News : August 2013

Solar store a sign of greener skies ahead

Aug 28, 2013

“I like my business being small.”

In an age of dwindling yet cutthroat competition, fast-consolidating wealth, and the accelerated outsourcing of American manufacturing, the above is not a declarative you’re liable to hear often.

Then again, it’s not often you run into a business owner like Jack Bingham, founder of SEA Solar Store in Barrington.

In a green journey spanning more than half a decade, hundreds of projects, one retail shop, and a perpetually changing industry landscape, Bingham has witnessed the growth of both a promising technology and public frustration over an economy somehow stuck in second gear – a climate businesses like Bingham’s have grown seemingly in spite of.

Read the full story at the Portsmouth Patch here, or at the Exeter Patch here!

Rye home a testament to green renovation

Aug 26, 2013

From Portsmouth Patch and Exeter Patch

By Jim Cavan

In the dozen years since moving from Seattle to Rye, New Hampshire, Chris and Susie Reaney had driven by 691 Bracket Road countless times – had marveled at the 130-year-old home and barn’s New England charm and striking stateliness.

As the years wound by, the Reaneys became so enamored with the property that, when its owners finally put the home up for sale, the couple jumped at the chance to move their family of five into a home they hoped might one day serve as a true testament to energy efficiency.

“We always noticed that it wasn’t occupied for most of the year, and we always talked about how great it would be to live there,” recalls Susie Reaney. “So we were excited and elated when it finally went up for sale – it was either go for it, or regret it later.”

When homeowners look to create their green dream home, they tend to take one of two, very distinct paths: start from scratch entirely, or undertake a comprehensive, top-to-bottom renovation. Unfortunately for the Reaneys, choosing the latter route – while the only real choice – was soon met with a hefty dose of reality: having to rebuild a portion of the 130-year-old structure from the ground up...

Read the full story in Portsmouth Patch by clicking here, or in Exeter Patch here!

For Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance, charity more about faces than company names

Aug 23, 2013

From Portsmouth Patch, Seacoast Online, and Exeter Patch

By Jim Cavan

Sometimes it seems you can’t go two full commercial breaks without seeing one or another company touting its various charitable initiatives.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong whatsoever with the end result: lending a helping hand to those in need. But it’s also true that doing so can risk suggesting a certain, curious cynicism – as if the acts and resulting ads are meant to mask or salve over something else entirely.

Which is what makes the folks at Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance (PAI) so unique: for them, charity and community involvement have always been less about boosting the bottom line than another, far more categorical good...

Read the full story in Portsmouth Patch by clicking here, or in Exeter Patch here! Read on Seacoast Online here.

Naturopathic Doctor Brings Extensive Training and Expertise to the Treatment Table

Aug 20, 2013

 From the Portsmouth Patch and Exeter Patch

By Heikki Herb Perry

PORTSMOUTH — While naturopathic medicine sometimes gets a bum rap, naturopathic doctors in reality receive very much the same training as medical doctors in their first two years of medical school.

What really separates the two professions is both the philosophy as well as the additional training naturopathic doctors get in their third and fourth years of medical school, which includes in-depth training about ancient medical practices such as botanical medicine, nutrition, homeopathy and physical medicine along with specialized training in cardiology, gynecology, and other disciplines. Many naturopathic doctors — or NDs, for short — often pursue post-doctoral training allowing them to specialize in therapies that have proved their value over time.

Group Rescues Dogs Much to the Hearts’ Content of Adopters

Aug 20, 2013

From the Concord Patch, Portsmouth Patch and Exeter Patch

By Heikki Herb Perry

DEERFIELD, N.H. — A New Hampshire organization ranges far and wide to pluck dogs from Southern shelters, eventually placing them in homes where they become members of the family.

Mary’s Dogs Rescue & Adoption, in Deerfield, N.H., has a strong reputation for saving dogs stranded in shelters, looking for the right match between dog and owner, and following up the placement with expert advice to new owners to ensure the match is a lasting one. But if a match is not a good one — and sometimes they’re not, said Mary Doane, owner of Mary’s Dogs — the search will start anew for the right match.

As it turns out, almost 100 percent of the dogs Mary’s Dogs rescue eventually end up in the right house, and local adopters of three dogs the organization rescued are delighted with the dogs that landed in their homes. And so are the dogs with their families.

