News : Green Mom Interview: Candace Lord

Oct 10, 2013

Published in the Andover, North Andover, and Hampton-North Hampton Patches on October 10th, 2013.

Green Alliance Writer

SALISBURY, Mass — Practicing sustainability is foremost in Candace Lord’s mind, teaching her children an eco-conscious ethos, working at a company whose very name is “green,” and influencing other businesses to waste not, want not.

Lord, an Amesbury resident, is the general manager of The Green Cocoon, a Salisbury, Mass., company specializing in green insulation for both residential and commercial applications. Besides providing cost-effective green products to its customers, The Green Cocoon observes an eco-philosophy in its business practices in myriad ways, and Lord is in the middle of it all.

Center stage is the simplicity that is The Green Cocoon’s office. From the technology to paper trails, the concept of re-use is applied throughout. Folders used for organization are recycled within the office, promising low waste accumulation. Broken pieces of equipment are not tossed, but rather, repurposed. Jim Materkowski the co-founder, ensures that these useful tools do not go to waste.

“This alone allows us to waste much less than others, who would throw away the broken equipment,” Lord says. Finding purpose in something that many see as futile, is at the forefront of the Green Cocoon office.

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Apart from organization and day-to-day sustainable office practices, The Green Cocoon has implemented major modifications in its energy and water use operations that not only make the office simple, but make it efficient as well. With dual flush toilets, energy efficient light bulbs, and no hot water, a reduction in energy and natural resource use is clearly part of the staff’s everyday lives. The Green Cocoon went so far as to offer zero-sort recycling to the 15 other businesses in its building. This effort ensures that each business recycles goods that would otherwise have been tossed into the waste bin.

Commitment to environmentally sound business operations is part of the Green Cocoon’s practice, and that is visible throughout its entire office building. To top off its eco-friendly operations, power strips are used for electronics, and the heat dial is kept at a low level at all times. The last person in the office at night has the responsibility of unplugging all power strips, and ensuring the heat dial stays at a constant temperature.

“This saves on heating the office because turning the heat off completely and then turning it back on in the morning requires much more energy than keeping it at a constant low level” Lord says.

The firm’s green business initiatives expand beyond the office and into on-site projects, too. Driving diesel-run trucks is just one way staff members stoke their sustainability mentality. They also plug all necessary electronics and machines into the client’s home, and not into the trucks, saving on the amount of diesel fuel needed for each job.

Lord’s green mindedness is not limited to the office, also used at home to teach her two children, ages 5 and 6. “I try to make the kids aware of their impact on the environment,” she says, “We recycle with zero-sort recycling. … The kids know exactly where to place that cardboard box.”

Lord recounts several instances when her two children would see empty plastic bottles on the ground and proceed to pick them up and put them in nearby recycling bins. Lord has made it her goal to encourage green behavior in all facets of her children’s lives. For lunches, the kids go to school with bags filled with reusable Tupperware containers, and never individually packaged items. The children use timers for brushing their teeth, and know that when they don’t need the water, they should turn the faucet off to save on this limited resource. “I try to incorporate habits into their lives that include using less waste, conserving water, and understanding what happens when these things aren’t done right,” Lord remarked.

At home, Lord and her children act with an integral understanding of efficient water use. The home is equipped with dual flush toilet levers and water pressure gauges for the shower. Her two children follow their mom’s suggestions in turning the water pressure down when scrubbing. “Overall, I just try to make it part of our lives, and create habits out of these simple changes” Lord says about conservation.

The issue of too much TV has never been a problem in Lord’s home, where cable TV has never existed. Instead, the children spend their time outdoors, bike riding, fishing, and enjoying Maudslay State Park in Newburyport.

Lord has some green tips she likes to share. For example, she advises not to purchase individually packed food items; instead use Tupperware and reusable containers for lunches. Also, incorporate biking to work as a weekly activity. If you live within 10 miles of work, why not use the proximity to your advantage and reduce your impact on the environment one day out of the week!

“It’s the small changes in your life that make the difference,” she says. “Incorporating them into your life, and making them habit is going to make a difference.”

The Green Cocoon is a business partner of the Green Alliance, a union of local sustainable businesses promoting environmentally sound business practices and a green co-op offering discounted green products and services to its members.

For more information about The Green Cocoon, visit

For more information about the Green Alliance, visit