Welcome to the New Year! My daughters and I spent New Years' Eve in Times Square, which despite the crowds and cold weather was actually amazing! Do any of you have green New Years' resolutions? If you send us an email with your resolution and a picture, we'll put it on our Facebook page.
It seems like things are looking up for the environment already, including a massive increase in solar power usage! You can read about it below. Also, maybe this is the year you put the keys to your car away and try an electric bike for your commute? Tom Hemenway of EZ Bikes and Scooters tells his story about how he discovered the power of pedals.
Perhaps this New Year you want to contribute more to the local economy. Have you seen our Green Community Leader certificate? Scroll down to learn how you can be at the forefront of our green economy.
Anchors away, 2015!
Sarah Brown Green Alliance Director
Green Business in the Community
NH Solar Garden Helps Customers Net Profits
Andrew Kellar was way off his mark when he estimated his new company, NH Solar Garden, would work on about 1 megawatt worth of projects in its first year. Not even close.
Today, after opening the business last January, NH Solar Garden is working on 22 projects around the state that when done will produce close to 7 megawatts of power for its customers. Business has been booming, thanks in part to a favorable new law passed by the state earlier this year that allows for group net metering.
“This has been much further beyond my expectations,” Kellar said.
In fact, Kellar said his company has developed as many megawatts in its projects over the past seven months as the state has in the past seven years. NH Solar Garden, which tries to keep all of its business dealings local, is pumping money as well as clean energy into the local community.
“That's one of the important pieces to the process, to feed the local economy,” Kellar said. Read the rest of the story here.
Diaper Service Company Expands to Laundry
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.
This summer, Green Earth Baby Works grew its operation to include additional machines and staffing to support the Green Earth Laundry Works (GELW) pilot program, which is now open for business. The program offers the same local environmentally conscious laundry service to businesses in the Seacoast area and southern New Hampshire.. Read the rest of the story here.
Healthy Ways to Ride Into the Future
Contrary to belief, some late-night commercials do have value. Just ask Tom Hemenway, co-owner of EZ Bikes & Scooters. One evening, as he watched television, an ad for an electric bicycle came on. After being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, Hemenway was thinking about different ways he could exercise to lose weight. Whether it was fate, or coincidence, the commercial not only got Hemenway to take his health seriously, it inspired him and his wife to open their business.
“We thought if we loved them, everyone is going to love them,” said Teresa Hemenway, Tom’s wife and co-owner of the company. “They’re for anybody who loves to ride a bike but doesn’t have the stamina for long-distances or hills.” Read the rest of the story here.
Green Collar Careers:
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.
Anna Murphy: What do you like most about your job?
Micum Davis: There is a lot I really like about my job. I like that it lets me stay connected to the natural world and help others to do the same. Trees are living art pieces, each with a different structural form. I have the fortunate position to help folks build greater appreciation for that form and a stronger understanding of their trees. Read the rest of the interview here.
Green Community Leaders
Allow us to reintroduce our newest level of membership, the Green Community Leader. The launch of this new level occurred in November, and we were thrilled to get our very first Green Community Leader, Tom Boisvert.
Tom has been a part of the GA for many years, assuming roles at important local businesses, including the launch of Community Toolbox and their community-centric Fix-It Program. Always there to lend a helping hand while being a steward to the environment, it was only fitting that Tom lept at the opportunity to show his devotion to the GA.
Now, Tom asks you all to join him, (they say it's lonely at the top, after all). Read the rest of the story here.
Next Generation of Wood Pellet Burners Becoming a Smart Heating Choice
Jack Bingham, the owner of Seacoast Energy in Barrington, practices what he preaches. When he talks to commercial or residential clients about the financial and environmental benefits of a wood pellet burner, he cites personal experience.
Late last year, Bingham installed a WoodMaster mini-boiler in his home as a test and was impressed by the results. “It’s amazingly practical and there’s no price comparison to oil,” said Bingham who founded Seacoast Energy in 2008. “We made hot water on that system all summer and I cut my $880 propane bill in half.” Read the rest of the story here.
Introducing: Metalwave, Inc.
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. Read the rest of the story here.
Green Story: Coca Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England
All Green Alliance Business Partners are green certified by the GA and their evaluation can be found on the individual Green Alliance pages. Each Business Partner is given a transparent evaluation with a report card that shows the rating of the entire business.
