News : March 2015

Yankee Thermal Imaging Supports Home Improvement with Incentive Program

Apr 1, 2015

Originally posted on Seacoast Online Blogs.

By Sam Ueda

As spring slowly makes an appearance, the thought of cold weather preparation is replaced by thoughts of flowerbeds and herb gardens. Yankee Thermal Imaging plans to help kick start their customers’ springtime home improvement dreams with a hefty incentive program.

This April, Yankee Thermal Imaging is offering a $250 Lowe’s gift card for any Green Alliance members who have weatherization and insulation completed within the month. A weatherization and insulation project delivers an airtight and efficient living area, by closing the building envelope. This decreases the amount of times a furnace needs to kick on, by keeping a more constant temperature and eliminating draft, thus saving the homeowner money.

Yankee Thermal Imaging (YTI) has one goal: to make the seacoast more efficient. Using state-of-the-art thermal cameras and a highly trained staff, YTI has improved the efficiency of scores of homes and buildings throughout the region. YTI prides itself on being a one-stop shop for all efficiency needs, from the diagnostic energy audit, to installation and weatherization.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online Blogs here.

One Warm Day

Mar 31, 2015

Originally published in Business NH Magazine. 

By Kristyn Lak Miller

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 7, children with higher exposure levels had IQ’s more than six points below children with lower exposure levels.

But there is an increasingly large consumer migration away from these types of products and services in favor of safer, more environmentally conscious alternatives.

“As a father to three children [ages 10, 14, and 15], this insight is infuriating,” says Gavin Barbour of Kittery, Maine. “Innocent children shouldn’t be harmed, possibly for life, by cleaning products. Parents need to take action. Use green cleaning products or professionals. My family uses Green Maids, and it’s comforting to know our clean house is honestly clean.”

To read the full story in Business NH Magazine, click here
 

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Integrated Fitness of Dover

Mar 30, 2015

Originally posted on Seacoast Online.

What: Owner, Jonathan Arnold took a financial risk when he started Integrated Fitness, a private fitness facility providing personal training and group exercise classes, in 2010. His goal was to help others take control of their health and lead a more sustainable lifestyle, by providing a comfortable atmosphere focused on whole-body wellness. During Integrated Fitness's first year, Arnold booked 20 to 30 client hours. Today, Integrated Fitness has seven instructors running 110 client hours each week.

The facility's popular Weight Loss Challenge classes, which are designed for beginners as well as for those preparing for fitness competitions, has helped clients lose a collective 4,000 lbs since Integrated Fitness's inception. Arnold believes that weight loss can be achieved naturally without the need for surgery. Additionally, Integrated Fitness has won four different team awards from fitness competitions in powerlifting and bodybuilding.

Part of the success of Integrated Fitness comes from strict, one-on-one sessions and classes that challenge Integrated Fitness' clients to change their habits and concentrate on their body's health. To lead these comprehensive, and sometimes rigorous, classes, Integrated Fitness's trainers are specially certified to help clients reach their individual health goals; from nutrition consulting and weight loss, to building muscle and becoming more active.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online here.

Green Collar Careers: Jenaly Technology Group President MJ Shoer

Mar 30, 2015

Originally published in The New Hampshire, in Foster's Daily Democrat and on Patch.

By Ken Johnson

Some argue that Information Technology uses too much of our resources with high electrical demand, endless toner cartridges and a nearly continuous use of unsustainable fossil fuels. But is that correct? MJ Shoer, the president of Jenaly Technology Group Inc., has proven time and time again that IT management can be as green as any other sustainable industry.

Shoer started Jenaly in 1997 as an IT firm that handles small to mid-sized businesses, primarily in New England, but the company is able to service clients around the world through Virtual System Administration services including infrastructure, monitoring and maintenance. Shoer also co-authored The Tech (Multiplier), a how-to book for businesses, and business owners, who want to stay up to date in today's ever-changing technological world.

“It's a world in which tech-savvy businesses must be nimble and able to adapt according to trends,” Shoer said.

Jenaly shines as a sustainable business amongst their peers and their clients. Jenaly offers remote support for client's systems to reduce gas consumption, effective document management to reduce paper waste, virtualization where one physical server powers multiple virtual servers, reducing electricity use, and Shoer is adamant about recycling e-waste, which prevents toxins from entering the waste stream. Jenaly also utilizes solid ink technology, a cartridge-free printing system that creates 90 percent less print waste than laser printers. Shoer is also an outspoken advocate of businesses preparedness against the adverse effects of climate change, specifically utilizing Cloud computing to mitigate risk of losing important information vital to a business's operations.

