October Newsletter

October 31, 2010 Halloween!

Dear 350 familes, Here is your monthly e-mail for October.

We now have 172 familes signed up for the 350 Project!

If every one of you reported a savings of just 350 kWhrs, we would add 59,850 kWhrs to our exsiting savings of 13, 575 kWhrs saved! If you each saved twice that, we would excede our goal of 122,500 kWhrs saved! We still have 5 more months to reach that goal.

Together we CAN DO this!

Because my computer was recently in the hospital for an operation, I may have missed some of your savings reports. So, please check the list below to see if I am missing data you may have sent to me over the last month.

I would really like to be able to add lots of paint to our giant roadside thermometers that track kWhrs saved before it gets too cold to do it, so please get your savings to me as soon as possible: reply to this messege or call 698-6173.


Jack B & Mary Anne C - June, 2010 - 540

Mary Ellen C - August, 2010 - 368

Evelyn - May, 2010 - 2,111

Ginny D - August, 2010 - 368

Peter S - March, 2010 - 504

Ella & Ray - August, 2010 - 2,185

Barbara L & Tom K - ? - 1,000

Joseph M - July, 2010 - 1,412

Kim M - July, 2010 - 423

Jim & Pat S - July, 2010 - 1,584

Phyllis T - August, 2010 - 839

James V. O. - August, 2010 - 545

Martin Y. - Oct. 2010 - 1,305

13575 Total

In last month's messege I suggested you borrow a wattage meter from the Honesdale or Hawley library, and asked you to report your phantom energy findings to me so I might use the information in our next e-mail. If you sent me your findings, please do so again and I will try to use it NEXT month (referring back to my computer problems).


  • Some newer TVs can save about 40% more energy than older generations. If you are in the market for a TV, try this site. http://reviews.cnet.com/4321-6482_7-6615661.html They test TV power use a bit more in depth than energy star.
  • One of our members has "the energy detective" or "TED" (http://www.theenergydetective.com/) in his house to help monitor use. He really likes it, joking that his wife gets annoyed that he can "spy" on her energy habits. He says it has helped them be much smarter about their energy use. There are many brands on the market. SEEDS does not endorse one over others. Go to the TED site or type in "home energy monitor" to start your search for various brands.
  • Fall is a good time to plant trees on the north side of your house to block winter winds. Conifers will serve best. Trees also cool us in the summer. On the south side, keep it open so that you get the benefit of the sun in winter.
  • Do you have a diesel tractor that needs pre-heating in cold weather to start? Plug your pre-heater into a timer so that it only pre-heats for about an hour before you want to use it (saves an extra trip to the barn, too).

Finally, SEEDS is holding a retreat on Saturday, December 4th with a catered lunch. If you believe that a sustainable energy future is in your best interest, and want to help SEEDS make it happen, we want you. Please contact me within the next three days if you think you can attend this visioning process. Thank you.

Katharine Dodge, 350 Project Coordinator

PS Remember that you can check past 350 e-mails on our website in case you missed any. Go to seedsgroup.net

Also, if you have questions about how to figure out your savings, contact me at 698-6173 or e-mail me at katharined@verizon.net.

--Kathy Dodge

The August Newsletter

August 22, 2010

Dear 350 Families,

Here is your once-a-month e-mail message. And, welcome to all the new families who signed up at the Wayne County Fair!

I have attached basic instructions on how to report your usage to us.

At the bottom of this message is a list of discounts from area businesses to which you are eligible once you reach your first 350 kWhrs saved.

Here is how one family has reached their goal. They:

· Pay close attention to that phantom power use, putting their electronics on surge protector/power strips and turn them off when stuff is not in use.

· Use a kilowatt usage meter* to track use in their appliances & electronics.

· Replaced their old failing freezer, fridge, & washer with more energy efficient ones.

· Put up a clothes line and use it.

· Put in an outdoor wood stove to heat their house and hot water, and keep it going in summer to heat hot water.**

* A kilowatt usage meter is available for loan from the Wayne County Library in Honesdale courtesy of SEEDS.

**Outdoor wood stoves give off fine particulates that are polluting, not just for the owner, but for the surrounding area. Consider less-polluting options first such as geothermal, solar PV or thermal, or wind. WARNING: DO NOT EVER burn anything but wood or other approved fuel such as wood pellets in these stoves. Burning refuse or garbage produces highly toxic dioxins which are hazardous carcinogens. (This goes for burning in barrels, too.) Please reduce, reuse, recycle to reduce your waste stream.

PPL is helping us with our 350 project, and they have an excellent site on the internet that is very comprehensive and very user-friendly. Just type in PPL e-power to find out about lots of rebate possibilities and smart, energy-saving choices you can make.

