Meet a Green Alliance Business: Performance Business Solutions, LLC

By Ken | Mar 9, 2015 | in

WHAT: Performance Business Solutions is about saving green, and that includes saving the environment as much as saving money.

Since 1995, Jeff Hiatt has worked to help his clients reduce costs and save money by changing how they purchase different services for their business.  Having previously served on the board of directors for the New Hampshire chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, Hiatt focuses on vetting the sustainable proposals of solar installers, green power companies and deregulated energy supply to help his clients reduce their expenses.  In doing so, Hiatt is able to help small, mid-size and large companies grow their sustainability operations.

One way in which his clients go green is by upgrading their buildings with energy-efficient systems to reduce their carbon footprint and lower energy costs. With a comprehensive business model that includes researching and implementing tax credit eligible programs, utility company rebates, helping with LEED certification and reducing a client's reliance on fossil fuels through solar, wind and geothermal systems, PBS is a leading resource for businesses looking to become more environmentally conscious.

Green Collar Careers: Colonial Stoneworks Owner, Adam Bennett

By Ken | Mar 9, 2015 | in

By Ken Johnson

At just 30 years-old, Colonial Stoneworks owner, Adam Bennett, has established himself as an experienced, skilled stoneworker, creating works of beauty with nature through what he refers to as “green hardscape.”

Bennett's company utilizes natural stone, an inherently greener product than energy-intensive concrete, for their hardscape projects. Not only does natural stone look nicer than concrete, but the stone doesn't degrade like concrete allowing for a beautiful hardscape that will remain for years.

Bennett tries to obtain as much of the materials used through local sourcing as possible. The granite used by the stone-working company is sourced from the former Milford, New Hampshire quarry and Bennett puts an emphasis on finding and using reclaimed materials, sourcing from new subdivisions and property owners, instead of allowing discarded materials to go to waste. Bennett will also obtain stone directly from customers property, if desired, for a greener option.

Whittemore Center to host the Seacoast Home & Garden Show

By Mike | Mar 5, 2015 | in

The Whittemore Center at UNH will be holding its 21st annual Seacoast Home & Garden Show March 28 from 10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. and March 29 from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Sponsored in part by The Green Alliance, the Seacoast Home & Garden Show will feature over 200 different vendors showing their latest products and services for remodelling, gardening, and landscaping. The show will also have a Garden Marketplace, an Artisan Marketplace, and the Meet the Chefs Series- a seminar where the Seacoast region's top chefs will teach attendees new recipes and excellent cooking tips, along with offering some of their culinary creations. 

The price of admission ranges by age: Adult tickets cost $8, Senior tickets (ages 65 and up) cost $6, and Youth tickets (ages 6-16) cost $5. Admission is free for children under the age of six. The Green Alliance itself will be attending this event along with two of its business partners. 

Green Alliance members will receive two tickets for the price of one along with other give aways! Not a member? Join here! 

Winter Is Still Growing Season for Acorn School Students

By Corey | Mar 5, 2015 | in

STRATHAM – Appreciating nature is about embracing all its variability. Especially in New England, it can be sunny and 45 degrees one day, then snowy and freezing the next. Loving nature is wishing for the first elegant snowfall of the season, despite spending hours shoveling the driveway for weeks to come. It is the excitement of seeing the smallest of flowers in bloom, regardless of spring showers having you carry an umbrella at all times. It is the summer sun wrapping you in a warm embrace, even though the beads of sweat are dripping faster than can be controlled. And although you have to pack away all your swimsuits, the irresistible crunch of stepping on leaves of orange, yellow, and red will surely compensate the goodbye of another season.

With the winter still sending mounds of snow our way, it’s inevitable for students especially to get a case of cabin fever. However, wintertime is no exception when it comes to getting the students of Acorn School outside and enthusiastic about learning. A winter day at Acorn finds students and teachers sledding on a “magic carpet” or taking a walk down their nature trail to see what changes the cold weather has brought to the trees and animals.