Read the full story in The New Hampshire, on page 7, on issuu.com here, Fosters.com here or Patch.com here!

One Warm Day

Mar 27, 2015

Published in New Hampshire Business Review

By Kristyn Lak Miller

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 7, children with higher exposure levels had IQ’s more than six points below children with lower exposure levels.

But there is an increasingly large consumer migration away from these types of products and services in favor of safer, more environmentally conscious alternatives.

Click here to read the full story on New Hampshire Business Review. 

For Building Owners Who Made Energy Efficient Upgrades 2014 Was a Good Year

Mar 26, 2015

Originally published on Seacoast Online. 

By Craig Robert Brown

HAMPTON FALLS – If you’re a business or apartment complex owner who made substantial energy efficiency upgrades to your property last year, you will be glad to learn 2014 was a good year for reducing your taxes. On December 16, 2014, Congress passed the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, which reinstated the Energy Policy Act of 2006. The reinstated act enables tax incentives for businesses and building owners for 2014. President Obama signed the bill when it was presented to him.

Congress passed the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, which reinstated the Energy Policy Act of 2006. The reinstated act enables tax incentives for businesses and building owners for 2014. TIPA reenacted

a 50 percent bonus depreciation for energy efficient commercial buildings, and energy deductions.
What does that mean for business owners? According to Jeff Hiatt of Performance Business Solutions, this could be a substantial benefit to your business.

The Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (TIPA) reenacted a 50 percent bonus depreciation for energy efficient commercial buildings, and energy deductions. This allows building owners to take up to $1.80 per square foot for efficiency upgrades they made during 2014. Apartment building owners could get up to a $2,000 per unit Federal Tax Credit.

Why was the Energy Policy Act ever “off the table?” It’s a puzzling question that started at its outset in 2006. At that time, the law stated that if a building owner made efficiency upgrades to buildings, he or she could take either a deduction or tax credit for having made that improvement to the building. That policy was in place until December 31, 2013 when it was supposed to “sunset,” or disappear. However, this past December, Congress decided to act as if the sunset never occurred and reenacted the policy.

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

Favorite Foods’ recipe for success

Mar 25, 2015

Originally posted on New Hampshire Business Review.

By Michael Mccord

Chris Barstow has a philosophy that has served his company well for more than a quarter-century: “If we help our customers do more business and become more profitable, then we will reap the benefits.”

Barstow is president and CEO of Favorite Foods, the Somersworth-based restaurant supply company that has carved a profitable niche in a highly competitive industry that includes giants such as Sysco, US Foods and Performance Food Group.

With annual revenue of about $37.5 million, the 53-employee revenue firm provides supplies to local, independent restaurants as well as some state prisons, military installations, private schools and food manufacturers.

Barstow, a Pennsylvania native, was working in Silicon Valley as a high-tech distributor for Texas Instruments when his brother, Jeff, founded the company. When he went on a Maine vacation to visit his brother, he was already at a career crossroads.

Read the fully story on New Hampshire Business Review here.

Green alliance: Will Lange defies age on ‘Windows to the Wild’

Mar 25, 2015

Originally published in The New Hampshire. 

By Mike Bizier 

Aside from UNH, Durham is also home to the only locally owned, state-wide public television station in New Hampshire: New Hampshire Public Television (NHPTV). NHPTV boasts a wide variety of educational and environmental themed programming including the award-winning program “Windows to the Wild.”

“Windows to the Wild” follows 80-year-old outdoor adventurer Willem Lange as he hikes, paddles, and climbs his way across New England. With a gray beard, years of experience and friendly demeanor, Lange is the embodiment of the classic American folk hero.

Born in Albany, New York in 1935, Lange was instilled with a strong sense of exploration and discovery from an early age.  

To read the full story in The New Hampshire, click here

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Progressive Asset Management Group

Mar 23, 2015

Originally posted on Seacoast Online.

What: Progressive Asset Management Group (PAM Group), the SRI division of Financial West Group, is a nationwide network of financial advisers who work with clients who are interested in having their wealth and investments follow their values. Locally, this group includes the firm's Seacoast branch in Newmarket, which opened in 1996 and is run by locals Hunter Brownlie and Mike Smith.

The PAM Group’s local financial advisers provide clients with environmentally and socially responsible investment strategies that include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, portfolio management, retirement planning, education funding and more; all with an eye on great returns and matching an investor's values with their financial portfolio.

One area in which PAM Group strives to educate clients, and the public, is on divesting from companies profiting off climate change, and reinvesting money into companies committed to reducing its negative impact. Financial advisers offer opportunities to invest in clean energy generation, energy efficiency, energy storage, agriculture, green building and more as a way to transition to a more sustainable economy.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online here.