Green Collar Carers: MetalWave co-founder Julie Wiggin

Aug 19, 2013

From Foster's Daily Democrat and The New Hampshire

By Austin Sorette

Julie Wiggin, 46, started MetalWave with her husband Brad in May 2011 with the ambitions of finding a solution for a proper disposal of e-waste. E-waste, a term just as new as the most recent upgrade for your iPhone, includes every electronic device that we depend upon – computers, cell phones, and the like.

Sadly, most people are oblivious to how their e-waste gets shipped overseas where lackadaisical environmental standards in Africa, China, and other places result in huge landfills of outdated devices. But what’s worse is that the toxic substances contained in the materials end up causing environmental destruction of their own. Even when people attempt to recycle them – trying to make the most of the precious metals, toners, and plastics inside of them – the toxic byproducts end up causing their own problems.

5 Green Tips from Brixham Montessori Friends School

Aug 19, 2013

Published in The Portsmouth Herald and SeacoastOnline.com

This week's tips come from Brixham Montessori Friends School.

1. Invest in easy-to-open reusable containers for school lunches. Children as young as 2 can take a lot of pride in doing things for themselves, and with the right containers, even toddlers can be successful.

2. Add a small cloth napkin with a fun print for your child to lay out as a place mat, and pack lunches together. Children will more likely eat what they have helped to prepare. Encourage them to eat food from every color of the rainbow. Children also tend to eat more and waste less when servings are cut into bite-sized pieces....

Read the rest of the Green Tips by clicking here

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NHPTV Green Tips

Aug 14, 2013

From the Seacoast Online,

This week's Green Tips are brought to you by New Hampshire Public Television.

1. Cooking out? Make sure your outdoor grill includes a burner feature. That way you can cook as well as grill outside, helping keep your kitchen cool and reducing your need for air conditioning.

2. If you're traveling, do your best to avoid peak traffic times. As best you can in New England, anyway. Save on gas, reduce your emissions, and preserve your patience.

3. Seventy-two might technically be room temperature, but our bodies adjust to summer, so be sure to set your thermostat as high as possible. Anywhere from 78 to 80 is a good, comfortable temperature that can help you keep your cooling costs down and your carbon footprint low.

4. Planning a family picnic? Stick to sunscreen and insect repellents made with fewer chemicals and avoid spraying your entire picnic area with toxic pest products.

5. Check out some of our environmental-themed programming. From national staples ("Nature" and "Nova"), local favorites ("Planet Granite," "Growing a Greener World," "Mother Nature's Child"), the quintessentially "New England Windows to the Wild" with Willem Lange, or feature documentaries ("Small Farm Rising"), NHPTV has long championed an all-ages appreciation for the region's unrivaled beauty and natural heritage.

For more information about NHPTV, please click here!

For Mr. Fox, New Name Renews Green Focus

Aug 13, 2013

 From the Exeter and Portsmouth Patches,

By Jim Cavan,

Achieving the kind of professional legacy and success attendant to having an entire company named in your honor – by someone else, no less – typically takes decades.

Fox Bedard wasn’t even in preschool.

After nearly four years under the banner of EcoMovement Consulting & Hauling, owner Rian Bedard recently announced the launch of Mr. Fox Composting, an homage to both Bedard’s oldest son and the crafty, Robin Hood-esque Roahld Dahl character of the same name.

According to Bedard, the motivation behind the name-change was simple: let the name – the logo, the letters, the brand – do the talking.

“There’s a simplicity and a playfulness to the name that I think maybe wasn’t there before,” Bedard explained. “We went from a very accurate but wordy name to one that anyone anywhere can understand. And that’s worth a lot.”

To read the full article on the Portsmouth Patch, click here!

To read the full article on the Exeter Patch, click here!

For Mr. Fox, New Name Renews Green Focus

Aug 13, 2013

 From the Seacoast Online Blogs

By Jim Cavan,

Achieving the kind of professional legacy and success attendant to having an entire company named in your honor – by someone else, no less – typically takes decades.

Fox Bedard wasn’t even in preschool.

After nearly four years under the banner of EcoMovement Consulting & Hauling, owner Rian Bedard recently announced the launch of Mr. Fox Composting, an homage to both Bedard’s oldest son and the crafty, Robin Hood-esque Roahld Dahl character of the same name.

According to Bedard, the motivation behind the name-change was simple: let the name – the logo, the letters, the brand – do the talking.

