If you're loking to get out and about this weekend, when we'll have the most daylight of any weekend of the year, there's three fabulous events we need to tell you about.
First, on Friday, June 17, ReVision Energy will celebrate Summer Solstice by throwing a Grand Opening Bash at their new solar showroom at 7 Commercial Drive in Exeter. "We'll have local food, drink, music, and fun" promises Dan Clapp, NH Branch Manager for ReVision. The event will feature a "bounce house" for kids, Redhook beer and local wine for adults, and delicious, local fare from Blue Moon Evolution for all! The event runs from 4 - 9 PM, and while you're having fun, you can also learn about the lucrative rebates available from the state of NH for solar hot water heaters and photovoltaic systems from ReVision's knowledgable, friendly staff. They'll also be happy to discuss the great discounts on solar systems available to Green Alliance Green Cardholders!
The first Green Alliance dockside party of the summer will be held tomorrow Wednesday, June 15th! With evidence of partnerships at work, Seacoast Energy Alternatives with the help of the Green Alliance invites past, present and future customers to board the M/V Thomas Laighton for their second annual free harbor cruise. Green Alliance partner Isles of Shoals Steamship Company offered their services to help bring a night of food, music and fun to life.
SEA will also be hosting a pre-cruise dockside party with a cash bar and food from the pellet grill from 5-7pm and the cruise will run from 7-10pm. Participants must be on the dock by 5pm to take part in the harbor cruise, however you may enjoy the dockside party and leave before the cruise departs.
Green Alliance dockside parties will continue throughout the summer with Visions Kitchens and Design dockside party on June 22nd, Waterline Alternative Energy’s on July 20th and many more!
It can be hard shop for dear old dad for Father's Day. Let's face it: he probably doesn't want or need another necktie. So may be you should get him something he'll actually use - or wear - for Father's Day. And Earthtec Outfitters on West Rd in Portsmouth (behind the Market Basket Plaza on Route 1) is just the place for some fantastic options.
First, Earthtec has some fabulous Polo shirts, made from recycled polyester and cotton, perfect for warm weather! They've got some in light moss, deep sea, and snow colors. The regular price is $28/shirt, but for a limited time, you can get two shirts for just $28! (And in case Mom gets envious, there's plenty of women's Polos available, too! Get one for Mom, and one for Dad!) They've also got Earthtec visors for $15, and hats for $18. It's a perfect way for dad to be "frog-certified"! Earthtec is also well-stocked on such great brands your Dad knows and loves, like White Sierra, Helly Hansen, and Royal Robbins.
But if Dad is all set on apparel, here's another idea: buy him a Green Card at Earthtec for $35, and get a complimentary Swag Bag with over $100 worth of gifts inside! With gifts including a solar-powered flashlight, men's eco-comfort socks, and gift certificates entitling Dad to discounts at several Green Alliance Business Partner locations! Plus, with your newly-purchased Green Card, you get an additional 10% off everything in the store!
So get on over to Earthtec Outfitters; only a few shopping days left until Father's Day!
Summer is a magical time for solar power enthusiasts. Gone are the 4:00 PM winter sunsets, replaced by longer, warmer days and more sunshine. On June 17, Revision Energy will celebrate Summer Solstice by throwing a Grand Opening Bash at their new solar showroom located at 7 Commercial Drive in Exeter, NH.
“We’ll have local food, drink, music, and fun,” promises Dan Clapp, New Hampshire Branch Manager for the renewable energy company. A blow up bounce house will provide entertainment for the kids while adults enjoy Reedhook beer and local wine. Blue Moon Evolution of Exeter will cater the event, serving up fresh, local and organic fare. ReVision’s own Josh Rollson will delight the crowd with his musical stylings. In his spare time, Rollson works with Guitar Doors, a nonprofit that provides music programming to incarcerated individuals. The fun starts at 4:00 PM, with a lights out time of 9:00 PM.
Clapp has been busy working to get the new location up and running. “A solar hot water crew has been operating out of Exeter since March,” he is happy to report. “We’re in the process of installing solar thermal, photovoltaic, and a pellet boiler to make the shop carbon neutral.”
