New Hampshire Green Design

Sustainable Design in New Hampshire

Here at Down2earth Interior Design, you know we love to share tales from our adventures as we travel around the country and the world and see beautiful design.   But this time we want to focus on sustainable design.   Examples aplenty presented themselves as I traveled around New Hampshire this summer and I’d like to share them here with you, our dear readers.

Let’s start with Portsmouth, a fabulous little coastal city.   Here you can find a bar with a green wall:

You can also buy bags made from recycled boat sails at a place called Sea Bags of Maine. (

Next stop:  the white mountains.  My husband and I like to hike, but we’re not what you would call serious hikers.   But despite many warnings about the strenuousness and emergency preparedness and the sudden changes in weather, Adam and I decided, what the heck?   We’ll hike the Franconia Ridge Loop.  It’s listed in National Geographic as one of the top 20 hikes in the world and traverses the second highest range of peaks in the White Mountains, consisting of Little Haystack, Mount Lincoln, and Mount Lafayette. 

So what if it takes 8 hours?   So what if you’re only covering 8 miles in those 8 hours because it’s so steep and slick and you have to catch your breath every 20 steps?   It’s an amazing hike for serious hikers.   We’re just not quite that serious and won’t be attempting something quite this brave again!

At about the two-thirds point of our hike, there was finally a place to stop indoors to rest, to get a reprieve from being eaten by black flies, and refill our water bottles.   It was called the Greenleaf Hut. (More from >)

Photo by Phil Brown – From

Apparently the Appalachian Trail has these huts available for hikers where they can also sleep, shower, and get a meal.   I share it here with you as an example of green design because there were signs all over the bathroom stall explaining that they are using composting toilets and also that whatever energy they have (not much) is provided by passive solar power.

Views from GreenLeaf Hut:

And finally, for some literal “green” design, let’s look at garden design.   We went to the Fuller Gardens in North Hampton, NH, where wealthy people live along the rocky coast.   Fuller was a self-made business man and former Massachusetts Governor and this was his summer house which has elaborate rose gardens, a greenhouse, and a Japanese garden.   A great little stop for people with sore legs to enjoy some cultivated beauty at a much lower elevation!

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