trainer, is the most recent addition to the Integrated Fitness team. She is an Ace Certified personal trainer and certified Yoga Teacher 200 E-RYT. She has over 6 years of experience providing professional, customized training sessions and coaching for her clients. Lake is a long time yoga practitioner (over 10 years), teaches yoga therapeutically, and released her premier DVD Active Chair Yoga in 2012.

Lake’s area of specialties includes: weight loss, functional training, core training, meditation/ relaxation techniques, personal development and yoga; but whatever the focus may be, Lake’s main goal is to help clients transform their relationship to themselves; body-mind-spirit.

A Sustainable Approach to Golf Course Management

By Craig | Nov 17, 2015 | in

richard luffBy Michael McCord

The terms sustainability and golf don’t easily mix well. Golf courses have been known for decades for their excessive use of water and pesticides to create pristine green playing conditions. But Richard Luff, the president and co-owner of Sagamore Hampton Golf Club in North Hampton, is part of a family tradition stretching back to the late 1920s that set itself part – so much so that Luff co-authored book on using ecologically sound methods pioneered by his father Peter.
“The variables we face in maintaining a golf course provide continual challenges on a daily basis,” Luff explained. “Coming up with alternatives to conventional methods that consider the short and long term sustainability of the golf course and surrounding ecosystem is very rewarding.”

The Luffs opened their first public golf course Sagamore Springs in Lynnfield, Mass. in 1929 and the second in 1962 in North Hampton New Hampshire. Richard Luff has been in the family business “all his life” and returned to his native Seacoast area after graduating from the University of Vermont. He said his father had decided long ago to apply the lessons of organic gardening to golf course management – in part because he saw the dangers of excessive chemical use that was becoming the norm in the 1950s and 1960s.

Going against the grain, the senior Peter Luff used a minimal amount of chemicals and focused on nourishing the ground to produce quality grass. Richard Luff has picked up the mantle and advanced it further through extensive use of organic fertilizer, natural applications to replace pesticides, and the use of a small wind turbine to offset some energy costs.

A few years after Peter Luff’s death in 1998, Luff co-wrote the book “Ecological Golf Course Management” with Paul Sachs, a longtime friend of Peter. “Paul was the real force (behind the book) but we wanted to preserve and share what my father practiced for decades,” Luff said.

New Hampshire the Beautiful Partners with the Laconia Area Community Land Trust for America Recycles Day

By Katelyn | Nov 17, 2015 | in

Laconia Area Community Land Trust (LACLT) has been recognized as a NeighborWorks Green Organization for its comprehensive commitment to sustainable operations. To achieve this designation, LACLT was required to demonstrate adherence to a rigorous set of green business practices across its operations and all program areas.

A few of LACLT’s green achievements include 32 LEED certified units in Meredith, 47 EnergyStar® certified units in Tilton with PV electrical generation and solar hot water, 48 units in Wolfeboro with 20 solar arrays for hot water, and 6 EnergyStar® certified units and 6 panel solar electric system at Mechanic School in Laconia.

Currently under construction is the River’s Edge project that will have many green features. Located in Laconia this 32 unit project will include a community river walk that will connect to other paths in the city, Filterra boxes, green design elements, and the use of hydropower. LACLT is proud of its green accomplishments and looks forward to doing even more with future projects and as an organization.

To celebrate this accomplishment, to continue their commitment to being green, and to celebrate America Recycles Day on November 15th, LACLT initiated single-stream recycling at Lochmere Meadows in Tilton and Pinecrest in Meredith. Six information sessions were held at the properties with tenants and each household were given a recycling bin to aid in their recycling efforts. Bins were provided to LACLT at a discounted price by New Hampshire the Beautiful.

Seasonal Home Renovations: Greening Your Home From the Inside Out

By Katelyn | Nov 15, 2015 | in

 

By Anne Twombly

 

With chilly weather rolling into the state, New Hampshire residents are spending more time inside, so it’s no surprise that many homeowners start interior renovation projects this time of year in order to make their personal spaces more comfortable and efficient during heating season. But before siphoning cash from your nest egg, consider the social and environmental effects or your home renovation. We have compiled a list of tips to consider when improving your home.

 

1. Conduct a Professional Energy Audit

If you’re considering making any structural renovation to your home’s interior to increase heating efficiency, the first step should be getting an energy audit from a reputable source. Yankee Thermal Imaging is a Rochester-based company that specializes in implementing thermal imaging techniques when conducting comprehensive energy audits. Identifying temperature fluctuations around a home is the first step in addressing energy and insulation efficiency.

