Often times, family businesses put their own success before forward thinking. Proulx Oil and Propane is not one of those businesses. Located in Newmarket, Proulx Oil and Propane has been at the forefront of providing cleaner fuel sources for over 70 years.
Founded by Joe Proulx back in 1944, the company initially had its eyes set on moving on from coal to something a little more eco-friendly. Shortly afterwards, Proulx brought propane into the equation- a fuel source that is cleaner than standard oil to this day.
Today, owner Jim Proulx has made a commitment of fully utilizing cutting-edge technology to provide the New England area with much greener and safer fuel sources. One of these technologies includes HeatForce, a fuel additive that cleans the heating system, prevents rust and corrosion, and keeps fuel running fresher and longer. With HeatForce, customers make fewer service calls, saving money on repairs.
By Craig Brown
Ray Dube took a beating. Years as a route jumper, delivery truck driver, and merchandiser had taken a toll on his body. He was physically and mentally worn. He knew he had to make a change. So he left his rig for a desk job not knowing that when he left his truck's cab that final time, he would start on a career path he never envisioned himself on.
Today Dube is Coca Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England's (CCNNE) Sustainability Manager. He's held the position since 2013 but it wasn't an easy milestone to reach, starting in CCNNE's backrooms and then to its offices.
A native of Manchester, Dube started with Coca-Cola's bottling franchise when he was in high school, loading delivery trucks after class. After graduation the company hired Dube full-time. He worked there for a year before taking leave to join the Marine Corps. After a tour in Iraq during Desert Storm, Dube came home looking for a respite from being overseas, but was back to work the following week.
"I moved up in the company until I was an account manager working accounts and sales," said Dube. "Then during that time I decided to go back to college."
Every Wednesday night NHPTV airs "Windows to the Wild," an award-winning documentary where outdoor adventurer Willem Lange paddles, hikes, and explores his way throughout New England. On tonight’s episode Will ventures off into Ride the Wilds, a series of trails up in Coos County made for hikes, horseback rides, and off-roading. The trails that make up Ride the Wilds- spanning from Lancaster to Pittsburg then down to Berlin- motivate people to get out in nature as well as boost economic development.
"Ride the Wilds" airs tonight at 7:30 p.m. on NHPTV PRIME. If you miss it, all episodes are available online to nhptv.org the day after they premiere. You can also read all about Will’s adventures in his column A Yankee Notebook. To keep Will going on the trail, you can donate to NHPTV by clicking here.
For a full schedule of upcoming episodes, click here.
Coming up before the New Hampshire House of Representatives is a bill known as HB 208-FN to repeal the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) within the state. RGGI is the first of its kind in the United States, a market-based regulatory program designed to cap and reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector. The proceeds that come from RGGI's emission permit auctions are used to promote energy conservation and renewable energy.
HB 208-FN states, “Municipalities use the annual distributions to fund energy efficiency programs; in the absence of this revenue, municipalities will either need to discontinue these projects or find alternative sources of revenue with which to fund them.”
In other words, energy efficiency programs within the state will cease to exist or new ways to bring in money to continue the existing programs will have to be found.
Little Green Homes, owned by designer Chris Redmond and builder Jeff Stacy, focuses, as their name implies, on green homes that are sustainable. The combination of having both a green designer and green builder ensures that the focus on efficiency and sustainability goes all the way from the design phase to the finished project. Right now, Little Green Homes is building a new green home in Derry, New Hampshire, which will utilize photo-voltaic solar panels for the electricity and solar thermal solar panels for the hot water. The home will feature a masonry heater, which is a super-efficient wood stove. This Spring they will be breaking ground on a new home in Kittery, Maine, which will be as zero net energy as possible.
Little Green Homes creates new homes as well as renovations to your existing home and believes in the motto “bigger is not always better.” Green homes are not just environmentally friendly, but are also safer homes for the inhabitants. Having a smaller home doesn't mean that you will end up with cramped hard-to-live-in space or will have to sacrifice what you are looking for; it means that you will have cozy well-designed space. Little Green Homes innovatively designs their projects taking into account maximum efficiency of the space layout and works with the customer to ensure that the end result is what the customer is looking for.
Buildings are the largest categorical contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and properly insulating your home is a large part of reducing a home's energy consumption. The majority of the energy used in a home is on heating and cooling and the oft-used fiberglass insulation for homes is not an overly efficient insulator nor is it a green solution for insulating your home.
