News : April 2014

Local Solar Expert Sees Promise in PPAs

Apr 28, 2014

Published in Foster's Daily Democrat

BY JIM CAVAN

Though the cost of solar technology has been on a gradual decline for years, the size of the investment, coupled with a stalled economy, has kept the calculus constrictive - particularly for small businesses.

Jack Bingham, owner of SEA Solar Store in Barrington, thinks he might have a solution.

It's called a power purchase agreement (PPA), and it's slowly changing the way businesses are approaching the prospect of going green by virtually eliminating the up-front cost.

Read more in Foster's.

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Community Toolbox

Apr 28, 2014

Published in the Portsmouth Herald

Who: Community Toolbox Inc.

What: Community Toolbox obtains still functional household items (cabinets, doors, major appliances, sinks, etc.) and sells them at discounted prices. These collected goods must meet the business' strict criteria to ensure they work properly before being sold. Sales from these products support Community Toolbox's volunteer-driven "Fix-It Program," the core of its business. The team of volunteers works to help at-risk homeowners with small repairs focused on safety, health and accessibility. Their "DeConstruction" process offers the careful removal of materials for reuse and recycling.

Where: 135 Mirona Road, Portsmouth

Web: www.commtoolbox.org

Read the full profile at Seacoast Online.

The Greening of Eye Care

Apr 28, 2014

Published in Foster's Daily Democrat

By Michael McCord

When Dr. Sarah Hudson began her career in 1998, sustainability awareness was a non-priority in the eye care industry.

"It didn't exist. There was no mention of recycling plastic tops and glass vials," said Hudson, a co-owner of Harbor Eyecare Center in Portsmouth. "There was no thought at all to the excessive waste in packaging. I would say in the last few years there has been a greater awareness. The industry has come a long way and now companies are making concentrated efforts to become greener."

Harbor Eyecare Center represents the changing times for an optometry practice with an eye on sustainability. Since a comprehensive physical renovation of the practice in 2011, there have been major efficiency upgrades, a full-on recycling program and a focus on sourcing recycled or used office materials. Last year HEC moved directly into the green consumer arena by selling a line of frames from recycled materials.

Read more in Foster's.

Gas prices helping Exeter’s EZ Bikes

Apr 28, 2014

Published in Foster's Daily Democrat

By Michael McCord

EXETER — For the past few years, Tom Hemenway of EZ Bikes & Scooters in Exeter has offered curious customers a seemingly irresistible offer: “If you take a test ride and don’t have the time of your life and whoop and holler a little, I’ll give you $20.”

There has been an increase in whooping and hollering since Tom and Teresa Hemenway created EZ Bikes & Scooters in 2009 as an expansion of Autosounds of NH, their original auto electronics business. With gas prices continuing to rise along with a greater cultural embrace of alternative and much greener forms of transport, their scooters and electric bicycles offer a sensible and increasingly popular solution.

“They are a lot more popular in Europe and China and in states like California,” Tom said about electric bicycles. “They are still relatively new and people still don’t know a lot about them and what they are capable of. We have a lot of fun educating customers and once they take a test ride, they immediately have fun and feel their benefit.”

Read the full article in Foster's.

Ultra Geothermal finds savings underground

Apr 28, 2014

Published in Foster's Daily Democrat

BY HEIKKI PERRY

BARRINGTON — Although the technology is more expensive up front, geothermal energy’s down-the-road savings are unrivaled.

Depending on local geologic conditions, however, one method of harnessing geothermal energy can prove superior to the other, and that’s where Barrington-based Ultra Geothermal has made its mark.

Studies have showed geothermal energy to be four to five times as efficient as standard heating oil, making it one of the most long-term cost-efficient energy solutions anywhere. Adding to this outstanding efficiency, geothermal systems may save a homeowner 60 to 70 percent in heating costs, and 70 to 80 percent in cooling costs. When federal-sponsored tax incentives and interest-free loans are added to the mix, many price- and sustainability-conscious consumers opt for a geothermal system.

Read more in Foster's.