“Thermal imaging is just one of the techniques used in a comprehensive energy audit,” Chris Meyer, Yankee Thermal’s owner and founder, explains. “But it’s not the only thing we use. We have a wide range of tools to figure out where energy is being wasted and then more importantly, the expertise to implement upgrades and retrofits to improve efficiency.”

Meyer says the program results in substantial energy savings without significant investment. Implementation can be completed in a day and can pay for itself in less than two years. For the cost of approximately two oil deliveries, homeowners can dramatically reduce their annual heating and cooling costs, as well as their carbon footprint.

Conservation, Construction, and Community

By Katelyn | Nov 13, 2015 | in

By Kristyn Lak Miller

Living in a well-built space that’s just the right size. Being within walking distance to amenities. Knowing neighbors by name. “When it comes to choosing a home, traditional values are making a comeback,” says Jen Chinburg, Marketing Director for Chinburg Properties, the 30-year-old development and construction firm. “There’s a real interest in returning to priorities-driven, thoughtfully-constructed, community-based residences, downtown and beyond.”

Newmarket-based Chinburg Properties worked with its hometown on two developments to infuse tradition into modern living: Newmarket Mills, a downtown mix of rental apartments and commercial space, and Rockingham Green, a lifestyle community just minutes from the town’s center. “These developments have changed the way people look at Newmarket, and the way the people of Newmarket look at themselves,” says Steve Fournier, Newmarket Town Manager. “I am a New Hampshire seacoast native. When I was growing up, Newmarket was known mainly as a depressed mill town that provided inexpensive housing for students at UNH. Today, thanks in part to these developments, Newmarket is one of the hottest markets in the area.”

Apartment Living Grows Up, Goes Green, and Gets Connected

Newmarket Manufacturing Company constructed its first mill in Newmarket nearly 200 years ago, harnessing the power of the Lamprey River for textile production. Several mills were added during the century that followed and, during peak production, more than 700 were employed. The company closed in 1929 and the mills housed various tenants over the years, including Sam Smith Shoe Co. and Timberland. Though the mills dominated downtown, and long symbolized the town’s industriousness, they steadily fell into disrepair and, by the 1990s, became solemn reminders of Newmarket’s prosperous past.

Two Tickets to TASTE of the Seacoast Bash for New Sustaining Members!

By Rich | Nov 12, 2015 | in

This year we are celebrating the flavors of the Seacoast by rewarding new Green Alliance sustaining members with 2 tickets to the TASTE of the Seacoast Annual Bash! Just sign up as a new sustaining member and attend one of the premier Seacoast culinary events featuring over 50 restaurants, fine wines, craft beers, and signature cocktails! 

The event will be held Saturday, November 21st, from 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m. at the Portsmouth Harbor Events and Conference Center in Downtown Portsmouth. 

What you'll experience is a sampling of the best of the best, the 2015 winners from TASTE magazine's "Best of TASTE" edition, who will bring their award winning food and cocktails for you to enjoy. Experience restaurateurs, chefs, caterers, brewers, bakers, sommeliers, chocolatiers, and food professionals from over 80 Best of Taste categories.

You are also free to continue your culinary quest by bidding on gift certificates to your favorite restaurants, overnight stays, specialty wines, craft beer packages and exclusive spirits at the silent auction.

And the best part? A portion of all proceeds will be donated to the New Hampshire Food Bank.

Meet a Green Alliance Business: TVC Systems

By Craig | Nov 11, 2015 | in

TVC Systems is a Portsmouth-based control and information systems integration company specializing in supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems. TVC provides a way to control and/or monitor on site combined heat and power (CHP) systems for critical power plants, boiler plants, utility plants and other energy centers and buildings across varying industries, while helping those industries' power, heating and cooling systems to be up to 80 percent more efficient.

Its services include the study, design, implementation and maintenance of co-generation and tri-generation systems in plants that include boilers, turbines, reciprocating engines, heat recovery steam generators, electric and/or adsorption chillers, etc. CHP also reduces air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, requires less fuel to produce a given energy output, avoids transmission and distribution losses that occur when electricity travels over power lines and provides high-quality electricity and thermal energy to a site regardless of what might occur on the power grid. In many cases, energy produced can also be sold back to the local utility supplier. In 2013, TVC Systems was recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency/CHP Partnership for its participation in 22 successfully implemented and completed CHP projects, resulting in significant power efficiencies and emission reductions. TVC is currently in the final design, startup and commissioning phases of four additional CHP projects and continues to upgrade and improve existing facilities.

Where: 284 Constitution Ave., Portsmouth, N.H.

