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Green Story: ENH Power

By Craig | Sep 25, 2014 | 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 ENH Power’s Green Story below.

ENH Power Bringing Green Energy Choices to New Hampshire

ENH Power, part of the Provider Power family of companies, has incorporated sustainability, community involvement, and affordability into their business model. As a Competitive Energy Supplier (CES), ENH Power purchases electricity from the New England Power Pool. This allows ENH to provide their customers fixed electricity rates at competitive prices. Along with traditionally sourced energy, ENH Power offers Coal Free and “Pure Green” plans. These plans allow environmentally conscious energy users to apply their green ideals to their power choices.

According to Will Fessenden, Director of Media Strategy, ENH Power’s green choices are a reflection of New Hampshire’s sustainability-minded community. “It was evident early on that New Hampshire customers want a green alternative, and we’re glad to provide that for them,” explains Will. Due to electricity deregulation and electricity choice, New Hampshire customers have the opportunity to select their electricity supply company. Consumers keep their electric utility (responsible for the poles, meters, and infrastructure), however consumers can choose who provides their power.

Along with providing these unique plans, ENH Power is committed to promoting sustainability on their own turf. The Provider Power office that ENH Power calls home is located in Auburn, Maine. The office features CFL light fixtures equipped with motion sensors to save energy. The heating system and many lights operate on a timer to cut down on overuse. The Energy Star printers and copiers are efficient when used and left in “hibernation” mode when they are not needed. Recycling is thorough and extensive throughout the office. The ENH team also returns their bottles and cans when possible, and donates the proceeds to charity.

It's Getting Cold Out There...

By Katie | Sep 24, 2014 | in

Quickly, the sunscreen has been replaced with scarves and layers, and the A/C... well you can forget about that. It's New England, after all, and our hot and humid days won't be back for another nine months. It's time to start thinking about heating, rather than cooling. 

Proulx Oil and Propane wants to ensure you stay warm this winter. If the thirty degree drop over the last three weeks is any indication, it appears we are in for a cold one, too. As Proulx renews with the Green Alliance for another year, they are offering an exclusive discount for those looking to make the switch from oil to propane. Those who switch from an existing oil boiler or furance to a new propane powered boiler or furnace will be eligible to receive a $1,000 rebate on the conversion. When you combine this with the savings in switching from oil to a cheaper propane, this switch can save you thousands! 

New Blowing Agent Ups the Green Profile of Spray Foam

By Anna | Sep 23, 2014 | in

If you wanted the best insulation for your home, the most efficient and effective, it’s no secret that an analysis would most likely bring you to spray foam. With the best R-Value, spray foam has long been the go-to insulator for home owners looking to have the tightest homes and use the least amount of energy to heat and cool them. But for super green-minded folks they may come up against some resistance to the toxicity of the blowing agent used to install that spray foam and to ensure that it performs effectively. Well, greenies now have reason to love spray foam even more. A new and greener blowing agent for spray foam is on the market and it substantially reduces -- almost eliminates -- the toxicity of that foam.

One leading spray foam installer, the Green Cocoon, has jumped at the opportunity to offer spray foam that uses this less toxic blowing agent. “We can’t wait to start using this,” says Candace Lord of the Green Cocoon. “The truth of the matter is, spray foam is unbeatable for effectiveness and efficiency so it already is winning the insulation race in terms of R-value. But now with this new greener blowing agent, we can tell our greenest clients that they can have spray foam with significantly less environmental impact right upfront which means they are seeing the immediate environmental good as well as the long term as the foam starts to save them more and more energy with each passing year.”

The Green Cocoon has always been at the forefront of sustainability and offers a wide range of insulation choices from traditional spray foam to cellulose and even an insulation made from recycled denim. When they saw the new blowing agent hit the market they jumped at the chance to integrate it into their business. “We now can tell folks that spray foam is nearly perfect in terms of its installation footprint and its performance,” adds Lord. The new liquid blowing agent called Solstice is used during the installation of spray foam insulation in eco-friendly homes and structures. It does cost a bit more than spray foam that does not use the greener agent but Lord believes that the benefits will outweigh the costs for certain eco-focused home owners. It has long been understood that spray foam insulation has a superior, long-term sustainability potential by lowering heating and cooling costs, and reducing energy loss and waste.