This is where The Green Cocoon, a strong advocate of eco-friendly and high performance forms of insulation, comes in. The company, launched in 2007, focuses on various green insulation options for your house, which also act as better insulating material than fiberglass insulation. These options not only help in creating a green and sustainable option for your home, but also will reduce future heating and cooling costs.
What: After its 2011 renovation, Harbor Eyecare Center moved to become a more sustainable business, incorporating efficient upgrades, instituting a comprehensive recycling program throughout the office, selling frames made of recycled materials and Miru contact lenses, which boast a two-thirds less carbon footprint than competitors' contact lenses.
Co-owner Dr. Sarah 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. As that bar has risen, however, Harbor Eyecare Center has not only kept up but has become a leader as one of the region’s top socially responsible and environmentally aware eye care practices.
Staff members at Harbor Eyecare Center believe that personal wellness is connected to communal and environmental health. In an effort to support the community, Harbor Eyecare's staff members volunteer their time to events, organizations and charities, such as Families First Health and Support Center, providing vision screenings during Portsmouth Children's Day and giving eye examinations to athletes at the New Hampshire Special Olympics as well as taking part in the 3K Walk for Sight, sponsored by the New Hampshire Association of the Blind.
The Green Alliance is pleased to announce that Prelude will be renewing their contract with us and continue making strides in the realm of sustainable business practices. Ever since Holly Landgarten first purchased the store in 1998, organic and locally made items have made their way into being the emphasis of this special artisanal store. With their 32nd year of operation set to occur this Spring, Prelude has made a name for itself specializing in unique jewelry of which much is made locally. Jewelers spanning from Southern Maine, Vermont, and right here in Portsmouth are just some of the contributors to Prelude’s expansive jewelry line.
The Green Alliance is happy to introduce a new column featuring our great individual members: Meet a Green Alliance Member. For our first installment, we asked Josh Denton, a Portsmouth resident on a mission, to chat about his GA experience and the environmental world as a whole. Josh and his two standard poodles have become somewhat of local celebrities in downtown Portsmouth, but his efforts to make Portsmouth a more sustainable city are what stood out to the GA.
Katie Seraikas (KS): Why and when did you join the Green Alliance?
Josh Denton (JD): I joined the Green Alliance to show support for local sustainable businesses that I would not necessarily interact with as a customer. I became a member in 2014, shortly after the Green Alliance hosted Congresswoman Shea-Porter’s Alternative Transportation Roundtable. I was serving as her Outreach Director at the time, and was very impressed when I learned all the Green Alliance was doing for our community.
Going green and getting a great start into living sustainably with your next property purchase is an easy and insightful experience when working with the right Realtor. Hillary Gaynor is an EcoBroker with the Bean Group and holds the Realtor Green designation from the National Association of Realtors. She is also a fully certified LEED AP. Gaynor became a Realtor due to her love of helping people and her passion for real estate.
What does being an EcoBroker and Realtor Green mean in real estate and what does it take to be sustainable within the real estate field? Being a Realtor Green is far more than just trying to be as paperless as possible, which Gaynor does including using electronic signatures on closing documents. The Realtor Green designation requires that she has taken and passed advanced training in green building and sustainable business practices through the National Association of Realtors. She was the first to hold the full Realtor Green designation in the Seacoast area and one of 230 Realtors within the country to originally hold the Realtor Green designation.
In an industry that is notoriously unsustainable in their methods, Eco Sound Builders stands out with their environmentally sustainable home building and renovations. At the current time, Eco Sound Builders is at the tail end of renovating a historic home in Portsmouth's South End. They have been renovating the home to be a high-performance house while keeping the historic character of the house. The home, when finished, is expected to have net-zero energy use. This Spring, Eco Sound Builders will be starting on a new high-performance/high efficient house in Rye.
Formed in 2007 by the father-son team of Roger and Ethan Korpi, Eco Sound Builders specializes in building methods that focus on the long-term durability and the sustainability of the finished project. From residential homes, barns, remodels, retrofitting, and additions Eco Sound Builders helps customers find the most sustainable methods and materials that fit within their budget. Wood used is sourced from Forest Stewardship Council and Sustainable Forestry Initiative forests and super-efficient insulation is available. Subcontracts are given to local companies that specialize in non-toxic paints and sourcing materials locally. All usable materials are donated to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Dover.