Web: www.tvcsystems.com

Phone: (603) 431-5251

Little Green Homes Welcomes New Subsidiary, Spruce Creek Woodworks

By Katelyn | Nov 10, 2015 | in

Many area residents are familiar with Little Green Homes, an environmentally friendly building company, located in Greenland, NH, and the local business has recently grown with the addition of Spruce Creek Woodworks. The new subsidiary of Little Green Homes specializes in custom furniture, cabinetry, and woodworking for both residential and commercial properties.

The craftsmen have experience in a variety of different areas of woodworking, giving them knowledge of many different specialties. For Spruce Creek, it isn’t just about the final product, it’s about the entire process of building, beginning with design and working through materials, installation and follow up after completion of the project.

While Spruce Creek Woodworks is new to the seacoast area, Little Green Homes is not. The business, founded by Chris Redmond and Jeff Stacy in 2007, has become well known throughout the area, including in 2009 when Little Green Homes was part of the first Platinum LEED build in Portsmouth.

Since then, they have grown to create sustainable, durable, and more energy efficient homes for residents who want to step outside the box when it comes to home design. One recent project is the construction of an all-electric house in Kittery Point, home to Ann Grinnell and Marge Pelletier.

2 for 1 Tuesdays at 900 Degrees are the Best Deal Around

By Katelyn | Nov 10, 2015 | in

What could be better than two pizzas for the price of one? And we aren’t talking about cheap, chain restaurant pizza. Every week, 900 Degrees Neapolitan Pizza offers the best deal in the area, 2-4-1 Tuesdays, where every signature pizza is buy one, get the second one free.

This great deal is available at both the Manchester and Epping locations and begins at 5:00 p.m. for dine-in customers only. Guests can chose from any of the signature pizzas, including some of the favorites like mac and cheese pizza, barbeque chicken, the house, original margarita, or the most popular- the Bella Cosa.

900 Degrees is a popular favorite among area residents who crave the pizza from the restaurant that aims to create it as pizza was originally conceived in Naples, Italy, hundreds of years ago. The process is as familiar as it is timeless: using a wood-fired brick oven at 900 degrees, the crew cooks with authentic, daily-made dough, fresh and local ingredients, and a mix of flavors to create a classic dish the way it was originally intended.

The pizzerias also hold sustainability as a core value, practicing a number of green business techniques from extensive recycling, reduced energy use, locally sourced, natural and organic ingredients, and a commitment to community giveback and involvement.

When Socially Responsible Investing Becomes Personal

By Katelyn | Nov 10, 2015 | in

By Michael McCord

For Sarah Brown it was time to step up and take her own advice.

In this case, the advice meant an analysis of her investment portfolio to see if it matched her personal values. Brown, the Director of the Green Alliance, said for years she had urged the same for friends and Green Alliance Business Partners.

“I’ve been talking to people for the last five years about becoming green in all quarters of their life,” Brown said. “I needed to walk the walk and do it myself.”

At the outset, Brown was simply seeking information to see if her investments matched her values. “I did not want to be investing in gun makers, fossil fuel companies, drug or gambling industry companies, or big-ag companies that promote GMOs,” Brown explained. “I don’t want my investments in businesses that give lots of money to right-wing causes or politicians. No investments in companies that promote LGBT discrimination or union-busting.”

She also was curious to talk to an advisor who cares about “this stuff” too. “My current advisor is lovely and has produced great results for me; I do trust him with my investments but I realize I want, even need, more than that”.

Brown had planned this exercise to be an educational journey and didn’t imagine she might decide to literally change both her investment portfolio and her financial advisor. She turned to Mike Smith, the Newmarket-based representative for the Progressive Asset Management Group (PAM Group), the socially responsible investment division of Financial West Group.

Ray Dube of CCNNE Presents as Key Note Speaker at NH Department of Safety Green Team Energy Conference

By Katelyn | Nov 9, 2015 | in

The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England (CCNNE) is leading the way in sustainability for large manufacturing and product distribution facilities. CCNNE, a franchise of the Coca-Cola parent company, serves New England area out of their Londonderry, NH facility and is always on the hunt to further reduce their carbon footprint in the creation and delivery of their products.

6.5 million pounds of CCNNE's recycled PET bottles are used to make fleece jackets by The North Face and Patagonia and the Londonderry plant boasts a 93% recycling diversion rate, but aside from extensive recycling, reuse and energy reduction, CCNNE works to get out into local communities and educate the public on what the company does and how individuals can become more green every day. This large responsibility falls on to the plate of Ray Dube, Sustainability Manager at CCNNE.