Another saving tip:

* Most phone chargers use phantom power. Pull the plug when not using. Some new ones on the market shut off completely when not in use.

If you are ready to make the next step by investing in solar or wind power, you can contact SEEDS for a list of local installers. Just answer this e-mail with your request.

Here are the business discounts as promised:

Nature’s Grace Health Food, Honesdale – 10% discount

Northern Light Health Food , Hawley - 10% discount

Calkin’s Creamery – buy 1 cheese, get one free

Himalayan CafĂ©, Honesdale – 1 free small chai

Wayne Independent – 1 month subscr. added to new or renewal

Gravity Ice Cream, – Honesdale – 1 free cone

Trackside Rest., Honesdale – 1 small beverage

Dave’s Super Duper, Honesdale – 5% off total purchase

Day’s Bakery, Honesdale – free Danish or donut

Patisserie, Honesdale – free coffee & cookie

ProJanAmerica Flooring, Tyler Hill - 10% off green products except stuff on sale

Sprig-n-Twig Nursery, Tyler Hill - $5. off order or free rhubarb or free horseradish

Art’s for Him & Her, Honesdale – 1 pr socks free

So, let’s hear from you savers! And remember, for each 350 saved, your name goes in the hat for the big prizes next Spring!


Katharine Dodge,

350 Coordinator & Asst. Chair, SEEDS

June 350 kWh SAVED! Newsletter

Your monthly 350 Project e-mail, July 26, 2010

Dear 350 Families,

Here is your monthly message for July.


For those who need instructions on how 350 works, see detailed instructions attached.


Good news: We now have 96 families signed up!

I am guessing there are many of you who have saved over 350 kWhrs, but you just haven’t sat down to check your bills. We are eager to hear from you. Each time you save 350 kWhrs, your name goes into the hat for the year-end drawing, so keep checking those bills.

Remember the grand prize: a $5,000. solar thermal installation. Here is another: a free home energy audit. More prizes will be announced later.

Call me at 698-6173, Michele at 224-0052, or e-mail SEEDS at seedsgroup@gmail.com if you are ready to show us your bills, or if you have questions or suggestions on how to save electricity.

Here is another great reason to cut back on electricity use: each kWh you save means you are really saving much more because anywhere from 7 to 20% of electricity generated at power plants is lost during transmission. This is also a great reason to invest in solar or wind on your own property. Hardly any energy is lost!

Sving tips:

If you have a well, using less water means the pump does not run as often.

· In the bathroom: if it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down. Better yet, consider a composting toilet!

· In the garden or yard: cut back on water-needy plants and lawns. Native plants can withstand local conditions better than exotics. Mulch your plants to conserve soil moisture.

· In the kitchen, keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator. Keeping the refrigerator full helps it work less, and you don’t have to turn on the faucet and let it run each time you want a cold drink of water. Of course if you keep the fridge door open a long time, all bets are off.

Update your old inefficient windows or add storm windows and consider shading the south-facing windows with curtains, shades, or retractable awnings (so you can let in sun during the cold months).

Visit http://www.pplelectric.com/e-power/ to help you with power-saving ideas, rebates, and incentives from PPL.

Remember that previous 350 monthly e-mail messages are available on our website: SEEDSGroup.net. .

Thanks for being a part of this project!

--Kathy Dodge for SEEDS 350 kWh Saved!
Dear 350’ers,
Welcome to our 350 kWh Saved! Project and the first of our monthly 350 Saved! messages Thank you for signing up to save money and electricity!

So far, we have two families who have already saved 350 kWhs over the same period last year. Needless to say they are continuing to save.

Please check your bills and compare the current month with the same month last year. Any savings? Report them to us. You can bring us your proof at our next forum on wind power, Tuesday, April 27th from 7 to 9 PM at the Park Street Complex in Honesdale (former Stourbridge School), call us at 224-0052, or e-mail us at seedsgroup@gmail.com.

Besides the really EASY changing to compact fluorescent and LED light bulbs, here are a few other tips to help you save kilowatt hours:

  • Consider using a simple timer set to cycle on and heat water before the time of day for most use and then off the remaining hours. It can save as much as 50 percent of your water-heating costs. They cost less than $100, plus installation.
  • Waste-water heat exchangers recover heat from waste water (showers, baths, clothes washers*, etc.) and warm incoming water (on its way to the hot-water heater). 50 percent to 70 percent of the energy required to heat the water may be recovered.
  • Use a solar clothes dryer. It is made out of clothesline rope and some clothes pins. Some think this is only for summer. We don’t even own a dryer. We hang our clothes indoors in winter adding humidity to a dry house.

