April 18th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Guest Blogger: Shannon Albritton
WARNING: No hazmat suits, protective eyewear or gloves required to read this message
My very first thought when we launched our Green-Up Your Workplace Challenge here at Vermont Woods Studios was “I can’t wait to get those toxic cleaning products out of our bathroom!” There’s nothing worse than walking into a ‘freshly cleaned bathroom’ and needing to open the window to dissipate the smell of bleach and chemicals. I was quick to volunteer for the task of purchasing a new assortment of green cleaning products. Permission granted!
My personal aversion to the odor of chemical-based products aside, there are a variety of factors to consider when selecting cleaning products:
Important reasons to consider when going green with your clean:
Possible environmental consequences of using chemical cleaning products:
And, if the above isn’t enough to convince you, consider the following warning label comparison:
Warning Label Clorox Clean-Up reads: Eye & Skin Irritant: Causes substantial but temporary eye injury. Do not get in eyes or on clothing. Wear protect eyewear (really?) Harmful if swallowed. For sensitive skin or prolonged use wear gloves. Avoid prolonged breathing of vapors and use in well ventilated areas. (Yeesh! – did they forget the hazmat suit?)
Warning Label Biokleen Bac-Out Bathroom Cleaner: Caution: In case of eye contact, flush eyes with cool water for 15 minutes. In case of ingestion, do not induce vomitting; drink plenty of water to dilute. (That was easy)
Have I convinced you yet? Here comes the reinforcement…
Products from earth-friendly companies like Biokleen (my personal favorite), Ecover, Seventh Generation offer a safe and comprehensive product line for cleaning your office and home. Many products are available in concentrated form which also helps keep our planet green. Less waste in plastic bottles and containers has a direct impact on our energy consumption and pollution from manufacturing. In many cases these concentrated products are very cost effective because you’re not paying for the bottle over and over again. I’ve been using Biokleen for years and strongly recommend them. Not only are their products safe and green they actually work and smell wonderful!
So, let’s recap: Choosing to green-up your workplace by replacing toxic cleaning products laden with harsh chemicals with green cleaning alternatives is my # 1 choice because it:
Now head on over to the Vermont Woods Studios Virtual Green-Up Your Workplace Challenge and show your love for my #1 green-up tip. Be sure to share your green cleaning tips with the rest of us and tell us how you’re greening up your workplace too!
Warning: No animals, vegetables or minerals have been harmed in the making of this message
April 15th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Earth Day is just one week away, on Sunday Aprill 22, 2012. At Vermont Woods Studios we're encouraging our customers, craftspeople, vendors and friends to Green-up their Workplaces by instituting earth-friendly office policies like going paperless, recycling, using compact fluorescent lightbulbs, buying Energy Star rated equipment and so on.
You can celebrate Earth Day by virtually attending our Green-up Your Workplace Challenge on Facebook. It's just a click of your mouse and we'll plant a tree for each person who "attends" the event.
So here's today's Earth-friendly tip: get your office "green certified". It's easy- nothing too official but I think it's worth doing, if just for the insight you'll get as you think through your answers to the certification questions.
The process was developed by GreenLine Paper Company. There are 24 questions on your office energy use, building construction, office supplies, waste reduction/recycling and transportation, which will determine your score. It only takes 5 minutes to complete and it's a great (and Free) way to show the world that you are making an effort to be sustainable and environmentally conscientious. Check it out and let us know how you score!
April 10th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
OK, I know (if you don't work at Vermont Woods Studios) people don't count down to Earth Day like they do for say… Christmas, so I'll just go ahead and remind you that Earth Day is less than 2 weeks away. It's on April 22 this year.
Did you know that?
After 40 years of Earth Days coming and going, are you beginning to wonder if it really means anything anymore? If any real positive change ever comes out of Earth Day? Well, here's you chance to pitch in and make the world a little greener, better place on Earth Day 2012.
The first thing you can do (very EASY) is make just 2 clicks and join our Green-up Your Workplace Challenge on Facebook. This is a virtual event we've set up so we can share ideas with you about how to help make your workplace greener.