On Wednesday, October 28, Dube was the keynote speaker at the New Hampshire Department of Safety’s Green Team Energy Conference. Dube has been setting up at different events put on by the State as well as in the State House itself for several years. Last spring, at one of the events, a member from the NH Homeland Security Department Green Team invited him to set up and speak at their monthly meeting.

Celebrate America Recycles Day on November 15

By Katelyn | Nov 7, 2015 | in

America Recycles Day, a program of Keep America Beautiful, is a nationally recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. Every year on November 15, event organizers educate neighbors, friends and colleagues through thousands of events. Keep America Beautiful has created guides, tools, templates and tips to make it easy to organize your local school or community event.

Keep America Beautiful is a national nonprofit organization working to inspire and educate people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Keep America Beautiful was established in 1953 and has made it their goal to provide the expertise, programs and resources to help people end littering in America, increase recycling in America, and beautify America's communities.The organization is driven by the work and passion of community-based Keep America Beautiful affiliates, volunteers, and the support of corporate partners, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals.

Organizers have planned both private and public events around the country, find an event close to you today! Those interested can also register their own event and take the pledge to recycle more. Learn more about America Recycles Day and don't forget to celebrate on November 15!

Market-Based Climate Solutions Discussion at Free Nashua Teach-In

By Katelyn | Nov 5, 2015 | in

President Obama has said repeatedly that if Congress does not send him legislation to implement market-based solutions for climate change, he will use executive and regulatory powers to act. Congress holds back from acting on climate change because many members are concerned about attack ads or primary challengers funded by fossil fuel interests. Consequently the U.S. gets more regulations and business uncertainty as regulations and executive actions are challenged in the courts.

While many Democrats would act on climate legislation, the Republican Party has refused to accept the scientific findings on climate change much less push for legislation to address it. Recently, however, two things have happened that suggest fissures may be opening in the stalemate on climate. In September, Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) and 10 Republican cosponsors introduced a resolution that recognizes the impact of climate change and calls for action to reduce future risk. In October, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) announced “formation of a Senate Energy and Environment Working Group that will focus on ways we can protect our environment and climate while also bolstering clean energy innovation that helps drive job creation.” Ayotte was joined by three other Republican senators in forming the group.

While cynics will say these moves are motivated solely by election year political considerations, they nonetheless offer concerned citizens and clean energy interests opportunities to take officeholders at their word and lobby both groups for the types of market-based approaches President Obama could sign.

Focused on Sustainable Painting

By Katelyn | Nov 3, 2015 | in

By Michael McCord

Sean Sturk had a choice to make after he finished college. He could take a more traditional career path, putting his degrees to use in business and marketing. Or he could continue doing the work he'd enjoyed since he was a teen – getting his hands, face and neck dirty while managing a paint crew and becoming an expert.

“I began painting when I was in high school and excelled at it. I learned a lot when I was put in a management position and ran crews,” said Sturk, co-owner of Minute Men Painters of Portsmouth. “I realized I could make more money painting than being an intern and doing something else.”

In addition to managing painting projects and crews, Sturk also owned and operated a retail paint store where he expanded his knowledge of the products and applications, including eco-friendly options, he sold. With his expertise and education, Sturk turned Minute Men Painters into a regional leader in the "green-painting" revolution when he took over the company in 2000.

“We take pride in our sustainable practices while protecting and adding to the beauty of the homes around us,” said Sturk, a New Hampshire native who received degrees in business management and marketing from the University of New Hampshire and Franklin Pierce University.

Acorn School to Host Annual Fundraiser to Support Nature Based Learning

By Katelyn | Nov 3, 2015 | in

On the evening of November 7, Acorn School, a non-profit preschool and kindergarten, will host its annual fall fundraiser. This year, the fundraiser will be held at Abenaqui Country Club and will serve as one of the main contributions to the Acorn School Endowment Fund.

This fundraiser, as well as others throughout the year, will support capital improvements, overhead costs, and the Becky Shepard scholarship fund. All are encouraged to attend and guests will enjoy an evening of hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, raffle prizes, and live and silent auctions, with all proceeds going to the school.

The pre-K and kindergarteners at Acorn School in Stratham learn to connect with the environment at an early age. Teachers and administrators take advantage of the school’s natural surroundings to create a curriculum and philosophy that instills a sense of environmental appreciation in their students.

Students at this unique school are exposed to environment through nature-based learning, much of which is done through outdoor education focused on composting, gardening, or learning about native species. Aside from the environment, the curriculum also offers classes in theater, music, the arts, and world cultures.