April 22, 2015 is “Earth Day”, a time when many people stop and think about what they can do to make the world a better place. At Vermont Woods Studios, we believe that businesses have a responsibility to do this- not only on Earth Day, but every day. We believe in being real, active global citizens that work hard to make the world a better place. We believe in giving future generations (of both humans and animals) a better world to live in!

So this Earth Day, we’d love to share some of our current Earth efforts: 

1. Benefit Sale for VCE:

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For one day only, we will be donating $25 from every sale to the Vermont Center for Eco Studies. This organization is dear to our hearts, and our mission, as they promote wildlife conservation across the Americas using the combined strength of scientific research and citizen engagement. We support them every year and are happy to do this special promotion for them!

2. Salamander Crossing:
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For more than 10 years, Peggy has been going out on rainy April nights and helping salamanders and other amphibians get to the vernal pools where they congregate to breed. All of these amphibians are abundant in Vermont (if seldom seen)—but that will change in places where they must cross roads to reach their breeding pools!  Volunteers are needed to help these little critters get to where they are going safely, in order to conserve their populations.

3. Preparing our Garden Sanctuary:
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For the second year in a row, we are preparing our butterfly and bee sanctuary garden. Earlier in the year we went out and planted milkweed for Monarchs, and now we are preparing a garden that will be a safe haven for bees, butterflies, and other critters! Dennis and Nina are hard at work today, tilling, cleaning, and prepping the area.

We hope that this Earth Day you will take some time to think about your own environmental impact and what you are doing to help protect animals and the planet. Even if your actions are small, they are important! What will you do for the Earth this year? Let us know in the comments section!

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.

This post is one in a series about Vermont Woods Studios’ mission of rainforest conservation and our support of Bolivian environmentalists dedicated to reforestation and ecotourism in the AmazonPart 1Part 2Part 3Part 4.

Protectors of the Amazon | Madidi Travel | Eco Tourism at Serere
Our tour guide, Severo navigating the waters of the Beni River in the Bolivian Amazon.  Severo is one of a team of dedicated environmentalists who protect and defend the Serere Reserve against illegal loggers and other predators.  Rainforest conservation through eco tourism is their strategy & 100% of their profits go to conservation work and the local community.

Why Does the Amazon Need Protecting?

We talk a lot about rainforest conservation at Vermont Woods Studios and I’m sure many people wonder why we’re so fanatic about it.  Part of the reason for our forest conservation mission is is my love of animals and wildlife.  And part of it is that humanity is destroying a precious resource (that took billions of years to evolve) at a rate that surpasses any previous mass extinction. Consider that:

Forests have completely disappeared in 25 countries and another 29 countries have lost > 90% of their forest cover.

Madidi Travel: Protectors of the Amazon

We’ve written before about who’s responsible for destroying the rainforest.  Today I wanted to tell you about people who are dedicating their lives to conserving the rainforest.  Last week Kendall and I visited Riley, who was volunteering for them at Madidi Travel in the Serere Reserve in Bolivia.  Ecotourism supporting conservation is Madidi’s strategy.  They are a team led by the legendary environmental activist, Rosamaria Ruiz (featured in this National Geographic article).

Diego and M Tapir | Rescue Sanctuary at Serere | Maidid Travel
Diego manages many aspects of hospitality at the Serere Reserve.  I imagine this job is rather different from his previous experiences managing Club Med facilities!  Here he and Monsieur Tapir are having a moment.  Madidi Travel uses responsible ecotourism to fund rainforest conservation in the Bolivian Amazon.  The Serere Reserve functions as a sanctuary for rescued wildlife, many of whose mothers have been shot and eaten by illegal loggers.  Kendall, Riley and I had an amazing time getting to know the orphaned tapirs, monkeys, chonchos and capybaras.

After decades of conservation work in the Bolivian Amazon, which resulted in the creation of the Madidi National Park, Ms Ruiz purchased a 4000 hectacre reserve known as Serere.  The land was severely damaged by illegal logging and other unauthorized exploitations but Ms Ruiz and her team have brought it back to life.  It is now one of the most beautiful and biologically diverse places on the planet (as you can see in this Serere video).

Can Eco Tourism Help Save the Rainforest?

With much of the reforestation already in progress, the job of patrolling the rainforest and protecting it’s inhabitants now takes center stage at Serere.  That’s where the strategy of ecotourism comes in.  Guests can join local guides on daily hikes and canoe rides throughout the reserve.  Thus the land is patrolled while visitors enjoy the amazing biodiversity of life in the forest (we saw 5 different species of monkeys in one day).  Learn more about ecotourism supporting rainforest conservation on this Madidi Travel video.

Having lunch with Rosamaria Ruiz and Madidi Travel team members
Having lunch with Rosamaria Ruiz,  Madidi Travel team members and volunteers.  We were in Rurrenabaque, the launch point for Amazon rainforest ecotourism adventures.  Now is the time to go, if you’re thinking of visiting the Amazon.  The US dollar is currently very strong in Bolivia and the need for your support of ecotourism is urgent.