*You shouldn’t really have waste heat from clothes washers. Cold water washing is the norm today. Detergents are designed to get your clothes clean in cold water.

Thank you for being a part of this exciting project! We hope to hear from you soon with your progress and ideas for saving!

Katharine Dodge
350 Project Coordinator

May 23, 010

Dear 350’ers

Here is our May e-mail with an update on the “350 kWh Saved!” project. If you have just come on-board, we are going to put our past messages to the 350 crowd on our website: seedsgroup.net.

We now have about sixty families signed up! Three families have met their first 350 kWhs saved goal. (Remember, you can keep on going and save another 350, getting your name added to the hat each time for next Spring’s drawing for prizes!)

Don’t forget to show us your energy bills when you have more than 350 kWhs saved! Contact us and we will work out a time and place.

Kim Manoy and her family were the first family to make the goal. Here is how they did it:

  • They made an energy inventory of their home and outbuildings.
  • They reduced phantom power—many appliances and electronics draw juice even when not in active use—by pulling the plug on everything except the fridge, washer, dryer, and stove. “The rule is ‘we only plug it in when we use it.’ That includes microwave, television, computer, lamps, etc. At first it was only me,” she says, “and for two weeks everyone thought our appliances were broken. Now everyone is on board and is happy to participate.” That includes husband James, children Cora (18), Ripley (17), Sofia (8), and James (4).
  • They changed their front-load washer setting to a cycle that runs 15 minutes less then the typical cycle, and only use cold water for which today’s detergents are designed anyway.
  • They hang their laundry out as much as possible to dry under that ultimate power plant: the sun.
  • They are making their 1940s era home more energy efficient as they have time and money to do so, including additional insulation in strategic spots.

Kim says, “For me this is not a short term exercise, it is a lifestyle change that I want my children to take with them when they have families of their own. It is a small part that I play to make our world a better place to live.” Was it difficult? Kim says it was not a hardship, just hard to get used to.

Here are a few more ideas:

  • Experiment: Unplug everything in your house. Go see if your meter is still going around. If it is, have a treasure hunt to find where stuff is still drawing electricity. Or, you can get a usage meter such as a “Kill-a-Watt” (about $20.) to calculate how much your different appliances use. SEEDS also has one you can borrow. Call 224-0052. This will help you see how much wattage each appliance is using, how wasteful phantom power is, or to help you decide what appliances are so inefficient, it would be best to replace them. If you want to go more high-tech, check out energydetective.com for a meter that will track what you are using in your home up to the second.
  • Reduce or eliminate outdoor lighting that might be pretty, but just lights up the night unnecessarily. There are low-light solar-powered options out there if you must have night-time lighting.
  • Consider locating your water heater close to the end use site so that you don’t wait forever for the hot water to reach your faucet. Or, use an on-demand system. Gas on-demand is apparently more efficient than electric on-demand, but, both have environmental consequences: electric spews out emissions from fossil fuel power plants and drilling for gas can be a messy business.

Good luck!

Katharine Dodge, SEEDS 350 Coordinator

On our way to a sustainable community!

SEEDS is working in Northeastern Pennsylvania to cultivate sustainability for our community. Inspired by the work of 350.org, we are encouraging Wayne County, PA residents to install renewable energy on their homes and businesses, or take other steps to conserve energy and foster environmental responsibility.

If you drive on Rt 191 in Rileyville or Lake Ariel, or Route 371 in Tyler Hill, you will start to notice large wooden thermometer installations. These thermometers are each tracking two things--how many kilowatts of renewable have been installed in Wayne County since the inception of the project on one side, and on the other side, we are tracking how many families have saved 350 kWh of energy on their electric bill year over year (you can check this easily by comparing your electric usage this month to that of last month--the power companies usually display it on the bill, or at least on their websites). A recent photo of the thermometers will appear right here, so check back often if you don't have the opportunity to drive by one.

If you would like to participate in the project, let us know by e-mailing SEEDSGroup@gmail.com, or by calling 570-224-0052. We will send you a packet of information including stickers you can put around your house to remind you to conserve energy. A number of local businesses have agreed to reward your commitment to sustainability with a variety of incentives. Additionally, at the end of this year long project, we will have a party where everyone who has participated in the project will have a chance to win a free solar thermal system from Gravity Sun Power!

Let us know what you're doing to create or conserve energy by e-mailing SEEDSGroup@gmail.com with your name, neighborhood, and details of your project. If you have installed renewable energy on your home or business, then please be sure to let us know how many kilowatts of energy your system is designed to produce.