Next, check out The Nature Conservancy's Picnic for the Planet. All over the world, TNC is sponsoring picnics to celebrate delicious, local, organically grown food. For example, in Vermont we're having a picnic in Burlington's City Hall Park where local chefs, restaurants and farmers will come and whip up their ideas of the perfect Vermont springtime picnic. We'll have live music, exhibits and activities too.
Last year, there were more than 600 picnics in 61 countries on Earth Day. This year TNC is trying to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest picnic event in a 24-hour time frame. You can help! Host a picnic in your workplace. Then tell us about it on Facebook and keep Earth Day alive and going strong!
April 6th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Here's Manjula, Shannon and Douglas at our last Vermont Woods Studios staff meeting. I'm happy to note they all have re-usable water bottles in hand (although they're all making fun of me for taking a picture of it).
Anyway, as part of our Earth Day Green Up Your Workplace Challenge, we're trying to persuade you to bring a re-usable water bottle to work instead of buying drinks at the vending machine.
Here's a couple reasons why:
So even though we can transform disposable, single-use plastic bottles into beautiful Polywood outdoor furniture like the recycled plastic Adirondack chairs we're sitting in here, there are still 22 billion bottles that end up in landfills or polluting our oceans every year. Check out this video on ocean plastic pollution to learn more. Then be sure to attend (virtually, of course– it only takes a mouse click) our Green-Up Your Workplace Challenge on Facebook and see if you can persuade your co-workers to give up disposable plastic bottle for good!
April 3rd, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
As part of our Green Up Your Workplace Challenge, we're scouting around for fun things you can do at work to get your co-workers involved with Earth Day.
How about setting up an Earth Day vegetarian party like this one by Kristine Shin Designs?
OK, I'll admit we're probably not going to make anything that extravagant happen in our small office at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture but maybe if you work with a large group, you could do it? Then you could post pictures of your veggie feast on our Green Up Your Workplace Facebook event )
March 27th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
If you had to give your workplace a grade for "greenliness" what would it be? Most people I've talked to say they at least have recycling containers at work. For paper that is. Not many have recycling for cans or plastic though. Not many have consistently emphasized programs for energy efficiency either (with a focus on turning computers and equipment off at night, turning lights out when not in use, replacing old incandescent bulbs with high-efficiency ones, etc.)
Come on now. It's 2012. We've had 42 Earth Days come and go since the first one in 1970. What seems to be the problem? Don't settle for a "D" on your report card.
At Vermont Woods Studios we're trying to help make this year's Earth Day (April 22, 2012) a little more successful in the workplace. Manjula and Dennis cooked up a "Green Up Your Workplace Challenge". It's a virtual Facebook event and we're asking you to attend. You can do so by liking us on our Facebook and then attending the "Green Up Your Workplace" event (a Facebook page where we'll post photos, links, stories, tips and advice for how to get an A in 'greenliness" for your workplace).
Give it a try! Our goal is to get 400 people to attend the "Green Up Your Workplace Challenge" between now and Earth Day and we're going to plant a tree for each person who attends. How about giving us a hand?
November 30th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
I am really sorry if, like us, you were watching for a segment on our Made in America Christmas Challenge tonight. We weren't there I just asked the producer what happened and she explained that time constraints prevented our segment from being aired on schedule. I guess this is not unusual as the news is never predictable. Anyway, Christine assured me that our segment is still in the works and will be aired in the near future. She will let me know when that is and I'll post it here and on our facebook.
Don't forget to tune in (or set your DVR) to ABC World News with Diane Sawyer at 6:30pm EST TONIGHT to see our crazy Christmas Shopping Challenge in patriotic Vernon, Vermont. All your favorite American-made shopping stalwarts will be featured from the Town Hall, the Firestation, the Vernon elementary school, the Portside Tavern, Malhana Farm and Vermont Woods Studios Furniture (home of 100% American made, wood furniture).
Here's the premsie: Americans will spend, on average $700 per person on Christmas and holiday gifts this year. If we allocated just $64 of that to American made gifts, we would generate 200,000 jobs, nation-wide. So the question is: Are you IN?