Environmental Film Festival Showcases Beauty of Nature, Positive Change

Apr 28, 2014

Published in the Portsmouth Patch

By Sam Ueda

It’s well known that properly maintaining forests and bodies of water are important to sustaining a healthy ecosystem, and New Hampshire is no exception. Sometimes, it takes a truly breathtaking panoramic nature shot on the big screen to inspire people to make a change. This year, a band of local businesses and nonprofits are hoping to inspire people with a series of selected films about preservation.

On April 25, The Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire will host their 4th annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival, one stop of many on the festival’s tour. The festival, taking place at The Music Hall, will feature 12 short films, ranging in length and style, hand-picked by the Southeast Land Trust committee.

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival is held every January in Nevada City, California. Now entering their 12th year, the fest has given hundreds of environmental activists and nature filmmakers a home to showcase their stunning camera skills, all with a different theme each year. This year, the theme of the national film festival is “emPOWERment,” focusing on films about people or organizations that have taken it upon themselves to make a positive change in the environment. Within that theme, the Southeast Land Trust has also taken on a curator’s role in their selections. 

Read more in the Portsmouth Patch.

The Lighting Center Offers Earth Day Deal for Green Alliance Members

Apr 23, 2014

Published in Seacoast Online

BY MADELAINE SWYMER

NEWINGTON — The Lighting Center at Rockingham Electric is a regional leader in home and commercial lighting products. It boasts a knowledgeable staff and large selection of indoor and outdoor lighting fixtures and accessories.The Lighting Center’s success could be attributed to its commitment of bringing the highest quality sustainable products to its customers.

“We won’t sell something that we wouldn’t use ourselves,” said Jim Pender, Owner of Rockingham Electric and The Lighting Center.

This company believes that it has a social responsibility to give its customers access to products that will save them money and also be gentle on the environment.

In that vein, The Lighting Center is offering a special promotion to Green Alliance members from Earth Day, April 22 – 27. Show your Green Alliance card with any purchase and receive a 2-Pack box of Bulbrite Eco Halogen Bulbs (retail value $4.99.) These light bulbs are an eco-friendly alternative to Incandescent bulbs. They are compliant with the Energy Independence & Security Act (EISA) and can be used for residential and commercial applications.

Read the full article on Seacoast Online.

900 Degrees Pizzeria Is Sustainably Delicious

Apr 21, 2014

Published in the Green Energy Times

By Tricia Dinkel

“Food snob” might sound like a pejorative term to most, but for Priscilla Lane-Rondeau, it’s nothing short of a badge of honor. Rondeau, owner of 900 Degrees Neopolitan Pizzeria in Manchester, New Hampshire credits growing up on a small “gentleman’s” farm – replete with carefully tended gardens, beloved livestock, and a distinctly do-it-yourself ethos – for her steadfast commitment to quality food, homespun comfort, and an ever-growing green ethos.

Located in one of Manchester’s historic old mills, 900 Degrees was launched in an effort to create pizza as they were originally conceived in Naples, Italy hundreds of years ago. The process is as familiar as it is timeless: using a wood-fired brick oven fired up to as high as 1200 degrees, the crew uses authentic, daily-made dough, fresh ingredients, and a cacophony of flavors local and exotic alike to create this classic dish the way it was originally intended. But that’s not all the restaurant offers. Other offerings at 900 Degrees such as soups and salads, pastas, appetizers and desserts are, like the restaurant’s famed pizzas, all made using local organic ingredients whenever possible.

Read the full story in G.E.T.

NhSolarGarden: A New Green Energy Dynamic

Apr 21, 2014

Published in the Green Energy Times

By Michael McCord

How do I get involved? It’s a question asked by consumers who want to use locally generated clean energy but can’t put a solar panel or array on their roof or in their backyard.

Andrew Kellar has started an innovative company that provides a distinctly New Hampshire answer to the question. Kellar is the founder of NhSolarGarden and he has high ambitions to transform the solar energy industry throughout the state. The plan is to create a decentralized and entrepreneurial approach that could have a dramatic multiplier impact on local economies, lead to greater land conservation and boost sustainable agriculture.

