News : December 2014

For Zev Yoga, Sustainability Extends Far Beyond Business Practices

Dec 30, 2014

Originally published on Seacoast Online.

By Katie Seraikas

ELIOT, Maine – For years, couple Jonas Zev and Amylyn Amberger have referred to themselves as “first generation farmers,” a term they based on their disproportional amount of farming experience after acquiring a plot of farm land in Eliot, Maine. Today, they are quick to point out that the “first generation farmers” label does not accurately describe who they are or what they envision for Shilo Farm’s future.

The Ambergers, owners of Zev Yoga Studio, admit to being not really farmers (though, after visiting their home and seeing the 6-acre lot filled with goats, chickens, bees, flowers and herbs, one would beg to differ), but rather stewards, with dreams of offering guests a glimpse into the peaceful rhythms of a working homestead. Part of that experience comes as Jonas and Amylyn ready to open their farm as a bed and breakfast this winter. The finished project will be unlike any B&B in the area.

“My personal philosophy is to live close to the land,” explained Jonas. “We purchased this thinking we would certainly use it for farming, but after walking the land we realized the property wanted to become more than just a homestead.”

Read the full story on Seacoast Online here.

If You Build an EV Charging Station, They Will Come

Dec 30, 2014

Originally published on Seacoast Online

By Michael McCord

According to 2013 figures from the Alternative Fuels Data Center by the U. S. Department of Energy, there are more than 20,600 public electric charging stations/outlets in the country. This is a dramatic leap from 2011 when there were only around 2,000 such outlets.

The recent addition of a free EV Charging station at Redhook Brewery in Portsmouth is a sign of the changing times. Located at Pease International Tradeport, the Redhook Brewery charging station was facilitated by a $3,000 rebate from PSNH, the largest utility in New Hampshire. PSNH has also established four other charging stations that are free and open to the public. The other sites are at the Elm Street Parking Garage in Nashua and at Antioch University in Keene with two locations soon to be announced. The Redhook site will be the only one on the Seacoast.

Alden Tansey of Kittery, Maine, attended the unveiling of the Redhook Brewery EV charging station in September. The retired engineer and his wife Daria began leasing a Ford C-Max Energi in July and said the growth of charging stations reflects market demand for electric cars and plug-in hybrids like his.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online here.

Blue Ocean Society Works to Protect Gulf of Maine

Dec 29, 2014

Originally Published in the Portsmouth Herald.

By Ali Plankey

HAMPTON – The Ocean is a vast mystery. Marine naturalists Jen Kennedy and Dianna Schulte watched as the ocean – which makes up 70 percent of the Earth - was polluted and littered, overfished, and slowly degraded, until they could no longer sit back and consciously let the destruction continue. In 2001, they set out to raise awareness about local ocean life. Kennedy and Schulte founded the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation and made it their own personal missions to protect marine mammals in the Gulf of Maine. With the power of education they have slowly, but steadily, increased research and conservation efforts in the Gulf of Maine.

“We wanted to start the Blue Ocean Society so we could produce our own data, and have an outreach component, really try to get that data to the public in as close to real time as possible,” says Kennedy.

Blue Ocean Society has become the missing puzzle piece for marine conservation and research on the northern East coast. Each year from May until October, Blue Ocean Society collects observational data on marine mammals from three to four commercial whale watching boats. These boats focus primarily around Jeffreys Ledge, a popular area in the Gulf of Maine for biodiversity as well as for fishing and recreation.

Read the full story here.

Meet a Green Alliance Business: MetalWave, Inc.

Dec 29, 2014

Originally published in the Portsmouth Herald.

Who: MetalWave, Inc.

What: With business offices in North Hampton and a full resource recovery and recycling center in Amesbury, Mass., MetalWave, Inc. services the greater Seacoast corridor for environmentally-friendly electronic and resource recycling. MetalWave provides commercial and residential customers, with a transparent, domestic and cost-effective downstream for end-of-life e-waste recycling. Their services ensure the complete erasure of personal data and full transparency in recovery and disposal, affording customers the security of knowing exactly where their e-waste goes.