“There’s a simplicity and a playfulness to the name that I think maybe wasn’t there before,” Bedard explained. “We went from a very accurate but wordy name to one that anyone anywhere can understand. And that’s worth a lot.”

Bedard’s son, born shortly after EcoMovement’s founding, may have been the re-brand’s chief inspiration, but it was Bridget Sprague who, in Bedard’s words, provided the motivating spark.

Sprague, owner of Be Good Branding and a friend of Bedard’s, conducted an extensive, crowd-sourced analysis of Bedard’s target market – local, sustainability-driven families. What she found was disconnect not uncommon with her clientele: just because your name is specific, doesn’t mean it’s memorable.
 

To read more, please click here!

Last Living Navajo Code Talker to Share His Story

Aug 13, 2013

From the Seacoast Online,

By Charles McMahon,

The last surviving member of the original Navajo Code Talkers from World War II will visit the city for a special fund-raiser at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre.

Chester Nez, one of 29 members of the original group, will share his experiences at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18, at the downtown theater. Proceeds from the event will go to Veterans Count, an Easter Seals New Hampshire program that aids New Hampshire military service members and their families.

Nez and the other code talkers developed a code within their native Navajo language to aid U.S. military forces in the war effort against the Japanese. The code is known as the only remaining unbroken code in modern warfare.

"We never thought it would work, but we developed a code that the Japanese could not understand," he said.

Nez will speak about his experiences in the South Pacific at Guadalcanal and Guam.

The conversation will be moderated by local filmmaker Chase Bailey, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. Bailey served from 1967 to 1971, including duty in the Vietnam War.

Lyme Is Not Only Tick-Borne Disease Plaguing New Englanders

Aug 13, 2013

 From the Exeter News-Letter,

By Heikki Perry 

Warm weather enthusiasts migrate outdoors during the summer, but they do so with escalating odds of contracting Lyme disease and, as it turns out, other lesser-known tick-borne illnesses that can also make them sick.

"Concurrent diseases are going on that we aren't talking about, that primary care physicians aren't really screening for. And those are Babesiosis, Bartonellosis and Ehrlichiosis," said Naturopathic Doctor Robyn Giard, owner of Starry Brook Natural Medicine in Exeter.

But Lyme disease remains a concern.

Migrating deer spread Lyme disease, according to Giard. Also implicated in spreading Lyme disease are an increasing human population and homes built in wooded areas.

Lyme disease is the most common "vector-borne" - that is transmitted by insects or ticks - disease in the U.S., writes Alan Eaton, a University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension entomologist, in his February 2011 publication titled "Biology and Management of Ticks in New Hampshire." Lyme disease's vector is the blacklegged tick, also known as the "deer tick," New Hampshire's second most common tick species.

To read the full article, click here!

Steamship Company Plies Portsmouth Waters Leaving No Waste in Wake

Aug 12, 2013

From the Exeter Patch and Portsmouth Patch and Seacoast Online

By Heikki Perry

A longtime commercial mainstay of the Portsmouth seafaring scene has doubled-down on sustainability, further burnishing its already considerable green reputation while also cutting its waste stream by 70 percent.

The M/V Thomas Laighton is the cruise ship of the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company, an iconic Seacoast institution, plying area waters since 1962. Originally founded as Viking Cruises by Arnold Whittaker, the Steamship Company was recently sold to two new owners, Jeremy Bell and Jerod Blanchette, who came aboard in June.

The company offers a variety of tours to New Hampshire’s historic Isles of Shoals and throughout Portsmouth Harbor and the Greater Piscataqua Region, and is thoroughly committed to preserving the amazing history and heritage of the Seacoast.

Councilor Puts Focus on Sustainability

Aug 12, 2013

 From the Seacoast Online,

By Heikki Herb Perry

The Green Alliance is helping a city councilor encourage residents to adopt a series of "sustainable tips" that will make the community more eco-friendly.

Councilor Brad Lown presented a list of "50 Sustainable Tips" to the council last Monday night. He developed them with help from the Green Alliance and the Mayor's Blue Ribbon Committee on Sustainability. The council accepted Lown's report into its minutes, while Lown urged the council to use these tips daily.

"The purpose of presenting the report was to generate publicity, which is happening," Lown said. "And the council responded very well. People were interested in what I had to say."

He also wanted "to show residents that while every person makes a little difference by how they think and behave, together they can make a significant difference in the environment."

