How to Make DIY Goody Bags Using Empty Wood Pellet Bags

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As we are nearing the end of another long heating season – you probably have a pile of empty wood pellet bags stacked high. Are you wondering what to do with them? We have heard that question a lot lately. Depending on your location, your town may accept the bags to recycle.

>> See our blog, 20 Ways to Re-use Empty Wood Pellet Bags 

We have a new idea to make some use of all those bags, just in time for springtime and Easter parties: DIY Party Goody BagsMake personalized candy bags ahead of time for guests, or make blank bags to let kids design their own!

This is an easy craft and a way to make some use of those empty pellet bags. Please be sure this activity is done under adult supervision at all times.

 Empty Wood Pellet BagsWhat you’ll need:

  • Empty, clean wood pellet bags
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Decorating Items (ribbon, gems, fancy tape, markers, glitter, colored card stock etc.)
  • Goodies!

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Depending on the ages of your crafters, it’s probably the safest for you to do the bag construction ahead of time. This way you can leave more time for the fun decorating part, and less time worrying about sharp scissors in small hands. Remember…safety first!

If you want to cut out shapes ahead of time, click here for a free printable sheet of shape templates.

1. The kind of empty wood pellet bag you have doesn’t matter. As long as either the top end or the bottom end hasn’t been cut or damaged, any bag will do! You just need one end to be still intact. Cut the bag in half vertically, making two long pieces.

2. Cut horizontally across both pieces to make the same size baggies. It’s up to you how deep you want them to be – so cut where you want. If you have them – use scalloped or zig zag scissors for some extra fun!

3. Flip the bag inside out, and clean off any leftover pellet residue. It’s not harmful – but you don’t want it getting all over the place. Luckily, we had a Cleanfire Douglas Fir bag to work with…so the pellet dust was minimal!

4. Choose the side you want as the back. In our example, the back of our bag is white, which is perfect for a blank canvas. Flip the side you chose to be the back up to face you. Fold the long open side (where you cut vertically) inward as if you were gift wrapping a box. Make sure to pull in the folds in enough to make the baggie narrow enough. No baggy masks or hats!

5. Instead of plain tape, we used decorative washi tape to add in some extra color, and trimmed the top of the bag. This gives the edge a nice finish. Repeat these steps for the other bag, and start over with each empty pellet bag. 

 

Within minutes, you have a sturdy bag ready for personalization! Set out all the (safe) decorating materials with your blank goody bags and get ready for some creativity!

 

Please share your empty bag ideas with us!

 

How Wood Bricks Burn with Firewood (Video)

Wood bricks can be used alone or as a supplement to firewood in a wood stove. This video is comprised of a series of clips filmed over 75 minutes. A smoldering piece of mostly burned-through firewood is in the back, with three Cleanfire Wood Bricks stacked in front. There is no kindling or assistance needed, due to the already hot firewood ash bed.

It’s important to remember that whether used alone or with firewood – wood stoves should not be packed tight with wood bricks. Don’t be fooled by their size. Wood bricks pack a super hot punch – which can damage a stove if used incorrectly. We recommend testing brick and/or brick+firewood burning variations to find the best fit for your stove.

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Is Snow Affecting Your Burning Efficiency?

Snowfall New England

Record snowfall has certainly been tough on those in the Northeast. Slippery conditions, heavy snow piling up, power outages and bitterly cold temperatures are just some of the struggles this winter has presented us with. The amount of snow accumulated in some regions has been crippling.

Although the temperatures are beginning to ease up, forecasters are predicting no significant dent in the huge snowbank accumulation soon. Bill Simpson of the National Weather Service Taunton, MA office explains, “It’s not going to be as significant as people think. It’ll melt, but not a good chunk. We’ve got a long way to go.” He believed there will only be a ten percent snow decrease in the next few days of warmer temperatures.

How does all this snow affect pellet stove owners? 