The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England, a franchise of its parent company, is leading the way in sustainable practices for a large-scale manufacturing and distribution facility. Based in Londonderry, New Hampshire, CCNNE is proud of their sustainable efforts to reduce the company's carbon footprint in the creation and delivery of its products.
In an industry that has been around for over 100 years, and 40 plus years working out of their New Hampshire location, CCNNE wants to stay relevant long into the future. It is one of the many reasons CCNNE takes their sustainability initiatives seriously, with long-term focused projects such as switching from wooden pallets to reusable plastic pallets.
"It's more of an investment up front, but it pays us back over time and we’re using a lot less of a resource," says Mike Elmer, Coca-Cola of Northern New England's Director of Capabilities. Read CCNNE's full sustainability certification here.
RiverWoods at Exeter offers sustainable facilities, green culture
What began as a homegrown idea in the heads of Rosemary Coffin and Maryanna Hatch has turned into a constantly growing community. RiverWoods at Exeter is a nonprofit organization that focuses on high-quality independent and assisted living. Since opening in 1994, the facility has expanded to three campuses, hundreds of apartments and cottages, as well as several dining and exercise facilities.
RiverWoods is a perfect place for the earth-conscious retiree. Outfitted with timed LED and CFL lights, resident-run recycling program, and a solar thermal system which aids in heating hot water. And every day, they’re planning for future improvements.
It’s not just the facilities; there is also a budding culture of environmentalism in its ranks. A team of environmental activists, also residents at RiverWoods, have banded together as a group to head up sustainability issues on the campus. Read the rest of the story here.
Can we count on your vote?
Since May the New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility (NHBSR) has collected video and written testimonials for their Just One Thing campaign. Now NHBSR wants you to vote for the best submissions. NHPTV will produce the winning Just One Thing stories that will air on the network in March and April of 2015. The three categories winners will be judged on are: most creative sustainability solution, greatest community impact and greatest employee impact.
Voting is open now through January 9. There are three separate categories to vote for different forward-thinking sustainable businesses. You can read our story in the first category under the question: What story shares a creative approach to a sustainability challenge or opportunity? Read our story and vote now by clicking here! Read the rest of the story here.
GA Director Sarah Brown featured on WSCA Radio Show
Michael Cameron, founder of the New Hampshire Brand Project, recently had GA Director Sarah Brown on his radio show which airs weekly on WSCA-LP Portsmouth Community Radio. New Hampshire Brand Project was started as a way to promote the New Hampshire brand, as well as the businesses and culture in the state to encourage more people to move to the state or contribute to the local business movement.
Sarah Brown explained the what the Green Alliance does in one swift sentence:
"We certify our businesses as green, then we promote the heck out of them."
If you've ever wondered how local businesses got their start, listen to the New Hampshire Brand Project's archive on WSCA. Thank you to Michael Cameron, The New Hampshire Brand Project, and Portsmouth Community Radio for letting us tell our story!
Jan 13 - Open House at Brixham Montessori Friends School 18 Brickyard Court, York ME, 10 a.m.- 11 a.m.
The Brixham Montessori Friends School located in York, ME is hosting an Open House for prospective parents and families. The Open Houses allows caregivers with interest in the school to come and check out the overall facility as well as the classrooms. For more information on the admissions process, click here.
Jan 14 - STAR Theatre Lecture Series - Through the Lens of J. Frank Walker Kittery Community Center, 120 Rogers Road, Kittery ME, 7:00 p.m. Join the Kittery Recreation Departmentin the STAR Theatre for a presentation by Kim Sanborn of the Kittery Historical and Naval Museum. Walker provides a look at what life was like back in the day from the Foreside, to the Piscataqua, the Shipyard, Kittery Point, and beyond. This lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, please call (207)439-3800 or click here.
Jan 24 - Redhook's Annual Polar Grill Fest Redhook Pub, 1 Redhook Way, Portsmouth NH, 12:00 - 5:00 p.m. In three short years, Polar Grill Fest (PGF) has become the largest winter food festival in the area. The event is open to all ages and tickets are only $5 with $5 plates and $5 beers. Tickets can be purchased online here.