The pre-K and kindergarten children of Acorn School learn to connect with the environment at an early age, with each student being encouraged to enjoy the benefits that come with each different season. Finding home in Stratham, N.H., the school has taken advantage of its beautiful surroundings to form a curriculum and philosophy that instills a sense of environmental appreciation in their students. The students of this unique school are exposed to their surroundings through nature-based learning. Much of the learning is done through the experience of being outside, whether it is composting, gardening, or visiting animals. In addition to the school’s initiatives on outdoor education, Acorn is highly committed to being an example of the three R’s – reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Winter is snow match for RiverWoods!

By Katie | Mar 5, 2015 | in

It’s almost as though the snow never happened at RiverWoods Retirement Community. No, they don’t have mother nature on their side, but they do have a dedicated staff. The staff has worked tirelessly to allow day-to-day life at RiverWoods continue without any hesitation.

With two blizzards, and snow piling up over five feet this winter, the residents have voiced their appreciation for snow removal to ensure safe walkways and roads. The staff at RiverWoods has put in the extra hours to clear all cars and pavement, and minimize the stress of winter storms for residents. This is an added benefit that most residents don’t think about until they move in… and what a difference it makes!

In early February residents gathered to watch the Superbowl on the big screen! With food, beer, and wine the party was a great way for the community to join together and celebrate the Patriot’s big win. Riverwoods explains, “We have had some pretty phenomenal guests and programs for RiverWoods residents, but we like to have some fun too!”

Environmental Warming to Greatly Change Maine's Climate

By Mike | Mar 4, 2015 | in

A report from the University of Maine shows just how dramatically climate change will affect the state in the years to come.  One of the report’s authors, Professor Ivan Fernandez of the university’s plant, soil, and environmental science department says that in the next 35 years, the state’s climate will see as much change as the last 100.

These changes are said to include a two week longer growing season, an increase in temperature warming by three degrees, and the sea level rising by about six-tenths of a foot. According to the Maine Public Broadcasting Network, this report comes five years after former Gov. John Baldacci’s requested climate change assessment.

If this winter is any clear indication, we are starting to see the effects of climate change right now. In order to ensure that businesses are best prepared for the coming challenges ahead, the Green Alliance - a local organization that works to promote and unite sustainable businesses throughout the seacoast region- will be hosting a free and open Business Preparedness Forum on March 12th from 6-8 PM at their office on 75 Congress St, Suite 304.

Upcoming Events at Great Bay Stewards

By Mike | Mar 4, 2015 | in

Great Bay Stewards will be hosting a few upcoming events. The first is the latest Brown Bag Lecture on March 18 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. As with all Brown Bag Lectures, attendees will have an opportunity to learn about something new from a local expert. This time Jamie Colem, the Garden Director at Fuller Gardens, will be discussing natural gardening techniques and the history of gardening. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own bagged lunches. Drinks will be provided at this free and open event.

In addition to the Brown Bag Lecture, Great Bay Stewards will be holding the opening reception for their 11th annual Art of Great Bay Show on April 17 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. The show will continue to be held on April 18 through April 19 from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. The theme of the artwork this year will focus on Architecture, Agriculture, and Diversions of the New England Coast. This event is free and open to the public as well.

The Great Bay Stewards was established in 1995 when volunteers banded together in support of the Research Reserve and Great Bay Discovery Center. The merger of The Stewards and The Great Bay Trust brought about the The Great Bay Stewards in 1997. The Great Bay Stewards are active in a number of issues, such as converting the former Pease Air Force Base land to a National Wildlife Refuge and developing the Great Bay Discovery Center for Great Bay education programs.

Local Business to Host Extreme Weather and Business Preparedness Forum March 12th

By Corey | Mar 3, 2015 | in

By Mike Bizier

In 2005, Hampton fire chief Chris Silver surveyed local businesses on whether or not they had an extreme weather plan. An astounding two-thirds of all businesses surveyed had no plan, while five out 10 said their business operations couldn’t afford to be down for more than five days without suffering significant loss to profits and employees.

It’s clear that extreme weather is a serious issue especially for business. It’s also clear that more frequent and severe storms have now become a fact of life in the region and are a result, at least in part, of climate change.

