January 8th, 2013 by Loryn Dion
With a new year comes new designs, fashions and ideas. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be cover different trends that we’ve seen coming up for this year. First up for your 2013 Interior Design Trends: furniture!
In 2013, I think we are going to see many furniture pieces featuring simple lines and functions, much like furniture of the mid 20th century. We’ll have many retro styles making a comeback, such as metal detailing, splayed leg designs and futuristic, modular furniture. Our Moduluxe, Astrid and Contemporary Cable collections are good starting points for this look.
Unique Artisan Designs
Sometimes the best trend is not following a trend at all. Creative, one-of-a-kind designs will be big this year as people start to “de-commercialize” their lives. Whether you’re going for a modern look or a simple shaker style, artisan work is the way to go. Give us a call to discuss some custom options for your home.
Whatever look you decide to go for, make it a green one. Sustainability is starting to become a consumer standard in most industries, including food and fiber, and furniture is no different. Choose pieces that are made from sustained, American forests rather than endangered rainforest lumber. Learn more abut our sustainability standard and what we do to protect our rainforests.
December 31st, 2012 by Loryn Dion
Another year has gone by and we’re already looking at 2013! Did you keep your New Years resolutions? I’ll admit it. I never stepped foot into a gym and I still spend too much time on the computer. Rather than making the same New Years resolutions again this year, why not try out some Green New Years Resolutions and create a healthier you and a healthier universe.
Kick Your Bottled Water Habit
Plastic bottles are well-known pollutants, leaking chemicals into our water and polluting our environment. Invest in a reusable water bottle this year and vow to not purchase any bottled water in 2013!
Use Public Transportation One Day A Month
While using public transportation may not be a convenient solution for your everyday commute, committing to using public transportation once a month can help lessen your carbon footprint and save money on fuel. If you don’t have a reasonable means of public transportation in your area, try carpooling!
Invest in Reusable Bags for Grocery Shopping
Plastic shopping bags are filling up our landfills by the gallon. Many shops are starting to hop on the reusable bag bandwagon and offer discounts for bringing your own bags. This is just one of the reasons that taking earth-friendly shopping bags with you on shopping trips would make a great green new years resolutions.
Try One New Organic Food Every Time You Shop
Many foods are now being offered as organic, including popcorn and ice cream. This year, try committing to buying one organic product every time you shop. Organic foods are healthier for you, healthier for the environment and healthier for your local economy.
Buy American Made
I’m sure by now you’ve read all about our successful American Made shopping challenge this holiday season. If you haven’t, we were part of a nationwide movement to generate thousands of American jobs buy purchasing American-made gifts this year. Keep the spirit going and support American jobs all year long by making a conscious decision to purchase American-made goods this year.
Recycle and Compost
If you don’t have a recycling program implemented at your home or office, what are you waiting for?! Make a New Years resolution to start a recycling program in your home, office or town. If you’re already an avid recycler, try composting this year.
Line Dry Your Clothes
Dryers use a very large amount of energy and could cost you up to 10% more on your home electric bill. Line drying your clothes saves time, energy and your clothes will have that fresh outdoor scent without the use of artificially scented dryer sheets.
Buy Less and Simplify Your Life
This green New Years Resolution is simple. Buy less junk you don’t need and get rid of last years junk that you don’t use. On January 1st, go through all of your closets and cabinets and; if you haven’t touched it in over a year, donate it; if it’s broken or threadbare, toss it; or if you think you can breathe new life into it, repurpose or recycle it. Then, all year long be mindful of the things you want to buy. If it’s not a necessity, be strong and say “no”!
What are your green New Years resolutions this year? Let us know here in the comments or on our Facebook page.
December 18th, 2012 by Loryn Dion
Now that you’re green, American-made gift shopping is almost done, it’s time to get ready for your green holiday party! Even if you are hosting a house full of people, it’s no reason to give up on your sustainable values. Here are a few tips to keep your holiday celebrations environmentally-friendly.
While I’ll admit that paper invitations and Christmas cards look great and are fun to receive, think about all of the money and paper you’ll waste sending them out to your friends and family. Try looking into e-invitations this year. You’ll save time, money and paper. Plus most sites let your guests see who else is going and chat with each other about what everyone is bringing.
Even though it’s the winter-time, there are still plenty of ways to shop local for your green holiday party dinner. Many towns and cities have winter markets you can visit to find fresh produce and specialty items. You can also check in to your local butcher for meats customized for the amount of guests that you have coming. He may even be willing to order specialty meats for your holiday party. Don’t forget about local spirits and craft beers! Local breweries and distilleries usually have special holiday beverages available and your guests will be impressed and excited to try something new on your drink list.
