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Local Insurance Company Focuses on Environmental and Economic Sustainability

By John | Jun 3, 2015 | in

By Katelyn Monroe

PORTSMOUTH - Jon Merwin started his business by following in his father's footsteps. A decade ago, Merwin was fresh out of college and set out to start his own insurance agency focused on providing reliable insurance and customer service to its clients. Today, not many insurance agencies are known for their sustainability efforts and community giveback. But on the Seacoast, Merwin's Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance (PAI), celebrating its tenth anniversary in June, remains ahead of the industry.

Merwin graduated from the University of New Hampshire, and soon passed the Property & Casualty exam, licensing him to become an insurance agent. He began his career by opening a branch location in Laconia, New Hampshire under Insurance Express in June 2005 and was the sole employee for the company, sharing a small office space with another business.

Starting with a blank slate and no clients, Merwin worked his way up and began writing home and auto insurance for family and friends. As Merwin's reputation grew, client referrals slowly trickled in. It wasn't easy going in those early days, according to Merwin.

“Over the course of a few years I learned the ins and outs of the insurance agency business, often times by learning from my own mistakes,” he said.

Join SnAPPii's Free Webinar Tomorrow: How to Turn Your Paper Forms into Mobile Forms

By Craig | Jun 2, 2015 | in

Looking to boost administrative efficiency for your business? Join Snappii tomorrow, Wednesday, June 3 at 2 p.m. EST (US and Canada) or at 11 a.m. CEST (Central European Summer Time) for a free webinar on how to convert your business’s paper documents into mobile forms.

Having all your business’s forms accessible on mobile devices, has never been easier or more efficient than it is with Snappii’s My PDF Form Manager App. After downloading this free app, users can import their business’s existing forms and transform them into unique, efficient and comprehensive mobile apps.

Mobile forms allow convenient sharing of your business’s preexisting forms via email or cloud drives, as well as convenient saving of data across devices, thus streamlining communication and data entry like never before. This dramatically reduces administrative labor and cost as well as paper use.

900 Degrees Offers Fantastic Father's Day Meals

By John | Jun 2, 2015 | in

On Father’s Day, why not take Dad out for a few delicious slices of pizza? And no pizza’s more delicious than that of 900 Degrees in Epping and Manchester. Their pizza is truly an original taste, being a re-creation of the pioneer pizzas produced in Naples, Italy hundreds of years ago. 900 Degrees complements daily-made dough with fresh ingredients before cooking it in a wood-fired brick oven. In addition to pizza, the restaurant offers an enticing variety of soups, salads, pasta dishes, and more, all crafted with local ingredients.

In addition to providing an exquisite cuisine, founder Priscilla Lane-Rondeau operates 900 Degrees with the greenest measures possible, utilizing LED and motion sensor lighting throughout the restaurant, incorporating low-VOC paints and finishes, and offering customers water only on request. In addition to its use of organic, locally made ingredients, 900 Degrees maintains a wine collection of which a third is organic, communicates with vendors to green delivery packaging, and operates low-flow kitchen appliances. Thanks to a comprehensive recycling program, recycled paper is used throughout the restaurant, which has reduced its waste by over 50% since opening. 900 Degrees has been named a “Green Champion” by the New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Program and was a recipient of the 2012 “Green Pledge” decal from Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.

James Petersen named Granite State ASHRAE Chapter Engineer of the Year

By John | Jun 2, 2015 | in

by Ken Johnson

PORTSMOUTH - James Petersen, principle engineer and founder of Petersen Engineering in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, was named the 2015 Engineer of the Year by the Granite State Chapter of ASHRAE.

In a recent release, the Granite State Chapter of ASHRAE said they are, “pleased to present their Engineer of the Year Award for 2015 to James Petersen with our thanks for his outstanding works. We hope that others in our profession will see him as a role model for others to follow.”

In the nearly three decades he's worked in the industry, Petersen has forged a reputation as an engineer concerned with quality and sustainability for every project he's done.

“I've been working away for 29 years trying to make buildings better,” Petersen said. “And most of the time it is hard work and when you get a surprise recognition like this it feels pretty good.”

Keep your Home Cool this Summer with Yankee Thermal Imaging and Aucella

By John | Jun 2, 2015 | in

YTI and Aucella are offering summer discounts for Green Alliance members only! Don’t miss this opportunity to get a great deal and save money all summer long. As a GA member you get exclusive discounts with local, sustainable businesses throughout the year, but as an added bonus here are two specials to keep your home cool and comfortable this summer and cozy and tight next winter.

