Vermont Woods Studios Handmade Furniture

Natural, Green, American Furniture: Why Bother?

February 17th, 2009 by Peggy Farabaugh

Natural-Cherry-Dining-Cabinet

Natural, Green, American Furniture: who could argue with that, right?  Given similar prices, most people would rather buy this kind of eco-friendly furniture as opposed to foreign imports and here are just a few reasons why:

  • The use of sustainably-harvested, local wood helps preserve our forests and the biodiversity we rely on for our very existence
  • The avoidance of using illegally harvested tropical woods like mahogany and teak helps preserve the world's vanishing rainforests and the endangered species within them  (Twenty percent of global warming is attributed to deforestation).
  • Preservation of the art and tradition of American furniture making is important to us.
  • Preservation of high quality, green, American jobs is important to us.
  • The support for fair treatment of foreign workers, in terms of occupational safety and health and wages is important to us.

I recently read a well-researched series of articles in the Salt Lake Tribune titled, American Imports- Chinese Deaths about how Chinese workers are losing their lives producing goods for America.  Many Chinese workers are dying from cancers and other fatal occupational diseases caused by exposure to benzene, toluene, formaldehyde and more.  These chemicals are present in the paints, varnishes, glues and solvents that are pervasive in low-cost, imported furniture.  Several pages of the series were devoted to discussions of amputation and the loss of life and limb, due to worker exposure to unguarded machinery. 

These are the realities of  imported furniture and the reasons why Vermont Woods Studios customers "bother" to purchase natural, green, American furniture. They're concerned for the health and safety of the people who make our furniture as well as the health of their own families.  And acquiring beautiful, high quality furniture makes them feel good about their choices everytime they sit at the dining table or sleep soundly in their bedroom furniture.  Bravo to those consumers who value the benefits of natural, American made furniture!

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