“The key to supporting a growing infrastructure and distributed solar generation across the state is to use the grid at a local level,” Kellar said.

Consumers can become members of NhSolarGarden at no cost and buy energy generated by the company’s solar placements. They will get bi-annual solar rebates while simultaneously supporting local farmers and landowners who lease their land for the solar installations.

Read the full story in the G.E.T.

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Colonial Stoneworks

Apr 21, 2014

Published in the Portsmouth Herald

Who: Colonial Stoneworks

What: Adam Bennett, a New Hampshire native, is a master craftsman who tackles stonework more as an artisan than a laborer. With a priority of working with the natural landscape of each project, Bennett seeks to create outdoor environments that build upon and complement the organic environment.

Focused on "green hardscaping," Bennett works with reclaimed and recycled stone to craft walkways, mailboxes, staircases and elegantly rustic fireplaces. Colonial deals mostly with granite and other natural stone, resources inherently greener than amalgamated materials such as concrete.

Where: 142 Castle Hill Road, Windham

Web: www.cswnh.com

Read the full profile on Seacoast Online.

The Lighting Center Offers Earth Day Deal for Green Alliance Members

Apr 21, 2014

Published in the Portsmouth Patch.

By Madelaine Swymer

NEWINGTON — The Lighting Center at Rockingham Electric is a regional leader in home and commercial lighting products. It boasts a knowledgeable staff and large selection of indoor and outdoor lighting fixtures and accessories.

The Lighting Center’s success could be attributed to its commitment of bringing the highest quality sustainable products to its customers.

“We won’t sell something that we wouldn’t use ourselves,” said Jim Pender, Owner of Rockingham Electric and The Lighting Center.

This company believes that it has a social responsibility to give its customers access to products that will save them money and also be gentle on the environment.

Read the full story in the Portsmouth Patch.

Environmental Film Festival Showcases Beauty of Nature, Positive Change

Apr 21, 2014

Published in Foster's Daily Democrat.

BY SAM UEDA

EXETER — It’s well known that properly maintaining forests and bodies of water are important to sustaining a healthy ecosystem, and New Hampshire is no exception. Sometimes, it takes a truly breathtaking panoramic nature shot on the big screen to inspire people to make a change. This year, a band of local businesses and nonprofits are hoping to inspire people with a series of selected films about preservation.

On April 25, The Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire will host their 4th annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival, one stop of many on the festival’s tour. The festival, taking place at The Music Hall in Portsmouth, will feature 12 short films, ranging in length and style, hand-picked by the Southeast Land Trust committee.

The national Wild & Scenic Film Festival is held every January in Nevada City, California. Now entering their 12th year, the fest has given hundreds of environmental activists and nature filmmakers a home to showcase their stunning camera skills, all with a different theme each year. This year, the theme of the national film festival is “emPOWERment,” focusing on films about people or organizations that have taken it upon themselves to make a positive change in the environment. Within that theme, the Southeast Land Trust has also taken on a curator’s role in their selections.

Read the full article in Foster's

Gateway Updates Studio Space With Focus on Sustainability

Apr 21, 2014

Published in Seacoast Online

BY PATRICK MARTIN

PORTSMOUTH – The centuries-old arts of taiji (tai chi), qigong (chee kung) and yoga are practiced by an ever-increasing number of people. Participants quickly catch on to the benefits they can derive from setting aside a portion of the day to relax and enjoy themselves. After only an hour you can leave feeling better, moving more freely and sensing a deeper energetic connection within. It just may be the best morning investment since the cup of coffee.

Bill Buckley was a strong advocate of these benefits when he opened Gateway Taiji, Qigong and Yoga back in October of 2012. He set out to provide his clientele with a warm and inviting judgment-free atmosphere – and he delivered. Gateway houses two large sunlit studios and an unusual array of classes that encourage people of all ages and skill sets to express themselves freely while exploring something new – or familiar.

However, Buckley wanted to create more than just a comfortable studio space in the former furnace oven room of the Button Factory on Islington St. He also wanted the space to be environmentally conscious. Buckley has taken it upon himself to invest in solar energy and more efficient lighting for a greener business.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online.

