Saving the Rainforest | Sustainable Wooden Furniture and Flooring | What's the Connection?
Global rainforest destruction continues to proceed at a rate of > 1 acre per second.  60 seconds every minute.  60 minutes every hour, 24/7/365.  It’s the greatest extinction in the history of the earth.  Once the rainforest is gone, it’s gone forever.  It doesn’t regenerate like our northern temperate forests.  Interested in conserving the rainforest and preserving the iconic species who’ve lived there for millions of years?  Learn how your choices for furniture, flooring and other forest products can help.

Where Does Your Wooden Furniture Come From?

Ever wonder where your wooden furniture comes from?  Seven years ago I founded Vermont Woods Studios because I didn’t like the answer to that question.  And the answer is:  if you didn’t  purchase American made furniture, yours may well have originated in a beautiful tropical rainforest that was being plundered by illegal logging activities.

One Acre of Rainforest Disappears Every Second

I spent the first few years at Vermont Woods Studios trying to raise awareness about rainforest devastation and how it’s driven by the wood furniture and flooring industries.  Did you know that the rainforest is disappearing at the rate of >1 acre per second?  It sounds unbelievable and sensationalist, doesn’t it?  I mean that’s over 4000 football fields every hour of every 24 hour day, 365 days/year.  But it’s true and that fact is why we continue to work so hard to offer sustainable, locally made furniture at this Vermont furniture store.

You and I Have the Power to Save the Rainforest

Consumers of wood furniture, flooring and other forest products are the key to saving the rainforest.  If you’re taking the trouble to learn about sustainable wooden furniture and how you as a consumer can be part of the global solution, we want to help.  I’ll be writing a series of blogs over the next few months to provide some background information regarding the past, present and future of the rainforest and how we consumers can do our part to save it.  Have any rainforest references or stories you’d like to share?  Use the comment section below or join the conversation on our Facebook.

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Made in America Holiday Shopping Challenge
Vermont Woods Studios and Vernon community members were featured on ABC World News last year for our efforts in having an American made holiday.

Made in America Holiday Shopping Challenge

What a difference a year makes! When we initiated our Made in America Holiday Shopping Challenge last year, it was our hope that a large scale movement would begin. We hoped to get our message out in our community, and if it reached out further, all the better. A nationwide movement seemed like a long-shot dream, until ABC World News got wind of our concept. They liked the message, and helped spread it across the nation. Unfortunately, the segment aired only 5 days away from Christmas, so it left little time to participate, but at least the tradition began.

Fast forward to this fall: we have seen many new websites, blogs, and Facebook pages jump on the bandwagon helping to promote American made goods for the holidays. This figure went viral: the average American will spend $700 on holiday gifts, totaling more than $465 billion. If we spend just $64 on American made goods, 200,000 new jobs could be created. Americans were shocked by the figure, and eagerly wanted to join in on the challenge.  ABC World News had people young and old across the country yelling, “We’re in,” and a full fledged, nationwide movement was created.

One question we kept hearing through out the various American made holiday campaigns was, “where do I find American made goods?”

This is where we came in.  We searched the internet and our local stores to find you a variety of American made gift ideas. We pinned these gift ideas, put them on Facebook, and blogged about them. We did just about everything except parade down Main Street to make you aware of the vast amount of products that are made in America.

American Made Gift Ideas on Facebook

Here is our final wrap up of the products we featured on Facebook:

1. Crane & Co. holiday greeting cards

2. VZ Wraps reusable gift bags

3. Simon Pearce ornaments

4. DODOCASE electroic covers

5. Vermont Teddy Bear teddy bears

6. Alex and Ani bangles

7. Channellock tools

8. Vermont Flannel clothing (for dogs too)

9. Laura Zindel ceramic goods

10. Sprinbok puzzles

11. Maple Landmark Woodcraft toys

12. Warby Parker eyewear

13. Nordic Ware baking pans

14. Green Toys children toys

15. Lake Champlain Chocolates delicious treats

16. KitchenAid mixers

17. Leatherman tools

18. Tittle Tikes riding toys

19. Turtle Fur hats

20. Dogeared jewelry

21. Darn Tough socks

22. Way Out Wax candles

23. Zipfy snow sleds

24. Tervis tumblers


Thank you for joining us on this American made journey this season. We are ecstatic that our dream last year has turned into a movement supported by the whole country. We hope that this will be encouraging enough for you to continue buying American made products through out the entire year! Make 2013 the year to buy American made.

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Vermont Green Furniture Blog
Heather Barrett (left) and Loryn Dion, the women behind Vermont’s Green Furniture Blog are showing off their Secret Santa gifts, received at our Made in America Christmas Party.  Heather has a Tervis tumbler and a Kringle candle.  Loryn has a set of handmade ceramic coasters designed and created by Heather.

Who Writes Vermont’s Green Furniture Blog?

There’s a lot of creative energy at Vermont Woods Studios these days and happily we have a number of talented writers who are willing to share our daily goings on through this green furniture blog.  Pictured above are Heather Barrett (left) of Brattleboro VT and Loryn Dion (right) of Northfield MA who work long and hard on many aspects of our Vermont furniture store, including keeping you up to date on the latest office shenanigans.