Lown, a member of the sustainability committee, which he said contained "a lot of talent and a lot of knowledge," briefly summarized 25 of the 50 tips he compiled. Calling his tips "exhortations," he said he wanted to "share information about the really good work that the committee is doing."

To read the full article, please click here!

Solar System Pay Back

Aug 12, 2013

 From Foster's Daily Democrat,

By Herb Perry,

Does installing solar power add to a home’s value? The answer is yes — though exactly how much has not been entirely certain as Realtors and appraisers are still learning how to properly weigh the value of renewable energy additions to a home.

Three recent California studies have found that solar photovoltaic arrays added close to their exact retail cost to a home’s value, even years after the investment started to pay for itself. Preliminary evidence in the New England market appears to confirm the California results, though the ability to monetize how much solar PV systems add to a home’s value is still developing here.

But, when it comes time to sell a home, most homeowners find that their solar PV system adds as much to their home’s value as what they originally paid for it.

Solar System Pay Back

Aug 12, 2013

 From the Foster's Daily Democrat,

By Herb Perry

Does installing solar power add to a home’s value? The answer is yes — though exactly how much has not been entirely certain as Realtors and appraisers are still learning how to properly weigh the value of renewable energy additions to a home.

Three recent California studies have found that solar photovoltaic arrays added close to their exact retail cost to a home’s value, even years after the investment started to pay for itself. Preliminary evidence in the New England market appears to confirm the California results, though the ability to monetize how much solar PV systems add to a home’s value is still developing here.

But, when it comes time to sell a home, most homeowners find that their solar PV system adds as much to their home’s value as what they originally paid for it.

Solar Systems Pay Back

Aug 12, 2013

 From the Foster's Daily Democrat,

By Heikki Herb Perry

Does installing solar power add to a home’s value? The answer is yes — though exactly how much has not been entirely certain as Realtors and appraisers are still learning how to properly weigh the value of renewable energy additions to a home.

Three recent California studies have found that solar photovoltaic arrays added close to their exact retail cost to a home’s value, even years after the investment started to pay for itself.

Preliminary evidence in the New England market appears to confirm the California results, though the ability to monetize how much solar PV systems add to a home’s value is still developing here. But, when it comes time to sell a home, most homeowners find that their solar PV system adds as much to their home’s value as what they originally paid for it.

Rockingham Electric’s New Online Showroom: Offering a Greener, More Efficient Way to Shop for Lighting

Aug 6, 2013

 From Seacoast Online

By Alanna Wittet

In this age of online shopping, it is so incredibly easy to purchase anything from vendors all over the world. With so many options from both big and small and local and foreign vendors, it’s hard for the smaller independent companies to stay in the game. Such, however, is not the case for The Lighting Center at Rockingham Electric of Newington, NH.

Already a premier supplier of residential lighting in Northern New England, Rockingham Electric is expanding its sphere of influence by offering online shopping.

To read the full article, click here

Green Tips: Acorn School

Aug 6, 2013

Published in The Portsmouth Herald 

This week's tips come from Acorn School, a preschool and kindergarten with four decades of experience helping children become better citizens and environmental stewards.

1. When packing your child's lunch for camp or school, think about using reusable containers versus plastic bags or wrap and purchasing larger containers of yogurt or apple sauce -- save money and create less waste.

2. Hang your beach or pool towels out to dry on a clothesline versus drying them in the dryer. For that matter, try hanging all your clothes out to dry on the clothesline. It's summer, after all.

To read the full Green Tips by Acorn School click here!

Green Tips from Acorn Organic Salon

Aug 6, 2013

Published in The Portsmouth Herald and SeacoastOnline.com

This week's Green Tips come from the Acorn Organic Salon, a business partner of the Green Alliance. With locations in Dover and Exeter, Acorn specializes in truly green products and practices! 

1. Cut down on disposable paper towels. At Acorn, we use hand towels in the bathroom and to cleanup messes. This helps us reduce both our waste and our cost!

2. Looking for new styling tools? Don’t pay big bucks for new, trendy tools when you can get the same results from used tools. Have styling tools you’re not sure how to use? Bring them into Acorn – we’ll show you how!

Read the full Green Tips from Acorn Organic Salon here!