A Case of Mistaken Identity: Victoria’s Journey

Apr 21, 2014

Published in North Hampton, Exeter, and Portsmouth Patch sites

Mary Doane first encountered Victoria, a sweet, two year-old, black lab, through one of her South Carolina dog-rescue connections. Victoria was languishing in a southern kill-shelter. She'd tested positive for heart worm and her future looked grim. Doane, founder of Mary's Dogs Rescue and Adoption in Deerfield, NH took action to save Victoria's life.

Doane immediately got to work and started campaigning to raise money for the lovable, puppy-eyed dog. Doane reached out to the community by starting a financial campaign on FundRazr.com. She posted Victoria’s photograph and basic information next to a caption reading: “We can save her! This should NOT be a death sentence! It's not going to be!” Online contributors helped raise over $800 to help save Victoria.

Sadly, because of Victoria’s heart worm diagnosis, she needed a foster home outside of New Hampshire where she could heal and recover. New Hampshire has strict laws prohibiting heart worm positive dogs from entering the state until cleared. This restriction is one of many that potential pet adopters might not know about.

Read the full story in the Portsmouth Patch.

NHSPCA enjoys solar breakthrough

Apr 16, 2014

Published in the Exeter News-Letter

By Michael McCord

STRATHAM — When it comes to going green and saving money, thoughtful planning and research can lead to significant change.

Consider the case for the New Hampshire SPCA, the state's oldest animal protection and care facility, which decided in 2008 that it was time to deal seriously with rising costs of energy. And, according to SPCA director Lisa Dennison, it helped immensely when the organization found a strong partner in ReVision Energy.

In 2012, ReVision Energy designed and installed a solar hot water system alongside Froling wood pellet boilers. Dan Clapp, ReVision Energy's New Hampshire branch manager, said the installations have cut heating costs at the SPCA and slashed their costly year-round domestic hot water bill with the solar thermal system.

Read more in the Exeter News-Letter.

Ultra Geothermal Extends Warmth in Both Work and Community

Apr 16, 2014

Published in Portsmouth, Exeter, N. Hampton - Hampton, Salem Patch Sites

By Craig Robert Brown

Before becoming Ultra Geothermal in 2007, Ultra Heating and Cooling was just a conventional HVAC company that also happened to install geothermal systems. With over a decade of installations, Ultra, now a geothermal-exclusive company, has installed more than 750 systems in New Hampshire including one of UNH's dorm buildings with 48 rooms.

Owner Melissa Aho maintains that, while geothermal has certainly become more popular in recent years, the technology has always been – and in many ways remains – price indicative. That is: you often have to pay more up front in order to see greater savings down the road. “As a company, we feel customers come to you and want to pay for the best service and quality possible,” says Aho. “We felt the only way to achieve that was to focus solely on geothermal, in short because everything else – and especially oil – was becoming so volatile and unpredictable.”

Read more in the Portsmouth Patch.

Green Collar Careers: Julie Cole of Favorite Foods

Apr 16, 2014

Published in Seacoast Online

By Theresa Conn

SOMERSWORTH – Favorite Foods of Somersworth, New Hampshire is a leading regional food distributor. Largely serving local restaurants, Favorite Foods provides everything from groceries to paper and chemicals for their customers. VP of Merchandising Julie Cole, 41, believes that her company does a lot more than distribution. “What sets Favorite Foods apart is our commitment to the success our customers,” she explains. “By integrating sustainability into our business, we’ve added an additional layer of value and support for everyone we do business with.”

Theresa Conn (TC): What do you like most about your job?

Julie Cole (JC): Well, there’s a lot to like! I would say my favorite thing is the impact I can have at a daily basis at Favorite Foods. I interact with so many different people every day: customers, restaurant managers, manufacturers, and our own internal staff. Each interaction is an opportunity to help someone. Take, for example, our Spotlight series; we do promotional work for our customers. Every two weeks, we choose a local restaurant to highlight through radio, online, and print marketing. I love using my advertising skills to help out our clients.

Read the full interview on Seacoast Online.

