What are you doing this weekend for Memorial Day? If you're looking for something fun and fascinating come to the Green Mountain State for The Vermont Crafts Council's 20th Open Studios Tour.
The weather is supposed to be beautiful this weekend so it's the perfect opportunity to wander around rural Vermont and duck into hidden nooks and crannies where our state's best artists are practicing their craft.
If you love handmade furniture like we do, check out the Dorset area of Southern Vermont where you'll find some of our favorite furniture makers, including Steve Holman, Dan Mosheim, Bob Gasperetti and Bill Laberge. You'll be awed by their work, I promise. And this weekend is the best time to purchase handmade furniture and crafts because the artisans have all their samples on sale, sometimes at up to 50% off regular prices.
Open Studio maps and directions are available online and at Vermont's welcome center's located along I 89 and I 91. While you're there, check out the Vermont Woods Studios' furniture displays at the Welcome Centers and pick up our brochure.
Our own small showroom in Vernon, VT is open this Saturday from 9am-5pm but we close on Sunday and Monday to allow our staff to go out and enjoy the Open Studio Tour. We hope to see you there!
Our friends at the World Wildlife Fund have just published their bi-annual Living Planet Report. It's a landmark study of our planet in terms of the health of our forests, rivers and oceans.
The results aren't pretty. Here are some of the facts they highlighted about our environment:
- We’ve lost 30 to 70 percent of our wildlife since 1970. That's an average. The tropics have lost 50 percent of their animals over the last 40 years, and tropical freshwater ecosystems have lost about 70 percent. The wild tiger population has suffered a 70 per cent decline in populations
- We are living as if we have the resources of an extra planet at our disposal. We’re using 50 percent more resources than the Earth can provide sustainably
- The U.S. has the fifth largest ecological footprint in terms of the amount of resources each person annually consumes. We rank only behind Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, and Denmark in the global rankings of the Ecological Footprint
These are just a few of the statistics noted in the 80 page report. But the good news is that it's not too late to save wildlife species and reverse unsustainable trends.
Green commerce plays a fundamental role in this as do you and I. The choices we make about our purchases will determine our planet's future.
Learn more about what Vermont Woods Studios is doing to promote forest conservation and preservation of endangered species like the Sumatran tiger. Join us in our green mission!
Since Earth Day is on Sunday this year, we decided to have our Vermont Woods Studios Earth Day party today. Here are a few photos of the crew indulging in local, organic food from The Works, a cafe, bakery and deli in Brattleboro.
We love the food and the people at the Works but we also like their green brand.
This sign on the wall at the back of the deli tells where all the recycled materials that make up the store came from. Furniture and cabinetry were made by our friend Chad Woodruff of Woodruff Custom Furniture here in Vernon, VT. Chad used old tractor seats and scythe handles for chairs.
The vintage steel lighting at the Works was salvaged from from an old amusement park in Rye, New York.
The menu is written on an old slate chalkboard reclaimed from Northfield Mount Hermon School, in Northfield MA.
They just used a lot of imagination in designing and building the Works and everyone in Brattleboro loves going there for the good green vibe.
So here's another idea for our "Greening Up Your Workplace" Challenge on Facebook– have an Earth Day lunch with natural food from a local restaurant or deli.
There's still time to register for the best Green Build conference in Vermont, Better Buildings by Design, to be held at the Sheraton Conference Center in Burlington VT on Feb 8-9, 2012.
At Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture much of our work is with green architects, builders and home owners as they approach the final stages of their construction projects. We're always excited to see our natural, eco-friendly furniture installed in green homes that reflect the same environmental passions we've built our business on.
If you're thinking of building or renovating, you're sure to enjoy (and learn a lot at) this convivial gathering of green designers, builders, vendors, realtors and consultants. Here's 3 reasons why:
- This is the Northeast's premier sustainable design and construction conference, featuring interactive learning about building, durability, efficiency, and value. It hosts over 1000 attendees, 35 workshops and 50 exhibitors.
- If you're planning on building or retrofitting a green home or business in Vermont this is the best place to find out who's who in the zoo of local regional green home builders, service providers and consultants in the areas of thermal imaging, heat pumps, thermal biomass, performance monitoring, hydrothermal modeling, whole house monitoring, high performance hot water systems, solid state lighting or LEDs, deep energy retrofits, energy codes and more.
- Here you can find the best scoop on Self-Reliance, the 100% solar-powered home that took fourth place in the 2011 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C. The Middlebury College green team of college students and faculty will explain how they looked to the past to reinvent the residential building of Vermont’s future, discussing everything from sustainable materials and modern technology to the economic realities of building a solar home.