What are the most important things you’re looking for when you buy new furniture?  I’m going to guess: style, quality and price.  But if you’ve landed on this green blog, you must be looking for sustainability too.  So today we’ll share our…

Top 3 Reasons to Buy Sustainable Furniture

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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.

Our customers usually come to Vermont Woods Studios with a pretty clear understanding of the benefits of natural, organic, eco-friendly furniture.  They're looking to help protect the environment.  They want to know that the wood used in their furniture has been sustainably harvested from forests that are going to be healthy and intact for many more generations.  Customers are also looking to protect their families from toxic substances in furniture finishes that could off-gas and cause respiratory problems.

But did you know that choosing natural, eco-furniture also reduces your carbon footprint and helps reduce global warming?  It's true. Scientists attribute about 20% of global warming to deforestation, particularly that of tropical rainforests, such as the Amazon.

If you're buying imported wood furniture, chances are it was made from illegally harvested wood that was clear cut from the rainforest.  Because there is such widespread counterfeiting of logging documents, consumers are often unwittingly contributing to global warming and the eventual loss of iconic tree species such as mahogany and teak when purchasing imported furniture. 

 

Natural-eco-furnitureVermont Woods Studios uses only sustainably harvested American wood in the crafting of our furniture.  Much of it comes from our own Green Mountain Forest.  We support the Forest Stewardship Council, the Nature Conservancy and other non-profits working to preserve the rainforest and stop global warming.  When you purchase organic wood furniture from our store you can rest assured that both your furniture and the forest from where it originates will be around for generations to come.

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.

By Dennis Shanoff

Solar-decathalon Making its debut in 2002 and then biannually since 2005 is the US Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon. This competition challenges 20 collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar powered, energy efficient homes that are cost effective, functional, and attractive. The winning team will have successfully blended affordability, consumer appeal and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. The fifth event will take place Sept. 23–Oct. 2, 2011 at the National Mall’s West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C. and is open to the public, free of charge.

 

Customers and fans of Vermont Woods Studios are aware of our environmental and social mission and our community of eco friendly furniture makers that are dedicated not only to beauty and quality in our craft, but also to the preservation of our natural environment. So you can imagine our excitement to be a part of the project and support the Vermont Solar Decathlon team by contributing a bed!

 

 

 

Cherry-moon-dovetail-bed

You see Vermont’s own Middlebury College is participating in the Solar Decathlon so when one of the schools team members reached out to us for a furniture donation we were thrilled to to no end to be part of such an important “Green Mission” event. This is such a great way to raise awareness about solar energy and sustainable lifestyles. Middlebury SD team member Casey Peterson had contacted us during the team’s research for interior furnishings. Part of the team’s mission is trying to source as much of the building materials and furnishings from Vermont as possible (including harvesting timber from the Middlebury College grounds).  And according to Casey what really resonated with the Middlebury design team was not only the quality of work at Vermont Woods Studios but the sustainable production processes used by our workshops. The team chose our Cherry Moon Dovetail Platform Bed to be the centerpiece of the Master Bedroom and we couldn’t agree more with their choice.

 

 

Solar-team-VT The Middlebury team is now putting the finishing touches to the home and at some point will have to disassemble it and transport it down to the National Malls West Potomac Park in Washington DC. During the event, thousands of people will be guided through the 20 homes on display, and the houses will be judged on categories like energy use and home entertainment. And while no team really loses in this competition you know who we are rooting for!

Are you wondering what happens to these Solar Decathlon houses after the competition? Since the first event in 2002, 72 houses have competed in the Solar Decathlon. These houses are now located throughout the United States and around the world and continue to serve numerous education, conservation and community-oriented functions.

There is a wealth of information about this great event and its history at the US Department of Energy website. And if you are rooting for or would like to learn more about the Middlebury team they have put together a great site that chronicles their project and gives insight to the team and their mission.  Go Team Middlebury!

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.

Eco-sustainable-furniture I always cringe when seeing myself in a video but Manjula has insisted we post this one on the Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture homepage.  It's a segment we did for The Weather Channel during the summer and it's about the link between your furniture and the environment– and the weather of course.  Specifically it talks about the rainforest, how it's disappearing at a rate of 1 football field/second and the fact that it's being clear-cut to supply timber for cheap furniture imports.

If you're someone who drives an eco-friendly fuel efficient car, you may be interested to know that your choice of furniture has a bigger impact on the environment than your car choice.  That's because deforestation is repsonsible for a greater contribution to air pollution and global warming than the entire transportation sector.

Take a minute to watch our nationally broadcast video segment about American made furniture crafted from sustainably harvested wood and let us know what you think.  We'll look forward to hearing from you!

 

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 hour
We’ve been participating in the World Wildlife Fund‘s Earth Hour project for the last couple years and it’s been a lot of fun.  Have you heard of Earth Hour?  It’s a time when the whole world comes together to make a statement and make a difference in the fight against global climate change.  We’ll all turn our lights off for an hour on March 27, 2010 from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm, local time.

Last year nearly one billion people participated by turning their lights off in their homes and small businesses all around the world.  In the USA, National Monuments including Mount Rushmore, along with other American icons like the Empire State Building, the Las Vegas Strip and the Golden Gate Bridge and many more joined in.

Please mark your calendar and join us to turn your lights out on March 27, 2010 from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm.  It’s a great time for a candlelight dinner or perhaps a little star-gazing.  Tenille Bonoguore has 60 suggestions for cool things to do when the lights are out.  If you send us photos of what you did during Earth Hour, we’ll send you a $25 gift certificate for eco-friendly furniture at Vermont Woods Studios!

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.