Blue Ocean’s Discovery Center Enjoys Tidal Wave of Success in First Year

By Anna | Sep 23, 2014 | in

By Kristyn Lak Miller

“What’s this?” asked two-year-old Emmett, pointing excitedly at a crab. In quick succession, he asked the same question of a sea star, a horseshoe crab, a hermit crab, seaweed, and even a big rock. Emmett was standing on his tiptoes in front of a touch tank at the Blue Ocean Discovery Center, just beyond the waves on Hampton Beach. If the lights overhead went out, it’s a sure bet his ear-to-ear grin would have lit up the entire room.

Run by the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation — a local non-profit organization that protects marine animals in the Gulf of Maine through education, research, and conservation — the Blue Ocean Discovery Center’s mission is to provide a family-friendly attraction where visitors learn about marine life, local and maritime history, and the action they can take to protect the marine environment.

More than 21,000 people have visited the Blue Ocean Discovery Center since it opened on June 29, 2013, with attendance rates three times higher during the summer of 2014 than the same time the previous year. Located at 170 Ocean Boulevard — slightly north of the Sea Shell Stage — admission is only $1 for anyone over the age of two (those younger are free) and the small space is bright and welcoming. “We have something for everyone, from toddlers to senior citizens,” said Jen Kennedy, Executive Director. “Our exhibits are engaging for every age group. And our educators have a wealth of information on marine biology, the local marine environment, and the local area.”

Charmed By Charity Event, Alex and Ani Portsmouth

By Madalyn | Sep 23, 2014 | in

You're invited to a Charmed by Charity Event to benefit Southeast New Hampshire Habitat for Humanity ReStore! The event will be located in downtown Portsmouth at the Alex and Ani store on September 24 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Participants will shop a wide selection of beautiful jewelry for a wonderful cause, 15% of the proceeds are donated directly to Southeast New Hampshire Habitat for Humanity ReStore. The jewelry featured will be from Alex and Ani (+) Energy and Charity by Design collections.

Southeast New Hampshire Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a non-profit organization that sells home improvement materials and appliances. All of their products are donated, either new or reusable materials, and sold at 30% to 80% off retail price! Your support helps the Southeast New Hampshire Habitat for Humanity ReStore build more affordable homes for New Hampshire families in need.

At the event there will also be light refreshments and energy punch to enjoy while shopping. For more information contact Marcie Bergan, the Executive Director of Southeast New Hampshire Habitat for Humanity ReStore at admin@senhhabitat.org.

Green Alliance Members save 10% on everything at Southeast New Hampshire Habitat for Humanity ReStore! Not a Green Alliance Member, join here!

PLAN and UNH Host Dr. Paul Connett, Author of "Zero Waste Solutions"

By Madalyn | Sep 23, 2014 | in

The University of New Hampshire and the Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN) are excited to announce guest speaker Dr. Paul Connett, the author of “The Zero Waste Solution.” The event featuring Dr. Connett is scheduled to take place at the UNH Durham Campus on Friday, October 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the Granite State Room located in the Memorial Union Building.

Dr. Connett will discuss not only his book but also his philosophies on how to establish ways to clean up the environment, a necessary, achievable, step to protect our planet’s health. He believes that we can revitalize the planet and reduce pollution one community at a time. Change can be brought about with the actions of individuals, because the largest impact comes from people who are passionate and dedicated to making real changes.

During his talk Dr.Connett will discuss his plan to rectify the hazards of improper waste disposal and the resulting pollution it creates. He will explain how, in particular, university students can make a radical difference in their communities. There is a significant amount of litter pollution that takes place on the college campuses from beer cans and cigarette butts to larger items. Which is one of the reasons PLAN established UNH’s Trash 2 Treasure initiative that has been going strong for 4 years.

