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"Portsmouth very quickly got that we're a green store," he said. "Most small businesses fail in the first two years, so we've made it so far, and we've actually expanded in the first two years."
This is also a concept Keegan implemented in his stores with Biokleen products, which customers can refill from the four, 55 gallon jugs of dishwashing liquid and laundry detergent in the back room.
The 1,600 mile Bike for Peace ride was more than two decades ago, but when Paul Keegan remembers the camaraderie among the cyclists, he still gets choked up.
"It was a rainy, cold April Saturday, but the streets were full and people had bags in their hands," he said.
No other Biokleen distributor sells refills like this, but since it's been successful in his store, Keegan said Biokleen may implement it elsewhere since it reduces the number of bottles used.
Keegan channeled his activism into his professional life by opening 1 World Trading Co., a store selling locally made, fair trade and environmentally conscious products and gifts, in March 2008 on Main Street in Nashua.
Massachusetts. He said he's glad to have finally figured out what he wants to be when he grows up. "This is about as grown up as I get," he said.
There, he has set up a maintenance shop for bicycles Re cycles, as he calls them that he salvages from yard sales, Craigslist ads and friends' garages, making them road ready once more to sell as a mode of alternative transportation. In the dark basement, there's a veritable bicycle holding cell, with dozens of bikes piled into two sections: tune ups to the right and the good for parts only to the left.
Upstairs, paintings from local artists line the mint green walls. The products, displayed on tables and wooden shelves, are broken down into three categories: fair trade products, such as Cambodian baskets and Haitian wall decor; locally made ware like T shirts, rock lamps and sneakers; and environmentally friendly goods, such as stainless steel containers, foldable laundry drying racks and unbleached coffee filters.
"It was uphill every day, all day," said Keegan. "But since some riders were from the region and familiar with the terrain, they offered assistance to the others."
fundraiser has green outlook
It's the desire to raise awareness about sustainable living that has earned Keegan the nickname of the Green Guru, a fitting description for the soon to be 49 year old who rides a fixed gear racing bike, wears wire rimmed glasses and bracelets on each wrist, and whose graying ponytail hangs halfway down his back.
"I'd be on a hill, and I've just got nothing left, and a rider would come along and put his hand on the small of my back," said Keegan. "These are people we considered our enemies in the '70s and '80s. A rider would put his hand on your back until you could ride on your own. If you still couldn't go, he'd signal somebody else. Two people would be riding up the hill together."
Keegan purchased the 76 Congress St. location, which opened in November 2009, and has managed to grow a solid customer base, despite starting in the middle of a recession.
It was just more tha a year later, on Earth Day 2009, that Keegan saw the potential for a second shop in Portsmouth.
His wife, Karen Keegan, who has for 20 years owned Mother Child Clothing and Gifts, a retail and consignment clothing store in Nashua, does double duty running the flagship store while her husband heads daily to Portsmouth.
Recently, he launched the monthly Green Gatherings seminars in Portsmouth to educate the local community about environmental issues. The seminar series kicked off with a screening of Food Inc., and future seminars will address topics like climate change and how to reduce food waste.
"I've always been outdoors and a conservationist and making sure we protected what we used."
When talking about "going green," people immediately think of recycling, said Keegan.
Just a few examples Keegan cites are donating unneeded stuff or selling it at yard sales, buying secondhand clothing Michael Kors Clutch Uk
His varied business experience, years spent fixing and riding bikes, and a love for the environment pushed him to open the store, which he hopes to eventually expand into Michael Kors Hamilton
But, he said, "reducing and reusing has a bigger impact than recycling. Recycling is the third part of the cycle. What can people do? Michael Kors Handbags Tan They can reduce and reuse, cut back on it, look for things with less packaging."
The Green Guru's resume is quite diverse. After completing his master's in business administration from Rivier College, he worked at a family vending business, as a chef, a contract administrator for the defense and commercial industries, a bike shop manager and a carpenter.
and cars, and purchasing items with less packaging, like fresh produce from farmers' markets.
In 1986, Keegan and 31 other cyclists rode 800 miles from Russia to Czechoslovakia and another 800 from Montreal to Boston, all to raise funds and awareness for peace and environmental issues.
Keegan's environmentalism can be traced back to his childhood, when he took monthly camping trips as a Boy Scout in Nashua.
"That changes you. I just fell in the love with the experience I had on bicycles, with the idea that raising awareness is simple. It's just finding out and telling people that something needs attention and I've done that the rest of my life."
"The biking and yoga is what keeps me in shape," said Keegan, who has more than once laid out his yoga mat in the store for mid day Michael Kors Bags Red
His first grab at activism came when he joined members of the Clamshell Alliance to protest the Seabrook Station nuclear power plant in the '80s. Driving up on weekends from Northeastern University, where he was completing a bachelor's degree in business, Keegan and fellow demonstrators picketed while construction workers built. last fall to raise awareness for climate legislation and is signed up for a San Francisco ride this year.
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