Weather Change Can Impact Business

Mar 23, 2015

Originally published in the Portsmouth Herald and Seacoast Online.

By MJ Shoer

Last week, I had the pleasure of being part of a Weather Preparedness Forum held at the offices of The Green Alliance. Being concerned about sustainability and related environmental issues, the Green Alliance, together with the American Red Cross, the University of New Hampshire and my company, Jenaly Technology Group, hosted this important forum.

This winter is a great example of what the future may hold as a result of climate change. Even though this winter is considered to have been another warm one, our region saw some of the heaviest snowfalls we have seen in years. Despite the challenges of ice dams and high drifts, the region has come through the winter fairly well, all things considered. We did not suffer widespread power outages or roof collapses, despite several that did occur. Businesses specifically, seemed to come through better than several homes and apartment complexes from what I am hearing.

While we should be relieved, it should also be a very stark example that we need to be prepared for worse. We were lucky this winter, we may not be next, or during hurricane season. Just yesterday I saw a report that a melting glacier in Antarctica may cause an 11-foot rise in sea levels. That is very significant and could lead to considerable encroachment and not just at the shoreline. Water tables may rise, leading to flooding or weakening of underlying earth that could impact buildings and roads.

Rea the full story on Seacoast Online here.

Proulx Oil Expands into Manchester

Mar 19, 2015

Originally published on Portsmouth Patch.

By Michael McCord

Newmarket-based Proulx Oil & Propane has expanded its market share into central New Hampshire by acquiring a long-established Manchester company.

The acquisition in early February by Proulx Oil & Propane of J. A. Bourque & Sons came after discussions between the companies began in the fall of 2014. Proulx Oil & Propane President James Proulx said his company’s third acquisition is a strong one because both companies have established brand names and high marks for customer service. Additionally, both companies are family-owned with deep roots in the two regions.

According to Proulx the acquisition made sense both in brand and service, especially given his company’s work along the Route 101 corridor.

To read the full story on Portsmouth Patch, click here.  

Businesses Come Together at Weather Preparedness Forum

Mar 19, 2015

Originally published on Portsmouth Patch and Seacoast Online.

By Mike Bizier

PORTSMOUTH- If this past winter has taught us anything it’s that weather is getting more and more extreme. Last Thursday, the Green Alliance hosted Weathering Change, a business preparedness forum held at their office of 75 Congress St, Suite 304, uniting over 30 businesses to tackle the issue of resiliency in the face of harsh environmental conditions brought about by climate change.

The event was put into motion by Roger Stephenson from the New Hampshire Coastal Adaptation Workgroup, an organization aimed at educating the public on resources they can use in the event of an environmental disaster and Marsha Haines from the Vermont and New Hampshire branches of the American Red Cross. The two organizations collaborated with the Green Alliance which helped to tap in to its community of sustainable entrepreneurs and green-minded citizens.

The event itself began with a brief introduction by Stephenson followed bypresentations from various guest speakers. These speakers were from a wide range of business backgrounds including MJ Shoer of Jenaly Technology Group, Ray Dube from Coca Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England (CCNNE) and Clark James from the Smuttynose Brewing Company. Each of these unique guests brought a different perspective and approach to this very serious issue. 

Read the full story on Portsmouth Patch here.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online here

This Printing and Transportation Partnership Is Really Green

Mar 19, 2015

Originally published in Business NH Magazine. 

By Kristyn Lak Miller

Each day, roughly 1,785 people rely on COAST’s fleet of 24 buses and trolleys in Greenland to get where they’re going throughout the Seacoast region. And the Cooperative Alliance for Seacoast Transportation (COAST) works with RiverWorks Printing for much of its strategic, and sustainable, printing needs.

“As a sustainable transportation provider, it’s very meaningful for us to work with like-minded businesses that are focused on increasing the sustainability of their business operations,” says Rad Nichols, executive director for COAST. “RiverWorks is a reliable and professional partner. They’ve been very accommodating in meeting our unique printing and installation needs, and they stand behind their work, which has been of the highest quality.”

Greenland-based RiverWorks Printing was founded in 2009 and has worked on many projects with ATA (Alternate Transit Advertising), which focuses on exterior bus advertising aimed at helping raise money for 13 public transit systems throughout New England, including COAST. It was through ATA, that RiverWorks was introduced to COAST. Specializing in large-format commercial printing for its local and national clients, RiverWorks has forged a unique, green niche to provide a full suite of eco-friendly, sustainability-driven options, from biodegradable banners and recyclable posters to fully recyclable banner stands. 