Building inefficiencies waste money and energy. Yankee Thermal Imaging is offering GA members an incentive to conduct upgrades to increase home energy efficiency. YTI will conduct an energy audit at the normal price, which will then be refunded to the homeowner when they implement qualifying energy upgrades. YTI will also help residents to access available rebates to help offset the cost of upgrades. Click here for more information.

Preventing Cross-Contamination on the Seacoast

By John | Jun 1, 2015 | in

Josh Denton is a guest blogger who is very active in environmental causes in Portsmouth, as well as a member of the Green Alliance.

By Josh Denton

With beach season upon us, now is the time for the City Council to enact the single-use, carry-out, plastic bag ordinance to address the actual collective harm done to more than just our scenic coastline by plastic shopping bag litter. The ordinance also addresses the much ballyhooed perceived health harm from reusable bag cross-contamination.

Cross-contamination occurs everywhere from salads to shared toothpaste tubes. A potential health risk occurs when disease causing microorganisms transfer from uncooked meats to other foods that are consumed uncooked. The plastic bag ordinance’s special food safety provision prevents this type of cross-contamination in reusable bags by allowing continued use of plastic meat, fruit, and vegetable bags.

Much of the cross-contamination hype stems from selective reporting, such as the Union Leader’s May 9 article titled ‘Grocery totes a health threat?’ The article cites the 2010 ‘Assessment of the Potential for Cross Contamination of Food Products by Reusable Shopping Bags’ study that found 97 percent of tote bag owners, heading into two California and one Arizona grocery stores, did not regularly wash their totes.

Kittery Community Market Opening Sunday, June 7th

By John | Jun 1, 2015 | in

June 1, 2015 (Kittery, Maine)

Kittery Community Market is an outdoor seasonal farmers market and opens this Sunday, June 7 for the 2015 season. The market is open rain or shine each Sunday from 10am to 2pm through October 4, and is located in front of Tributary Brewing Company, at Post Office Square, 10 Shapleigh Road, Kittery Center Village, Kittery, Maine 03904.

Opening Day will feature a plant sale from the Shapleigh Sharks "Green Team" to raise funds for their ecological educational program, as well as variety of agricultural, prepared food and artisan vendors. Attend the market each week through August 9th and you'll be entered to win a Kayak from Portsmouth Kayak Adventures.

"It's summertime in the Seacoast and Kittery Community Market is your spot to shop and eat local every Sunday. Get fresh food from Zach's Farm, Greenlaw Gardens, Bumbleroot Organic Farm, AJ's Pizza, Belle's on Wheels, the Soup Guy, Robert's Maine Grill, and Lil's, as well as fine artisan crafts including White Pine Pottery and so much more. In addition to fresh local food, enjoy live music, a kid's corner with fun activities and a different community nonprofit featured each week. This year will be great for locals and tourists alike, and we are so excited for this season to start!" says market manager, Kris Bowden.

Meet a Green Alliance Business: RAM Printing

By John | Jun 1, 2015 | in

What: As New Hampshire's first printing company to receive Forest Stewardship Council certification, RAM Printing in East Hampstead was an early adopter of sustainable printing operations. Through the FSC certification process, RAM Printing completed the nonprofit's "chain of custody," which indicates that from pulp, to paper mill, to distributor, to printer; each process was evaluated and certified by the FSC for sustainability.

Additionally, RAM only selects paper approved by the Rainforest Alliance, a non-government, nonprofit, organization that protects rainforest ecosystems through sustainable agriculture, forestry, business practices and consumer behavior. And RAM uses local paper suppliers like Mohawk and Monadnock Papers. For its production purposes, RAM operates with highly efficient printing presses to reduce waste and cut back on printing time; taking only 12 minutes to set up, RAM's latest printer has the ability to print 15,000 copies per hour. The company prints with water-based, recyclable printing plates, as well as soy and vegetable-based inks instead of common, oil-based inks. The final products' quality is comparable to that of traditional printing companies.

RAM is transparent about its environmental efforts, actively educating clients and the public on its sustainable printing practices, fully documenting its green initiatives and offering full tours of the company. And RAM is an avid supporter of local organizations such as City Year, N.H. Philharmonic, Children's Museum of New Hampshire and more.

Green Businesses Team Up to Take the Bite Out of Golf

By John | Jun 1, 2015 | in

By Mark Quirk

NORTH HAMPTON – There will be a few more traps at Sagamore-Hampton Golf Club this summer, but golfers need not worry, these traps will be installed to enhance the playing experience.

This summer Tom Pray of Ecotech Pest Control Services, LLC is working with Sagamore-Hampton to test his Fly Cage at the 18-hole course. The Fly Cage, developed by Pray over the last year to control horseflies, greenheads and deerflies, will be positioned at two of the course's holes with two traps at each hole to test the cage's effectiveness.

