News : May 2015

Top 5 Tips to Clean Up Snow-Damaged Landscaping and Prepare for Summer

May 27, 2015

Originally published in Portsmouth Herald, Foster's, and Seacoast Online.

By Kristyn Lak Miller

This was a rough winter for many around the Seacoast, including area trees and shrubs.

“As a result of the winter we just had, with such heavy snow loads, we’re seeing an enormous amount of tree and shrub damage,” said Ben Woods, Project Manager for Site Structures Landscape, Inc., an eco-friendly, community-minded landscape resource based in Eliot, Maine. “And this type of damage requires unique actions.”

Woods shares Site Structures’ Top 5 Tips for landscaping clean-up after a very snowy winter:

1. PRUNE RIGHT: Prune broken tree branches back to a healthy bud or where one branch attaches to another;

2. PRUNE CLEAN: When pruning, make each cut a clean cut—when you do, the branch will heal faster and is less susceptible to insects or diseases;

3. PRUNE AGGRESSIVELY, WHEN APPROPRIATE: When plants like spirea or inkberry holly sustain heavy damage, they need to be pruned far back (they will flush back out as they grow);

4. PRUNE NOW: The sooner you prune winter-damaged branches the better—exceptions include plants about to flower or plants that are currently flowering, like forsythia or lilacs (in the case of flowering plants, wait for the blooms to finish and then prune); and

5. REMEMBER THE MULCH: Apply a light coating of new mulch to your landscaping—not only does it smell wonderful, but it has many benefits, like helping with weed suppression and moisture retention.

Read the full story in Portsmouth Herald, Foster's, and Seacoast Online.

Downtown Portsmouth Establishment is up for Sale!

May 27, 2015

Originally published in Seacoast Online.

After nearly 35 years of providing local and world-class aromas to its visitors, downtown Portsmouth establishment, Prelude, is up for sale. The stores history follows three like-minded owners all with unique takes on the stores direction, which has collectively produced the charming establishment it is today. The shop currently carries an array of locally made bath, body and gifts items.

Current owner of Prelude, Holly Landgarten, has been working at the shop for nearly 26 years. Her humble beginnings began with stocking shelves and manning the register to the current position she is now in. Landgarten’s passion for running a sustainably sound business has attracted many customers longing for quality soaps, lotions, and jewelry (along with other local products). However, Landgarten shows an appeal for importing fine products from many countries around the world. The braid of local and global products creates the perfect hybrid for a customer to find the perfect item within a single store. Landgarten exclusively carries products with ingredients that promote good health and ideal results for those who visit her store. Since the store has built itself a reputation as a sustainable business, Landgarten hopes to sell the establishment to a buyer that shares the same goal of providing their local community with sustainable and organic products.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online.

 

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Isle of Shoals Steamship Company

May 27, 2015

Originally publsihed in the Portsmouth Herald.

With its iconic white 340 passenger vessel M/V Thomas Laighton leading the way, the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company has taken passengers down the Piscataqua River and out to the Isles of Shoals for decades. Each summer, the company offers seasonal daily tours of the Seacoast, and its isles, as well as evening events featuring live music, drinks and food.
Founded by Arnold Whitaker in 1962 as Viking Cruises, today the company is owned and operated by Capt. Jeremy Bell and Capt. Jerod Blanchette. With the addition of a second vessel, the M/V Celia Thaxter in 2014, Bell and Blanchette have made sustainability an integral part of their fleets' design and daily operations. 

Recently, the larger, three-deck Thomas Laighton, underwent a full sustainability renovation. All interior lighting was replaced with high-efficiency LEDs that use less mercury and lead than traditional lighting; the new carpet was made from recycled materials and the new ceiling tiles, ceiling grid, and carpet are recyclable. A stainless steel railing system was installed to replace the old railing system, which will last the life of the vessel, and eliminates the need for the epoxy-based paint that was necessary to maintain the old rails. Half of all the demolition waste was either reused, recycled or donated. Both of the vessels also run on a bio-diesel fuel blend from a local supplier and their engine oil waste is recycled.

To read the full story in the Portsmouth Herald, click here.

 

Green Collar Careers: EcoSound Builders

May 27, 2015

Originally published in Business NH Magazine.

By Ken Johnson

When Peter Robie first met Ethan Korpi back in 2004, they shared a vision to build structures using sustainable and efficient methods made them bond instantly. Both Robie and Korpi were also trained in building and carpentry. They then created a division of Eco Sound Builders on the seacoast in 2008, an offshoot of the original business founded by Korpi and his father, Roger, in the Lakes and White Mountain region of New Hampshire.