The Green Alliance, a local organization that works to promote and unite sustainable businesses and individuals across the region, will be hosting a free and open Business Preparedness Forum on March 12 from 6-8:00 PM at their office on 75 Congress St, Suite 304 to discuss some of these issues. The forum will be held in conjunction with the American Red Cross and the NH Coastal Adaptation Workgroup, an organization that works to help communities learn about and use existing resources to prepare for extreme weather and the effects of climate change.

Proulx Oil Expands into Manchester

By Craig | Mar 2, 2015 | in

By Michael McCord

Newmarket-based Proulx Oil & Propane has expanded its market share into central New Hampshire by acquiring a long-established Manchester company.

The acquisition in early February by Proulx Oil & Propane of J. A. Bourque & Sons came after discussions between the companies began in the fall of 2014. Proulx Oil & Propane President James Proulx said his company’s third acquisition is a strong one because both companies have established brand names and high marks for customer service. Additionally, both companies are family-owned with deep roots in the two regions.

According to Proulx the acquisition made sense both in brand and service, especially given his company's work along the Route 101 corridor.

“It’s a nice fit with what we are trying to do. We feel there is a lot of brand equity and we will be able to bring more products and services to Bourque customers and other homeowners throughout the Manchester service area,” Proulx said. “Because of market demand over the past two years, we’ve stretched our geographic service boundaries farther west. We had already been doing a fair amount of business in Hooksett and Auburn.”

Proulx Oil & Propane was founded in 1944 and Bourque in 1938. Proulx said Bourque, which has more than 1,200 customers, will retain its name and that very little will change for its customers. “There won’t be any big changes. People will see the same store fronts and trucks,” Proulx said. “There will be modernization and an expansion of online options. We are adding propane to their product offerings.”

Remembering Everett Thomas Cavan

By Sarah Mahoney | Mar 2, 2015 | in

The below words are from former GA Assistant Director Scott Szycher who during his two year tenure worked alongside former GA Director of Media Jim Cavan. Jim's darling baby Everett pass a week ago after a long battle with cancer. We continue to honor Jim and Everett and his wife Deana as the entire community mourns the loss of this wonderful baby boy.

I never got to know, or even meet Everett Thomas Cavan during his short lifetime. And it’s my loss, as this baby boy – and make no mistake about it, he was just a baby, his eyes full of wonder, amazement, and curiosity – showed the world what courage was all about during his heroic battle against rhabdoid cancer; a cancer so rare and aggressive that all the king’s horses and all the king’s men (in this case, the phenomenal medical staff at Boston Children’s Hospital) couldn’t overcome the long odds.

But I did have the pleasure of meeting his parents, Jim and Deana Cavan. In fact, during my tenure as the Green Alliance’s Assistant Director, I had the pleasure of working very closely with Jim, who served as the Director of Media. I’d quickly get to know him as a talented, versatile writer whose prose could somehow make seemingly mundane of subjects come to life, often on absurdly short deadlines. For my money, nobody who could write faster could write better, and nobody who could write better could faster.

How to Save Your Roof This Winter

By Craig | Mar 2, 2015 | in

By Mark Quirk

Proper insulation has taken on a whole new level of importance this winter. Not only has it been essential to keep the heat in and the cold out for comfort, but it has also been crucial to the safety of homeowners. That's because the roof of a properly insulated house is less likely to collapse under the pressure of snow and ice dams.

Ice dams form when an inordinate amount of heat escapes through the roof, a striking indication that the roof and attic are poorly insulated. As ice builds up, weight and pressure increase, sometimes leading to a collapse causing thousands of dollars in damages and putting homeowners at risk.

“Proper insulation is the most important thing,” said Candace Lord, general manager at Green Cocoon, Inc. “Not only for your comfort but your safety, too.”

The Green Cocoon is an environmentally-friendly insulation company located in Salisbury, Mass., that services much of the New Hampshire seacoast and southern Maine.

Lord said the best way to prevent ice dams from building up on the roof, and avoid possible collapse, is to use a spray foam insulation on the ceiling of the attic or top floor of the house. Using the proper insulation will regulate the way the snow melts and keep ice dams or large icicles from forming.

Ice dams form when snow melts and runs down a sloped roof settling near eaves, freezing again when temperatures drop. The snow also melts from warm air vents through un-insulated parts of the roof. As the ice continues to melt and freeze, it builds up and forms an ice dam.