To read the full story in Business NH Magazine, click here

Meet a Green Alliance business

Mar 18, 2015

Originally published on Seacoast Online. 

Who: Newmarket Dental

What: Referred to as "New Hampshire's Greenest Dentist," Dr. Nate Swanson, owner of Newmarket Dental, earned the distinction when he first designed his business to create as little waste as possible.

From there he began looking at the actual tools of the trade; the toothbrushes, floss, seat covers and other dental implements. He replaced traditional toothbrushes with 100 percent recyclable and bio-degradable ones (made from recycled Stonyfield yogurt cups); switched from plastic seat covers to corn-based slip covers; changed from conventional plastic cups to corn-based cups and switched to floss with a recyclable container. He also gave his offices a green renovation including: LED lighting, eco-wool upholstery, low or no-VOC paints, end and conference room tables made from a locally sourced, naturally felled maple tree, as well as countertops and cabinets from Corian, a longer-lasting material than wood or plastic. He also added motion-sensing LED lights, a recycled synthetic floor that looks like aged wooden boards and LEED-certified cabinetry in the examination rooms. Dr. Swanson exhaustively researched the products before incorporating them into his renovation to ensure they met his high eco-friendly standards. Newmarket Dental also uses digital records, X-rays and recently incorporated digital health histories, filled out by clients on an iPad, in lieu of paper.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online here.  

Tea Company Offers an Honest Alternative

Mar 18, 2015

Originally published on Portsmouth Patch.

By Mark Quirk

BEDFORD – For Seth Goldman, saving the environment and helping Americans become healthier has been a lifelong mission.

Goldman grew up in Massachusetts across the street from Paul Sabin, a childhood friend who became one of the nation’s most respected scholars of environmental history. While Sabin went into academia, Goldman pursued the entrepreneurial path when he launched a less sweet tasting alternative to the mass produced bottled beverages on the market.

That product is Honest® Tea, a hand-plucked organic and Fair Trade Certified bottled iced tea. Goldman made it part of his company’s mission statement to seek to create organic beverages using honesty, integrity and sustainable practices to produce a product that doesn’t sacrifice taste.

To read the full story on Portsmouth Patch, click here.

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

Mar 18, 2015

Originally published on Portsmouth Patch.

By Kristyn Lak Miller

PORTSMOUTH – “Keep Out of Reach of Children” is a familiar warning label found on most conventional cleaning products because of the harmful chemicals they contain. Yet keeping these common cleaners out of children’s reach may not be enough.

From laundry detergent to liquid cleaners for floors, sinks and stovetops, each is a hazard that can adversely effect the health of adults and especially children.

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 7, children with higher exposure levels had IQ’s more than six points below children with lower exposure levels. 

To read the full story on Portsmouth Patch, click here

Varying Temperatures Continue to Pose Ice Dam Threat

Mar 18, 2015

Originally published on Seacoast Online. 

By Mark Quirk

PORTSMOUTH – Proper insulation has taken on a whole new level of importance this winter. Not only has it been essential to keep the heat in and the cold out for comfort, but it has also been crucial to the safety of homeowners.

That’s because the roof of a properly insulated house is less likely to collapse, or leak, under the pressure of snow and ice dams. Ice dams form when an inordinate amount of heat escapes through the roof, a striking indication that the roof and attic are poorly insulated.

“As more snow continues to melt, the dam expands and the water backs up the roof to the point where it works under the shingles, past any ice and water shield that may have been installed when the roof was done. And voila, we get water into our homes, soaking insulation, sheetrock, wood and all other things that a roof is supposed to protect,” said Micum Davis, owner of Cornerstone Tree Care. 

Read the full story on Seacoast Online  here.

Will Lange Defies Age on Windows to the Wild

Mar 17, 2015

Originally published on Portsmouth Patch.com

By Mike Bizier

DURHAM – For many New Englanders, there is no greater joy than being in the outdoors. People of all ages from around the region feel an unbridled sense of freedom and inspiration while on the many mountains, trails, and waters scattered across the Northeast.

One man who enjoys sharing New England’s natural wonders with others is 80-year-old outdoor adventurer Willem Lange. As the host of the New Hampshire Public Television (NHPTV) program “Windows to the Wild,” Lange is a guide for viewers as he hikes, paddles, and climbs his way across this distinct region. With a gray beard, years of experience, and friendly demeanor, Lange is the embodiment of the classic American folk hero.

Born in Albany, New York in 1935, Lange was instilled with a strong sense of exploration and discovery from an early age.