The goal of Eco Sound Builders' is to build quality homes and buildings that are durable and sustainable throughout NH. Wood used for each project is sourced from Forest Stewardship Council and Sustainable Forestry Initiative certified forests. In addition, super-efficient insulation is used, and the subcontractors Robie works with specialize in using non-toxic paints and source their materials locally whenever possible.

Read the full the full story in Business NH Magazine, click here.

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

May 20, 2015

Originally published on Seacoast Online.

By Kristyn Lak Miller

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

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

Meet a Green Alliance Business: New Hampshire the Beautiful

May 19, 2015

Originally published in the Portsmouth Herald

What: Composed of a team of grocers and beverage companies, New Hampshire the Beautiful (NHtB) came together to expand recycling efforts across the state. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit has poured millions of dollars into helping towns and cities clean up litter and expand their recycling programs, and has made landmark achievements in making New Hampshire more environmentally friendly.

For small towns, the biggest hindrance to a successful recycling program is the lack of startup money. NHtB organizes fundraising efforts to cover startup costs for materials such as plastic recycling bins, cardboard balers, glass crushers, storage containers, and just about anything else a town might need to start its recycling program.

In addition, NHtB's popular "Blue Bag" program provides plastic bags to towns and nonprofit groups to organize town and highway litter cleanup efforts. NHtB will also design, build and install signs at transfer stations to help residents sort their recycling.

NHtB recently began a collaboration with the Northeast Resource Recovery Association, an organization that provides networking and educational opportunities about recycling and sustainability, to further their outreach. NHtB is supported by members of the N.H. Soft Drink Association, the Beverage Distributors of New Hampshire Association and the New Hampshire Grocers Association.

Read the full story in the Portsmouth Herald here. 

The Bottom Line of Sustainability

May 18, 2015

Originally published in NH Business Review.

By Michael McCord

For Jeff Hiatt, environmental stewardship is as simple as helping businesses, both big and small, stabilize their energy expenses.

Since 1995, Hiatt, founder of Performance Business Solutions in Hampton Falls, estimates he has helped hundreds of clients save millions of dollars through the firm’s multi-phase consulting approach. His time-tested analysis formula matches rigorous expense reviews and energy efficiency programs that can add to a company’s bottom line.

“I enjoy the dual positive of making an impact on the environment and the economy,” Hiatt said. “By implementing green solutions and green tools, my clients will use less energy, and that helps their bottom line. It helps sustain the future of the company.”

 New Hampshire is not the most robust state for green energy projects, especially when compared to its neighbors. With fewer tax incentives, Hiatt said New Hampshire’s solar programs leave little to be desired.

“Utilities in New Hampshire have a much more limited budget for implementation of green energy technology than other states like Massachusetts,” he said.

Read the full story on NH Business Review here.

Bike to Work with EZ Bikes and Scooters

May 18, 2015

Originally published on Patch.

By John Brescia

EXETER – The heat and sunlight are on the rise, but so are the gas prices. It’s a simple equation of supply and demand: greater gas consumption creates higher gas prices. But in this month there is a solution to alleviate the burden of increasing gas prices. May is National Bike Month, a time meant to encourage commuters to embrace the mild weather in order to utilize bicycles and other forms of cheap, non-polluting transportation to get to and from work and other nearby locations.

This week also happens to mark Bike to Work week; over half of the U.S. population lives within five miles of where they work, making a biking a viable mode of transportation. However, 51 percent of Americans say they never ride bikes. In fact, 12 percent of the population living in the northeast say they don’t even know how to ride bikes.

But Tom and Teresa Hemenway want to change those numbers. This husband and wife duo are the owners of EZ Bikes and Scooters, an Exeter-based business that sells electric bikes and scooters. Before opening EZ Bikes, the Hemenways ran Autosounds of NH, an auto electronics company. They were inspired to expand into bike sales shortly after discovered he had diabetes in 2009. He said the disease was due to his inactivity and poor diet. Tom’s complacency about his health was so extensive that his physician dropped him as a patient, causing Tom to realize he needed to alter his course in life. So he stopped smoking, quit drinking, and improved his diet. But after trying and failing to exercise on his son’s 21-speed bike, Tom noted how difficult it would be for an inactive person to suddenly begin an active lifestyle.