MetalWave's recycling program keeps harmful contaminants, such as lead, mercury and flame retardants, from leeching into the soil and drinking water. To spread awareness, they host a variety of town-wide recycling events throughout the region. These events allow residents to safely dispose of e-waste, such as old IT products, printers, laptops, servers and PCs, smart phones, tablets and PDAs, televisions and land-line phones. MetalWave boasts responsible recycling certifications being both ISO and OSHAS certified as well as BAN e-Steward and R2 certified. Few recyclers have achieved all of these top-level certifications proving that the company is committed to the highest standards of security and sustainability with a process that requires knowledge, understanding and sensitivity toward every item recycled.

Read the full column on the Portsmouth Herald's website.

IT Recycling Company Finds Success at Portsmouth eCycling Event

Dec 24, 2014

Originally published on Patch.com and Seacoast Online

By Craig Robert Brown

As people make room for their new holiday tech gifts, such as smart phones, TVs, laptops, tablets and more, many dispose of their old, unwanted products in landfills. But MetalWave, Inc., an IT recycling company located in Amesbury, Mass., encourages the proper recycling and disposal of these products to avoid further environmental degradation. To encourage local residents to recycle their e-waste, MetalWave hosts and sponsors various town-wide recycling events in communities throughout the seacoast.

On September 29, MetalWave partnered with the Green Alliance, QA Cafe, Axis Business Solutions and Alpha Loft for a multi-town eCycling event at the QA Cafe office’s parking lot in Portsmouth. The event was designed to provide a space for businesses and individuals to safely recycle their old or broken IT equipment and personal computing devices such as laptops, tablets and smart-phones.

Read the full story on Patch.com or Seacoast Online.

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Hillary Gaynor is a 'green' Realtor

Dec 23, 2014

Published in Portsmouth Herald and Seacoast Online.

Who: Hillary Gaynor – EcoBroker; Realtor Green

What: Hillary Gaynor, a Realtor with Bean Group, was the New Hampshire Seacoast's first Realtor to receive Realtor Green certification, a designation she earned through the National Association of Realtors.

At the time of her ground-breaking certification, Gaynor was one of only 230 Green Realtors nationwide.

Gaynor is also a certified LEED AP and EcoBroker. Impressive credentials aside, it's the knowledge of green building, energy-efficient upgrades, tax incentives and specializing in green properties that sets Gaynor apart from traditional Realtors. Gaynor stays up-to-date on the latest trends and innovations in green home building. When meeting with potential buyers, Gaynor educates them on different technologies and improvements would-be homeowners can make to a property so that it is economically and environmentally friendly. This includes informing buyers about the benefits of energy audits and the cost savings of green upgrades. She also uses electronic signatures on closing documents.

Read the full story on Seacoastonline.com

Environmental Diaper Service Company Expands to All Laundry

Dec 19, 2014

Published on Patch.

By Patrick Haigis

Green Earth Baby Works has established a reputation as an alternative to plastic-based disposable diapers. They take your used cloth diapers, clean them, and return them good as new. For years, they have been successful as an environmentally friendly cleaning service. Now, by popular demand, Green Earth Baby Works is expanding to offer linen and laundry service to local environmentally conscious commercial enterprises.

Read the whole story on Patch.

Green Collar Careers: Green Maids Owner, Johnmark O’Brien

Dec 18, 2014

Published on Patch.

By Anna Murphy

Johnmark O’Brien, owner of Green Maids, has been cleaning up grime since 2009. O’Brien started his green cleaning company with the mission to keep harmful chemicals out of the community and local environment's waste-stream. It was a mission O'Brien embarked upon while a college student. Based in York Harbor, Maine, Green Maids now services the New Hampshire seacoast as well as southern Maine.

Gift-Giving ROI: It Pays to Think Outside the (Holiday) Box by Shopping Local and Green This Holiday Season.

Dec 18, 2014

Published on Patch.com

By Kristyn Lak Miller

PORTSMOUTH — Giving a gift is an investment in a relationship, buying that gift locally is an investment in community, and making sure it’s a green gift is an investment in the future.

“Supporting local, green businesses offers tremendous ROI,” says Sarah Brown, Director of Green Alliance. According to a Civic Economics study, independent retailers return 52-percent of revenue to the local economy compared to 14-percent for big-box retailers; in addition, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance says local stores help sustain a vibrant, walkable town center—as opposed to big-box retailers that often reside on the edge of town—and are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution.

