News

Spring Cleaning Caution: When "Keep Out of Reach of Children" Isn't Enough

May 20, 2015

Originally published on Seacoast Online.

By Kristyn Lak Miller

PORTSMOUTH – Spring Cleaning is the annual ritual of thoroughly cleaning a house after the winter season. Yet using chemical-laden conventional cleaning products does more harm than good, especially if there are children in the house.

Products like laundry detergent and liquid cleaners for floors, sinks and stovetops are known health hazards, which is why most include a “Keep Out of Reach of Children” warning label. Yet keeping these common cleaners out of children’s reach may not be enough.

According to a series of studies, exposure to the chemicals found in common household cleaners – even exposure through the skin or respiratory tract – is linked to childhood maladies like autism, asthma, allergies, ADHD and cancer. And exposure can start before a child is born. A recent study in PLOS One journal reveals pregnant women with high levels of exposure to commonly used chemicals di-nbutyl phthalate and di-isobutyl phthalate gave birth to children with significantly lower IQ’s; according to the study, by age seven, children with higher exposure levels had IQ’s more than six points below children with lower exposure levels.

To read the full story on Seacoast Online, click here. 

Meet a Green Alliance Business: New Hampshire the Beautiful

May 19, 2015

Originally published in the Portsmouth Herald

What: Composed of a team of grocers and beverage companies, New Hampshire the Beautiful (NHtB) came together to expand recycling efforts across the state. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit has poured millions of dollars into helping towns and cities clean up litter and expand their recycling programs, and has made landmark achievements in making New Hampshire more environmentally friendly.

For small towns, the biggest hindrance to a successful recycling program is the lack of startup money. NHtB organizes fundraising efforts to cover startup costs for materials such as plastic recycling bins, cardboard balers, glass crushers, storage containers, and just about anything else a town might need to start its recycling program.

In addition, NHtB's popular "Blue Bag" program provides plastic bags to towns and nonprofit groups to organize town and highway litter cleanup efforts. NHtB will also design, build and install signs at transfer stations to help residents sort their recycling.

NHtB recently began a collaboration with the Northeast Resource Recovery Association, an organization that provides networking and educational opportunities about recycling and sustainability, to further their outreach. NHtB is supported by members of the N.H. Soft Drink Association, the Beverage Distributors of New Hampshire Association and the New Hampshire Grocers Association.

Read the full story in the Portsmouth Herald here. 

The Bottom Line of Sustainability

May 18, 2015

Originally published in NH Business Review.

By Michael McCord

For Jeff Hiatt, environmental stewardship is as simple as helping businesses, both big and small, stabilize their energy expenses.

Since 1995, Hiatt, founder of Performance Business Solutions in Hampton Falls, estimates he has helped hundreds of clients save millions of dollars through the firm’s multi-phase consulting approach. His time-tested analysis formula matches rigorous expense reviews and energy efficiency programs that can add to a company’s bottom line.

“I enjoy the dual positive of making an impact on the environment and the economy,” Hiatt said. “By implementing green solutions and green tools, my clients will use less energy, and that helps their bottom line. It helps sustain the future of the company.”

New Hampshire is not the most robust state for green energy projects, especially when compared to its neighbors. With fewer tax incentives, Hiatt said New Hampshire’s solar programs leave little to be desired.

Bike to Work with EZ Bikes and Scooters

May 18, 2015

Originally published on Patch.

By John Brescia

EXETER – The heat and sunlight are on the rise, but so are the gas prices. It’s a simple equation of supply and demand: greater gas consumption creates higher gas prices. But in this month there is a solution to alleviate the burden of increasing gas prices. May is National Bike Month, a time meant to encourage commuters to embrace the mild weather in order to utilize bicycles and other forms of cheap, non-polluting transportation to get to and from work and other nearby locations.

This week also happens to mark Bike to Work week; over half of the U.S. population lives within five miles of where they work, making a biking a viable mode of transportation. However, 51 percent of Americans say they never ride bikes. In fact, 12 percent of the population living in the northeast say they don’t even know how to ride bikes.

But Tom and Teresa Hemenway want to change those numbers. This husband and wife duo are the owners of EZ Bikes and Scooters, an Exeter-based business that sells electric bikes and scooters. Before opening EZ Bikes, the Hemenways ran Autosounds of NH, an auto electronics company. They were inspired to expand into bike sales shortly after discovered he had diabetes in 2009. He said the disease was due to his inactivity and poor diet. Tom’s complacency about his health was so extensive that his physician dropped him as a patient, causing Tom to realize he needed to alter his course in life. So he stopped smoking, quit drinking, and improved his diet. But after trying and failing to exercise on his son’s 21-speed bike, Tom noted how difficult it would be for an inactive person to suddenly begin an active lifestyle.

Read the full story on Patch.com here!

Celebrate Bike to Work Week with EZ Bikes and Scooters

May 15, 2015

Originally published on Seacoast Online.

By John Brescia

EXETER – The heat and sunlight are on the rise, but so are the gas prices. It’s a simple equation of supply and demand: greater gas consumption creates higher gas prices. But in this month there is a solution to alleviate the burden of increasing gas prices. May is National Bike Month, a time meant to encourage commuters to embrace the mild weather in order to utilize bicycles and other forms of cheap, non-polluting transportation to get to and from work and other nearby locations.

