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900 Degrees Pizzeria Featured in New Hampshire Wine Week

By Corey | Jan 12, 2015 | in

This year, participants of New Hampshire Wine Week will have the opportunity to pair their expansive selections of wine and beer with the popular comfort food of 900 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria.The week spans from January 26 through February 1, and is centered on bringing wine industries, educational seminars, and gourmet food to New Hampshire – and you don’t even have to be a wine expert to take part in the festivities. 900 Degrees will offer specific selections of wine, including Went Vineyards Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Punto Final Malbec 2012, and Villa Antinori Toscana 2011.

Sustainability Common Thread amongst Entrepreneurs at Portsmouth Dojo

By Craig | Jan 12, 2015 | in

By Mark Quirk

When Bill Buckley and Tom Pray met it was nothing short of fate in every sense. The two, both owners of local businesses, found an instant connection in their backgrounds, beliefs and common core values of sustainability. The timing was perfect too. Bill wanted to train in karate (which Tom teaches), while Tom wanted to practice the Taiji and Qigong that Bill is passionate in teaching. Now they both offer their services, as well as yoga, under one roof at Gateway Taiji, Qigong & Yoga studio on 875 Islington St. It’s a sort of one stop shop for martial arts and meditative healing based exercise.

“This is unique,” said Pray, who has been teaching Shotokan Karate since 1987. “You don’t find that blend of teaching anywhere.”
Gateway Taiji, Qigong and Yoga is a center for practicing and exploring the ancient energy arts. Its large studio provides a spacious, sunlit, inviting environment for ongoing classes and special seminars in a renovated mill building. A major focus of the renovation was to improve energy efficiency. The original concrete and asphalt roof was replaced with a lightweight foam and rubber solution. The exterior walls were filled with the same foam. These improvements are expected to substantially lower the building’s heating costs. The lights in the new studio are all LED, further reducing the energy footprint of the building. The space also operates on solar power. Last but not least, students learn and practice in 100 year old historical site given new purpose and life.

Pray operates Ecotech, a sustainable pest service out of Eliot, Maine. Both Buckley and Pray's businesses are partners with the Green Alliance, a union of local, green businesses and community members, but the two met through Buckley's wife Rebecca.
About three years ago, Pray was taking a yoga class with Rebecca Gould. As the two talked, Pray mentioned he taught karate. Rebecca shared with Tom that her husband had once studied Shotokan Karate and wanted to get back into it, and he also learned Buckley taught Taiji and Qigong. The rest is history.

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Kennebunk Savings

By Corey | Jan 12, 2015 | in

Who: Kennebunk Savings

What: The principles that defined Kennebunk Savings Bank when it was founded in 1871 still hold true today. As an independent, mutually owned organization, Kennebunk Savings prides itself on being responsive to its local market, community and customers. A key commitment to meeting those community needs is Kennebunk Savings’ signature program, the Community Promise, a pledge to contribute 10 percent of its earnings back to nonprofit organizations.

          Since 1994,the Community Promise program has contributed more than $9.5 million to organizations that provide arts and culture, civic programs, educational, environmental and human services.Kennebunk Savings also strives to be a green bank, providing customers with up-to-date technology such as mobile and online banking to reduce client commutes and paper waste. Kennebunk Savings has replaced all incandescent lights with high efficiency CFL and LED alternatives at its branches, along with instituting a company-wide recycling program and initiative to print less paper. All plumbing fixtures are energy efficient, requiring less water, and programmable HVAC units further prevent energy waste. Additionally, Kennebunk Savings takes strides to ensure both the outdoor lawn treatment and indoor cleaning products at its branches are either natural or organic. The company also conducts regular giveaways for its used furniture and office equipment, donating office supplies to Ruth's Reusable Resources in South Portland, Maine, and unused furniture to nonprofit organizations.

Just One Thing Voting Now Open

By Mike | Jan 8, 2015 | in

Can we count on your vote?

Since May the New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility (NHBSR) has collected video and written testimonials for their Just One Thing campaign. Now NHBSR wants you to vote for the best submissions. NHPTV will produce the winning Just One Thing stories that will air on the network in March and April of 2015. The three categories winners will be judged on are: most creative sustainability solution, greatest community impact and greatest employee impact.

Voting is open now through January 9. There are three separate categories to vote for different forward-thinking sustainable businesses. You can read our story in the first category under the question: What story shares a creative approach to a sustainability challenge or opportunity? Read our story and vote now by clicking here!

