Madagascar Madagascar is the world's fourth largest island, situated off the southeast coast of Africa.  It's home to 17.5 million people and many of the worlds most endangered species–the vast majority of which are found nowhere else on earth.  We've been supporting efforts to save the rainforest in Madagascar  for many years, through the work of World Wildlife Fund, WWF and Conservation International.

I was sad to read in the New York Times today, that political turmoil in Madagascar has led to lawlessness and a situation where the country's last remaining rainforests are being logged by armed gangs of profiteers, clearing rosewood, ebony and other valuable tropical hardwoods.

 
Marojejy National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Madesgar's most strikingly beautiful wild area was closed this month as conditions were too dangerous for park rangers to work in.

Along with the destruction of rainforest lands, may be the disappearance of some of the world's most endangered primates, like the ring tailed lemur and the Silky Sifaka lemur.

 

As woodworkers, part of our job is to educate consumers about the need to avoid use of rainforest woods, particularly the rosewood and ebony that are coming from endangered areas like Madagascar.  If you or someone you know is purchasing wood flooring, furniture or accessories, please encourage them to use sustainably harvested woods originating in the USA.

You might also like to visit Ryan Wilson's Save the Madagascar Rain Forest petition site today and add your signature urging the Madagascar government to cooperate with international effforts to save the rainforest.  Or adopt a lemur from the WWF.  Without our help, scientists estimate that the forest will be depleted in less than 20 years.  You can help prevent that!  Thanks!

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.

 Have you signed the petition calling for a national Do Not Mail Registry to stop the tidal wave of junk mail clogging up our mailboxes?  If you haven't done this yet, maybe you'll do so after taking this short quiz. 

 







 

 


The junk mail industry claims ___  trees a year.

  1. 1 Million
  2. 10 Million
  3. 100 Million

Deforestation contributes more to global warming annually than all the _____ in the world.

  1. Cars
  2. Planes
  3. Trains
  4. Cars + Planes + Trains


Junk mail accounts for ___ percent of USPS mail.

  1. 10 %
  2. 20%
  3. 30%
  4. 75%

Answers:  100 Million,   Cars + Planes + Trains   and   30%

Surveys show that almost 90% of Americans favor the Do Not Mail Registry.  Please join us at Vermont Woods Studios in asking Congress to make it happen, and forward this post to your friends.  Ask them to join us too.  Please use the comments section to let us know if you have signed the petition and we'll keep track of the issue for you.  Thanks!

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.

We’re asking all of our Vermont Woods Studios customers, vendors and friends to join us this Saturday, March 28 at 8:30pm in turning out the lights for the Third Annual International Earth Hour.


Earth Hour is World Wildlife Fund‘s global initiative where individuals, businesses and governments turn off their lights for one hour to show their support for action on climate change.  Major cities across the US and around the world have committed to participate in Earth Hour 2009.  



Last year,  all seven continents turned out their lights in the largest climate event of all time.  The movement captured the public’s imagination with lights going out at some of the world’s most iconic landmarks including:

  • The Sydney Opera House
  • Bangkok’s Wat Arun Buddhist temple
  • The Coliseum in Rome
  • Stockholm’s Royal Castle
  • New York’s Empire State Building
  • Sears Tower in Chicago and the
  • Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

Even Google’s homepage went dark.

 What does Climate Change have to do with Green Furniture and why are we so fired up about this initiative?  


Believe it or not, 20% of global climate change is caused by deforestation.  As woodworkers, we’ve been reaching out to educate others about the need to preserve the forests.  Not just the temperate forests in which we live and work, but particularly, the world’s rapidly disappearing tropical rainforests.  


We all depend on the forests for our survival.  They are the lungs of our planet and house many of our most precious natural resources and endangered species.  Forest preservation is our passion and Earth Hour is a way to symbolize that passion.  We hope you’ll join us!

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.

 

Forest conservation is a big part of our mission at Vermont Woods Studios.  All of our furniture is made from sustainably harvested wood and we donate a portion of the proceeds of each sale to non-profit groups working to preserve the forest.  

So when I read a recent article in Audubon Magazine (by T. Edward nickens) about the damage that’s happening to our forests as a result of junk mail production, I felt we should get on board and do something to help.  Would you believe that:

  • Over 100 Billion pieces of junk mail are delivered to Americans each year (>800 pieces per household, almost half of which goes directly to the landfill without even being opened)

  • It takes over 100 million trees to produce this junk mail (that’s equivalent to clear-cutting the entire Rocky Mountain National Park every 4 months)

  • The manufacture of this junk mail releases more greenhouse gas emissions per year than the emissions released by 9.4 million average passenger cars

 The Canadian Boreal forest (home to caribou, grizzly bears, wolves and 40% of North America’s waterfowl) and Indonesia’s tropical rainforests (home to numerous critically endangered species including orangutans and tigers) are particularly at risk from junk mail producers, harvesting wood in these areas.

Want to help solve the junk mail problem?  The non-profit group, Forest Ethics has an online petition you can sign, asking Congress for a Do Not Mail registry, similar to the Do Not Call registry.  That would be great, wouldn’t it?

In the meantime, here is a fantastic website where you can quickly and easily eliminate most of your junk mail, right now…it’s Catalog Choice. 

Just sign up and select the catalogs you don’t want to receive.  Voila!  Your name is off their lists.  Take action right NOW and help save the earth’s forests.  You’ll be protecting endangered species and indigenous peoples AND helping to stem global climate change.  You’re going to feel really good about yourself today!

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.

Custom-wine-cabinet
Many thanks to
Abe Abbas, resident
furniture expert at
About.com for his informative article on Customized, Hand Crafted Furniture from Vermont
Woods Studios
. Abe is one of the foremost furniture authorities on the
web. He's responsible for ingniting and maintaining the enthusiasm of a
large crowd of interior design and
furniture aficionados who meet, greet and
discuss the latest on his
blog, forum, newsletter and website.


On St. Patrick's Day, Abe published an article
highlighting our green mission at Vermont Woods Studios and showcasing many of
our handmade, custom and customized furniture pieces, including the:

He provides a picture gallery
of his favorite handmade furniture pieces from our collection. Check it out!

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.