“When I was eight, we moved to Syracuse, right on the edge of town,” Lange recalls. “In those days, beyond us was just green and woods and abandoned quarries; it was a young kid’s paradise. So I got outdoors a little bit, and then the neighbor across the street asked if I wanted to go to a Boy Scout meeting. I didn’t really much want to go, but he had a Model A Ford roadster, so I went,” Lange says.

Read the full story on Patch.com here.

Green Collar Careers: Colonial Stoneworks' Adam Bennett

Mar 16, 2015

Originally published in Foster's Daily Democrat.

By Ken Johnson

At just 30 years-old, Colonial Stoneworks owner, Adam Bennett, has established himself as an experienced, skilled stoneworker, creating works of beauty with nature through what he refers to as “green hardscape.” Bennett’s company utilizes natural stone, an inherently greener product than energy-intensive concrete, for their hardscape projects. Not only does natural stone look nicer than concrete, but the stone doesn’t degrade like concrete allowing for a beautiful hardscape that will remain for years.

Bennett tries to obtain as much of the materials used through local sourcing as possible. The granite used by the stone-working company is sourced from the former Milford, New Hampshire quarry and Bennett puts an emphasis on finding and using reclaimed materials, sourcing from new subdivisions and property owners, instead of allowing discarded materials to go to waste. Bennett will also obtain stone directly from customers property, if desired, for a greener option.

Bennett treats each job as a unique project; listening to the customers’ desires for the project and offering design consultation and assistance. More than just doing his job, Bennett also takes time to educate customers on the sustainability of natural stone and the sustainable benefits of utilizing locally-sourced stone.

Read the full story on Fosters.com here.

Winter Is Still Growing Season for Acorn School Students

Mar 12, 2015

Originally published on Seacoast Online. 

By Corey Lim

STRATHAM – Appreciating nature is about embracing all its variability. Especially in New England, it can be sunny and 45 degree one day, then snowy and freezing the next. Loving nature is wishing for the first elegant snowfall of the season, despite spending hours shoveling the driveway in the weeks to come. It is the excitement of seeing the smallest of flowers in bloom, regardless of spring calling to carrying an umbrella at all times. It is the summer sun wrapping you in a warm embrace, even though the beads of sweat are dripping faster than can be controlled. And although you have to pack away all your swimsuits, the irresistible crunch of stepping on leaves of orange, yellow, and red will surely compensate the goodbye of another season.

The pre-K and kindergarten children of Acorn School learn to connect with the environment at an early age, with each student being encouraged to enjoy the benefits that come with each different season.
During the prolonged winter months, it’s inevitable for students especially to get a case of cabin fever. However, wintertime is no exception when it comes to getting the students of Acorn School outside and enthusiastic about learning. A winter day at Acorn finds students and teachers sledding on a “magic carpet” or taking a walk down their nature trail to see what changes the cold weather has brought to the trees and animals.

The pre-K and kindergarten children of Acorn School learn to connect with the environment at an early age, with each student being encouraged to enjoy the benefits that come with each different season. Finding home in Stratham, N.H., the school has taken advantage of its beautiful surroundings to form a curriculum and philosophy that instills a sense of environmental appreciation in their students. The students of this unique school are exposed to their surroundings through nature-based learning. Much of the learning is done through the experience of being outside, whether it is composting, gardening, or visiting animals. In addition to the school’s initiatives on outdoor education, Acorn is highly committed to being an example of the three R’s – reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online here. 

Warmer Days and Colder Nights Pose Ice Dam Threats

Mar 12, 2015

Originally published on Portsmouth Patch. 

By Mark Quirk

PORTSMOUTH – Proper insulation has taken on a whole new level of importance this winter. Not only has it been essential to keep the heat in and the cold out for comfort, but it has also been crucial to the safety of homeowners.

That’s because the roof of a properly insulated house is less likely to collapse, or leak, under the pressure of snow and ice dams. Ice dams form when an inordinate amount of heat escapes through the roof, a striking indication that the roof and attic are poorly insulated.

“As more snow continues to melt, the dam expands and the water backs up the roof to the point where it works under the shingles, past any ice and water shield that may have been installed when the roof was done. And voila, we get water into our homes, soaking insulation, sheetrock, wood and all other things that a roof is supposed to protect,” said Micum Davis, owner of Cornerstone Tree Care.

Cornerstone is an environmental tree service company that also services ice dams during the winter and early-spring months using eco-friendly techniques.