Pellet Stove Vent BlockageHeavy snow buildup can definitely affect your stove venting. This is a very common factor with burn issues right now. Unlike wood stoves, pellet stove venting can be either horizontal, vertical or both.

One of the ways a pellet stove burn exhaust can be set up is horizontally, straight through the exterior wall. (See Fig. A) The exterior vent allows proper air flow within the stove, and the exhaust to escape. If it’s blocked by dense snow – your stove’s ability to ignite and/or stay burning efficiently could be hindered. If your wood pellets aren’t burning through fully – this blockage could be the reason. (See Fig. B) 

A similar kind of venting is through the wall with a vertical rise (Fig. C). Vertical piping raises the exhaust further up the exterior wall. This kind of setup holds less risk of snow blockage. However, strong snow drifts (or very high snow accumulation) can still create blockage.

Pellet stoves can also have exhaust vents exiting through the roof – with some variations (Fig. D). If your roof has heavy snow piled up that hasn’t slid off or been pushed off, the vent could be blocked. Make sure to check for blockage – no matter how your stove is vented.

Another way snow affects your wood pellets is by through delivery delays.

The Woodpellets.com delivery trucks are wide, and they need enough space to safely travel down your road and park. Once parked, the forklift is lowered from the truck to unload the pallet(s) to be brought up your driveway. Of course, there is nothing you can do personally about large snowbanks taking up valuable space on the road. However, you can make sure your driveway is plowed enough for our 9 foot wide forklift. Making sure there is clear space for the forklift to maneuver on will help the driver make a successful delivery – and help you avoid delivery delays. 

 

Please let us know if you have any questions. Call 1-800-PELLETS to speak to an expert!

 

 

Heavy Snow Affecting Some Delivery Regions

Delayed Wood Pellet Deliveries

We wish the weather was something within our control. I’m sure many New Englanders feel the same way while endlessly shoveling, spinning tires and just trying to get from A to B. Although we often make deliveries in snow, rain and fog; recent heavy snow accumulation has made some delivery regions hazardous for periods of time. Therefore, some customers will experience delays in order deliveries. In times like these, weather-related delays are unavoidable in some areas. However, we are doing everything in our power to get orders delivered as quickly and safely as possible.  

When your place your order, whether by phone or online, you are given an estimated time frame in which your fuel will arrive. However, during this record-breaking snowfall for New England, there are instances when it’s just not possible to meet these delivery windows. Slippery conditions and poorly paved roads make it not only exceedingly difficult to make deliveries – but also raises serious safety concerns.

These hazards aren’t just during travel to the delivery location – there are also issues upon arrival in some areas. Our large, wide delivery trucks need enough space to safely travel down your road and park.  Cars need to be able to travel around our truck and not be blocked by it. Once parked, the forklift is lowered from the truck to unload the pallet(s) to be brought up the driveway. Large snowbanks taking up space in the road can either make both of these tasks not possible, or just dangerous for other drivers on the road. Our delivery team will communicate with any affected customers to find the safest, quickest delivery time under these circumstances.

Boston Globe Snowfall Chart

After snowfall records set 37 years ago have been broken in New England…there is still more to come. We hope everyone is staying safe and informed. 

Are You At Risk of Running Out of Pellets?

Will I run out of wood pellets?It’s late into the winter – yet the Northeast is still being relentlessly hit with heavy snow and freezing temperatures. You might be starting to wonder if your pellet supply will last you through the rest of the heating season.

You’re not alone in this quandary.

This is a tricky time of year – where a wood pellet user must decide to gamble with a low supply and risk potential supply shortages, or choose to just play it safe and top off his or her supply now.

