On Wednesday the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  This is a long overdue but important step, not only in protecting the world’s most charismatic animals who risk extinction, but also in fighting global warming.  Scientists estimate that fully 20% of global warming is due to deforestation.  And a significant portion of that deforestation results from illegal harvesting of the rainforest to produce cheap lumber for flooring and furniture.  Read more about it in the Washington Post.  The bottom line is that if you are purchasing teak, mahogany or any other tropical wood furniture or flooring and it’s not FSC certified, there is a very high likelihood that it has been illegally harvested through clear-cutting of the rainforest.

High_end_solid_cherry_sleigh_bed Vermont Woods Studios was founded on the principle of sustainable forestry and the promotion of forest stewardship around the world.  We use locally harvested wood for our natural, handcrafted furniture whenever possible.  When customers ask for tropical rainforest woods like mahogany or teak, we make sure we purchase only sustainably harvested wood that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, the world’s gold standard for sustainable forestry.  Our goal is to ensure that both our furniture and the forests it came from will be around for generations to come.

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.

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Russ Rocknak is the Art Director at NEW ENGLAND HOME magazine out of Newton, MA.  He’s been an admirer of our work at Vermont Woods Studios for awhile and has included quite a few of our high end, custom furniture pieces in his editorial sections.  Last week he wrote to me asking about Steve Holman’s fabulous lime green fainting couch.  Thanks to Russ, this ultra luxurious recamier sofa will be featured in all its green glory in the July/August 08 issue of new England Home.  Thanks Russ!  And thanks to Steve for making our world a little more green…and elegant!

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.

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I wrote several weeks ago about our Customer, Rudie who lives in Norway.  Rudie purchased a beautiful custom Coat Tree made of tree saplings by artisan, David Holzapfel.  You can imagine that it might be very nerve wracking to order an expensive piece of artwork/furniture from a small company half a world away.  But Rudie and I used email and a couple phone calls to establish a mutual trust and confidence…and friendship.  Yesterday, Rudie received his Coat Tree and I have to share his comments with you:

"Peggy, Peggy, Peggy . . . The coat tree arrived in the afternoon and it is beautiful !!!  I am very happy… it is like jewelry in my house. Tomorrow afternoon I go on a short holiday but when I am back I will send you photos.  My mother will come next week and she also is dying to see the coat tree. For sure that she loves it.  I will enjoy looking at it for a lifetime, and with me many others that will visit my house as familie and friends and colleagues from work.  Thank you very much for everything and of course please also thank David for his beautiful piece of work. You can tell him that his coat tree has found a good home.  The coat tree was very well packed in the crate, good job.  I will keep watching your gallery.  Again thank you very much for everything.  My very best regards,  Rudie"

Another happy customer.  This is what we live for here at Vermont Woods Studios.  Life is good.

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.

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We received an interesting request for proposal this week, on our commercial side (that’s also me ;).  Alda Naha of Purchasing Management International, a purchaser for hotel, resort and casino furnishing worldwide, had seen our sustainable furniture at a resort, Stowe Mountain Lodge, in Stowe Vermont and was interested in receiving a bid to furnish a couple areas of a new Ritz Carlton in Tuscon, AZ.

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Alda was looking for a large conference table that measured 5′ wide  x14′ long for a Board Room and a similar large dining table for the Wine room.

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The project was a terrific match for Vermont Woods Studios since our artisans are often working on massive tables like this for hotels, colleges, and government offices all around the Northeast.  We have not made our way out West much, however, so we were thrilled to have the opportunity to bid.  The designer who was working on spec’ing the project had guayubira wood in mind for the project, but since that is a rare and endangered wood, we proposed to use either reclaimed chestnut or walnut.  We are hoping PMI will consider this green alternative for the present project and also keep us in mind for future eco-friendly, luxury furniture needs.

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.

What are you doing for Earth Day?  If you're stuck inside at a desk, like I am at the moment, there are still loads of things you can do to help.   Check out World Wildlife Fund's Take Action Now page.  This is one of many great websites that initiate online petitions to get lawmakers around the globe to listen to our voices for conservation.  I just signed the following petitions and it took just a few minutes:

 
Stop Imports of Illegal Wood

Protect Sumatran tigers and many other species that depend on forest habitat around the globe by urging your representative to support legislation to combat illegal logging.

 
One of World's Largest Fisheries at Risk

Tell Congress to protect Bristol Bay in Alaska from offshore oil and gas drilling.

 
Protect Threatened Species and Tropical Forests

Urge Congress to speak out for U.S. funding that protects nature in developing countries.

 
Push for an Ocean Protection Treaty

Urge your senators to support U.S. ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty.

 
Protect Endangered Species From the Impacts of Coal Mining

Urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to stop ignoring the impacts of coal mining on our nation’s threatened and endangered wildlife, particularly aquatic creatures living in the biologically rich rivers and streams of the Southeastern United States.

 
Help Lions, Snow Leopards and More

Urge Congress to help imperiled wildlife by passing the Great Cats and Rare Canids Act.

Go check it out and give it a try. Here's another online activist site I love, Forests.org.  There you can help in their current efforts to preserve wilderness in Patagonia.  We hope you will join us at Vermont Woods Studios in our ongoing mission to save the forests and the animals and people who live there.  Happy Earth Day!

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.