Read the full story on Patch.com here!

Celebrate Bike to Work Week with EZ Bikes and Scooters

May 15, 2015

Originally published on Seacoast Online.

By John Brescia

EXETER – The heat and sunlight are on the rise, but so are the gas prices. It’s a simple equation of supply and demand: greater gas consumption creates higher gas prices. But in this month there is a solution to alleviate the burden of increasing gas prices. May is National Bike Month, a time meant to encourage commuters to embrace the mild weather in order to utilize bicycles and other forms of cheap, non-polluting transportation to get to and from work and other nearby locations.

This week also happens to mark Bike to Work week; over half of the U.S. population lives within five miles of where they work, making a biking a viable mode of transportation. However, 51 percent of Americans say they never ride bikes. In fact, 12 percent of the population living in the northeast say they don’t even know how to ride bikes.

But Tom and Teresa Hemenway want to change those numbers. This husband and wife duo are the owners of EZ Bikes and Scooters, an Exeter-based business that sells electric bikes and scooters. Before opening EZ Bikes, the Hemenways ran Autosounds of NH, an auto electronics company. They were inspired to expand into bike sales shortly after discovered he had diabetes in 2009. He said the disease was due to his inactivity and poor diet. Tom’s complacency about his health was so extensive that his physician dropped him as a patient, causing Tom to realize he needed to alter his course in life. So he stopped smoking, quit drinking, and improved his diet. But after trying and failing to exercise on his son’s 21-speed bike, Tom noted how difficult it would be for an inactive person to suddenly begin an active lifestyle.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online here!

Warming Up to Winter

May 13, 2015

Originally published in Coastal Home Magazine. 

By Jim Cavan

Winter is almost here. Rest assured that your furnace will soon be running full tilt, and a refill probably isn't much farther down the snowy road. 

Given the dread that many people on the Seacoast feel with the arrival of Old Man Winter, one cannot help but wonder if there is a better way to fill the tank- one that is efficient, clean and doesn't require cutting big checks with every visit of the oil truck.

Not only is there a better way, there are plenty of them. In the last few years, the Seacoast has asserted itself as a hotbed of home heating options that are cheaper, cleaner and as reliable as oil. Whether we choose biofuel harvested from America's heartland, wood pellets from logs felled in New England forests or innovative insulation techniques, this is an opportune time for Seacoast residents to look at heating alternatives.

Read the full story in Coastal Home here

Pest Control, Naturally

May 13, 2015

Originally published in Coastal Home Magazine.

By Jim Cavan.

Chances are you have had this experience: It's the first truly warm day of the year- late March, let's say- and you have just gotten back from an unseasonably balmy park walk or seashore picnic. You walk through the front door, take off your shoes, head to the kitchen to start preparing the night's dinner, and happen upon a trail of slowly moving black specks on the counter.

Carpnenter ants. Dozens of them- and these are just the ones in plain view. In New England, carpenter ant infestation constitutes one of the most common pest problems affecting some tens of thousands of households in New Hampshire alone and causing millions of dollars worth of damage nationwide. While there is no shortage of professional exterminators capable of eliminating these destructive critters, rarely does the process take on a collaborative air that touts a more efficient use of the tools of the trade.

Read the full story in Coastal Home here.

Fighting the Holi-daze

May 13, 2015

Originally published in the Coastal Home Magazine in the Autumn 2013 edition. 

BY JIM CAVAN

You spent weeks planning Thanksgiving Dinner--ordered the free-range turkey, stocked up a bevy of local libations, put your own well-honed spin on all the fixin's--and now, it's over. With the faint din of football droning in the distance, you dry the last dish, grab your glass of merlot, and head to a living room filled with laughter and loved ones. Scanning the room to take in the smiling faces, the family, and friends, you forget for a second the untold hours and near diasters that made it all possible.

Then, just as you feel yourself beginning to relax, a harsh reminder jolts the brain: I have to start shopping tomorrow. 

Between pies and presents, five-course meals, and family visits, the holidays have long been a source of as much stress as cheer, and as many headaches as heartwarming moments. According to a 2006 study conducted by the American Psychological Association, a whopping 68 percent of those polled claimed to experience some level of stress "often or sometimes." Meanwhile, 38 percent said their level of stress increased noticeably during the holiday season, while only eight percent cited a decrease in stress. 

Read the full story in Coastal Home online here.