“Beyond economic and environmental benefits, shopping local cultivates community connections,” says Brown. “There’s really nothing like a shopkeeper greeting you by name, asking about your family, being more than just a fleeting face at the cash register.”

Read the full story on Patch.com.

25 Leaders for the Future Revisited

Dec 17, 2014

Published in Business NH Magazine

By Anne Saunders

Andrew Kellar's "green" biodiesel gas station that originally labeled him on this list is no more, and his research and development projects with the University of NH hsut down as the economy stalled after 2009. But Kellar, a serial entrepreneur, coutinues to push forward innovative environmental business models in the state.

Simple Green Biofuels was sold to his equity partners, who in turn sold it to a larger competitor. He sold the Green Alliance, an organization he co-founded that promotes and creates marketing opportunities for green businesses, to executive director and partner, Sarah Brown.

Read the full story in Business NH Magazine.

Is Wind Energy for the Birds?

Dec 17, 2014

Published in Green Energy Times

By Patrick Martin

On Jan. 29, New Hampshire wind energy advocates, including Portsmouth wind energy firm Eolian Renewable Energy LLC, dodged a bullet. The N.H. House of Representatives struck down a bill that would have placed a moratorium on wind development in the state. This would have been a major blow to New Hampshire’s progression towards brighter future in renewable energy.

Having temporarily dispatched of this more looming issue, it may be time to correct a misconception that has detracted so much support from the alternative energy source. Groups opposed to wind farm development often cite the droves of unlucky dead birds littering the ground beneath turbines. However, grim statistics thrown at wind energy proponents may not be entirely forthcoming.

Read the full article on Green Energy Times.

Gift-Giving ROI: It Pays to Think Outside the (Holiday) Box by Shopping Local and Green

Dec 16, 2014

Published on Seacoast Online

By Kristyn Lak Miller

PORTSMOUTH — Giving a gift is an investment in a relationship, buying that gift locally is an investment in community, and making sure it’s a green gift is an investment in the future.

“Supporting local, green businesses offers tremendous ROI,” says Sarah Brown, Director of Green Alliance. According to a Civic Economics study, independent retailers return 52-percent of revenue to the local economy compared to 14-percent for big-box retailers; in addition, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance says local stores help sustain a vibrant, walkable town center—as opposed to big-box retailers that often reside on the edge of town—and are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution.

“Beyond economic and environmental benefits, shopping local cultivates community connections,” says Brown. “There’s really nothing like a shopkeeper greeting you by name, asking about your family, being more than just a fleeting face at the cash register.”

Read the full story on Seacoast Online.

Bedford senior living facility benefits from improved heating efficiency

Dec 16, 2014

Published in the Union Leader

ByCassidy Swanson

BEDFORD — A local retirement community has taken steps to lower costs for its residents by improving energy efficiency in winter months.

“It helps to build the brand of Briston Manor,” said Sarah Brown, owner and director of the Green Alliance, a Portsmouth-based group that promotes environmentally minded businesses. “That absolutely will come back in (return on investment) in terms of them having happy residents, and more residents wanting to (move in).”

Briston Manor West, located at 37 Ridgewood Road in Bedford, has 70 one- and two-bedroom apartments for independent seniors. Built in 1985, the units were not constructed with the quality of insulation used in homes built today, particularly 46 units which include attics.

Click here to read the full story in the Union Leader.

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Marcom4

Dec 16, 2014

Published in the Portsmouth Herald and Seacoast Online

Who: Marcom4

What: Marcom4 is a strategic branding, messaging and content marketing company with sustainability at the forefront of its business model. The small firm relies on years of experience in the marketing industry to achieve one goal: help clients conceptualize, develop and implement branding and messaging strategies to suit their business needs.
An estimated 75 percent of Marcom4's clients work within the green business sector, from renewable energy to public transportation. Marcom4 also partners with local nonprofits, including the Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN), on a pro-bono basis. In house, Marcom4 uses digital media and filing throughout the office encouraging their clients to do the same. When working with print media, Marcom4 sources its materials from local, sustainable printing companies. Marcom4's staff often works and conducts meetings remotely to reduce its carbon footprint.