Use your Resources!
Don’t bother heading to a department store for decorations. Try finding local holly or fir boughs to create unique and lovely centerpieces and decorations. If you’re not feeling particularly crafty this year, many people sell wreaths, trees and decorations out of their homes during the holidays. Buy from a neighbor and display their hard work for your friends and family to enjoy at your green holiday party.
Skip the bright overhead lighting this year and turn off your ugly, Christmas Story leg lamp (I hope that’s not just my family!). Try lighting holiday scented candles this year. Cinnamon, pine, pumpkin and vanilla are great aromas for setting the mood and the candle light will be very flattering for your home décor.
Try to avoid using paper plates and cups this year. While they may save you on dish-washing they’re definitely not friends of the environment. If you must go with a paper or plastic option, try looking for green brands that make biodegradable and compostable paper-ware.
As always, don’t forget to recycle! Try to reuse or recycle any discarded gift-wrap, compost your meal leftovers and recycle your plates and cups, if you used them.
December 11th, 2012 by Loryn Dion
Only fifteen days until Christmas! Better start making out your Holiday wish list! But what to ask for? Have Santa bring you a gift that will give back all year long. Here’s my top four sustainable gift “must haves” for any green home.
Appliances that are energy efficient don’t just look great in your home. They save you major cash! You’ll also reduce air pollution as well as reduce your electric bill. These energy efficient appliances can be any thing from a refrigerator to a new computer, so browse your options! EarthEasy.com put together a great guide on energy efficient appliances.
With Christmas on the way, people tend to forget about the new year almost on us! A great Christmas gift would be a gadget to help you live a more sustainable life throughout the next year. Try asking for a composter to be more eco-friendly or a new bicycle so you can get out of the house and cut down on your automobile use.
This one is a no-brainer. Polywood furniture looks great, is low cost and is made from recycled plastic. Who can argue with this as an addition to your wish list? Even though the winter isn’t the best time to use Polywood, it’s weather resistant materials mean that you can bring them outside for next summer and never worry about them again. Talk about a gift you can use all year long.
Maybe you just aren’t ready to buy outdoor furniture yet. Our hardwood furniture is made using chemicals with virtually no VOC’s. Make sure your tables, beds and dressers are friends to the environment this Christmas. Buying sustainable furniture is the best gift you can give our environment.
What sustainable gifts and eco-friendly gadgets are on your wish list this year?
December 8th, 2012 by Loryn Dion
If you’re anything like me, the hardest part about the holiday season is finding the right gift for everyone. I don’t mind the price tag or where I have to go to get it, it’s the pressure of finding something that a person will love that always gives me trouble. With the added challenge of finding something American-made this year for our Made in America Shopping Challenge, I seriously considered using the upcoming “2012 Apocalypse” as an excuse for skipping gift-buying altogether. Luckily, shoppers like me have the magical World Wide Web to assist us with our holiday dilemmas. Here’s my guide to finding gifts for the hard to buy for.
My Vermont pick for American-made kitchen wares would definitely be Simon Pearce. We’ve talked about their beautiful pottery and glassware before on our Facebook, but I’ll have to mention them again. Any cook would love to have a Simon Pearce piece in their kitchen. If you’re shopping for someone like me who would rather consume the food rather than produce it, check out some locally made specialty stores near you to find scrumptious treats and local delicacies If you’re in Vermont, try Snowflake Chocolate Baskets, Vermont Grafton Cheese Collections or check out the Vermont Specialty Food Association for more ideas.
Being an animal lover myself, I can assure you that animal people love gifts for their pets just as much as if you’d bought something for them. The Vermonter will love anything from Vermont Gourmet Dog Treats. If you’re looking for something a little bigger, check Just Dog Treats article about American-made dog treats. USA Made Pet Supplies will also give you some great ideas for animal gifts.
We all have that one enthusiastic friend who is always suggesting that you go skiing, mountain climbing, hiking or bike riding with them with them. American Made Outdoors has great gift ideas for those who like hunting, camping, and fishing. Ragged Mountain also has some great toys for the outdoor enthusiast and they’re all American Made.
Children normally won’t care whether their toys are made in America or nut, but their parents will! Check out Toys Made in America for a very extensive list of fun toys and games for kids of all ages that are made exclusively in the US.