Granite State of Mind

May 13, 2015

Published in Coastal Home

By Jim Cavan

Few nicknames resonate with more authority than the Granite State, that steadfast New Hampshire moniker that serves as a reflection of the state's people as much as it does the endless bounty of rock below.

During the nineteenth century, New Hampshire boasted one of the country's largest -- if not the largest -- granite industries in the country. Even today, the town of Milford, still known colloquially as "Granite Town," houses a now-defunct quarry made famous for its part in helping construct the US Treasury Building, whose New Hampshire stone pillars can still be seen on the back of the ten dollar bill.

While the granite mining industry has since largely fallen by the wayside, one New Hampshire company is determined to make sure that both the narratives of a people's resourcefulness and of a proud state's namesake continue to thrive.

Read the full story in Coastal Home here.

Thinking Small Gets Big Gains

May 13, 2015

Originally published in Coastal Home Magazine.

By Herb Perry

One growing family's desire to downsize their home proves that, even in our materialstic, wasteful society, we can aspire to live simpler, smaller, more sustainable and - yes - richer lives.

Last summer, the Cinilia family - Marla, Mike, and toddler Bodhi- defied convention by moving to a 1,150-square-foot home on Gerrish Island in  Kittery Point, Maine, from their 1,600-square-foot Portsmouth abode. Their new home sits 200 yards from the Atlantic Ocean, near wooded conservation areas, and utilizes the latest in green technology.

The Cinilias' plan for the Kittery property had builder Jeff Stacy, Little Green Homes (LGH) co-founder, taken aback. 

Proposed Antrim Wind Farm Agrees to Additional Land Conservation Funding

May 12, 2015

Originally published on SeacoastOnline.

ANTRIM – Antrim Wind Energy LLC (“AWE”) has reached an agreement with the New England Forestry Foundation (“NEFF”) to advance conservation in southwestern New Hampshire. The agreement specifies that if AWE’s planned 28.8 MW wind farm in Antrim, New Hampshire gains all necessary approvals and proceeds to construction, AWE will make a payment of $100,000 to NEFF to permanently conserve valuable working forest land in southern New Hampshire. This payment and the resulting land conservation will be in addition to the 908 acres of contiguous forestland that the project has already conserved in the vicinity of the wind project. The additional offsite conservation accomplished through this agreement will make a valuable contribution to conservation interests in the region, and will enhance and sustain the region’s aesthetic character, wildlife habitat, working landscape, and public use and enjoyment.

The project will permanently preserve 800 acres of land and create enough emissions-free energy to serve approximately 13,500 average-sized New Hampshire homes per year while reducing CO2 emissions by almost 60,000 tons per year.

Read the full story on SeacoastOnline here.

Landscaper pitches in to help shelter

May 12, 2015

Originally published in the Portsmouth Herald.

PORTSMOUTH — When the people at the Cross Roads House decided to hire Site Structures Landscape, Inc. during their renovations five years ago they probably had no idea what they were going to get for their money.

They paid Site Structures to do the original work, but since then the Eliot, Maine company has been maintaining the grounds free of charge and last week it was there for an annual makeover.

“We're very, very appreciative of the support we receive from Site Structures,” said Martha Stone, executive director at Cross Roads House. “We've had the privilege of working with them ever since they did our renovations five years ago.”

Site Structures donated 20 cubic yards of mulch last Wednesday and three workers throughout the week to help spread it, do general grounds clean-up, pruning and weeding. The local landscaping company also donated equipment and gardening supplies for both their workers doing the landscaping and for volunteers from Liberty Mutual who were helping to spruce up the Portsmouth family shelter both inside and out.

Read the full story on the Portsmouth Herald here.

Raising Suicide Awareness Through Fitness Competition

May 12, 2015

Originally published on Fosters.com.

DOVER — While most were lying in bed enjoying a lazy Saturday morning, friends and patrons of Integrated Fitness in Dover tested their body’s work capacity with various competitions.

From deadlifting, a mile race, to push-up competitions, all of it was tiring just to watch. But it was not just an event for testing physical capabilities; the event was raising awareness about suicide and preventative options.

Ashley Johnston took her own life two years ago in this coming June, and her family is doing their best to make sure that others don’t have to go through what they did.

“We want to try and help other families,” said Margie Johnston, Ashley’s mother. “We want to provide support.”

Margie and her family linked up with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to put on the fitness event. The goal of events like these is not only to key people into the signs linked to suicide so an intervention can take place, but also remove the stigma associated with the disease that causes it.