ReVision Energy has completed more than 2,500 solar installations in Maine and New Hampshire. “Residents are starting to fully grasp that a solar PV or hot water system can not only help them save money over time, but also actually acts as a value-raiser to any commercial or residential property,” according to Clapp.
Next Friday, June 17th, Waterline Alternative Energies will hold a drawing, where one lucky winner will win a Waterline hardhat autographed by Bruins great Rick Middleton!
The catch? You have to be a fan of WaterLine Alternative Energies on Facebook to be entered to win. Click here to become a fan of one of New Hampshire's most successful and innovative green technology companies, and have a chance to win a little slice of Bruins history!
A three-time All-Star, Middleton had five straight seasons of at least forty goals and ninety points and led the Bruins to perennial glittering records. His leadership was apparent in being named co-captain (with Ray Bourque) to succeed Terry O'Reilly in 1985, a position he held until he retired, wearing the "C" during home games.
Between the beaches, barbecues and bocce ball, the summer months are also a great for tackling all those long-delayed home improvement projects. It’s a booming time of year for businesses like Middleton Building Supply in Dover, with hacksaws and hoses fly off the shelves as quickly as light bulbs and lacquers.
But if you ask Manager Jim Bruneau which of his store’s products are the biggest summer hit, one of the answers might surprise you.
“We definitely sell a lot of wood pellets and wood bricks for stoves,” says Bruneau. No, he’s not trying to remind me – cruelly – that three straight seasons of winter are right around the corner. And he’s not joking around either.
The first frost might still be months away. But it’s never too early to prepare for the always-brutal New England winters. Particularly with oil – the chief fuel source for upwards of 75% of New England homes – once again being a hot topic and huge question mark for American consumers.
“With the price of oil spiking again, people are always eager to buy the pellets and bricks ahead of time,” says Bruneau. “After oil shot up a little while back, people actually started stocking up even earlier this year.”
Middleton carries both wood pellets and wood bricks. While New England Wood Pellets (out of Jaffrey, New Hampshire) serves as their chief supplier for pellets, they also offer WoodBrick Fuel as a log or brick stove option.
Tomorrow afternoon, the team at Revolution Energy will host a ribbon cutting for their new 60kw photovoltaic solar array at the East Kingston Elementary School. The event is scheduled to begin at 2:30pm at 5 Andrews Lane in East Kingston.
A public-private partnership involving the East Kingston School Board, the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning, and Revolution Energy, the array will be the fourth largest in the state.
The system is expected to save the town of East Kingston upwards of $12,000 a year.
The town was able to make a large up-front payment towards the system, thanks to a grant provided by the State of New Hampshire through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Program, which is itself funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
According to Bob Nigrello, Chairman of the East Kingston School Board, a survey of town residents as to how best to use the initial grant money revealed energy use to be the number two concern.
“After the survey we began conducting studies on wind and solar, but weren’t sure what would be feasible,” recalled Nigrello. “Revolution had recently started a project up at the [Exeter] High School, and they really helped us find the grant money necessary to make it happen.”
Watch out Portsmouth! There is a new superhero in town with the power to save consumers up to 90% at local businesses. Right now we don’t know much about this new hero, except that he (or she) has a lime for a head.
What we do know is that the enigmatic figure is tied to this week’s launch of Seacoast Media Group’s Limelight Deals, a new variation on Internet deal sites like Groupon and Living Social with a hyperlocal twist.
The premise is simple: sign up online at Limelightdeals.com and receive offers to buy-in to big discounts at local businesses in your email inbox.
The first deal to hit subscribers’ inboxes sold out within just 12 hours. A total of 500 people signed up to pay just $1 for a $7 sandwich at Moe’s Italian Sandwiches.
Another Limelight Deal gave consumers the chance to score year round savings at over 90 local businesses. Close to 20 subscribers took advantage of a $25 one year membership and organic t-shirt deal offered by the Green Alliance, a seacoast wide green business union and consumer co-op. GA members can use their Green Card to access over $1,000 in savings at local businesses.