Of course no one knows for sure what will happen with the weather for the remainder of the winter. There is historical data, professional forecasters, and even a groundhog that can give a prediction – but there is no real way to know with absolute certainty. Earlier this year, we wrote about the Farmer’s Almanac weather prediction, which hasn’t been fully accurate. The Northeast prediction was a much colder than normal winter, which has been true, and “below normal snowfall”, which has not been true. Unfortunately, last winter much colder than many had anticipated…leading to a late winter shortage in many areas. With the harsh winter we have already experienced, there is certainly a possibility for more regional shortages again this year.

So, are you at risk of running out of pellets? Well, there are many factors that will determine your risk. Your pellet stove model, the prominence of secondary heating sources, the type of wood pellets burned, and the area of your home you heat with pellets are just some of the many variables that affect your fuel consumption.

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A Pellet Savings Plan with Even More Benefits

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Enroll by June 30th for FREE Flexible Delivery!

Your home’s heating fuel cost is typically one of your largest annual expenditures. The Flex Savings Plan is a simple way to stretch your annual fuel cost out over many months – and avoid the financial stress of a large lump sum payment. The Flex Savings Plan was created to help our customers budget this large annual expense – and it’s completely free.

The plan works by automatically making a monthly deposit using an electronic check or credit card into your credit account in any amount you are comfortable with. Each deposit is added to your Woodpellets.com account as credit to use on your next purchase. And when you are ready to order, your accumulated credit amount will be deducted from the order balance.


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What Happens to Wet Wood Pellets

Wood pellets are made of super condensed fine wood particles, held together only by natural sap within the original wood fiber. If you’re curious about the wood pellet creation process, check out our post about
how wood pellets are made. Premium wood pellets burn so hot and so easily because of their very low moisture content. Unfortunately, these little heat powerhouses are unable to withstand direct contact with water. The time lapse video below will show exactly what happens when pellets become wet.

As you can see, the water expands the pellets and breaks them down into their original state of sawdust. If pellets have expanded after moisture contact, they are not usable in your pellet stove. (On the bright side – expanded wood pellets make for great natural horse bedding and kitty litter!)

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New England Firewood in Short Supply – Many Switching to Wood Bricks

New England use of Fire wood in Wood Stoves “At some places, it was just a recorded message: ‘We have no firewood for the season.’ ” a Natick resident explained to the Boston Globe about her trouble finding firewood. Unfortunately for wood stove owners, she’s far from alone in her struggle. The Northeast is experiencing another tight supply of firewood this year, and what’s available costs up to 25% more than it did last year.

While it’s an inconvenience for those using firewood as an ambiance enhancer – it’s much more serious for many New Englanders in need of wood heat for their homes. Census data reports wood used as a main heating source has increased most notably in the Northeast. According to the
report, “All nine states in the New England and the Middle Atlantic Census divisions saw at least a 50% jump from 2005 to 2012 in the number of households that rely on wood as the main heating source.” Although the demand for firewood has overloaded the supply of late – there is an alterative.

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Wood Brick and Wood Pellet Pick-Up in NH – by the Ton or the Bag

Wood Pellet Pick Up in Manchester NH

If you’re in the Manchester area, you can pick up your own wood pellets by the ton or by the bag! Not sure if picking up or taking delivery makes more sense for you? Check out our Pickup vs. Delivery Cost Comparison.

How to place an order for pick-up:

Call 1-800-PELLETS (800-735-5387) and let your pellet expert know you’d like to pick up your order at Demers. We will take your order over the phone – and your Visa, Mastercard or Discover card will be charged for the full amount. If you would rather pay in cash, you can pay there when you pick up your order.

Once the order is placed, your fuel information is sent to Demers, with a full receipt emailed directly to you. Your pellets and/or bricks can be picked up Tuesday through Friday from 9AM – 4PM. When you arrive, just give the helpful Demers employees your name, and move your vehicle to where you’re directed. Your fuel will be loaded up – and you’ll be on your way!

Directions to Demer’s Garden Center  |  Call 1-800-735-5387 to order!

NOTE: If a shortage happens, this process may be adjusted. We will be sure to keep everyone well informed! 

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