Local Farmers' Markets Open for the Winter

By Mike | Jan 8, 2015 | in

There’s no need to let a little snow get in the way of shopping at your local farmers’ market. The Berwick Winter Farmers’ Market run by Green Alliance sustaining member Jessica Sheldon features over 20 different vendors selling a wide variety of goods including produce, handmade toys and crafts, candles, and even pies. The Berwick Winter Farmers’ Market is open for business from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Town Hall in Berwick, Maine one Sunday a month from now until April. An environmental fair will be held on the final market day on April 26th, which the Green Alliance will be attending. To learn more about the Berwick Winter Farmers' Market, please click here.   

Zev Yoga Introduces Sprouts Children's Yoga Series

By Katelyn | Jan 7, 2015 | in

When we make a list of our New Year’s resolutions, we often find ourselves writing something like “hit the gym more often” or “lose 10 pounds,” but a couple weeks into the year the list is forgotten at the bottom of a desk drawer. This year take a slightly different route and consider the health benefits of practicing yoga. For those looking for a healthier lifestyle in 2015, yoga is the ideal exercise to strengthen and calm the body, mind, and soul all at the same time. It’s a workout for people of different ages and experience levels.

Zev Yoga offers classes for all levels, from beginner to expert, and starting January 25 will host a special children’s yoga series. Sprouts Children’s Yoga is aimed at increasing flexibility and focus, while creating a fun environment for children to learn and grow. The series will be taught by Amie Reagan who is certified in yoga and earned degrees in both early childhood development and childhood psychology. She has firsthand experience in how breathing exercises and meditation can impact children at home and in the classroom. Reagan funneled her background in yoga to the school environment by teaching yoga in her own pre-k classroom, and over the years has introduced yoga to people of varying ages. Zev has become one of the most popular yoga studios in the seacoast and with locations in Portsmouth, Exeter and Dover; it’s easy for residents to find a time and location that fits their schedule.

Aucella Heating & Cooling Announces Winner of Winter Heating System Giveaway

By Mike | Jan 7, 2015 | in

 Originally posted to Digital Journal

Aucella Heating & Cooling, one of the leading heating and air conditioning specialists in the Seacoast area, announced the winner of the company’s Winter Heating System Giveaway contest. Contest entrant Mark from Kingston, N.H. will have the opportunity to have Aucella install a brand new heating system valued at as much as $5,000. Like other qualified entrants, contest winner Mark had an existing heating system that was at least 15 years old, and his will be replaced by a new, highly efficient one specially selected by Aucella Heating & Cooling.

900 Degrees Pizzeria Gets Clean while Staying Green

By Mike | Jan 7, 2015 | in

By Anna Murphy

900 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria, located in Manchester and a second location in Epping, has been a paragon of sustainable business practices for the past seven years. There is a sense of sustainability from the moment you walk in, be it the reclaimed, efficient décor, the fresh food made with organic ingredients whenever possible, or now, the use of all green certified cleaning products.

The pizzeria strives to lessen its environmental impact whenever possible. A Green Alliance member, 900 Degrees owner Priscilla Lane-Rondue has held sustainable living close to her heart for her entire life.

“For me, going green is always my first choice,” said Lane-Rondeau. “I truly believe in it.”

Recently, 900 Degrees made the switch to cleaning with green certified cleaning supplies, thereby keeping the harsh chemicals found in most commercial-grade cleaning products off the table tops, out of the kitchen and out of their waste-stream.

“We’re all really excited to be doing the right thing,” says 900 Degrees employee Pat Holland, “Everyone, employees and customers alike, have been really receptive to the changes.”

The staff uses cloth rags laundered off site to wipe up spills and messes, keeping paper towels and other waste out of landfills. The only paper towels in the restaurant are those in the bathrooms.

Being green is something that was instilled in Lane-Rondeau in her youth. She attributes this to her parents, who lived through the Depression, reusing materials and growing their own food.

Meet a Green Alliance Biz: Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance

By Mike | Jan 7, 2015 | in

Who: Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance

What: Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance provides home, auto, health and life insurance to more than 1,500 clients throughout Massachusetts, Seacoast New Hampshire and southern Maine. In addition to offering a localized experience for its clients, Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance is committed to being one of the greenest agencies in the region. Incorporating a paperless agency management system nearly a decade ago, the firm sends up to 95 percent of quotes through e-mail. Documents are digitized as PDFs to reduce paper waste and Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance recycles all printer and toner cartridges.

Sustainability Common Thread amongst Entrepreneurs at Portsmouth Dojo

By Ken | Jan 7, 2015 | in

By Mark Quirk

When Bill Buckley and Tom Pray met it was nothing short of fate in every sense. The two, both owners of local businesses, found an instant connection in their backgrounds, beliefs and common core values of sustainability. The timing was perfect too. Bill wanted to train in karate (which Tom teaches), while Tom wanted to practice the Taiji and Qigong that Bill is passionate in teaching. Now they both offer their services, as well as yoga, under one roof at Gateway Taiji, Qigong & Yoga studio on 875 Islington St. It’s a sort of one stop shop for martial arts and meditative healing based exercise.