Where: 10 Alden Ave., Greenland

Read the full story in the Portsmouth Herald and on Seacoast Online.

A Financial Approach to Sustainability

Dec 12, 2014

Published in Peabody Patch

By Michael McCord

Jeff Hiatt believes that when it comes to sustainability, helping a business stabilize its expenses often can go hand-in-hand with environmental stewardship.

Hiatt is the founder of Performance Business Solutions. From their offices in Hampton Falls, PBS serves clients both locally and nationally. Through the firm’s multi-phase consulting approach, they have helped hundreds of clients save millions of dollars since 1995. The firm uses rigorous expense reviews and energy efficiency programs that can add to a company’s bottom line.

Read the full story on Peabody Patch

Local Painting Company Leads Green Revolution

Dec 12, 2014

Published on Portsmouth Patch and Seacoast Online

By Mark Quirk

PORTSMOUTH - During the infancy of the American colonies, a grassroots militia calling themselves the Minutemen spearheaded the American Revolution and fought for the change that lead to the formation of the United States. Today, Sean Sturk and Chris Tufts lead a revolution of their own on the same soil those colonial men and women did centuries ago, even borrowing the revolutionist’s name.

Tufts and Sturk are the owners of Minute Men Painters, a green painting company ushering in a revolution in the industry with environmentally-friendly paints and lacquers for their residential and commercial projects. Minute Men Painters use latex-based, waterborne paints and lacquers, a change from the oil-based paints commonly used in homes. However their biggest obstacle isn’t the size of the project, but people’s resistance to change. That’s why Tufts said part of the Minute Men process is to educate their customers to the advantages of waterborne products.

Read the full story on Portsmouth Patch or Seacoast Online

An Insulation Boom: Homeowners Turn to Spray Foam Insulation to Save on Seasonal Energy Costs

Dec 12, 2014

Published on Seacoast Online

By Michael McCord

A Durham family got a pleasant surprise this past summer following the installation of spray foam insulation in their home.

“We expected to see a heat reduction this winter but we won’t know just how much for a while,” says Jeanne Wishengrad. “One thing we didn’t expect though was the impressive cooling effects of this insulation in the summer months. We were very pleased that the house, especially the second floor, has been significantly cooler this summer.”

Read the full story on Seacoast Online

Practical, Provident and Posh: Right-sized Homes Combine Sustainability with Beauty

Dec 11, 2014

Published on Patch.com

By Heikki (Herb) Perry

PORTSMOUTH —Deb Regan, a Laurel Court resident, lived two blocks away on Mangrove Street when she first happened upon her future neighborhood. She had become intrigued by the construction of what was described as a “high-performance” subdivision.

She took a tour of the Laurel Court model home when it opened in March 2012 and came away impressed. But it was when she took a formal tour of the home with a Realtor that she experienced an epiphany. The agent noticed an immediate change in Regan’s visage as she entered the home. “What’s the matter?” the Realtor inquired of Regan. “You look like you’re in pain.”

“Yes,” said Regan, acknowledging the change but confessing a different cause: “I really like it,” she said about the house. She moved into 72 Laurel Court, the third home completed in the development, in September 2012. She is glad she did.

Read the full story on Patch.com.

Local Company Helps Independent Restaurants, and Their Customers, Avoid a Landfill Legacy

Dec 9, 2014

Published on Patch.com

By Kristyn Lak Miller

SOMERSWORTH — Leftovers from a restaurant dinner last only a few days in the refrigerator, yet the take-out container they’re in might last lifetimes in the landfill. Not if Favorite Foods has anything to do with it.

Founded nearly 30 years ago, community-based, environmentally-responsible Favorite Foods is fully committed to sustainable, local, and ethical food services. The family-owned company serves independent restaurants throughout New Hampshire and along the Maine seacoast, supplying each with quality products and innovative solutions. Part of the Favorite Foods mission is to enhance the communities it serves—one way is by educating restaurants on the benefits of using compostable products, and encouraging the switch from conventional paper or Styrofoam.