Holiday Hot Topic: Made in America Christmas Shopping Challenge

The photo above was taken Friday at our “Made in America” Secret Santa party where each of us gave and received American made Christmas gifts.  It’s part of our Made in America Holiday Shopping Challenge (we figure with Americans spending about $586 Billion this holiday season, if all of those gifts were made in America it could generate 5.8 million jobs.  OK we know that not every gift can or should be made in America, but still shopping “American made” can create a lot of jobs).

Not Just Red, White and Blue– Green Too!

Anyway, if you want to follow these two creative writers you’ll find their contributions right here every week.  Besides keeping us up to date on American made Christmas gift ideas, Heather tends to blog about green furniture, Vermont Travel and all things adventurous and exciting in the Green Mountain state.  Loryn’s been keeping her focus on Green decor and interior design but you never know what kind of provocative topics she might wander off into.

To stay in touch with Heather and Loryn, subscribe to this blog on the top right or join their conversations on Facebook.  And keep a look out for insider secrets from their newly recruited accomplice, Liz Francese who’ll be taking you on occasional trips behind the veil at Vermont Woods Studios Sales and Customer Service.  More about Liz coming soon!

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Made in America Holiday Shopping Challenge: 5 Last Minute Gift Ideas

Last minute shopping is inevitable, especially during the holiday season.  The last few months of the year seem to fly by. One day you’re eating Thanksgiving dinner with your family, and the next day you wake up and it’s Christmas Eve.  How did that happen?! Don’t panic, I have compiled a list of five last minute gift ideas or “go to” gift ideas for when your timing is a little too close for comfort.

Whether time has slipped away, a friend invited you to their holiday party last minute, or you need a gift for a co-worker you don’t know well, there is something on this list that will work for any person in a pinch.

1. Wine

Wine is the perfect go-to gift during the holiday season. Hosts love when you bring a gift that they can share with their guests during the party. It’s something that is useful, and won’t end up collecting dust on a shelf. Not only do most people enjoy a good bottle of wine, it only takes a few minutes to pick it up at the store. If you want to make the wine more meaningful, try to remember if you have heard them talk about their favorite type. If not, pick out your favorite kind and introduce it to them! Try to buy from a local winery whenever possible (this is, afterall, a Made in America Holiday Shopping Challenge). Wine from Vermont’s Putney Mountain Winery and Shelburne Vineyard would make great holiday gifts.

2. Chocolate

Who doesn’t love chocolate? Chocolate is a great last minute gift idea for everyone! Many chocolate companies have already helped you out by festively decorating their packages, so you won’t even have to wrap the gift. Take a look at Lake Champlain Chocolates‘ seasonal assortments. This Vermont based company makes their delicious chocolates without preservatives, and you can taste the freshness! Also, go to your local food co-op to see what your area has to offer. You may be surprised to find you have a hidden chocolate gem in your state too!

3. Candles

The winter season is a popular time to have candles lit around your home. Many people like having scented candles this time of year to get into the holiday spirit. The extra light on a dark winter evening also gives us a warm and fuzzy feeling. To avoid making your candle look a little generic and like a last minute gift, buy it locally. People like knowing the source of their gifts, and knowing that it was made close to home is an added bonus. Many local artisans create candles that can be personalized, or come with American made accessories to jazz up the gift. If you’re looking for a Vermont based company, Carved Solutions ships their candles out within 48 hours. Vermont Soap & Candle and Way Out Wax have a variety of scents and candle styles to choose from as well.

4. Ornament

An ornament is a great gift for the holidays. Ornaments are easy to find (check the label for made in USA) and they are something that people will keep for years. They come in a large variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. This gift is great for someone you know really well, because you can get something based on an interest or hobby.  Or, it can be good for someone you don’ t know well because you can get something a little more seasonally related, like a snowflake, that will be an addition to their decorations annually. Ornaments are also versatile-not only are they hung on Christmas trees, but they can be hung on an office cubicle wall or placed in windows! Danforth Pewter, a Vermont based company, handcrafts beautiful holiday ornaments that would make a special gift.

5. Gift Certificates

A gift certificate to a local business is an excellent gift; last minute or not. No one will think any less of your creativity because going to a free movie, or getting a free meal is welcomed by everyone. You can get a gift certificate to the person’s favorite local store, a bookstore, a coffee shop they frequent daily, a nice restaurant, the movie theater,  a museum, a fitness class…the options are endless! When we purchase a gift certificate we are supporting local business, and helping the local economy.


Now that you have five last minute gift ideas, get off the computer and get to a store– you’re running out of time! Let us know in the comments if you have any last minute gift ideas, or share them on our Facebook.

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

made in america shopping challengeMade in America Shopping Challenge

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.

Gifts for the Foodie

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.

Gifts for the Animal Lover

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.

Gifts for the Adventurous Friend

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.

Gifts for Kids

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!

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.