Meet a green business: the Acorn School

Apr 16, 2014

Published in the Portsmouth Herald

Who: Acorn School

What: Launched in 1972, the Acorn School engages children's creativity by making the process of learning as fun as possible. The school uses its surroundings to help forge a curriculum and philosophy aimed at stirring within its students an appreciation for the natural world; including recycling, composting and keeping a healthy garden. Acorn has maintained a low student-to-teacher ratio to provide more one-on-one interaction, communication and personal growth. The result is a philosophy where the emphasis is "on the process, rather than the product."

Where: 136 Winnicut Road, P.O. Box 570, Stratham

On the Web: www.acornschoolnh.com

Read the full profile in the Portsmouth Herald.

Green Collar Careers - Robyn Giard, Naturopathic Physician at Starry Brook Natural Medicine

Apr 14, 2014

Published in The New Hampshire

By Theresa Conn

Robyn Giard, of Starry Brook Natural Medicine, is a leader in the rapidly expanding field of alternative and complementary natural medicine. Along with prescribing medications and ordering labs as a primary care physician, Giard offers her patients acupuncture, botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, counseling and homeopathy.

“When I meet with a patient, I consider more than just their symptoms,” Giard said. “I think about my patients in a holistic way. What is the root cause of their health issue? Could it be an emotional problem, or an environmental one? It’s important to think outside the box.” 

Theresa Conn (TC): What do you like most about your job?

Robyn Giard (RG): I love that I can make a difference in a patient’s quality of life. The old medical model of more drugs for health clearly doesn’t work. On top of making us dependent on pharmaceuticals, we now know it has an impact on our environment through urinary excretion of medications. Starry Brook Natural Medicine offers alternative methods for our patients to get well. I get really excited when patients realize they’re in charge of their own health, and they start to make their own, healthier changes.

Read the full interview in The New Hampshire.

Green Alliance Grows Businesses, Builds Community, Throws Parties

Apr 9, 2014

From SeacoastOnline
By Sam Udea

PORTSMOUTH – Most people will never actually meet the owners of the many businesses they interact with on a daily basis, small businesses included. Portsmouth’s Green Alliance is in the business of bringing businesses and consumers together.

“We want to strengthen our communities in tangible ways, and that means utilizing both virtual connections and helping to facilitate the building of real human relationships,” says Sarah Brown, Green Alliance director. “Every day, we’re growing the local green economy and helping business to succeed while staying environmentally conscious, and part of that success involves bringing our members and our Business Partners together, face-to-face.”

Read the full story on SeacoastOnline.

Taking Energy Efficiency to the Next Level

Apr 9, 2014

Published in the Portsmouth, Exeter, N. Hampton - Hampton, and Salem Patch Sites

BY MICHAEL McCORD

Since its founding in 2008, Yankee Thermal Imaging has worked to help residential and commercial customers reap maximum benefits from energy efficiency efforts. Chris Meyer, the founder and owner of the Rochester-based company, said Yankee Thermal has taken the next step, one born of experience helping customers save money by employing basic energy efficiency methods proven to work.

The Instant Savings Program, or ISP, was officially launched in early April, but a soft launch in March quickly drew almost 50 requests for energy audits. The approach is to combine an energy audit and a number of bundled energy efficiency practices that can be immediately put in place while saving money at the estimated rate of $500 or more a year.

Read the full story in the Portsmouth Patch.

Roommates Unwanted: Protecting Your Home from Carpenter Ants

Apr 9, 2014

Published in Seacoast Online, Portsmouth, Exeter, Hampton-N.Hampton, and Salem Patch sites

BY CRAIG ROBERT BROWN

ELIOT – Tom Pray is the Sherlock Holmes of the insect world. Instead of solving murder mysteries, he specializes in solving insect enigmas. He searches homes for clues: where are insects coming from? How much damage have they caused and what’s the best way to get rid of them? For Pray this is what makes the job exciting: every day is new and solving a customer’s problem is what brings him satisfaction.

