October 2022 Newsletter

October 2, 2022

October 2022 Newsletter

Empowering Sustainable Communities


SEEDS Annual Meeting held in Early September

We had a blast at our 2022 SEEDS Annual Meeting, which was held at Second District Brew Farm on September 6, 2022.  It is always great to get our members together to discuss our work, past, present, and future, and we felt grateful to be able to do so at such a beautiful location.
In case you were not able to attend this year, here are some highlights and important information for our members.

Our beloved and esteemed Chair Kathy Dodge, having completed her term in office, has passed the position on to the newly elected Jenna Mauder.  Jenna is a long-time, very active board member of SEEDS. She also works at the Cooperage and she is the busy mother of two. She was the founder and coordinator of the SEEDS Annual Book Swap, which is fast approaching—read more about it below.

Also elected at the meeting was Board Member At Large Maria Soledad Cohen.  Maria is a new volunteer with SEEDS. She went through our energy efficiency training this June, has been helping with efficiency assessments, and is currently training to be one of our solar assessors. She is a physicist at East Stroudsburg University, has extensive knowledge of building systems, and likes to do research. We are thrilled to have Maria join the board and look forward to benefitting from her experience, knowledge, and passion.

Another change includes David Ford, long-time board member and prior Chair of SEEDS, retiring from Governance Circle leadership, though he will stay on to help us transition to new leadership. David has also agreed to continue to share his guidance and knowledge, on which we at SEEDS have come to rely, in the capacity of advisory committee member.  SEEDS is deeply appreciative of David’s wisdom which has been continually delivered with grace and clarity to our operations.

Our cherished Finance Circle leader Sue Currier retired from our board this past year.  We thank Sue for her wisdom and leadership over the past few years not only with the Finance Circle, but also with our Governance Circle.  We wish her the best and are grateful for her expertise and service.  We are in the process of finding a new leader for the Finance Circle.  If you have experience and knowledge and you are interested in helping with the finance circle, please email info@seedsgroup.net.

Presentations were delivered by Circle Leaders and included highlights such as: the Home Energy Assessments and TEAAM summer program successes; social media presence and growth; outreach and educational events throughout the year; Clean Energy Co-Op completed and new projects; and reminders about upcoming events including the Clean Energy Co-op’s annual meeting on October 16th, the Farm & Chef event October 2nd, and the fast approaching 11th Annual Book Swap—read more about them below.  We also enjoyed a presentation by SEEDS member Jamie Stunkard on the Hempcrete Workshop that took place earlier this year.  Look in the next Newsletter for a #SEEDSBlog from Jamie on Hempcrete, this amazing and sustainable building material, as well as stories and information from the workshop.

Please enjoy some photos from the event, and reach out to us at info@seedsgroup.net if you have any questions or want more detailed information about the 2022 Annual Meeting.  And a very enthusiastic thank you to our sponsors, who appear below.

Local News

Jack Barnett Talks Farm & Chef on WJFF’s The Local Edition

Did you catch SEEDS Board Member and Food Circle Leader Jack Barnett on WJFF’s The Local Edition recently? He talked with host Jason Dole about SEEDS, who we are and what we do, and about the upcoming Farm & Chef event this Sunday, October 2nd at the Cooperage in Honesdale PA.  If you missed it, you can still hear it by going to WJFF Local Edition archive or just by clicking here.

Presented as a collaboration between SEEDSWayne County Grown, and PASA (Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture) this event features farm-fresh food from Wayne County farmers prepared by the region’s finest chefs. There will be an old-fashioned pie auction and basket raffle including local and donated agriculture and sustainability items. If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet there’s still time! Go here for more information, and please contact Jane Bollinger directly at 570-253-5711 for last minute tickets, but hurry, the return of this local event is sure to be popular!

The Farm & Chef event is always in search of a variety of volunteers to bring it all together. Please see this link for more information on volunteering opportunities and contact Jack Barnett to volunteer for any of the needed roles, or for more information about the roles, at jack@SEEDSgroup.net or call 908-963-1619.

Local News

11th Annual Free Book Swap October 6-10

The 11th Annual Book Swap is fast approaching.  Bring your unwanted books according to the schedule below, and take as many books as you can carry, all for free. The Book Swap is dedicated to finding new homes for all books!