They might not be something most New Englanders think about this time of year, but come mid-summer green-heads, deer and horse flies are all anyone talks about. From the North Shore of Massachusetts up the coast of Maine, each July many a beach day, or backyard cook-out is ruined by these flies constantly biting and terrorizing. But Tom Pray of Ecotech Pest Control Services has developed a solution that could finally alleviate one of the summer's biggest backyard woes. He calls it the Fly Cage.
Pray's invention, which mimics the appearance of a four-legged animal, is completely environmentally-friendly. Built with recyclable materials, the Fly Cage is meant for residential and commercial use.
"There are no chemicals or pheromones or anything," said Pray. "Its a visual trap so it will catch the biting flies known as green-heads, deer flies, horse flies; it will catch them without using anything but a visual lure to bring them in."
That visual lure is a buoy, black in color, with a shimmering exterior that attracts the seasonal flies. The flies are drawn in, acting on their natural behavior to attack the underside of large animals like deer and cattle. Once the flies realize their mistake they fly straight up, toward the light coming through the top of the trap, getting caught in its mesh netting and perish. The netting works like a lobster trap allowing the flies to enter, but not exit.
The Brixham Montessori Friends School is an independent school for children two to 11 years of age in York, Maine that combines the Montessori tradition with the Quaker-inspired Friends movement and green practices and sustainability. They are currently having an artist-in-residence program, while their art teacher is on maternity leave. Local artists are sharing their talents with the students. So far, BMFS has had a clay sculptor and a painter and they currently have a paper maker in residence.
BMFS has recently completed work on a small greenhouse on their property and have been doing insulation work within the school to fix some heat leaks. The Montessori tradition allows for independence and freedom of choice with a child's natural psychological development and the Quaker-inspired Friends movement teaches the value of peace, simplicity, community, and equality. BMFS goes even further in child development by bringing an increased emphasis on green programs to their students; including composting, recycling, environmental awareness/stewardship, and sustainable living. The curriculum itself includes using the natural land around the school with seed planting, bird watching, and vernal pools.
Colonial Stoneworks, owned by Adam Bennett, creates beauty through nature utilizing “green hardscaping.” Bennett is currently hard at work on a project that he is doing utilizing granite blocks that have been reclaimed from a train depot in Concord, New Hampshire giving a new life to these majestic pieces of nature.
Every job done by Bennett is a unique project and Colonial Stoneworks listens to the customers desires and offers design consultation and assistance. Colonial Stoneworks utilizes natural stone, which is inherently greener than energy-intensive concrete for their hardscaping projects. Not only does natural stone look nicer than concrete, but stone doesn't degrade as concrete does allowing for a beautiful green hardscape that will remain.
Colonial Stoneworks tries to obtain as much of their materials through local sourcing as possible. Much of their granite is sourced from the former Milford, New Hampshire quarry and Colonial Stoneworks places and emphasis on reclaimed materials. Colonial Stoneworks also reclaims materials from new subdivisions, instead of allowing them to go to waste, and from local property owners. They will also obtain the stone from customers property, if desired, for a greener option.
The Great Bay Stewards enjoyed yet another successful year in 2014 and there are high hopes that the trend will continue in 2015 for the Seacoast New Hampshire organization. In the past year, the Stewards launched the “Buy A Board” Campaign, aimed at raising funds to replace the quarter-mile boardwalk at the Great Bay Discovery Center. The boardwalk has been in use for more than 20 years and is a popular piece of their school field trip program, as well as a destination for scientists, walkers, and bird watchers because it serves as one of the few Great Bay access points open to the public. Going into 2015, the Stewards plan to wrap up their efforts to rebuild the boardwalk and greatly appreciate donations from the public to replace it. The public is encouraged to join the Stewards through their “Buy A Board” Campaign to keep the area open for visitors to enjoy.
In 2014, the Stewards also started “Soak Up the Rain Great Bay” to reduce stormwater runoff and pollution in the area. A rain garden was installed in October at the Woodman Museum in Dover and has proven to be efficient in reducing runoff into Dover’s stormwater drainage system. The 15th Great Bay 5K and 10th Art of Great Bay art show were held in 2014 and are sure to once again be popular events in 2015. Events and programs sponsored by the Great Bay Stewards live on thanks to the members of the organization who help protect and preserve the Great Bay. Becoming a member of the Great Bay Stewards ensures that the organization is able to keep the area open and educate residents and visitors about the special New Hampshire Seacoast environment.