Check out our Facebook for more great ideas to buy American made!
December 5th, 2012 by Loryn Dion
Bing Crosby had it all wrong when he sang “White Christmas”. I’d like to think that your days will be much merrier and brighter if all of your Christmases are GREEN! Sustainably green, that is. Enjoy your holiday and give back to nature and to our economy by celebrating a “Green Christmas”.
Ditch the artificial tree this year and opt for a natural evergreen tree. Many artificial trees are made in China, contain harmful chemicals and once they lose their shape or luster, it’s off to the landfill they go. Buying a cut tree brings a festive aroma into your home, looks better than any fake tree could ever look and acts as a natural bird feeder after the holidays are over that you can place outside. Better yet, try starting a new tradition this year and buy a potted evergreen that you can plant in your yard after Christmas!
Get out of those Walmart lines and support your local business! Or make your friends and family something rather than buying it. Recycled and reused gifts can also be nice ways of sharing vintage presents. You could also give a gift of membership- try a gym membership, guitar lessons, theater tickets or spa day certificates at local venues. A gift of membership saves wrapping paper and reduces driving! Any way you decide to give, just think about your gifts impact on the environment and how you can make small changes to give greener. If you’re thinking of buying American-made to support your local economy, check out our American-made Holiday Shopping Challenge.
As tempting as the pretty wrapping papers at the department store may be, think about how many resources are waste by just wrapping paper and packaging materials alone. Try using old newspaper comics, fun cereal boxes or real popcorn instead of packing peanuts. Get creative!
Your green Christmas tree deserves some green Christmas ornaments. I found this great resource on everythingetsy filled with tutorials on making your own ornaments. Also, check out her green gift buying guide. It will certainly inspire some greener ideas for your decor and your gifts.
Let me know what your green Christmas ideas are here in the comments or on our Facebook page! And may all your Christmases be GREEN!
December 2nd, 2012 by Loryn Dion
Veterans Day is a time to pause and thank those who served or are serving in our armed forces and support the military. As part of the celebration, Vermont Woods Studios ran a four day benefit sale to raise money to donate to the Adopt a Soldier Program. With $20 of every sale being collected, we are proud to announce that we were able to raise $350 towards adopting Sgt. Peter A. Avila’s family.
Sgt. Peter A. Avila is currently serving with the 25th Infantry Division, 3rd Brigade, D Company located in Hawaii. Peter began in the military as a Marine and now is a US Army Soldier. He has served four tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and will soon be deployed again. Peter’s wife Crystal is suffering from kidney disease and debilitating complications. Peter and Crystal’s two little boys (Kenan and Kaleb) and a baby girl (Deanna) are growing up without their father’s presence nor do they have family members living close enough to assist in times of need. Many other military families are in similar circumstances, serving their country without complaint.
The Adopt A Soldier website provides easy ways to help, such as:
Thank you to everyone who purchased from us or donated to the Adopt a Soldier Program during Veterans Day this year. And a big thank you to all of our military personnel! That staff at Vermont Woods Studios appreciates the sacrifices and dedication of our service men and women.
November 14th, 2012 by Loryn Dion
About three weeks ago, we held a one day sale for the Bonnyvale Environmental Educational Center. BEEC is a member-based non profit organization founded in 1991 with the mission to develop a more ecologically informed citizenry through education and action in order to enhance and sustain the vitality of southern Vermont’s bioregion. BEEC organizes and leads many community-based environmental research and conservation programs, including watershed stewardship, reptile and amphibian conservation initiatives, and biodiversity planning and protection.
Last Friday, Manjula and I traveled to BEEC to meet with Patti Smith and Belle Coles, two of BEEC’s amazing staff, to share the details of our sale and present them with a check for $800. They revealed to us that this money will go towards future wildlife rehabilitation efforts that they have been working on. BEEC is currently looking at the feasibility of being a hub for wildlife rehabilitation activities in Southern Vermont. If you would like to learn more about how you can help with their efforts, take their wildlife rehabilitation survey.
Part of our mission is to be involved with local non profit organizations, like BEEC, that support sustainable forestry projects. Vermont Woods Studios was founded to help protect trees and forests around the world, so we take our community service very seriously. We are proud to have been able to support such a great organization and we look forward to working with them again in the very near future!
Follow our blog to learn about how non profit organizations like BEEC fit in to our mission and how Vermont Woods Studios remains active and engaged in our community. You can also check out our Facebook to see other ways that we support local businesses and organizations.