“We started offering compostable products six years ago, and we now stock compostable trash bag liners, cutlery, several sizes of hot drinking cups and cold drinking cups, cup lids, drinking straws, soup containers, various sizes of plates, and take-out containers,” said Kelly Donohue, of Favorite Foods. “Over the years, it’s become easier to find these types of products, and the costs have gotten much better. We use vendors that give us the best value. Products are starting to be made in the USA—we’ve even gotten some from Maine.”

Read the full story on Patch.com.

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Ultra Geothermal Inc.

Dec 9, 2014

Published in the Portsmouth Herald and on Seacoast Online

Who: Ultra Geothermal Inc.

What: Ultra Geothermal owner Melissa Aho says geothermal's popularity has risen over the years despite its initial upfront cost. With more than a decade of installations, Ultra has proven that customer savings outweigh those costs. Ultra has installed more than 750 systems in New Hampshire alone, including a University of New Hampshire dorm building with 52 operating geothermal units.

Geothermal is one of the cleanest and most efficient renewable energy technologies available, delivering heating and cooling that is up to five times as efficient as that provided by standard fuel oil. While certainly complex, the systems require very little maintenance and, once installed, can have a life expectancy of up to 40 years.

Ultra offers educational one-on-one appointments that showcase an operating geothermal system at its office in Barrington. Ultra Geothermal installations always achieve Energy Star Standards or higher, and all heat pumps are certified. Aho has participated in LEED certification programs through the Jordan Institute and is a member of the Build Green N.H. In 2011, Ultra was one of six New Hampshire businesses to receive New Hampshire Business Magazine's Lean & Green Award.

Read the full story in the Portsmouth Herald or on Seacoast Online.

Green Collar Careers: Cornerstone Tree Care Owner Micum Davis

Dec 9, 2014

Published on Patch

By Anna Murphy

Some equate Micum Davis, owner of Cornerstone Tree Care, to the Lorax. Much like Dr. Suess’s lovable character, Davis always does what is best for the environment and the trees with which he works. At 38, Davis has already amassed a wealth of knowledge in the proper techniques to service trees and maintain their long-term health.

Because every tree has a unique form, Davis studies their basic structure before making his first move. From limbs interfering with power lines, trees blocking roads and walkways to injuries and property damage, trees can cause serious and life-threatening problems. Pruning eliminates existing hazards while preemptive work – removing dead or weak limbs - can help prevent damage during storms. In order to protect the trees from damage during pruning, Davis and his employees use a system of rope knots and belays to scale the trees without damaging the bark or using spikes in what he refers to as an "aerial circus act."

Practical, Provident and Posh: Right-sized Homes Combine Sustainability with Beauty

Dec 4, 2014

Published on Seacoast Online

By Heikki (Herb) Perry

PORTSMOUTH —Deb Regan, a Laurel Court resident, lived two blocks away on Mangrove Street when she first happened upon her future neighborhood. She had become intrigued by the construction of what was described as a “high-performance” subdivision.

She took a tour of the Laurel Court model home when it opened in March 2012 and came away impressed. But it was when she took a formal tour of the home with a Realtor that she experienced an epiphany. The agent noticed an immediate change in Regan’s visage as she entered the home. “What’s the matter?” the Realtor inquired of Regan. “You look like you’re in pain.”

“Yes,” said Regan, acknowledging the change but confessing a different cause: “I really like it,” she said about the house. She moved into 72 Laurel Court, the third home completed in the development, in September 2012. She is glad she did.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online.

Out on a Limb

Dec 2, 2014

Published in Seacoast Online and Patch

By Barbara Perkins

Micum Davis has been shinnying up trees for more than seventeen years. A certified arborist, the 38-year-old describes his line of work as ‘aerial yoga meets circus act’. It definitely offers a jaw-dropping perspective, says Davis. And there’s an artistic element as well. Each tree is like a canvas to Davis, Cornerstone Tree Care’s founder. Because every tree has a unique form, Davis studies their basic structure before making his first move.

Trees can cause serious and life-threatening problems; limbs interfering with power lines, trees blocking roads and walkways, injuries and property damage are just a few. Pruning eliminates existing hazards while preemptive work – removing dead or weak limbs, can stave off potential damage from storms. A tree care job well done, turns out a better tree – safer, healthier and good looking.