“Many ice melt products are corrosive to pets, plants, concrete and grass,” said Davis. “Calcium magnesium acetate is one of the more environmentally-friendly products and it works above 20 degrees F. Magnesium chloride works at much lower temperatures, and is still less corrosive for plants than rock salt and other available products.”

Read the full story on Portsmouth Patch here. 

Seacoast Home & Garden Show Has a Green Focus

Mar 12, 2015

Originally published on Portsmouth Patch and Seacoast Online. 

By Mike Bizier

DURHAM, NH- With the snow finally melting and the last remnants of winter fading away, there’s no better time to prepare for outdoor activities. To celebrate the arrival of spring, the Whittemore Center at UNH will be hosting the 21st annual Seacoast Home & Garden Show Saturday, March 28th from 10:00- 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 29th from 10:00-4:00 p.m. Featuring a wide variety of activities and over 200 vendors showcasing the latest in remodeling, kitchen and bathroom, and outdoor landscaping products and services, the best part of the Seacoast Home & Garden show is that nearly a third of the vendors have sustainable goods or services on offer. 

 
At the Garden Marketplace, guests will find all the essentials they need to spruce up their garden including planters, seeds, and flowers. Churchill’s Garden Seminar series will also give out plenty of tips on garden maintenance. For those with an eye for the culinary arts, the Artisan Marketplace will offer unique specialty foods, while the TASTE Meet the Chefs Cooking Series will give visitors the opportunity to learn new recipes from some of the Seacoast region’s top chefs.
 
To read the full story on Portsmouth Patch, click here
 
To read the full story on Seacoast Online, click here

Local Group Proposes Ordinance on Single-Use Plastics

Mar 10, 2015

Originally published on Seacoast Online.

By Mike Bizier

PORTSMOUTH - On February 3 the New Hampshire chapter of the Surfrider Foundation’s Rise Above Plastics (RAP) coalition proposed a reduction of single-use plastic bags to the Portsmouth City Council. The ordinance, which aims at reducing plastics pollution, is currently awaiting votes before it is brought before the council for final ruling.

Formed in 1984, the Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit, nation-wide organization aimed at protecting the world’s oceans, waves, and beaches, The New Hampshire chapter was formed in 2007 and is involved in monthly beach clean-ups, removing anywhere from 50-90 pounds of trash from the shoreline. In March 2013, the New Hampshire chapter formed the RAP coalition with several groups and businesses including Green Alliance, Zero Waste Portsmouth, Seacoast Science Center, Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation, and The Gundalow Company. Both The Gundalow Company and the Blue Ocean Society are Business Partners with the Green Alliance, a union of businesses and consumers educating the public about the goods and services they use, and encourage more sustainable choices. The Green Alliance represents over 100 local green-leaning businesses and has put its weight behind the ordinance to reduce single-use plastic bags in Portsmouth and is using its bullhorn to educate and advocate around the issue.

The RAP committee, has made it their mission to pursue common sense solutions for reducing sources of plastic pollution in the marine environment. “Plastic pollution represents a great danger here on the seacoast,” says RAP committee member Kevin Lucey. “Plastic bags are not biodegradable, and plastic pollution in the ocean is not just a faraway problem. There are recent examples of sea animals dying from plastic bags and we believe that is unacceptable.” 

Read the full story on Seacoast Online here

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Performance Business Solutions, LLC

Mar 9, 2015

Originally published in The Portsmouth Herald.

WHAT: Performance Business Solutions is about saving green, and that includes saving the environment as much as saving money.

Since 1995, Jeff Hiatt has worked to help his clients reduce costs and save money by changing how they purchase different services for their business.  Having previously served on the board of directors for the New Hampshire chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, Hiatt focuses on vetting the sustainable proposals of solar installers, green power companies and deregulated energy supply to help his clients reduce their expenses.  In doing so, Hiatt is able to help small, mid-size and large companies grow their sustainability operations.

One way in which his clients go green is by upgrading their buildings with energy-efficient systems to reduce their carbon footprint and lower energy costs. With a comprehensive business model that includes researching and implementing tax credit eligible programs, utility company rebates, helping with LEED certification and reducing a client's reliance on fossil fuels through solar, wind and geothermal systems, PBS is a leading resource for businesses looking to become more environmentally conscious.

Read the full story in the March 9th edition of The Portsmouth Herald, available at newsstands near you.

Green Collar Careers: Colonial Stoneworks Owner, Adam Bennett

Mar 6, 2015

Originally published in The New Hampshire, on Patch Portsmouth, and on Patch Windham.

