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Home offices aren't necessarily in a separate room anymore.  This one saves space with a large desk that could double as a kitchen table.  Less space means lower carbon footprint.

I am ashamed to say that my home office decor is deplorable.  You can see it in this video taken last year when I had 6 other people working in it with me.

 

So with our Green-up Your Workplace Challenge coming up for Earth Day, I decided to look for green design ideas to spif it up with eco-friendly home office furniture, lighting and accessories.

I started looking for ideas at HGTV and was delighted to find they are showcasing over 125 home office design ideas submitted by homeowners and interior designers. 

They've got modern home offices, eclectic home offices, traditional home offices, contemporary home offices, arts and crafts home offices, cottage home offices, tropical home offices, English country home offices, transitional home offices, mid-century modern and even Mediterranean home offices.

I hope they add a green home office project with all natural, all American made wooden office furniture: desks, file cabinets, credenza, occasional tables and chairs (maybe even using reclaimed, recycled barnwood).  Then add in organic cotton rugs, draperies and upholstery, energy efficient electronics, light bulbs, light fixtures and maybe even FSC certified wood flooring.  That would be a good project to post on Earth Day, HGTV.  Just a suggestion.

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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Naturally, as wood furniture makers, we at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture have to be concerned about forest conservation.  It's the foundation of our company's viability.

Although our Green Mountain Forests in Vermont are healthy and sustainable we know that, from a global perspective deforestation is the Number 1 environmental problem on our planet today.  Deforestation is a huge contributor to global warming, climate change, air pollution (carbon and other emissions from slash and burn practices), habitat loss, biodiversity loss, pollution of marine habitats (due to run-off from pesticides and fertilizers used to transform diverse forests into mono-cultured plantations) and more.

So at Vermont Woods Studios, we are working with The Nature Conservancy in support of their Plant A Billion Trees project.  We plant one tree for every order we fulfill and we support many non-profits dedicated to forest conservation.

We appreciate your concern for the environment.  When you buy wood furniture from us, you can rest assured that the forest where your furniture began it's life, will still be around for generations to come.  As will your furniture!

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.

Sustainable-furnitureKendall posted a new webpage the other day on the link between your furniture, rainforest conservation and a greener, more sustainable world. It's why we do what we do at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Wood Furniture.

 

Sometimes I feel like a nutcase– living in Vermont and talking about rainforest conservation all the time.  But I can't help it.  It's one of the Top 3 environmental problems of our time, yet few people seem to know about it.

 

Check out these rainforest facts and let me know if you too see this as a matter of great urgency.

 

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  1. 1.5 acres of rainforest are lost every second (that equates to 50 million acres a year: an area the size of England, Wales and Scotland combined)

  2. 54 of the world's 193 countries have lost 90 percent or more of their forest cover. Rainforests that once covered 14% of the earth's land surface now cover a mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years.
  3. Nearly half of the world's species of plants, animals and microorganisms will be destroyed or severely threatened over the next 25 years due to rainforest deforestation.
  4. We are losing approximately 137 plant, animal and insect species every single day due to rainforest deforestation. That equates to 50,000 species a year.
  5. As the rainforest species disappear, so do many possible cures for life-threatening diseases. Currently, 121 prescription drugs sold worldwide come from plant-derived sources. While 25% of Western pharmaceuticals are derived from rainforest ingredients, less that 1% of these tropical trees and plants have been tested by scientists.
  6. Most rainforests are cleared by chainsaws, bulldozers and fires for its timber value and then are followed by farming and ranching operations
  7. There were an estimated ten million Indians living in the Amazonian Rainforest five centuries ago. Today there are less than 200,000.
  8. In Brazil alone, European colonists have destroyed more than 90 indigenous tribes since the 1900's. With them have gone centuries of accumulated knowledge of the medicinal value of rainforest species. As their homelands continue to be destroyed by deforestation, rainforest peoples are also disappearing.
  9. In Indonesia, the current aggressive rate of logging could eradicate native forests within only 10 years. Unlike our temperate forests in Vermont for example, rainforests do not regenerate after they are destroyed. Once gone, they are gone forever and along with them the wonderful diversity of plants and wildlife that inhabit them.