Avoiding A Landfill Legacy

Dec 2, 2014

Published in the Portsmouth Herald and on Seacoast Online and on Fosters

By Kristyn Lak Miller

SOMERSWORTH — Leftovers from a restaurant dinner last only a few days in the refrigerator, yet the take-out container they’re in might last lifetimes in the landfill. Not if Favorite Foods has anything to do with it.

Founded nearly 30 years ago, community-based, environmentally-responsible Favorite Foods is fully committed to sustainable, local, and ethical food services. The family-owned company serves independent restaurants throughout New Hampshire and along the Maine seacoast, supplying each with quality products and innovative solutions. Part of Favorite Foods’ mission is to enhance the communities it serves — one way is by educating restaurants on the benefits of using compostable products, and encouraging the switch from conventional paper or Styrofoam.

“We started offering compostable products six years ago, and we now stock compostable trash bag liners, cutlery, several sizes of hot drinking cups and cold drinking cups, cup lids, drinking straws, soup containers, various sizes of plates, and take-out containers,” said Kelly Donohue of Favorite Foods. “Over the years, it’s become easier to find these types of products, and the costs have gotten much better. We use vendors that give us the best value. Products are starting to be made in the USA. We’ve even gotten some from Maine.”

Read the full story in the Portsmouth Herald, Seacoast Online or on Fosters.

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Two Ceres Street

Dec 2, 2014

Published in the Portsmouth Herald and on Seacoast Online

Who: Two Ceres Street

What:
Two Ceres Street owners Marlisa Geroulo and John Golumb, use their business as an extension of their own sustainable lifestyle. The martini bar and restaurant was originally created via an extensive renovation, which incorporated as many eco-friendly and sustainable options as possible. Kieri board, a material made from wound discarded sorghum straw, was used for the paneling of the bar. Tabletops and shelving were made from PaperStone, a composite material created from 100 percent recycled paper and resin. Geroulo and Golumb also added LED lighting throughout the restaurant, Energy Star appliances and reclaimed materials, like Forest Stewardship Council certified tree stumps for seating and a fireplace made of scrap wood from Moran towing, the neighboring tugboat company. Two Ceres' floor is made from recycled plastic milk bottles and the restaurant has an extensive composting program for food waste. Adjacent to Two Ceres, and also owned by Geroulo and Golumb, is Poco's Bow Street Cantina, with its popular decks now with natural gas fueled outdoor heaters for chilly nights overlooking the river. Both restaurants boast many local and natural ingredients.

Where: 2 Ceres St., Portsmouth

Read the full story in the Portsmouth Herald or on Seacoast Online.

Green Collar Careers: Dawn Price

Dec 2, 2014

Published in Foster's Daily Democrat and on Fosters.com

By Anna Murphy

PORTSMOUTH- Dawn Price is the proud owner of The Natural Dog and Holistic Cat, a pet store and self-proclaimed education center boasting all-natural, holistic and green products.

Price goes out of her way to thoroughly research merchandise and ensures each product stocked is the best available. At Natural Dog, consumers have the option to choose from a variety of green, all-natural products, including bamboo and hemp collars, lead-free bowls, beds and toys made from recycled materials, natural shampoos, biodegradable waste bags, snacks, biscuits, herbal and whole food supplements, flower essences, and more.

A Registered Dietitian, Price is adamant about the importance of species specific foods and proper pet nutrition.

Read the full story in Foster's or on Fosters.com.

Proulx Oil & Propane Receives Energi Award

Dec 2, 2014

Published on Fosters.com

NEWMARKET — Proulx Oil & Propane has received Energi’s 2014 Excellence in Risk Management Award for being a leader in the implementation of Energi safety and risk management programs.

Energi, a leading provider of Insurance and Risk Management Programs to the energy industry, recognized Proulx Oil & Propane as being the “Best of the Best” within the energy industry at the annual Energi Risk Management & Insurance Summit in San Antonio, Texas on October 9. Receiving the award for Proulx was Tom Proulx, vice president and CFO.

Proulx Oil & Propane’s focused commitment to safety, implementation of risk management best practices, and willingness to learn and apply new safety techniques have enabled them to set a future standard of excellence amongst industry peers.

Read the full story on Fosters.com.