Read the fully story on Fosters.com here.

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Coastal Home Magazine

May 12, 2015

Originally published in Portsmouth Herald and SeacoastOnline.

Coastal Home magazine was born from the ashes of Accent Magazine, the Seacoast's first home and garden publication of its kind. When Coastal Home launched in 2010, it picked up where Accent left off, bringing the style, elegance, and design of homes and gardens in coastal New Hampshire, southern Maine, and the North Shore of Massachusetts to its readers.

But publisher Keith Lemerise, who successfully launched Taste of the Seacoast magazine in 2003, knew that Coastal Home could be much more than another glossy magazine with stunning photography. Lemerise, along with editor Penny O'Sullivan, shaped the magazine to take an inside look into the latest in home and garden trends, styles, and, perhaps most notably, green tips and green-related stories from across the industry.

It was important to Lemerise that his print publication be committed to environmental stewardship and offset its carbon footprint. To achieve this, he has Cummings Printing — a local, Forest Stewardship Council printer — produce each issue of Coastal Home on recycled, post-consumer paper. The magazine is printed with eco-friendly soy-based ink, which degrades more completely than petroleum-based ink and is easier to remove during the process of paper recycling. Coastal Home devotes a portion of its editorial content to eco-focused stories. This special section, known as Green Sense, covers homes and companies that are sustainable through energy-efficient upgrades, environmentally focused landscaping, using reclaimed materials for building projects, and more.

Read the full story on SeacoastOnline here.

Hit the (Eco-Friendly) Decks

May 12, 2015

Originally published on Portsmouth Patch and Seacoast Online.

By Kristyn Lak Miller

PORTSMOUTH – A sure sign that Old Man Winter has finally abandoned the seacoast is when the outdoor decks and al fresco patios of local restaurants reopen for the season. To many, the sight of restaurant-goers enjoying an outdoor meal is a delicious sign that summer is not far away. In celebration of outdoor dining and drinking, the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce is hosting its annual Hit the Decks event on May 8.

“There’s nothing quite like enjoying dinner and drinks while being caught up in a view that’s purely Portsmouth,” says John Golumb, co-owner of Poco’s Bow Street Cantina and Two Ceres Street. Poco’s outdoor deck in downtown Portsmouth faces the Piscataqua River, and offers guests a right-there view of many local landmarks, from the fleet of tugboats to area bridges.

Poco’s downstairs lounge, Two Ceres Street, throws open its river-facing NanaWall window in season, so its guests can also savor the delights of calm breezes and toast-worthy views.

Close by, The Portsmouth Brewery’s outdoor beer garden has an intimate atmosphere, surrounded by tall brick walls and rooftops, and open to the sky above, with lantern-lit tables and hanging white lights for nocturnal ambiance. “For many, discovering our beer garden is like being let in on a truly terrific secret,” says JT Thompson, official Minister of Propaganda for The Portsmouth Brewery and Smuttynose Brewery. “It’s a really special place to spend some time.”

Read the full story on Patch here, and Seacoast Online here. 

Local Business Pitching in to Help Shelter

May 7, 2015

Originally published on the Patch and Fosters.

PORTSMOUTH – When the people at the Cross Roads House decided to hire Site Structures Landscape, Inc. during their renovations five years ago they probably had no idea what they were going to get for their money.

They paid Site Structures to do the original work, but since then the company, based in Eliot, Maine, has been maintaining the grounds free of charge and this week they’re there for an annual makeover.

“We’re very, very appreciative of the support we receive from Site Structures,” said Martha Stone, executive director at Cross Roads House. “We’ve had the privilege of working with them ever since they did our renovations five years ago.”

Site Structures is donating 20 cubic yards of mulch on Wednesday and three workers there to help spread it. They will have two workers there on Thursday and volunteers from Liberty Mutual will be there both days.

Read the full story on the Patch here and Fosters here.

Local Brewery Offers Unique Venue and One-of-a-kind Events

May 6, 2015

Originally published on Seacoast Online.

By Mark Quirk

Spring marks the beginning of wedding and festival season, and the Seacoast is replete with different locations for newly joined couples to host their reception on “the big day,” The region also offers concert-goers spectacular outdoor venues. But one Portsmouth location promises event guests they won’t run out of beer or food: Redhook Brewery.