“The Free Book Swap is the place to restock on winter reads, or start your home library,” explains Book Swap organizer and new SEEDS Chair Jenna Mauder.  “There’s no other event like it that brings together so many different kinds of books with one goal: to be taken home. In our 11th year, we’re thrilled to continue to offer this free event to the greater community.”

Not sure what to do with all of the free books that you can take from the Free Book Swap? Jenna shared these ideas to consider, in addition to just reading them yourself:

  • Find multiple copies of a book for your Book Club, or start a small one with a friend. Banned books often find their way to this event!
  • Upcycle old hardcovers and encyclopedias into crafts or furniture projects. Have you ever seen a stacked book tree or table?
  • Want to show off your bookish interests and decorate for fall? Try these pumpkins made from upcycled books.
  • Pages can be reused as decorative decoupage on many DIY projects, like envelopes or coasters.
  • Start a Little Free Library in your neighborhood! We have three in Honesdale (Central Park, Honesdale Borough Pool/Veteran’s Park, the Cooperage).
  • Sit on them.
  • Promote upcycled gifting by giving them as presents.
  • Frame or display them.

What do we do with the books at the end of the event? 
We offer un-homed books to local organizations to take what they can use or distribute to their audiences.  A small portion gets properly recycled due to age or condition.   A majority of the books left at the end of the Swap event will be shipped to New Legacy Books for resale. We pay the shipping expenses without any return, but you can help with these costs by making a specific monetary donation to the event.

How can you support the continuation of this event? 
We need you to attend, take books, and donate books!  If you are looking to be more involved in this unique, book-loving opportunity consider a monetary donation or donating your time by volunteering to help with the event.  Go here for more information about volunteer opportunities.  Or you can tell your favorite local businesses to email info@seedsgroup.net about becoming a SEEDS sponsor!


Kathy Dodge Explains Solar Assessments from SEEDS
and how they differ from a contractor bid…

At our Annual Meeting, which took place in early September, we were able to discuss our Solar and Energy Assessment programs.  At that time we touched on the difference between the kinds of assessments SEEDS offers to our members and the kind of information people typically get from contractors’ bids on solar installation.  I want to offer our members a little more information on that.

SEEDS offers two kinds of assessments free to our members:

Building Energy Efficiency Assessment reviews the efficiency of your building, using a comprehensive whole-building approach to help you improve the comfort and energy efficiency of your building. It consists of a team of our trained volunteers visiting your site to assist you in determining the cause of problems you may be experiencing with heat loss, air infiltration, moisture issues, and the high energy cost for heating and cooling. We will recommend measures you can take to help reduce your energy bills.

The assessment is limited to visible and accessible areas of your building. It is a guide to assist you in making decisions on energy-saving improvements. This assessment is not a complete energy audit and does not include Blower Door Testing or in-depth assessments of the HVAC system in the building. It is for educational and informational purposes only. To sign up for an efficiency assessment, go to https://seedsgroup.net/assessments/.

Solar Assessment entails a visit to your site to determine if solar is a sensible and feasible option for you. One of the tools our SEEDS assessor usually uses is a pathfinder which can tell how much sun your site will get throughout the year. This information, combined with your electricity usage data will allow our assessor to advise you on pursuing solar. One of our goals is to protect you from unscrupulous solar companies who might try to sell you a solar array which is unsuited to your site. To sign up for a solar assessment, go to https://seedsgroup.net/renewable-energy/.

When one of our SEEDS assessment teams looks at your particular situation, we only give advice. The only financial benefit is to you, the client, when you save money after making efficiency upgrades or installing a properly analyzed and sited solar installation. SEEDS is a non-profit and is not doing this for any financial gain.

“If you find yourself confused by a complex proposal and financial information presented by a solar contractor, I am happy to sit down during or after an assessment to go over that proposal and give my opinions about what the contractor has put in it,” explains Jack Barnett, one of our knowledgeable assessment team members.