If you're IN, then get counted by joining us at our Made in America Holiday Shopping virtual Facebook event (it's just a mouse click– you don't have to actually show up anywhere). Thanks for joining us and be sure to share (on our Facebook) any cool things you find in your shopping adventures!
November 29th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
We're celebrating our Made in America Holiday Shopping Challenge success with a store-wide 15% Off Fine Furniture Sale. This has been such an exciting week for us, with the ABC World News crew spotlighting our efforts to get friends and relatives to "buy American" this Christmas shopping season. Manjula and Dennis decided to share our revelry with a big sale– it's store-wide from tomorrow until December 13.
Don't forget to watch us (or set your DVR) tomorrow night on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer and then join with all of us who are promising to buy at least some American made gifts this Christmas– and be sure to get counted on Facebook!
As a company that sells exclusively American made furniture (Vermont-made, actually) we're psyched to get this level of traction behind our push to create more American jobs. As consumers, we have the power and what better time than Christmas (when we're each spending an average of $700 on gifts) to excercise that power!
November 22nd, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
It was only a couple days ago that Shannon ran into my office with a look of total disbelief on her face, saying that someone named Christine Brozyna, a producer from ABC World News with Diane Sawyer would like to talk to us about our Made in America Holiday Shopping Challenge.
Wow! I thought WE worked hard at Vermont Wood Studios. In 5 days these people read all about us on the Internet, liked our company and our drive, dreamed up a segment about us for their national news show, gathered up a camera crew, drove up to Vernon VT and spent the whole day today filming our story. It was a whilrwind and I'm not quite sure if I've been dreaming myself, but I have to say today was pretty exciting, either way.
Thanks also to the local media who came out to capture the event. I love this behind the scenes video posted by Zach Stephens at The Brattleboro Reformer.
I hope you get to see all of this on Wednesday when it airs on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer at 6:30pm. Everywhere we went today, the producers set up the scene so we were telling people about our Made in America Holiday Shopping Challenge and asking them to join us. We honestly had no earthly idea how this was going to play out and we're so grateful to everyone for supporting us in our ignorance.
I can't image how they're going to boil 10 hours of filming down to 3 minutes but I trust that the genius of Christine and Eric Noll (the other producer) will prevail and everything will come out just fine. That's Christine and Eric above with Tom and Mark, the camera crew. They had us getting our picture taken holding the Made in America sign all day, so we wanted to turn the tables on them and get a photo of them holding a sign of our choice– a promotional sign for Woodruff Custom Furniture.
If you made it to this page, and even to the bottom of this page– we're sending out a big THANK you to all of you from ABC. We look forward to seeing you again, closer to Christmas. Come and check out all our American Made finds!
November 18th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
Thank you so much for attending our Made in America Holiday Shopping Challenge! Today (I think it's because of your support) we got a phone call from ABC World News telling us they are sending a camera crew up to Vernon, Vermont on Tuesday to film some footage for their November 30 nightly news show.
They want to learn more about our pledge to buy American made holiday gifts at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture and also tour around the town of Vernon. They'll visit all the BIG attractions in town: the elementary school, the town hall, the general store, the fire station, a farm or two and Chad Woodruff's custom furniture workshop. What could be more cool for the evening news than that? They'll be interviewing people along the way and asking them about any plans they might have to "buy American" this holiday season.
So we're pretty excited about this and we're grateful to you for all your support, as always. By the way, what are you buying for Christmas this year? If you haven't taken the challenge yet, it's not too late. We figured that if everybody in the country bought everything "American made" over the holidays, it could generate almost 5 million jobs! Who needs politicians, right?
For local Vernon and Brattleboro area residents– if you'd like to be on TV or just see the camera crew in action, you can keep up with their schedule as it evolves by joining this Facebook group or checking our website. Here's a clip of a similar segment in the ABC series. People in the crowd scene at the Vernon Town Hall will all have a chance to be interviewed and present visuals to feature on the national show.