Located at Pease International Tradeport, Redhook’s function facilities offer space, food and drinks for wedding receptions and different events all year long. Whether it be for a reception, rehearsal, trade show or concert, Redhook meets the demands of its guests. It’s a different take on the more traditional rental hall that has proven successful.

“It’s pretty popular,” said Ryan Fleming, the banquet manager at Redhook. “I think it’s a really unique venue to have an event.”

Located on-site at the brewery, the venue features two indoor spaces and one seasonal outdoor area that accommodate between 50-250 people. During late spring through early fall, Redhook encloses part of its outdoor facilities, the Outdoor Beer Garden & Patio and The Brewery’s Backyard, to accommodate concerts and festivals, like its annual Hookfest.

Read the rest of the story on Seacoast Online here!

No run-of-the-mill restorations here

May 5, 2015

Originally published in The Portsmouth Herald

DOVER — Eric Chinburg, owner and founder of Chinburg Properties, has a passion for historic mills.

In 1996, Chinburg purchased his first mill at 1001 Islington Street in Portsmouth. Nearly 20 years later, Chinburg has a dozen other mill developments under his belt. These include the Cocheco, Picker House, and Washington Street Mills in Dover; the Canal Street Mill in Somersworth; the Exeter Mill and the Newmarket Mill.

Also part of Chinburg's mill empire are the former Frank Jones Brewery on Jewell Street in Portsmouth, the Beacon Street West Mill in Laconia, the River Walk and Briggs Mills in Amesbury, Mass., Mill #4 in Saco, Maine, and soon the Essex Street Mill in Haverhill, Mass.

“I love the structures … and the history,” Chinburg said during a recent interview. “I like that they are part of the fabric of a community. There are lots of things about them that are compelling to me."

Read the full story in The Portsmouth Herald here.

Local company helps businesses go paperless

May 5, 2015

Originally published in The Portsmouth Herald and in The New Hampshire

ROCHESTER – Every business has a paper document, or series of forms, based on each of its needs. Annually, businesses spend billions of dollars on paper, plus the money for printing, postage, copying and storage.

The United States consumes nearly 30 percent of the world’s paper.

Rochester-based SnAPPii creates apps that ease a business's reliance on paper documents for invoicing, project management, and health and safety inspection. With an easy DIY app creation system, and an on-call service for premium accounts, SnAPPii is helping local businesses go paperless. And with the My PDF Form Manager, SnAPPii is able to directly upload existing PDF documents to Apple and Android products without losing valuable information.

“There’s not a business on the planet that doesn’t have a form, and we noticed that the bulk of the time we spent was actually recreating forms they already have,” SnAPPii owner Alex Bakman said. “I kind of looked at that and said, ‘Well, why can’t we use their existing forms?’ If we could do that, then we could go from zero to 60 in three seconds.”

Read the full story in The Portsmouth Herald here and in The New Hampshire here.

Green Collar Careers: Eco Sound Builders Co-Owner, Peter Robie

May 4, 2015

Originally published on Patch.com.

By Ken Johnson

When Peter Robie first met Ethan Korpi back in 2004, their shared vision to build structures utilizing sustainable and efficient methods made them bond instantly. Both Robie and Korpi shared a background of being highly trained in building and carpentry. They created a southern division of Eco Sound Builders on the seacoast in 2008, an offshoot of the original business founded by Korpi and his father, Roger, in the Lakes and White Mountain region of New Hampshire.

The goal of Eco Sound Builders’ two divisions is to build quality homes and buildings that are durable and sustainable throughout New Hampshire. Wood used for each project is sourced from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certified forests, super-efficient insulation is used, and the subcontractors Robie works with specialize in using non-toxic paints and source their materials locally whenever possible. Working with sustainable technology, and building materials, is something Robie has specialized in since earning degrees in Civil Technology and Environmental Conservation.

Student apartments save, in more ways than one, with geothermal

May 4, 2015

Originally published on Patch.com

From the outside, the Rivers Edge Apartments, an off-campus student apartment building located on Main Street in downtown Durham, looks like other similar residences. However, the apartment building, on the north west side of the University of New Hampshire's campus is vastly different from other student apartments; Rivers Edge Apartments was the first campus building, and in Durham, to utilizes geothermal system technology for heating and cooling. It's an alternative energy source that provides the familiar comfort of traditional heating and cooling systems, according to Melissa Aho, president of Ultra Geothermal, Inc.