“I want to put some out and see which spots will be best,” Pray said.

Richard Luff, the president of Sagamore-Hampton said he'd like to start testing at some of the holes on the course's back nine. Holes 10, 11 and 12 wind through the woods and that's where Luff said the deer-flies are most prevalent, especially in the morning.

“In those early morning rounds they can chase you around and make it unpleasant,” Luff said.

Luff said he has tried several other options to control the deerfly problem in the past, but none were successful. He hopes installing the Fly Cage will have better results.

Isles of Shoals Steamship Company helps out NHPTV in a big way.

By Ken | May 29, 2015 | in

By Ken Johnson

Spring is here, crocuses are flowering, the trees are budding, the harsh winter temperatures have changed over to the warm breezes of Spring, and New Hampshire Public Television has held its annual Spring auction.

The Spring NHPTV auction raises money so that they can bring quality programs to the public, for free. This year was the 42nd year of the Spring NHPTV auction.

“The NHPTV Spring Auction is the most significant fund raiser for the Station as well as our biggest Community Outreach event,” Judy Pinkham, Director of Special Events and Auction for New Hampshire Public Television, said. “The timing is at the end of the fiscal year for New Hampshire Public Television – a 501c3 non-profit organization, and the influx of money raised allows us to pay for the high quality programs that the residents of New Hampshire have come to rely on from NHPTV as well as the critical services offered to children throughout the state that prepare them for school.

Our Summer Cruise Television Spot for NHPTV

By Craig | May 28, 2015 | in

NHPTV helped us put together a TV spot for our summer cruise on June 13 aboard the Isles of Shoals Steamship Co.'s M/V Thomas Laighton vessel, with food provided by 900 Degrees. We hope to see you there!

Watch the video below. 

Yankee Thermal Imaging Energy Audit Refund with Upgrades

By Katelyn | May 28, 2015 | in

Yankee Thermal Imaging works to provide homeowners and businesses with top of the line energy consultations to determine how they can increase their energy efficiency and save money. This summer, YTI is offering Green Alliance members an exclusive incentive for energy efficient upgrades to be implemented in their homes. YTI will conduct an energy audit at the normal price, which will then be refunded to the homeowner when they implement qualifying energy upgrades. In addition, YTI will help residents to access available rebates to help offset the cost of implementing the upgrades.

Heat loss and energy efficiency are major concerns for homeowners during the winter months. These issues are equally important to address in the summer months as well. An energy audit assesses the efficiency of a home and determines the levels of insulation, ventilation, and possible cracks or penetrations within the attic, basement areas and structure of the home. When cool or warm air escapes the home, not only are residents losing money, but they are also wasting energy and creating a larger carbon footprint.

Dover Salon Offers Truly Healthier Hair Products

By John | May 28, 2015 | in

By Ken Johnson

DOVER – Organic, hair and salon are not terms generally heard together, especially considering some of the ingredients that often appear within hair care products. However, Acorn Organic Salon in Dover takes pride in combining these terms together successfully.

One of the immediate differences between Acorn is that it doesn't smell like other salons; there's less harmful chemicals in the air because Acorn uses eco-hair sprays instead of industry-favorites. It's a conversation starter for the stylists and their customers on what makes Acorn's product selection a healthier alternative.

“The ingredients that we use are another big factor,” Laura MacKay, owner of Acorn Organic Salon, said.

A significant portion of Acorn's clientele choose the salon because of allergies, for example, with hair dyes. Acorn's choices of eco-friendly hair dyes gives customers who've never been able to color their hair due to allergies, the chance to try something new without an adverse reaction.

Stay Cool Throughout the Summer with Aucella Heating & Cooling

By Katelyn | May 27, 2015 | in

With the first hot days of the season behind us, we have gotten a taste of what this summer may bring. Residents throughout New England are beginning to think about cranking the AC to make their homes more comfortable during the summer. Most homeowners don't think twice about turning on the air conditioning when it gets hot; however, air conditioning units require yearly maintenance and should be frequently checked to ensure efficiency.

Regular maintenance keeps air conditioners running efficiently, reduces unnecessary energy use and extends the life span of the unit. This summer, Aucella Heating and Cooling is offering all Green Alliance members who are first time air conditioning customers 50% off their unit maintenance (originally $139.00) when scheduled before June 30. Aucella’s comprehensive checklist used to inspect air conditioning units ensures that the system is in compliance with manufacturers guarantees and is ready to be used throughout the summer.

At each maintenance inspection, Aucella thoroughly checks and cleans all aspects of the cooling unit including exterior compartments and electrical connections. Homeowners can expect Aucella to inspect interior drains and pumps, clean the system and make any minor repairs that are necessary.