“The only way to stop that from happening is to spray foam,” Lord said.

Yankee Thermal Imaging Founder Helps Customers Benefit on Energy Costs

By Sarah Mahoney | Mar 2, 2015 | in

By Michael McCord

Rochester-based Yankee Thermal Imaging founder and owner, Chris Meyer, started his company with a simple idea born of necessity. Meyer, a Portsmouth native and University of New Hampshire graduate, owned and managed residential and commercial properties in the seacoast region for some time when he began to take a serious look at controlling energy costs.

In particular, he noticed there was a major deficiency in determining energy efficiency cost impacts; no small matter in a region with high energy and heating costs.

“It made very little sense to me that you could go into a 30,000 square-foot building and somebody would look at the roof or the age of the structure but it seemed that nobody was assessing energy efficiency,” Meyer explained. “There are substantial costs but it really wasn’t being checked or calculated. There was nothing that a guy like me could use to determine the real operating costs of the buildings.”

After a lot of brainstorming and self-education about energy efficiency applications, Meyer, along with co-owner Edward Marquardt, came up with a solution. Since its founding in 2008, Yankee Thermal Imaging has worked to help residential and commercial customers reap maximum benefits from energy efficiency initiatives. With 21 employees, including certified energy auditors, the company offers a wide range of programs and technological support to serve a growing customer base in the residential, commercial and municipal sectors.

Tea Company Offers an Honest Alternative

By Sarah Mahoney | Mar 2, 2015 | in

By Mark Quirk

BEDFORD – For Seth Goldman, saving the environment and helping Americans become healthier has been a lifelong mission.

Goldman grew up in Massachusetts across the street from Paul Sabin, a childhood friend who became one of the nation's most respected scholars of environmental history. While Sabin went into academia, Goldman pursued the entrepreneurial path when he launched a less sweet tasting alternative to the mass produced bottled beverages on the market.

That product is Honest® Tea, a hand-plucked organic and Fair Trade Certified bottled iced tea. Goldman made it part of his company's mission statement to seek to create organic beverages using honesty, integrity and sustainable practices to produce a product that doesn't sacrifice taste.

And it was that same mission Goldman put at the forefront when he decided to sell the company in 2011 just 13 years after its launch. He wanted to sell to a partner that could help further his mission of democratizing organics. After some research and many long conversations, Goldman decided The Coca-Cola Company, who has their own extensive company-wide sustainable initiatives, was the perfect partner.

Join the Community of Green Minded Individuals

By Katelyn | Mar 2, 2015 | in

With the month of February out the door, most New Englanders are hopeful that March will bring warm temperatures and an end to the record breaking snowfall of the 2014-2015 winter season. While the majority of New Hampshire residents are fed up with snow and frosty temperatures, snow removal businesses in the area are grateful for a busy and profitable couple of months. Many landscaping companies switch to plowing, clearing roofs, and removing ice dams during like winter, like our Business Partners Cornerstone Tree Care, Site Structures Landscaping, and Purely Organic Lawncare. When it becomes warmer, these businesses switch back to focusing on outdoor beautification and design services, but Green Alliance members receive a variety of discounts regardless of the time of year!

To Have and Have Not: Renewable Energy Policies Face Opposition in the New Hampshire House and Senate

By Ken | Feb 27, 2015 | in

By Craig Robert Brown

CONCORD - A series of amended bills that would repeal the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), statute RSA 362-F, are going before the New Hampshire House and Senate.

On February 5, the Republican led committee voted to amend HB-208 presented by State Rep. Richard Barry, R-Merrimack, who originally brought the same concept to the table in 2011 and again in 2012. The amendment would keep New Hampshire in RGGI, but would rebate all RGGI auction proceeds to ratepayers instead of using part of the rebates, as it currently does, to invest in low-income and municipal energy efficiency projects.

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, one of the original 10 northeast states participating in RGGI, pulled his state from the pact in 2011.

The first vote before the House was held on February 18, which resulted in a decision to stay in RGGI with a 201-154 vote to stop investing any of the funding in energy efficiency. The bill will still go before the Senate, where it could pass, before being presented to the governor.