“This is unique,” said Pray, who has been teaching Shotokan Karate since 1987. “You don’t find that blend of teaching anywhere.”

Gateway Taiji, Qigong and Yoga is a center for practicing and exploring the ancient energy arts. Its large studio provides a spacious, sunlit, inviting environment for ongoing classes and special seminars in a renovated mill building. A major focus of the renovation was to improve energy efficiency. The original concrete and asphalt roof was replaced with a lightweight foam and rubber solution. The exterior walls were filled with the same foam. These improvements are expected to substantially lower the building’s heating costs. The lights in the new studio are all LED, further reducing the energy footprint of the building. The space also operates on solar power. Last but not least, students learn and practice in 100 year old historical site given new purpose and life.

Healthy Ways to Ride Into the Future

By Sam | Jan 6, 2015 | in

Contrary to belief, some late-night commercials do have value. Just ask Tom Hemenway, co-owner of EZ Electric Bikes & Scooters. One evening, as he watched television, an ad for an electric bicycle came on. After being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, Hemenway was thinking about different ways he could exercise to lose weight. Whether it was fate, or coincidence, the commercial not only got Hemenway to take his health seriously, it inspired him and his wife to open their business.

Hemenway heavily researched and bought an electric bike. After one ride, he fell in love with it. The Hemenway’s wanted other people to have the same experience and it wasn’t long before they added EZ Bikes & Scooters as a sister company to their existing business, Autosounds of NH.

Retirement community offers sustainable facilities, green culture

By Sam | Jan 6, 2015 | in

What began as a homegrown idea in the heads of Rosemary Coffin and Maryanna Hatch has turned into a constantly growing community. RiverWoods at Exeter is a nonprofit organization that focuses on high-quality care. Since opening in 1994, the Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) has expanded to three campuses, hundreds of apartments and cottages, as well as several dining and exercise facilities.

RiverWoods is a perfect place for the earth-conscious retiree. Outfitted with timed LED and CFL lights, resident-run recycling program, a solar thermal system which aids in heating hot water. And every day, they’re planning for future improvements.

Sustainability is at Local Bottling Company's Core

By Craig | Dec 31, 2014 | in

You may have seen your name on a can or bottle of Coca-Cola. It's part of the company's Share a Coke campaign. And during the holidays, those familiar polar bears are on television screens and aluminum cans across the globe. But what happens to those bottles and cans once they're empty? For its part here in New Hampshire, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England (CCNNE), an independent bottler, ensures they're doing more than just talking about recycling programs.

CCNNE's sustainability manager, Ray Dube, knows what you're going to say about the brand before you do. He's heard it all before; that some people have a perception that Coca-Cola is harmful to the planet because of the plastic it manufactures, or all the water used in the bottling plants, or the emissions given off by delivery trucks. But Dube doesn't shy away from those perceptions. He recognizes that yes, as a large manufacturing company, CCNNE is responsible for having an impact on the environment. That's why Dube travels across the region to schools, college campuses, public events and various conferences to educate people about the many sustainable initiatives CCNNE has taken to counter that impact over the last 18 years.

"We were sustainable before people realized what sustainability was," said Dube. "It was just the culture of the company that started back in the seventies."

"We are a company that uses a lot of resources, a lot of water, a lot of fuel for shipping and a lot of electricity. And like other businesses we have the same cost pressures as everyone else," said Mike Elmer, CCNNE's director of capabilities. "The more we can reduce our dependence on any of those resources, it's very good for the community and the environment and for our ability to operate long term."

NH Solar Garden Helps Customers Net Profits

By Craig | Dec 31, 2014 | in

By Mark Quirk

Andrew Kellar was way off his mark when he estimated his new company, NH Solar Garden, would work on about 1 megawatt worth of projects in its first year. Not even close.

Today, after opening the business last January, NH Solar Garden is working on 22 projects around the state that when done will produce close to 7 megawatts of power for its customers. Business has been booming, thanks in part to a favorable new law passed by the state earlier this year that allows for group net metering.

“This has been much further beyond my expectations,” Kellar said.

In fact, Kellar said his company has developed as many megawatts in its projects over the past seven months as the state has in the past seven years. NH Solar Garden, which tries to keep all of its business dealings local, is pumping money as well as clean energy into the local community.

“That's one of the important pieces to the process, to feed the local economy,” Kellar said.

New England's Biggest Summertime Pest Meets Its Match

By Craig | Dec 31, 2014 | in

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.