“Geothermal heating and cooling systems – also called geoexchange or ground-source heat pumps – provide all-season comfort by tapping the energy that is naturally stored in the earth,” Aho said. “This energy isn't just renewable: it's constant. Conventional furnaces burn fossil fuels, depleting precious resources and polluting the air. A geothermal system draws the earth's natural warmth into the home, through the use of a geothermal ground source heat pump.”

Jeff White, the original owner of Rivers Edge Apartments and general contractor for the apartment complex, decided he wanted the building to have a geothermal system, due to the green nature of geothermal and rising fuel costs.

“I really liked the idea of it being a green product itself,” White said. “I thought that would go over well with UNH and the college kids that were going to rent from me.”

Read the full story on Patch.com here!

Green Collar Careers: Progressive Asset Management Investment Adviser Mike Smith

May 4, 2015

Originally published in Fosters and on Patch.com.

By Ken Johnson

Robert F. Kennedy once said that, “The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better.” These words ring true at Progressive Asset Management Group (PAM Group) the socially responsible investment division of Financial West Group, a company working to make a difference through socially responsible investing. For many, the idea of being sustainable is limited to recycling, using biofuel for home heating, buying an eco-friendly vehicle and participating in environmental events, like neighborhood clean-ups. But few people know that they can also go green by making their investments (IRAs, individual accounts, 401Ks etc.), socially and environmentally responsible as well through a firm like the PAM Group.

One of the PAM Group’s core beliefs is that companies which don’t follow socially and environmentally responsible practices have a greater overall potential for liabilities and hidden costs which are eventually passed on to their investors. But companies which manage pollution, which have an eye towards being energy efficient, which treat their employees well, are better managed than those which don’t address these factors. And better managed companies in turn tend to outperform.

The local PAM Group office was first opened in Newmarket in 1996 by Hunter Brownlie, who was later joined by Mike Smith in 2007. Smith and Brownlie are Investment Adviser Representatives with the PAM Group, providing clients with options to purchase socially and environmentally sustainable investments including: stocks, bonds, mutual funds, as well as offering portfolio management, retirement planning, education funding options, and more. They also offer “community investment notes,” which revitalize low-to-middle income areas after economic shifts.

Read the full story on Fosters.com here or Patch.com here!

Green Collar Careers: Green Alliance Director, Sarah Brown

May 4, 2015

Originally published on Patch.com.

By Ken Johnson

Efforts to become a more green and sustainable culture proliferate the news these days, but often that information is lost amongst the headlines. Though political coverage of climate change and rampant ecological disasters make the front page, seldom were stories about companies incorporating greener business practices given top-billing. Sarah Brown noticed this lack of attention in the media and decided that it had to change if communities were going to become more sustainable. In response, Brown established the Green Alliance, an environmentally-conscious business union, that raises the awareness of sustainably-minded businesses and helps connect them with green-minded consumers.

“We decided from day one that we wanted an outlet for people, whether they were business owners or consumers, to put their money where their values were,” Brown said. “And we wanted people to realize that going green didn’t have to mean going broke; that going green could actually save you a little of it too and for businesses it could increase their profits.”

Brown, who has worked for CNN at the New York bureau, NBC as a Moscow bureau assignment desk editor, and for Associated Press TV as a Moscow bureau producer, started The Green Alliance in the living room of her Kittery, Maine, home in 2009. When it started, The Green Alliance had two Business Partners, Simply Green Biofuels and Purely Organic Lawn Care. Now, the Green Alliance, headquartered in Portsmouth’s historic Franklin Block Building, boasts upward of 100 Business Partners and nearly 4,000 individual community members.

Read the full story on Patch.com here!

Housing project proposed on Moose lodge land

May 1, 2015

Originally posted on Seacoast Online and the Portsmouth Herald.

PORTSMOUTH — Chinburg Development LLC is working on a project to put 10 single-family homes on land owned by the Loyal Order of Moose Lodge.

The proposal, according to documents filed in Portsmouth City Hall, calls for the residential development to be located at 1163 Sagamore Avenue.

The lot size of the homes being proposed for the site range anywhere from a low of 3,120 square feet to a high of 3,940 square feet, according to a copy of the plans filed in the City Planning Office.

The proposed development is located near Sagamore Creek, according to the plans.

Neither Eric Chinburg, president of Chinburg Development LLC nor a representative from the Loyal Order of the Moose could be reached for comment Tuesday.

Chinburg was scheduled to present the plan to the city’s Technical Advisory Committee on Tuesday.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online here.