Dr. Connett’s goal is for his audiences to reevaluate the way in which they think about waste and waste management. Dr. Connett believes that to make effective changes, education about better, healthier and greener waste solutions is the answer.

As humans we create waste on a daily basis. By making mindful changes in the disposal of waste, we can significantly decrease the amount of unnecessary, mindless pollution in our communities. Simple solutions such as separating out organic waste for compost and putting policies in place for reusing and recycling materials can have a dramatic impact on communities.

People Choosing Adjustments More, Meds Less

By Madalyn | Sep 23, 2014 | in

By Kristyn Lak Miller

Earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a Global Report on Antimicrobial Resistance emphasizing the importance of protecting the effectiveness of antibiotics against common and life-threatening infections. Doing so would help avoid what the WHO warned will be a post-antibiotic era in which common infections and minor injuries can kill. Adjusting to life without antibiotics takes a literal turn when corrective chiropractic care regularly helps address health concerns well beyond back pain.

“Many people seek us out as an alternative to conventional therapies like antibiotics given for ear infections,” said Dr. Seth LaFlamme of Great Works Chiropractic in South Berwick, Maine. “Our patients come in hoping to avoid the drawbacks of other more invasive interventions that often have undesirable side effects. After care, we often find those interventions become unnecessary. It's not that we've sought to replace them, we just attempt to facilitate proper function and healing first, in non-emergency situations only, through a course of neuro-structural correction.”

Great Works Chiropractic focuses on results-driven, drug-free corrective care and supports the body’s own healing processes with its unique approach to health care. At its core, Dr. Seth — as he prefers to be called — and his wife, Dr. Briana Duga (“Dr. Bri”), honor the body’s reason for everything it does. “In the instance of fever, for example, the body isn't heating up to burn itself up; it’s doing so to burn up the invaders,” said Dr. Seth. “When the body sets off an alarm bell like a fever, our job is not to shut it off, it’s to find out why that alarm bell is being set off in the first place and address that.”

This kind of holistic approach is part and parcel with the overall wellness-driven tact that drives the Great Works practitioners in how they both administer care and run their business. As a green-certified Partnering Business in the Green Alliance, both Doctors always explore sustainable and more natural solutions wherever possible. “We look to the nervous system and structural system to find any malfunctions that are connected to the likely cause of the symptom or condition. They then measure the integrity of the nervous system in its ability to properly control the body, and the integrity of the structure that supports it. The goal is to ensure the body is getting an accurate message from the brain, and that the brain is getting accurate feedback from the body. “If this finely tuned system is disrupted, the body cannot and will not function properly,” said Dr. Seth.

If You Build an EV Charging Station, They Will Come

By Katelyn | Sep 23, 2014 | in

By Michael McCord

According to 2013 figures from the Alternative Fuels Data Center by the U. S. Department of Energy, there are more than 20,600 public electric charging stations/outlets in the country. This is a dramatic leap from 2011 when there were only around 2,000 such outlets.

The recent addition of a free EV Charging station at Redhook Brewery in Portsmouth is a sign of the changing times. Located at Pease International Tradeport, the Redhook Brewery charging station was facilitated by a $3,000 rebate from PSNH, the largest utility in New Hampshire. PSNH has also established four other charging stations that are free and open to the public. The other sites are at the Elm Street Parking Garage in Nashua and at Antioch University in Keene with two locations soon to be announced. The Redhook site will be the only one on the Seacoast.

Alden Tansey of Kittery, Maine, attended the unveiling of the Redhook Brewery EV charging station in September. The retired engineer and his wife Daria began leasing a Ford C-Max Energi in July and said the growth of charging stations reflects market demand for electric cars and plug-in hybrids like his.

“It’s a chicken or the egg dilemma. Will more electric cars lead to more charging stations or will the availability of more charging stations lead to more people buying electric cars?” Tansey said. “It’s huge to have a free charging station close to us.”