By Ken Johnson

At just 30 years old, Colonial Stoneworks owner Adam Bennett has established himself as an experienced, skilled stoneworker, creating works of beauty with nature through what he refers to as "green hardscape."  Bennett's company utilizes natural stone, an inherently greener product than energy intensive concrete for their hardscape projects.  Not only does natural stone look nicer than concrete, but the stone doesn't degrade like concrete allowing for a beautiful hardcape that will remain for years.

Bennett tries to obtain as much of the materials used through local sourcing as possible. The granite used by the stone-working company is sourced from the former Milford, New Hampshire quarry and Bennett puts an emphasis on finding and using reclaimed materials, sourcing from new subdivisions and property owners, instead of allowing discarded materials to go to waste.  Bennett will also obtain stone directly from a customer's property, if desired, for a greener option.

Bennett treats each job as a unique project, listening to customers' desires for the project and offering design consultation and assistance. More than just doing his job, Bennett also takes time to educate customers on the sustainability of natural stone and the sustainable benefits of utilizing locally sourced stone.

Read the full story in The New Hampshire, on page 14, on issuu.com here, on Patch Portsmouth here, or Patch Windham here!

Winter Is Still Growing Season for Acorn School Students

Mar 5, 2015

Originally posted on Portsmouth Patch.

By Corey Lim

STRATHAM – Appreciating nature is about embracing all its variability. Especially in New England, it can be sunny and 45 degrees one day, then snowy and freezing the next. Loving nature is wishing for the first elegant snowfall of the season, despite spending hours shoveling the driveway for weeks to come. It is the excitement of seeing the smallest of flowers in bloom, regardless of spring showers having you carry an umbrella at all times. It is the summer sun wrapping you in a warm embrace, even though the beads of sweat are dripping faster than can be controlled. And although you have to pack away all your swimsuits, the irresistible crunch of stepping on leaves of orange, yellow, and red will surely compensate the goodbye of another season.

With the winter still sending mounds of snow our way, it’s inevitable for students especially to get a case of cabin fever. However, wintertime is no exception when it comes to getting the students of Acorn School outside and enthusiastic about learning. A winter day at Acorn finds students and teachers sledding on a “magic carpet” or taking a walk down their nature trail to see what changes the cold weather has brought to the trees and animals.

The pre-K and kindergarten children of Acorn School learn to connect with the environment at an early age, with each student being encouraged to enjoy the benefits that come with each different season. Finding home in Stratham, N.H., the school has taken advantage of its beautiful surroundings to form a curriculum and philosophy that instills a sense of environmental appreciation in their students. The students of this unique school are exposed to their surroundings through nature-based learning. Much of the learning is done through the experience of being outside, whether it is composting, gardening, or visiting animals. In addition to the school’s initiatives on outdoor education, Acorn is highly committed to being an example of the three R’s – reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Read the full story on Portsmouth Patch here

Local Tech Company Does Its Part to Protect Digital Information

Mar 3, 2015

Originally published on Seacoast Online and Portsmouth Patch. 

By Mark Quirk

PORTSMOUTH – The recent snow storms in the Northeast should serve as a reminder that Mother Nature is a force to be reckoned with.

And while severe weather can cause serious damage to physical property, it’s just as dangerous to digital property. That’s why measures should be taken to protect both. Since 1997 Jenaly Technology Group, Inc., has helped individuals and businesses with the latter.

MJ Shoer, the company’s president and virtual chief technology officer, says changing weather patterns are becoming more unpredictable and more severe. Storms such as hurricane Sandy that walloped the New York City area and masses of snow, like what we’ve been experiencing here in New England this winter make the risk of impact on your IT infrastructure more possible.

These storms have caused power outages, and physical collapses, which could compromise information stored digitally on a computer or server. Companies and individuals need to prepare for these kinds of emergencies with plans for two things: disaster recovery and business continuity. Jenaly helps with both.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online here and Portsmouth Patch here

RGGI Supporters Keep Eye on N.H. Legistlature

Mar 3, 2015

Originally published in the Portsmouth Herald.

By Craig Robert Brown

CONCORD – A series of bills that would repeal the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and Renewable Portfolio Standard are going before the New Hampshire House and Senate.

The Republican-led committee on Feb. 5 voted to amend House Bill 208 presented by state Rep. Richard Barry, R-Merrimack, who originally brought the same concept to the table in 2011 and again in 2012. The amendment would keep New Hampshire in RGGI, but rebate all RGGI auction proceeds to ratepayers instead of using part of the rebates, as it currently does, to invest in low-income and municipal energy efficiency projects.

The first vote before the House was held Feb. 18, which resulted in a decision to stay in RGGI with a 201-154 vote to stop investing any funds in energy efficiency. The bill will still go before the Senate, where it could pass, before being presented to the governor.

