I started Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture almost 7 years ago as part of a mission to help with rainforest conservation. We promote American made furniture that's built with local, sustainably harvested wood as an alternative to imported furniture made with illegal tropical timber, clear cut from the world's rapidly disappearing rainforests.
But a couple years ago when we were searching for an eco-friendly line of outdoor furniture, I began to learn that furniture is such a HUGE commodity it's manufacture affects ocean conservation as well as forest conservation. Often when rainforests are clear-cut for timber, they are converted into plantations that require massive amounts of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. The whole process results in soil erosion, run-off, ocean pollution and coral bleaching.
This knowledge is what led us to begin carrying our Polywood outdoor furniture collection which is made from recycled plastic beverage containers, rather than rainforest woods like teak or mahogany. I know this is a convoluted pathyway, but that's what reminded me of today's designation as World Oceans Day.
There's no denying it– we are destroying the oceans and we need to take action to restore them. 90% of the big fish are gone and many of the fish caught today never even have the chance to reproduce. The average size of the remaining big fish has been cut in half in the last 50 years (the average weight of a swordfish caught today is 90 lbs., down from 266 lbs. in 1960).
The Green Prophet has some great suggestions if you're wondering what you can do to help restore the oceans. In addition to avoiding the purchase of furniture made from tropical woods (like teak, mahogany, ipe and eucalyptus) you can also help by eating only sustainably harvested fish and learning more about ocean conservation.
OK, thanks for reading all this. Now time to head out to the beach for a swim!
We can help you with that… if it's furniture you're shopping for.
Check out our Big Storewide Memorial Day Furniture Sale.
On this patriotic weekend, you can feel good knowing our handcrafted wood furniture is 100% American made. Even better– you'll save 15% off just about everything store-wide including bedroom furniture, dining room furniture, home office furniture and living room furniture. And we've delivered to all 50 states in the USA using our white glove delivery and set-up service so you can be confident that your furniture will arive safe and sound… with our craftsman's lifetime guarantee.
The best part? You don't have to rush around town to shop for your furniture. Relax and browse with your friends and family from the comfort of your home, backyard, beach or BBQ. The sale goes through this weekend and ends Tuesday, May 29 at midnight. Don't miss it!
This Memorial Day weekend we pause to honor our nation's military heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice in their service to our country. For those of us lucky enough to be removed from the pain and suffering of our country's wars– I think it's hard to understand the hardships that others take on our behalf. So on Memorial Day we set aside special time to do that. Here are some ideas for honoring our military heroes, as offered by Lisa Dietlin of the Huffington Post:
- Participate in the National Moment of Remembrance: one minute of silence that occurs at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day
- Visit a cemetery and read the headstones of those who have died for our freedom
- Attend the Memorial Day parade in your community
- Fly the American flag in front of your home
- Make a charitable donation to a nonprofit doing work with veterans, such as the Wounded Warrior Project or the Gary Sinise Foundation
Fellow Vermonters, you can find the schedule of Vermont Memorial Day parades here.
Usually when the mail comes I'm quick to toss it on Douglas' desk because it's an invoice or statement or other uninteresting transmittal. But today there was a beautiful, hand-addressed card on top of the mail pile and the stamp had a Trident Maple Bonsai tree on it. How intriguing.
So I kept this letter for myself. Inside was a check (always my favorite mail to open) and a "racy" greeting card from one of our customers in West Yarmouth, MA.
The card was made by Tree-Free Greetings in Keene, NH which is just down the road from us. It's a small company I've never even heard of. But their cards are made from recycled content and Kenaf– an American grown plant that grows 15 feet in 5 months, uses no harmful chemicals in processing and is fully recyclable.
I have to say… our customers are the ultimate. They keep us going when times get tough. Sending us money in a locally made, eco-friendly card on Arbor Day… how cool is that?
Many thanks to the Merrill family!
And happy Arbor Day, everyone.
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.