Julia Person, the sustainability manager for Redhook Brewery, said the collaboration with PSNH on the EV charging station – which is a first for Redhook – was a partnership outgrowth from previous energy efficiency initiatives.

GateWay Taiji Celebrating Two Years In Business

By Sam | Sep 22, 2014 | in

Two years ago, Bill Buckley brought his dream yoga studio to life in the historic Button Factory of Portsmouth. On September 27th, GateWay Taiji, Qigong & Yoga has a full day of free classes planned for the public in celebration of two years of business.

GateWay Taiji has given Portsmouth a unique opportunity to embrace several different styles of meditative, restorative, and self-defense practices, and with a strong base of local business, they have continued to spread the message of inner well being and teach the practice of enhancing balance, health, and mindfulness.

GateWay’s two-year anniversary party starts at 10:00 a.m. with a series of sampler yoga sessions focused on helping improve different parts of peoples’ lives, be it balance, energy levels, sense of power, or creativity, followed by an open house tour of the studio and a meet-and-greet with the instructors. The rest of the day will include sampler Taiji and Qigong classes taught by owner Bill Buckley and instructor Marsha Carr.

Qigong (pronouncd Chee-Kung) is a traditional Chinese practice of finding one’s “chi,” and is as diverse as it is popular at GateWay. Qigong has many applications, such as training the mind to concentrate and focus, loosening joints, strengthening ligaments, and more. GateWay offers Qigong and Taiji for all skill levels.

QA Cafe Teams with MetalWave, Green Alliance and More for eCycling Event in Portsmouth

By Craig | Sep 22, 2014 | in

On Monday, September 29, QA Cafe will team with MetalWave, Inc., Green Alliance, Axis Business Solutions and Alpha Loft. The event will take place at 55 Green Street in Portsmouth, N.H. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Located at QA Cafe's offices, a recycling station will be set up in the parking lot and will be open to all Green Alliance consumer members as well as friends and family of Green Alliance Business Partners. All consumer members must have a valid Green Alliance Member card with them when they drop off their used electronics. Not a Green Alliance member? Join here.

Items to recycle for free include: cell phones, computer mice, keyboards, speakers,toner, cables, wire, Laptops, PC’s, Servers, includes: Asset tag removal, Data erasure, U.S. Department of Defense Standards: 5220.22M and NIST SP 800-88. These devices will be recycled at no charge. Other items can be recycled for a drastically reduced fee and include CRT/LED MonitorsFlat Screen ($5 each), CRT ($10 for less than 25″; $20 for less than 25″), batteries ($2/lb.), fluorescent lamps ($0.05 each), printers, scanners, or copiers ($5 each), office phones ($1 each) and refrigerators, air conditioners, microwaves, etc. ($5-$25 each).

As a business partner with the Green Alliance, MetalWave offers recycling services and Solid State Drive (SSD) Data Sanitation Solutions, leaving consumers of electronic equipment feeling safe and secure in knowing that their information, and waste, is not sitting in a landfill.

New Hampshire Coastal Cleanup

By Patrick Haigis | Sep 19, 2014 | in

Join Blue Ocean Society and become a part of the world's largest volunteer event on behalf of the oceans! Come out for the New Hampshire Coastal Cleanup, held in conjunction with the International Coastal Cleanup, on September 20th!

Drop by any of these sites to participate:

  • North Hampton State Beach, North Hampton, 9:00 a.m.
  • Jenness Beach, Rye, 10:00 a.m.
  • New Castle Commons, New Castle, 10:00 a.m.
  • Hampton Beach, Hampton (Meet at the Blue Ocean Discovery Center), 11:00 a.m.
  • Odiorne Point, Rye (Meet at the Seacoast Science Center), 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
  • North Beach, Hampton 2:00 p.m.