SEEDS advises anyone contemplating a solar installation or efficiency upgrade such as insulation or HVAC installation to get quotes from multiple contractors before proceeding. This will help provide a range of options before investing money in a project. Contractor quotes should be free. SEEDS does not recommend one contractor over another, but we do have a list of qualified solar installers in the region: https://seedsgroup.net/local-contractors/.

Do you have an idea for a #SEEDSBlog post? if you have experience, expertise or research in an area relevant to sustainable energy, living, education and or outreach, email us at newsletter@seedsgroup.net and share your idea!


75,000 EV Charging Stations Coming Soon
to Highways Across the US!

The last week of September heralded in a historic announcement from the US Department of Transportation.  All fifty states plus D.C. and Puerto Rico have been greenlit to move EV charging networks forward, which would cover 75,000 miles of highway.  Using $5 billion in funding and plans established by the recently passed bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EV charging stations will be installed across the highways all over the county, and ahead of schedule.  States have been approved to construct a network of stations, and funding has been made available to help them do it.  The five year plan is expected to significantly altar the vehicle and energy landscape in the country, further removing barriers to Americans as the transition off of fossil fuel vehicles becomes both more necessary and accessible.

You can read the details of the announcement from the US Department of Transportation here, and or you can read a summary of it from CNBC here.  PBS News Hour included it in a recent broadcast which you can watch here.

Featured in the US Department of Transportation announcement was this rousing explanation, “America led the original automotive revolution in the last century, and today, thanks to the historic resources in the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we’re poised to lead in the 21st century with electric vehicles,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “We have approved plans for all 50 States, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia to help ensure that Americans in every part of the country – from the largest cities to the most rural communities—can be positioned to unlock the savings and benefits of electric vehicles.”


Do you have any #SEEDSGoodNews stories to share with the SEEDS community? Send them to us at  newsletter@seedsgroup.net or tag us on social media!  They can be local stories from your community, or stories from around the world–anything to celebrate and spread the word about the progress of energy efficiency, renewable energy or sustainable living wherever you hear about it!

SEEDS Recommends 

PA Sustainability Week and Monthly Webinar Series

The Pennsylvania GreenGov Council has announced two educational opportunities for the public that SEEDS is excited to share with our members.

The GreenGov Council is hosting PA Sustainability Week October 3rd through 7th. The Sustainability Week will consist of a virtual Sustainability Summit Monday October 3rd, which  will feature a full day of speakers and presentations, followed by a series of lunch-and-learn sessions hosted Tuesday through Friday. You can register for each day’s sustainability events here.

PA GreenGov Council and Penn State’s Sustainability Institute are pleased to announce their fourth monthly webinar series focused on sustainability topics.  The virtual series includes webinars on October 14, November 10, January 13, March 17 and April 14.  Read more about the series and the theme of each individual webinar here.  All who are interested in hearing from subject matter experts, enriching their knowledge, and engaging in group conversations are invited to participate.  Prospective attendees are asked to sign-up by completing this survey and indicate each webinar you plan to join. The webinars will be hosted on Microsoft Teams and GreenGov will send a Teams calendar appointment to attendees for each webinar in which they select within a few days after survey completion.

Save the Date

Clean Energy Co-Op Upcoming Events

Join the Clean Energy Co-op on Monday, October 3 at 7:00 p.m. for a virtual information session about one of the Co-op’s upcoming projects, Puttin’ Solar on the Ritz. That’s the Ritz Company Playhouse in Hawley, PA.

The Co-op’s Annual Membership meeting will be held Tuesday, October 18 at 7:00 p.m. on Zoom.  Guests are welcome!  We will be discussing the work of the Co-op over the past year and plans for future projects.  There will be time for questions and comments. We want to hear your ideas and suggestions for bringing renewable energy to our communities in Pennsylvania.

Please email info@cleanenergy.coop to request the links for each event. 

Learn more about the Clean Energy Co-op at www.cleanenergy.coop

If you are not a member of SEEDS, please consider joining us today!
You can use this link to share our membership page with others:
You will continue to receive our newsletters, invitations to our educational forums and other events. Members are eligible for free solar evaluations, have voting rights at our annual meeting, and help shape our programs and initiatives.  For more information visit our website at www.seedsgroup.net.