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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.

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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.

Earth Day Celebration
We love getting to spend time outside the showroom. We sit on 100+ acres of woodland, making it the perfect place to get outside and enjoy the majestic woods! Living & working in Vermont inspires us to make sustainability a priority in our business and our personal lives.

Earth Day Gives us the Opportunity to Reflect on our Environmental Impact

Each & Every one of us at Vermont Woods Studios works here for a reason; we are passionate about Vermont furniture and we are passionate about keeping our forests thriving. We love the outdoors, and we love the environment. Earth day is very special to us, and this year we’ve decided to each make a pledge towards making our everyday lives more eco-friendly. It’s easy to forget about the impact of even the smallest choices we make sometimes, and we’re excited to be more environmentally conscious this year.

This Earth Day, I pledge to….

Peggy: I pledge to buy more organic and bird friendly coffee for the office.

Douglas: I pledge to stop using plastic water bottles. My daughter and I use 20+ a week when working out– we’re both going to start using large glass mason jars instead!

Dennis: I pledge to maintain the bird houses I just built and put up around my house.

Liz: My pledge is to create a compost bin and start composting at my cabin, as I’ve been wanting to for a long time!

Sean: My pledge is to buy less clothes this year and to donate all of my old or unwanted clothes to charity!

Michelle: I pledge to eat more food from my own garden this year.

Loryn: I pledge to drive less since I will be buying a bike soon!

Kelsey: I pledge to grow monarch-friendly plants outside of my apartment.

Nina: My pledge is to collect rainwater and use that to water my garden, rather than wasting water from the faucet!

So what’s your Earth Day pledge? Remember that even a small change in your lifestyle can make a huge difference in our planet! We’d love to hear what you’re eco-change is going to be this year. Let us know on Facebook or send us a Tweet!

 

 

 

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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.

Earth Day 2013 - Greeting from Vermont!
The earth is beginning to thaw at Stonehurst, our soon to be Fine Furniture Showroom in Vernon, Vermont.  Join us and celebrate all the things each of us can do to honor nature and protect the earth’s flora and fauna today — Earth Day.

Greetings from Southern Vermont on Earth Day!  We hope you’re celebrating — perhaps with some local organic food or by joining a community gardening project or cleaning up the roadside or whatever.  Last year at Vermont Woods Studios we launched the Green Up Your Workplace Challenge where we used Facebook, our blog and some other physical and virtual venues to promote sustainability at work.

This year we’re swamped with our Stonehurst Fine Furniture Showroom project and haven’t had a chance to launch a 2013 Earth Day campaign.  But in lieu of that, I can report that we’ve been very careful to use local lumber and building materials for Stonehurst and we’ve re-used, re-purposed and recycled as much of the original design and structure whenever possible.  Stonehurst will truly be a green workplace.

We do have a couple modest Earth Day activities on tap today.  We’ll be installing the bluebird nesting boxes we made last month out of a Norway Spruce tree that had to be taken down from Stonehurst in the Fall (because it was leaning on the top of the building).   And we’ll be indulging in some local fare for lunch today… maybe from The Blue Moose Cafe or The Works in downtown Brattleboro.  If you’re in the Southern Vermont area you know we’re lucky to have many fine farm to plate local eateries to choose from on Earth Day and every day. Maybe we’ll see you at one of them.  Bon appetite and Happy Earth Day!

 

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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.

Green-lunch-tipsIf you surveyed your co-workers by going around and seeing how they pack their lunches, what percentage do you think would have re-usable lunch containers?

I did this a few times last week at Vermont Woods Studios and the results varied.  I found that everyone who made lunch at home and brought it in to work, used re-usable containers.  But on average, my co-workers order take-out about 1/week and that gets delivered in styrofoam containers.

So how do you think we're doing?  How do we measure up with your co-workers?  And does it really matter anyway?

I found some interesting food for thought on this topic:  disposable lunches generate 67 pounds of waste per year/per person and that's for school kids (according to wastefreelunches.org).  Since adults eat more and work more days, I'd guess you could probably double that for us.

So for Earth Day, how about persuading your co-workers to ditch the disposable, single-serve, gut-wads they're picking up at Seven Eleven and start packing re-usable lunch containers instead?  Here are some ideas on what to pack, how to pack it and why it's good for the planet and your health!

Find more ideas for how to Green Up Your Workplace by attending our Facebook event and checking out our Lunches & Munches for the Office Pinterest Board.

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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.

Green-officeEarth 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!

 

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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.