"If it does [pass] there's going to be a real ramp down of all of these good programs, and New Hampshire is going to face another interruption in its market development," said Kate Epsen, executive director of the New Hampshire Sustainability Energy Association. "A lot of businesses will be harmed and a lot of jobs will be lost."

Read the full story in the Portsmouth Herald here

Weather Disasters Topic of Seminar

Mar 3, 2015

Originally published in the Portsmouth Herald and on Fosters.com

By Mark Quirk

PORTSMOUTH – The recent snow storms in the Northeast should serve as a reminder that Mother Nature is a force to be reckoned with.

And while severe weather can cause serious damage to physical property, it’s just as dangerous to digital property. That’s why measures should be taken to protect both. Since 1997 Jenaly Technology Group, Inc., has helped individuals and businesses with the latter.

MJ Shoer, the company’s president and virtual chief technology officer, says changing weather patterns are becoming more unpredictable and more severe. Companies and individuals need to prepare for these kinds of emergencies with plans for two things: disaster recovery and business continuity.

“It’s almost irresponsible not to have a plan in place,” Shoer said.

Shoer will be one of the speakers during a seminar on how climate change can impact business being sponsored by the Green Alliance, with which Jenaly is a Business Partner, on March 12. Other speakers include Marsha Haines of the American Red Cross and Roger Stephenson of the NH Coastal Adaptation Workgroup.

Read the full story in the Portsmouth Herald here and on Foster.com here

Meet a Green Alliance Business: NHSolarGarden

Mar 2, 2015

Originally posted on Seacoast Online.

Who: NHSolarGarden

What: Demand for locally sourced solar power has grown and NHSolarGarden, one of the first companies to promote group net metering, offers a solution that makes solar affordable for everyone.

Founded by Andrew Kellar, NHSolarGarden matches group members interested in purchasing solar power with land and property owners who act as hosts for solar arrays. NHSolarGarden develops a solar array to power one location, the host site, which shares its excess power with another location, like a residence, business or school, through existing utilities like N.H. Electric Coop, Unitil and Eversource Energy (formerly Public Service of New Hampshire). Groups made up of individuals also receive a host's excess energy when they join NHSolarGarden. Members get bi-annual Solar Rebates, equivalent to one cent per kWh off their current electric rate; essentially incurring no upfront costs to invest in local solar and in fact saving money off their regular electric bill. NHSolarGarden customers keep their same electric bill and enter into long-term plans with fixed-rate programs and never have to worry about rate changes.

By joining NHSolarGarden, group members support the development of clean, local power while bringing economic benefits to local farmers and landowners who lease their land for solar installations. NHSolarGarden will even build separate solar systems for greenhouses so farmers can grow crops year round while generating solar energy on their land. NHSolarGarden also installs arrays on structures including landfills, malls, self-storage facilities, mill buildings and warehouse rooftops and require as little as 7,000 square feet for a potential solar lease space. The company handles all development and equipment costs and any utility logistics. NHSolarGarden offers a novel avenue toward energy independence by allowing individuals to invest in locally generated solar power and reduce their electricity costs while doing so.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online here.

Local Companies Work Together to Better Seacoast, Planet

Mar 2, 2015

Originally published on Seacoast Online.

By Kristyn Lak Miller

GREENLAND – Each day, roughly 1,785 people rely on COAST’s fleet of 24 buses and trolleys to get where they’re going throughout the seacoast region. And the Cooperative Alliance for Seacoast Transportation (COAST) works with RiverWorks Printing for much of its strategic, and sustainable, printing needs. Working together since 2009, these two local businesses strive to save the planet while also saving seacoast residents money.

“As a sustainable transportation provider, it’s very meaningful for us to work with like-minded businesses that are focused on increasing the sustainability of their business operations,” says Rad Nichols, Executive Director for COAST. “RiverWorks is a reliable and professional partner. They’ve been very accommodating in meeting our unique printing and installation needs, and they stand behind their work, which has been of the highest quality.”

Greenland-based RiverWorks Printing was founded in 2009 and has worked on many projects with ATA (Alternate Transit Advertising), which focuses on exterior bus advertising aimed at helping raise money for thirteen public transit systems throughout New England, including COAST. It was through ATA, that RiverWorks was introduced to COAST. Specializing in large-format commercial printing for its local and national clients, RiverWorks has forged a unique, green niche to provide a full suite of eco-friendly, sustainability-driven options, from biodegradable banners and recyclable posters to fully recyclable banner stands.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online here.