April begins carpenter ant season here in New England, where ants are the most commonly reported pest. Tens of thousands of homes in New Hampshire are affected, causing millions of dollars of damage nationwide. Even seeing just one ant can mean an infestation. According to Pray, if there’s one there’s probably more. Lots more.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online.

Green Collar Careers Seth LaFlamme, D.C., Great Works Chiropractic

Apr 8, 2014

Published in Foster's Daily Democrat 

Great Works Chiropractic in South Berwick, Maine, offers a unique approach to health care. “At Great Works, we treat underlying problems, not just outward symptoms,” explains Seth LaFlamme, 36. Shying away from typical drug-based treatment, Laflamme uses traditional chiropractic methods to help his patients get well. With minimal waste production and a focus on sustainability, Great Works Chiropractic is a great example of how the health care industry can “go green.”

What do you like most about your job?

Conventional health providers mostly just work towards relieving a patient’s complaints, but at Great Works Chiropractic, we focus on neurostructural connection. The brain controls the body; it regulates the nervous system, muscles, organs — everything! It can be tempting to treat a symptom like back pain or headaches with drugs, but that doesn’t solve the underlying problem. Think of it this way: if your house was on fire, would you just pull the batteries out of the screaming smoke detector? No! You’d fix the big problem and be grateful that you were alerted to it in the first place. At our practice, we treat our patients based on the principle that if we can restore the integrity of the nervous system and its supporting structures, the body will do the healing itself. It’s amazing to hear a patient who has been struggling with pain for years say, “I didn’t know life could be this good.”

Read the full story in Foster's Daily Democrat 

Community Toolbox seeks volunteers, donations

Apr 8, 2014

Oct. 26, 2013

From SeacoastOnline

By Suzanne Laurent

PORTSMOUTH - Seeing a need in the community to help people with necessary home repairs they are unable to afford, Community Toolbox Inc. was founded by a small group of experienced nonprofit leaders.

Cheryl Van Allen is the executive director of the organization housed at 135 Mirona Road. The 4,500-square-foot space includes offices, a retail outlet and workshop.

Read the full article on SeacoastOnline!

Another Banner Year for Eco-Friendly Riverworks Printing

Apr 4, 2014

Published in Seacoast Online

BY HEIKKI (HERB) PERRY

GREENLAND — Together, Riverworks Printing founder Jeff Cutter and print manager Danis Chamberlin have greatly impacted the large-format print industry with their green thumbs. Riverworks began its journey with the idea that individual passions, like Cutter’s own for fly-fishing, should be displayed and stored in photo form. Wall Shotz were the original frame-able works of art that resulted. The environmentally friendly fabric was designed to reflect the hobbies of customers in a clear, eye-catching manner.

Cutter sells images printed on Riverworks eco-fabric to fly fishermen who engage in a catch-and-release sport, enlarging the photos and manufacturing them with an adhesive so that they can be put up on their walls. They are repositionable: You can pull it off the wall in one place and stick it to the wall somewhere else, still sticking after hundreds of moves. Riverworks transforms the average photograph into a life-like masterpiece.

Read the full story in Seacoast Online.

Green Alliance plans member bash April 10

Apr 4, 2014

Published in Foster's Daily Democrat

PORTSMOUTH — On April 10, Redhook Brewery will be hosting the next Green Alliance bash, where members can get to know each other, mingle with businesses, and most importantly listen to music in the company of like-minded residents and entrepreneurs.

Founder Sarah Brown said the event is a collaboration of many of its business partners: Redhook will bring the food and beer and provide the sweet location, Cuzin Richard Entertainment is providing the music, and Revolution Energy, The Green Cocoon, and NH Cleantech Council are pitching in to make the event happen and engage their prospective communities and clients.

Singer-songwriter AJ Edwards will put on a concert at the event. Also appearing is Portsmouth’s newest band, Humble Be.

The Green Alliance is a union of sustainable businesses and consumers, focused on strengthening the presence of the environmentally-conscious community in New England. Each business undergoes a rigorous sustainability audit and is given a score out of 10 based on their green initiatives. In an effort to strengthen trust between the business and the consumer, both documents are made publicly available on the Green Alliance’s website.

Read the full article in Foster's Daily Democrat.