This week also happens to mark Bike to Work week; over half of the U.S. population lives within five miles of where they work, making a biking a viable mode of transportation. However, 51 percent of Americans say they never ride bikes. In fact, 12 percent of the population living in the northeast say they don’t even know how to ride bikes.

But Tom and Teresa Hemenway want to change those numbers. This husband and wife duo are the owners of EZ Bikes and Scooters, an Exeter-based business that sells electric bikes and scooters. Before opening EZ Bikes, the Hemenways ran Autosounds of NH, an auto electronics company. They were inspired to expand into bike sales shortly after discovered he had diabetes in 2009. He said the disease was due to his inactivity and poor diet. Tom’s complacency about his health was so extensive that his physician dropped him as a patient, causing Tom to realize he needed to alter his course in life. So he stopped smoking, quit drinking, and improved his diet. But after trying and failing to exercise on his son’s 21-speed bike, Tom noted how difficult it would be for an inactive person to suddenly begin an active lifestyle.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online here!

Warming Up to Winter

May 13, 2015

Originally published in Coastal Home Magazine. 

By Jim Cavan

Winter is almost here. Rest assured that your furnace will soon be running full tilt, and a refill probably isn't much farther down the snowy road. 

Given the dread that many people on the Seacoast feel with the arrival of Old Man Winter, one cannot help but wonder if there is a better way to fill the tank- one that is efficient, clean and doesn't require cutting big checks with every visit of the oil truck.

Not only is there a better way, there are plenty of them. In the last few years, the Seacoast has asserted itself as a hotbed of home heating options that are cheaper, cleaner and as reliable as oil. Whether we choose biofuel harvested from America's heartland, wood pellets from logs felled in New England forests or innovative insulation techniques, this is an opportune time for Seacoast residents to look at heating alternatives.

Read the full story in Coastal Home here

Pest Control, Naturally

May 13, 2015

Originally published in Coastal Home Magazine.

By Jim Cavan.

Chances are you have had this experience: It's the first truly warm day of the year- late March, let's say- and you have just gotten back from an unseasonably balmy park walk or seashore picnic. You walk through the front door, take off your shoes, head to the kitchen to start preparing the night's dinner, and happen upon a trail of slowly moving black specks on the counter.

Carpnenter ants. Dozens of them- and these are just the ones in plain view. In New England, carpenter ant infestation constitutes one of the most common pest problems affecting some tens of thousands of households in New Hampshire alone and causing millions of dollars worth of damage nationwide. While there is no shortage of professional exterminators capable of eliminating these destructive critters, rarely does the process take on a collaborative air that touts a more efficient use of the tools of the trade.

Read the full story in Coastal Home here.

Fighting the Holi-daze

May 13, 2015

Originally published in the Coastal Home Magazine in the Autumn 2013 edition. 

BY JIM CAVAN

You spent weeks planning Thanksgiving Dinner--ordered the free-range turkey, stocked up a bevy of local libations, put your own well-honed spin on all the fixin's--and now, it's over. With the faint din of football droning in the distance, you dry the last dish, grab your glass of merlot, and head to a living room filled with laughter and loved ones. Scanning the room to take in the smiling faces, the family, and friends, you forget for a second the untold hours and near diasters that made it all possible.

Then, just as you feel yourself beginning to relax, a harsh reminder jolts the brain: I have to start shopping tomorrow. 

Between pies and presents, five-course meals, and family visits, the holidays have long been a source of as much stress as cheer, and as many headaches as heartwarming moments. According to a 2006 study conducted by the American Psychological Association, a whopping 68 percent of those polled claimed to experience some level of stress "often or sometimes." Meanwhile, 38 percent said their level of stress increased noticeably during the holiday season, while only eight percent cited a decrease in stress. 

Read the full story in Coastal Home online here.

Granite State of Mind

May 13, 2015

Published in Coastal Home

By Jim Cavan

Few nicknames resonate with more authority than the Granite State, that steadfast New Hampshire moniker that serves as a reflection of the state's people as much as it does the endless bounty of rock below.

During the nineteenth century, New Hampshire boasted one of the country's largest -- if not the largest -- granite industries in the country. Even today, the town of Milford, still known colloquially as "Granite Town," houses a now-defunct quarry made famous for its part in helping construct the US Treasury Building, whose New Hampshire stone pillars can still be seen on the back of the ten dollar bill.

While the granite mining industry has since largely fallen by the wayside, one New Hampshire company is determined to make sure that both the narratives of a people's resourcefulness and of a proud state's namesake continue to thrive.

Read the full story in Coastal Home here.

Thinking Small Gets Big Gains

May 13, 2015

Originally published in Coastal Home Magazine.

By Herb Perry

One growing family's desire to downsize their home proves that, even in our materialstic, wasteful society, we can aspire to live simpler, smaller, more sustainable and - yes - richer lives.

Last summer, the Cinilia family - Marla, Mike, and toddler Bodhi- defied convention by moving to a 1,150-square-foot home on Gerrish Island in  Kittery Point, Maine, from their 1,600-square-foot Portsmouth abode. Their new home sits 200 yards from the Atlantic Ocean, near wooded conservation areas, and utilizes the latest in green technology.

The Cinilias' plan for the Kittery property had builder Jeff Stacy, Little Green Homes (LGH) co-founder, taken aback.