Big Brother to Paddle to Shoals to Help Youth

Aug 6, 2013

From the Seacoast Online Blogs,

By Elizabeth Dinan

In the past month, Chris Carragher took up paddle boarding and became a Big Brother to a 6-year old boy. 

Next month, Carragher plans to paddle board to and from the Isles of Shoals with a goal of raising $10,000 for Big Borthers and Big Sisters of the Greater Seacoast.

"I'm 100 percent confident I will do this," he said. "I don't care if it takes six hours, or a day- I'll get it done. It's not about me laying a claim to something; it's about raising money for a good organization."

To read the full article, click here! 

Green Tips from Social Kitchen

Aug 6, 2013

Published in The Portsmouth Herald and SeacoastOnline.com

This week's Green Tips come from Social Kitchen, a Portsmouth Company specializing in targeted social media strategies for businesses of all sizes and in every sector.

1. Save paper by replacing printable coupons with check-in deals, digital coupons, or Facebook "offers," which can be distributed by way of social media or stored on your smartphone or mobile device for future use.

2. Instead of wasting a lot of paper on your scrapbooking project, use Pinterest, a kind of virtual scrapbooking community. No more wasted paper of dog-eared magazines.

To read the full Green Tips from Social Kitchen, click here!

Green Collar Careers: Chris Meyer, Yankee Thermal Imaging

Aug 5, 2013

 From Foster's Daily Democrat,

By Austin Sorette,

From the start, Chris Meyer, 40, was aware of how influential rising oil prices were going to be on the housing and commercial real estate markets. By the mid 2000s, he decided to start educating himself on how to make their properties more efficient. The result of years of research led to the inception of Yankee Thermal Imaging in 2008, with the goal of providing the most advanced, reliable and cost-effective residential and commercial energy audits.

Today Meyer heads the Portsmouth company that is trying to redefine the way we look at efficiency. Before, people mostly concerned themselves with such things as when to replace the windows and roof, while they paid relatively little attention to the “envelope” of the building or important issues such as insulation and foundational cracks.

For the full article, please click here!

Visions Kitchens Broadens Green Offerings

Aug 5, 2013

From the Seacoast Online Blogs,

By Jim Cavan,

For years, Visions Kitchens & Design co-owners Nathan Johnson and Ernest Proper marshaled their young business largely out of their company vehicle, where materials could be stored and transported and office work could be conducted largely on-site.

It was an approach assumed as much out of necessity as green convenience – no showroom means no heating and cooling costs, after all.

Fast-forward one year later to 2012, when a combination of rising demand and a growing green Seacoast consumer base made establishing a physical storefront, at 70 High Street in Hampton, all but necessary.

But while maintaining a physical space presents its own attendant challenges – and bills – Visions has begun expanding its green offerings enough to far offset the downsides.

“We’ve been looking to branch out on our offerings for a while now,” explains Nathan Johnson. “The idea being to be an outlet for builders and other businesses as well as consumers.”

To read the full article, please click here!

Portsmouth City Asked to Adopt 50 Sustainable Tips

Aug 5, 2013

From the Seacoast Online

By Charles Mcmahon,

PORTSMOUTH — The City Council is being asked to support a list of 50 "sustainable tips" residents can employ to help further the community as an eco-municipality.

City Councilor Brad Lown is proposing his fellow councilors adopt the list of tips, which he said was developed by the Mayor's Blue Ribbon Committee on Sustainability and with help from the Green Alliance.

Lown said the list involves several simple things a person can do every day that will help the city further its mission in becoming environmentally responsible.

"Portsmouth is an eco-municipality, which is similar to being a bike-friendly city or a pedestrian-friendly city," he said. "It means the city is committed to sustainable practices, and we thought this would be a way to get people to start thinking about the little ways in which they can conduct themselves to improve the environment."

To read the full article, click here!

Ridgeview Construction Finds Success in Steadfast Values

Aug 5, 2013

From Foster's Daily Democrat

By Jim Cavan

In the main office of Ridgeview Construction's Deerfield headquarters, on an otherwise spartan white wall, hangs a hodgepodge of images, notes and other paper ephemera. Matt Silva, Sales Manager for Ridgeview, calls it the company's "time line of goals". 

"It could be anything - let's try and build a net-zero house, or let's try and have "X" in sales for the coming year, that sort of thing," says Silva. "It's our way of making sure we're staying focused while trying to branch out."

To read the full story, click here! And view pages 8, 9, and 10.