If you've managed to read this far, you rock! Leave a comment below or check in with us now and then on Facebook to see what we're doing to to help replant the rainforest with our Plant a Billion Trees project.  Join us and together we can make a difference!

 

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.

Kringle-candle-restaurantWe were coming home from Greenfield MA on Sunday after Riley’s basketball game and decided to travel home along Route 5, through Bernardston.  I was surprised to see how much progress they’ve made on the new Kringle Candle Company– where the old Harley Davidson shop used to be.

 

 

It is beautiful!  We had been through the candle shop last year but now there are several additional shops across the street– it’s like a little village.

 

 

Kringle-outdoor-seating-1The old farmhouse that sits south of the Harley shop has been transformed into an elegant Farm Table Restaurant that extends to outdoor eating areas filled with POLYWOOD Euro Furniture and decorated with colorful Fall mums and pumpkins.

 

In their brochures they note that Mike and Mick Kittredge founded the company on green principles:

  • The restaurant serves all local organic foods
  • The candle containers are designed for re-use
  • Product packaging is environmentally friendly and recycled when possible

 

 

Kringle-landscaping-2That’s where there is some commonality between the Kringle Candle Company and Vermont Woods Studios– in our shared green philosophy.  Our vision for our new location (be it Skyline or elsewhere) is one that honors our natural world and serves to raise awareness about the green causes we have always been passionate about:  forest conservation and wildlife protection.  I think Kringle Candle is an appropriate benchmark for us.  We could learn a lot from these folks.

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.

Sustainable-furniture By Guest Blogger:  Erik Braunitzer
 
Furniture makers like Vermont Woods Studios Furniture are doing their part to improve their carbon footprint. Extensive documentation on their website or even a quick phone conversation with Rebecca or Shannon puts families at ease knowing the company is serious about their environmental, health and safety mission

But simply seeing furniture in a store with a green stamp of certification label isn't always helpful when you're not familiar with the background of the stamp. So it’s important that we realize just how green furniture is made, along with the environmentally friendly materials that are used.
 
Furniture companies using wood and recycled materials generally have the smallest carbon footprint.  Other materials would include concrete, plastic, aluminum, brick, glass, fiberglass and more. Now it’s been said that there isn’t one individual item or sustainable material, but a handful that share sustainable characteristics, including recyclables.
 
Furniture can also include the following:
 
·      Paint

·      Paint Strippers

·      Stain

·      Particle Board

 
Many of these substances are classified as volatile chemicals. Furniture made with these volatile chemicals can result in offgassing, which is evaporation at normal atmospheric pressure. Offgassing can be reduced or eliminated altogether by using stains, finishes or paints that are non toxic such as those made by Vermont Natural Coatings and AFM Safecoat.
 
Transportation is another part of the carbon footprint for furniture, as wood and other materials have to be extracted from the environment, shipped to distributors, transported to furniture makers, then sent off to the retail store and customers. The sustainability of a particular piece of furniture is dependent upon a couple of factors including:
 
·      Durability–   The longer the piece of furniture, the more sustainable it becomes.

·      How it’s useful–   Multifunctional furniture saves money and yields greater sustainability.

Learning where to buy this type of furniture can be quite a daunting task, as it’s not always portrayed clearly exactly what materials are used, and the percentage of each. In order to fully lead a responsible lifestyle, we should understand just how to look for green furniture. Here are a few tips:
 
Look for Sustainably Harvested Wood – Translates to the sustainability of ecosystems and natural forests.

Avoid Tropical Woods Like Mahogany and Teak -  these woods are often illegally clearcut from the world's rapidly disappearing rainforests.

Ensure FSC Certification – for tropical woods, if no substitution can be made

Reclaimed Wood Furniture (RWF) – More or less, RWF is a recycled piece of furniture.
 
Non-Toxic Finishes – Keep your air clean and help protect your children from health issues.
 
Buy locally – Locally purchased items are always more sustainable as transportation costs are cut.
 
Clearly, Furniture making using sustainable materials is very important to the health of the overall environment. Similarly, it reduces waste and influences the vintage market. By following a few simple rules and clearly understanding how green furniture is made, you can make a difference in improving your carbon footprint. Next time you’re in the market for a table or chair, be sure to inquire about sustainable practices before purchasing.
 
Courtesy of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, New York Luxury Rentals.

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.