 

 

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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At Vermont Woods Studios, we believe that businesses have a responsibility to make the world a better place–not only on Earth day, but everyday. We realize that the planet is precious, and that both businesses and consumers have the power to protect it. The five companies we are highlighting in this blog are ones we believe do their best to protect our planet, both socially and environmentally. From organic and eco-friendly materials, to trade cycles that benefit indigenous populations, we are happy to support the unique missions of these Earth friendly companies:

1. Boll & Branch: Boll & Branch describes their products as “linens with a mission.” Their 300-thread-count sheets & cable knit throws are made exclusively from Global Organic Textile Standard-certified organic cotton, and made in fair-trade farms and factories in India. They ensure that the factory conditions are safe, and workers are paid a living wage. Boll & Branch uses only low impact, fiber reactive dyes that do not contain any known toxins or heavy metals. Their linens are beautiful, luxurious, and most importantly, eco-friendly!

2. Yellow Leaf Hammocks: Every Yellow Leaf Hammock is 100% handwoven by “hill-tribe artisans” in rural northern Thailand. The opportunity to weave hammocks and earn a good living wage is transformative for the weavers and their families, many of whom previously worked in back breaking slash and burn agriculture. Instead of going to school, many children would end up working in the fields alongside their parents, stuck in a cycle of poverty. Yellow Leaf Hammocks empowers these people through job creation– giving them the tools they need to escape poverty and join the middle class.

3. Badger: Badger is a small, family-owned company nestled on the banks of the Ashuelot River in rural Gilsum, New Hampshire. They blend organic plant extracts, oils, butters and beeswax to make eco-friendly healing balms, lip balms, mineral sunscreens, and other personal care products. Everything they make is healthy, and promoting environmental responsibility is one of their core principals. Plus, they use only USDA Certified Organic ingredients in their products!

4. Deans Beans: Deans Beans encourages you to look in your kitchen and ask yourself, “where do your beans come from?” They believe in a progressive trade system where social and environmental consciousness plays an integral part in every step of the cycle (from production and distribution, from the farmer to the consumer). They believe in building a better future through business and hope that other coffee companies follow their lead. They only purchase their beans from small farm cooperatives, largely made up of indigenous people working hard to maintain their culture and lifestyle. Dean, the company’s founder, has a long history of activism for indigenous rights, and it’s one of the reasons he started the company in the first place.  They believe that the quality of their coffee includes the quality of respect for the environment and for their southern partners in the coffee world.

5. Seventh Generation: Seventh Generation is a Burlington, Vermont based maker of environmentally friendly laundry detergent, trash bags, and diapers. They took their name from an Iroquiois law that says, “in our every deliberation we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.” To make good on that pledge, Seventh Generation sells a line of products that includes biodegradable, vegetable-based cleaning products, chlorine-free tampons and paper towels and natural lotion baby wipes. They even have an employee bonus program that awards workers who figure out ways to make their products even more sustainable!

We hope that these companies have inspired you to take a look around your home and think about the products you bring into it. Where are they coming from? Who makes them? What are the consequences? Who am I supporting? These are all important things to consider when buying consciously and ethically. We invite you to join us in promoting some of your own favorite Earth friendly companies! You can leave a link and what you love about them in the comments section, or write to us on Facebook or on Twitter.

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.

Just when we thought that we had the social media scene under wraps, another great social platform arises from the online abyss! This site is called Polyvore! Polyvore is an online platform where you can shop, search for items you love, and build sets! Here are a few sets that people have created using our furniture (click on the photo to see which piece is ours):

 

Organic Modern

 

cali flashback

 

Orange Break !!!

 

Whether its earthy, natural “sets” or quirky, colorful modern sets like the one seen above… Polyvore users seem to be loving our furniture! Want to build a set of your own using Vermont Woods Studios items? Visit our Polyvore page!

Stay tuned for a more comprehensive explanation of Polyvore next week, as well as how to use it for your own personal room planner!

For now, take some time to explore the site for yourself. What do you think about Polyvore? Let us know in the comments section or on 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.

Loft Bedroom Furniture Collection

Our  Loft bedroom furniture collection is proof that simple is beautiful. It’s clean, modern design utilizes simple and straight lines to highlight the natural beauty of the wood. The crisp right angles and straight lines make this bedroom set ideal for practically any contemporary bedroom style.

The centerpiece of the Loft Collection is the ultra minimalist bed. It has quite unique legs, which draws attention to it but in a way that doesnt distract from the rest of the room. It’s bold and beautiful but not in your face. The case pieces are expertly crafted and unassuming. They are versatile enough to transform as your aesthetic tastes change.

Why we love the Loft Bedroom Furniture Collection:

-The Minimalist bed reduces clutter in your bedroom.

-It’s unique geometric look stands out from traditional bedroom furniture

-It’s perfect for both husband and wife

-It’s extremely versatile

-It’s better for the environment

-It’s reasonably priced

-It’s guaranteed for life

-It’s made in Vermont and supports the local woodworking community

-It’s just plain beautiful

The Loft bedroom furniture collection is expertly crafted in Vermont using sustainably harvested solid wood. Each piece is custom crafted to ensure the highest standard of quality. An eco-friendly, hand applied oil finish tops off the artistry of this design. If you like it as much as we do, why not make it your own? Shop it online or give us a call at 888-390-5571/contact us with your questions.

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.