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March 2011 Newsletter

Little Padded Seats
130-A 5th St.
West Des Moines, IA 50265
****************************** **************** March 2, 2011
Can You Believe It's Been Two Years?

Where has the time gone? It seems like only yesterday we were announcing our first anniversary in a storefront. Now, tomorrow it will be two years! This milestone has really stuck up on us, but we absolutely want to say 'Thank You' to everyone who helps keep us here. So, this Thursday, Friday and Saturday (March 3rd - 5th) everyone who wishes us 'Happy Anniversary' will receive 5% off their total* purchase. This is good for online purchases as well. Just put the message in the comment box during checkout. Also on Saturday we will have free refreshments for everyone.

* Sorry, this does not extend to the purchase of gift certificates.

Help Us Set A World Record!

Would you like to be part of something historic? Would you like to show your support of cloth diapering? Would you Like to be part of setting a Guinness World Record™? Well, here's your chance.

The Great Cloth Diaper Change is an attempt to raise awareness of cloth diapering and set a Guinness World Record in the same event! On Saturday, April 23rd, 2011, at 9:00am PDT (11:00am in Des Moines) we are trying to have the most babies changed simultaneously around the world. And the best part is that all of the diapers being changed will be cloth! We are hosting a Great Cloth Diaper Change site.

With the anticipated size of this event, we doubt if our store would be large enough to accommodate everyone. So, the location is not finalized yet. One possibility is that we may be able to get access to the unoccupied space above us for a short while. Lauri is also exploring the possibility of hosting a combined event with Sarah at Wallypop, Amanda at The Stork Wearhouse and Andrea of Diaper Dudee. A combined event would only increase the need for space, but at the same time could really show the solidarity of Des Moines' cloth diapering community!

Stay tuned for updates as we get closer to the date.

Does Daylight Savings Time Save Energy?

Daylight saving time (DST) is the practice of temporarily advancing clocks during the summertime so that afternoons have more daylight and mornings have less. Modern DST was first proposed in 1895 by George Vernon Hudson.

DST's potential to save energy comes primarily from its effects on residential lighting, which currently consumes about 3.5% of electricity in the U.S. and Canada. Delaying the nominal time of sunset and sunrise reduces the use of artificial light in the evening and increases it in the morning. Although energy conservation remains an important goal, energy usage patterns have greatly changed since DST's introduction (think modern heating and cooling systems, more residential electrical appliances and energy efficient lighting), and recent research is limited and reports contradictory results. Additionally, electricity use is greatly affected by geography, climate, and economics, making it hard to generalize from single studies.

  • The U.S. Dept. of Transportation (DOT) concluded in 1975 that DST might reduce the country's electricity usage by 1% during March and April, but the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) reviewed the DOT study in 1976 and found no significant savings.
  • In 2000 when parts of Australia began DST in late winter, overall electricity consumption did not decrease, but the morning peak load and prices increased.
  • In Western Australia during summer 2006–07, DST increased electricity consumption during hotter days and decreased it during cooler days, with consumption rising 0.6% overall.
  • Although a 2007 study estimated that introducing DST to Japan would reduce household lighting energy consumption, a 2007 simulation estimated that DST would increase overall energy use in Osaka residences by 0.13%, with a 0.02% decrease due to less lighting more than outweighed by a 0.15% increase due to extra cooling; neither study examined non-residential energy use. DST's effect on lighting energy use is noticeable mainly in residences.
  • A 2007 study found that the earlier start to DST that year had little or no effect on electricity consumption in California.
  • A 2007 study estimated that winter daylight saving would yield a 2% decrease in average daily electricity consumption in Great Britain. This paper was revised in October 2009 .
  • A 2008 study examined billing data in Indiana before and after it adopted DST in 2006, and concluded that DST increased overall residential electricity consumption by 1% to 4%, due mostly to extra afternoon cooling and extra morning heating; the main increases came in the fall. The overall annual cost of DST to Indiana households was estimated to be $9 million, with an additional $1.7–5.5 million for social costs due to increased pollution.
  • The U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) concluded in a 2008 report that the 2007 U.S. extension of DST saved 0.5% of electricity usage during the extended period. This report analyzed only the extension, not the full eight months of daylight saving, and did not examine the use of heating fuels.

DST did not become a standardized method for moving the clock back one hour in the autumn and forward one hour in the spring in the United States until the Uniform Time Act of 1966. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 extended DST three weeks in the spring and one week in the fall, beginning in March of 2007.

Several studies have suggested that DST increases motor fuel consumption. However a 2008 DOE report found no significant increase in motor gasoline consumption due to the 2007 U.S. extension of DST.

Evidence that DST saves energy is mixed and contradictory. This may be due to inconsistencies in study methods, as well as technology and lifestyle changes since its inception. In recent years, there has been debate over whether to end DST or even extend it year-round. Future research will be helpful in weighing the cost and benefits of DST and comparing it with other energy conservation methods.

Upcoming Classes

Cloth Diaper 101

Sun. 03/06 @ 10:00am
Mon. 03/21 @ 5:30pm
Sun. 04/03 @ 10:00am
Mon. 04/18 @ 5:30pm
Sun. 05/01 @ 10:00am
Mon. 05/16 @ 5:30pm
Sun. 05/29 @ 10:00am

Intro to Babywearing

Sat. 03/26 @ 9:15am
Sat. 04/23 @ 9:15am
Sat. 05/21 @ 9:15am

On The Lighter Side

With all the sadness and trauma going on in the world at the present time, it is worth reflecting on the death of a very important person which almost went unnoticed. Larry La Prise, the man who wrote "The Hokey Pokey", died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 93.

The most traumatic part for his family was getting him into the coffin. They put his left leg in, and that's when all the trouble started.....


We recently announced that we can accept Dwolla for in-store purchases. Unfortunately, we have not been able to integrate Dwolla into our shopping cart, so we cannot accept it for web purchases. But we hope that this will change in the future.

If you are unfamiliar with Dwolla, you should check it out. It is a convenient, mobile way to transfer money and instantly pay for purchases at a growing number of businesses. They are continually upgrading their features for both consumers and retailers. It's local but they are garnering national attention and gaining market share.

Lastly, Dwolla has very low merchant fees. Dwolla charges merchants 25˘ per transaction. Compare that to 1.7% - 3.6% for credit cards and 3% for Paypal! (Yes, that is percent of the sale. These "small" fees add up rather quickly.) This helps small businesses reduce their expenses and stay afloat. It also keeps more money in the local economy! Everyone knows about buying local, Dwolla is paying local.


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