Loon Echo Trek

By Patrick Haigis | Sep 19, 2014 | in

Looking for a chance to get out and enjoy the fall weather? Come to the 14th Annual Loon Echo Trek on September 20th from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.! The Echo Trek is a perfect opportunity to hop on you bike or lace up your boots and enjoy some quality time outdoors. The best part is, its for a good cause! 

This event allows you to choose from six different challenges. The first two options are 4.5 and 6 mile hikes. The last four options are 25, 50, 75 or 100 mile cycle through the northern Sebago lakes region. These beautiful trails include rest stops and spirited volunteers along with breath taking scenery. 

The Loon Echo Trek benefits the Loon Echo Land Trust. This trust protects and preserves 4,000 acres of land and 22 miles of trails in the mountains of the Northern Sebago Region. This event is the largest fundraiser for the trust each year so your participation is greatly valued. The more participants the better!

Ridgeview Construction Hopes to Change View on Prefabricated Homes with Build in Salisbury

By Craig | Sep 18, 2014 | in

Tours of Ridgeview's net-zero home in Salisbury are open to the public now through October 5. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit Boston Children's Hospital! Purchase your tickets here.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, especially when considering home design – what's attractive to one person may not be to another. Perceptions are changing, however, when it comes to prefabricated and modular home building. At least, that's what Ridgeview Construction owner Shane Carter hopes to achieve with a build in Salisbury, Mass.

Ridgeview, a Deerfield, N.H. based building company, is the general contractor for Boston magazine’s tenth Design Home project. Each year, Boston seeks a new location in the greater Boston area that focuses on a new perspective of living. For Design Home 2014, the theme is a modular home build with minimal waste and completely net-zero in design.

A Worthy Conversion with NH company Leading the Charge

By Madalyn | Sep 18, 2014 | in

By Michael McCord

What does the Mount Washington Auto Road have in common with a school transportation company in Brentwood? Both organizations are either planning to convert or have converted vehicles to run on Autogas, or propane fuel. It’s an energy efficient and cleaner-burning trend that is taking place all over the country, including right here at home in NH.

Proulx Oil and Propane in Newmarket is the driving force behind the slow but steady growth of Autogas in the region. Company president Jim Proulx has become an Autogas evangelist in part because he tested out a conversion on his personal vehicle and has converted almost 75 percent of his company’s service fleet. He believes “the numbers don’t lie” that Autogas makes sound business sense as a reliable alternative fuel.

“The market is still evolving and it’s my job to educate people and get the word out about the economic benefits of Autogas conversions,” said Proulx who recently spoke to the Raymond Rotary Club. “It has made financial sense for us to do it (conversions) to the point of replacing diesel vehicles before the end of their useful life with Autogas platforms to take advantage of the economic benefits as soon as possible.”

Garrett Scholes of Provider Bus Company in Brentwood, which provides transportation for special needs students for school districts throughout Southern New Hampshire, said Provider has begun a nine-vehicle pilot program after conversions earlier this year. The 14-passenger yellow buses will serve the Londonderry School District which approved the conversions as part of its contract with Provider.

Inaugural "Plug-In" at Redhook Brewery

By Madalyn | Sep 18, 2014 | in

New Hampshire residents are getting charged up this week in Portsmouth. That is, drivers of electric vehicles (EV) are getting charged up because they now have access to a brand new charging station. The station is located at the Redhook Brewery at the Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth, N.H. Even more exciting, Redhook is able to offer this amenity to the public free of charge!

This wonderful service for EV drivers was made possible by the partnership between Redhook Brewery and Public Services of New Hampshire (PSNH). PSNH is presenting Redhook with a $3,000 rebate for their charging station in the hope that it will help grow the EV market in N.H.

The electric vehicle market is growing. Facilities that offer charging stations like the one located at the Redhook are instrumental in maintaining that growth in N.H. An important player at the event was Watson Collins, EV Project Manager for PSNH parent company Northeast Utilities. He commented on the importance of developing the EV movement further for the future of N.H. and for N.H. residents energy consumption.