Greenovations located in Portsmouth's Bowl-O-Rama Plaza, is proving itself to be a truly green company by offering sustainable home-healthy products and is proud to introduce their new line of cork flooring by Vida Cork. The ingenious cork floors are produced from cork strips of wine cork blanks and are 100% renewable.
Greenovations is overjoyed by the fact that the production of the cork and the installation is eco-friendly. As Christopher Ring, the owner of Greenovations explained "sustainable business isn't a coincidence, it's a commitment." Vida Cork is produced with a low VOC finish and formaldehyde free binders in a facility with a bio-heat plant generated from unusable waste.
The Vida Cork flooring is created with a click lock system as to not use toxic glue or staples. Available in nine natural colors and patters this innovative flooring is great for any space in any home. The seamless appearance makes cork flooring a great alternative for hardwood or carpet. The natural feel of the cork is especially favorable for spaces such as kitchens.
To learn more visit the Greenovations showroom and check out the Vida Cork flooring!
Looking for something different to do with dad this Father’s Day? Summer Solstice at Clay Hill Farm is a free community event celebrating the great outdoors and honoring fathers, families and Mother Earth. The Sunday, June 19th event will feature local food, music, games, and family fun for all ages from 11 AM-2 PM.
Originally built in 1870 as a working farm, Clay Hill Farm has transformed into a 220-seat restaurant and special occasion venue nestled amidst 11+ acres of rolling lawns, protected woodlands, and colorful gardens. “This summer, we’re going to be showcasing local food by launching a new Made in Maine menu for the summer,” says owner Jennifer McShera. “100% of ingredients and products will be made right here in the Pine Tree State.”
“A lot of people are curious about eating a Maine only food diet these days,” she explains. “We want to bring together themes that are important to individuals and families.
As part of that mission, Clay Hill Farm will showcase Community Supported Agriculture on Father’s Day. Visitors will have the opportunity to support local farms by pre-purchasing shares of local agriculture from Moon Dance Gardens of South Berwick, Spiller Farm of Wells and Touching Earth Farm of Kittery.
Susan Anderson is excited to have her new kitchen. She recently purchased new countertops from Visions Kitchens & Design. Susan discovered Visions through a Green Alliance promotional discount and decided the offer was too good to pass up!
Since Ms. Anderson is a member of GA, she received a special Earth Day discount through the company. Visions also offers consumers discounts when they choose environmentally friendly products.
Anderson "likes [the kitchen] so much better" after Vision's installation. She is excited because the countertops are beautiful and low maintenance. The recycled countertops are made from a blend of acrylic and natural minerals. This means that they are certfied Green Guard and have no dangerous VOC offgassing.
When the business line at Greenovations rings, it’s not always someone inquiring about store hours or driving directions. Just as often, owner Christopher Ring finds himself fielding detailed questions about the products themselves.
What are the manufacturer’s credentials? How does it work? Where was it made?
“I learned pretty quickly that this wasn’t just a retail business – it’s an educational business,” says Ring, who opened his sustainability-focused home retail store a year ago this May. “The questions people call in with, they’d never ask of the bigger stores selling a similar product. So I think they have higher expectations when they deal with us.”
A catch-all building and remodeling depot, Greenovations offers everything from super efficient wall radiators to insulation, floors to countertops, cabinets to wood stoves, paints and coatings to solar tubes, attic fans, plywood and tiles, and accessories for just about every room in the house.
For Ring, all of them have a unique story to tell – whether it’s the butcher block made of wood dating back to the days of Christopher Columbus, or the efforts of Eco Timber Flooring to invest in sound forestry practices at their Bolivian farm, virtually giving away their operations to one-time “poachers” who then transformed the operation into a sustainable one.
“So their profit motive was actually outweighed by their ecological motive,” says Ring, expounding on the story of Eco Timber. “It’s things like that that make me feel better about companies, because it shows they’re willing to make the serious decisions about who they are as a company.”
The menu at Bob’s Clam Hut might not have changed much over the years – you can still get the same fresh seafood favorites on the docket since 1956. But beginning last week, what patrons dispose of and how is getting a major overhaul.
Last Wednesday, the Kittery eatery installed a brand new recycling center near its front entrance. The box is divided into three separate bins: one for trash, one for recyclables, and one for compostable food scraps, with a glass encasement above each detailing which materials should go where.
Contrary to popular belief, things like napkins, paper cups, and any food scraps (including meats and dairy products) are all compostable.
Bob’s General Manager, Pat Barrigar and Director of Organization Development, Eileen Conlon were aided in their efforts by Rian Bedard, owner of EcoMovement Consulting and Hauling. Since launching in 2009, EcoMovement has partnered with dozens of area businesses, helping them institute comprehensive recycling, composting, and waste-reduction programs.
Bedard was originally inspired by a similar system pioneered by Whole Foods. As General Manager of Me and Ollie’s in Portsmouth, in 2008 Bedard created his own version of the recycling system, helping the downtown bakery and eatery significantly reduce its waste.
The new recycling station is just the next in an ongoing process to help render Bob’s more green. Starting last spring, Bob’s, along with its brother restaurant, Robert’s Maine Grill (just across the street on Route 1) began the process of re-evaluating their serving and packaging materials, in an effort to render their business more environmentally sustainable.
She may have been the first woman engineer he’d ever hired, but James Petersen also saw in Sarah Carter a unique narrative thread that seemed to bind all of his standout acquisitions: the itch to come home.
“We’ve gotten our best employees the same way we got Sarah, which is to say she spent a good part of her twenties working for a large firm in a big city,” says Petersen, owner of the Portsmouth-based Petersen Engineering. “By the time Sarah got here, she’d had five years of solid fundamentals under her belt, so I felt like the beneficiary of her missing the culture of home.”
Like many college grads, Sarah Carter needed some time to enjoy her 20s. After graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Vermont in 2003, she moved west to the mountains of Colorado. There the Maine native spent the next year working primarily at a ski resort, giving youth lessons and punching lift tickets, all the while enjoying the high, pressure-free air of the Rockies.
But it wasn’t long before Carter felt drawn back to a world at once more grounded and sky-bound: mechanical engineering. Leaving the high altitude and soft powder behind, Carter moved east to Washington D.C., where she landed at a job as an engineer at a large, high-profile firm. And while the work was rewarding – most of her projects involved large government buildings, both in and around the Beltway and throughout the country – after five years, Carter and her husband found themselves missing the comparatively laid-back New England.
Summer is a busy time for any New England painting company. Warm sunshine and long days make for the perfect conditions for outdoor painting. For Sean Sturk of Minute Men Painters, summer is also a great time of year to get busy giving back to the local community.
Sturk's Portsmouth-based painting company is a sponsor of the 3rd Annual Bobcat Bolt at Oyster River High School in Durham. “We’ve helped to sponsor and volunteered at the event every year so far,” he is proud to say.
Dedicated to the memory of brothers Josh and Nathan Hardy, the annual 5K and 10K attracts 500-1,000 participants each year. Josh died in 1993 after a courageous 18-month battle with brain cancer. Nathan, a Navy SEAL, was killed while conducting combat operations in Iraq in 2008. The two brothers attended high school at Oyster River, where both excelled in life as well as on the soccer field. The 2011 Bobcat Bolt is scheduled to start at 9:00 AM on June 25th.
Proceeds from the Bobcat Bolt will go directly to the Oyster River Alumni Association. The group will then make a donation to the Oyster River Teen Initiative for the purpose of building a youth center in Durham.
Minute Men Painters is helping the City of Portsmouth go green by facilitating downtown recycling. “We helped sponsor one of the recycling containers that will be installed in front of Breaking New Grounds as part of the Portsmouth Zero Waste initiative,” says Sturk. Currently, 44 percent of the community’s waste ends up in the landfill, while only 22 percent gets recycled.