Vermont Green Up Day

Have you ever wondered why Vermont is so clean, green and pristine?  Well one reason is that since 1970, thousands of Vermonters have gotten outside on the first Saturday of May to collect tons of litter that would otherwise mar our state’s scenic beauty.  The goal of “Green Up Day”  is to “promote the stewardship of our state’s natural landscape and waterways and the livability of our communities by involving people and raising public awareness about the benefits of a litter-free environment”.  So tomorrow May 3, volunteers will scour 13,000 miles of roads and collect 40,000 bags of trash.

VWS Greens up the Vernon Beach
The Green Team at Vermont Woods Studios Furniture cleaned up the Vernon Beach today.

Have you participated in Green Up day before?  If not, how about giving it a try?  Get your muck boots on and head outside for some fresh air, sunshine and the good feeling that comes from serving your community.  Find out who’s coordinating Green Up day in your community here.  They’ll have trash bags for you but more importantly they’ll probably throw a pizza party for all the local volunteers after the work is done.

Vermont Woods Studios Green Team Cleans Up Vernon Beach
Vermont Woods Studios Green Team vying for “biggest haul” out of the Vernon Beach.  From left:   Michelle, Sean, Liz, Douglas, Nina and Dennis (poor Loryn had to stay back at Stonehurst.  After all, somebody has to do all the work, for crying out loud ;)

Our Green Up efforts at Vermont Woods Studios took place yesterday as staff members had other obligations this weekend.  Here are some photos of the work we did cleaning up the Vernon Pond and the Vernon Beach (bet you didn’t know we had a beach, did you?).

Vermont Green Up Day | Vernon Pond
Michelle, Martin, Douglas and Neville getting ready to clean up the Vernon Pond.
Neville Cleaning up the Vernon Pond
Neville Cleaning up the Vernon Pond.
Sean Greening Up the Vernon Beach
Sean Greening Up the Vernon Beach.

Please share your own Green Up Day photos with us on Facebook.

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.

 

Rustic Barnwood Furniture
This This Rustic Barnwood Sideboard with Ceramic Sink, rich with history and character, is created from high quality, reclaimed and recycled doors, floor boards, siding and other original components of New England’s historic barns. Organic, live-edge buffet top.

Furniture is more than just something we sit on, sleep on, and eat on; our furniture becomes a part of our life story. It’s an integral piece of what makes a house a home. But for the chemically sensitive, or for those who are just serious about not bringing harsh chemicals into their homes, finding the right furniture can seem like an impossible task.

At Vermont Woods Studios, we’re dedicated to providing furniture that is good for your health, home, and the environment.

Our Wood Furniture

All of our furniture (with the exception of our Outdoor line, which is made from recycled milk jugs) is handcrafted in Vermont using real, natural hardwoods. We do not work with inferior substrates like Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF), particle board, or flimsy faux wood veneers.

We work mostly with cherrymapleoak and walnut. Each board in your furniture is selected by hand, and inspected for quality, strength, straightness, grain and color. When requested, we use FSC green-certified lumber, although there is still a premium for FSC certified wood. Sometimes our artisans harvest lumber from the woods on their own property, a sustainable approach that adds another dimension to the story of your furniture!

Toxin Free Finishes

Many of our furniture makers continue to use traditional oil and wax based finishes, but even those that use more modern finishes ensure that they are non-toxic, formaldehyde-free and eco-friendly with little or no Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs).

As concern over indoor air quality continues to grow, many of our furniture makers are moving towards water based finishes. Conventional petroleum based solvents contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are harmful to the atmosphere. While most of these VOCs are released at the time of manufacturing, a small amount remains on the product and can off-gas in the home. Many of our collections can now be requested in a non-emitting water-based finish.

Shopping for Organic Furniture Online

Questions to ask when making decisions on your organic wood furniture:

  • What type of wood is used?
  • Where does the wood come from?
  • How is the wood processed?  Are chemicals used in processing?  What kind of chemicals?
  • What type of finish and/or stain is used?  Is it a low VOC or no VOC finish-stain?  Can you supply an MSDS (material safety data sheet) for the finish?
  • What type of glue is used?  Is it non-toxic?  Does it contain formaldehyde?  MSDS available?
  • Where is the furniture made and by whom?
  • How is the furniture packaged for shipment?

If you have any questions or want to discuss the issues of natural, non-toxic furniture, give us a call or email us at Vermont Woods Studios.  We’ll be glad to help!

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.

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.

2013 interior design trends

 

With a new year comes new designs, fashions and ideas. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be cover different trends that we’ve seen coming up for this year. First up for your 2013 Interior Design Trends: furniture!

Futuristic Furniture

In 2013, I think we are going to see many furniture pieces featuring simple lines and functions, much like furniture of the mid 20th century. We’ll have many retro  styles making a comeback, such as metal detailing, splayed leg designs and futuristic, modular furniture. Our Moduluxe, Astrid and Contemporary Cable collections are good starting points for this look.

Unique Artisan Designs

Sometimes the best trend is not following a trend at all. Creative, one-of-a-kind designs will be big this year as people start to “de-commercialize” their lives. Whether you’re going for a modern look or a simple shaker style, artisan work is the way to go. Give us a call to discuss some custom options for your home.

Sustainable Furniture

Whatever look you decide to go for, make it a green one. Sustainability is starting to become a consumer standard in most industries, including food and fiber, and furniture is no different. Choose pieces that are made from sustained, American forests rather than endangered rainforest lumber. Learn more abut our sustainability standard and what we do to protect our rainforests.

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.

Vermont Green Furniture Blog
Heather Barrett (left) and Loryn Dion, the women behind Vermont’s Green Furniture Blog are showing off their Secret Santa gifts, received at our Made in America Christmas Party.  Heather has a Tervis tumbler and a Kringle candle.  Loryn has a set of handmade ceramic coasters designed and created by Heather.

Who Writes Vermont’s Green Furniture Blog?

There’s a lot of creative energy at Vermont Woods Studios these days and happily we have a number of talented writers who are willing to share our daily goings on through this green furniture blog.  Pictured above are Heather Barrett (left) of Brattleboro VT and Loryn Dion (right) of Northfield MA who work long and hard on many aspects of our Vermont furniture store, including keeping you up to date on the latest office shenanigans.

Holiday Hot Topic: Made in America Christmas Shopping Challenge

The photo above was taken Friday at our “Made in America” Secret Santa party where each of us gave and received American made Christmas gifts.  It’s part of our Made in America Holiday Shopping Challenge (we figure with Americans spending about $586 Billion this holiday season, if all of those gifts were made in America it could generate 5.8 million jobs.  OK we know that not every gift can or should be made in America, but still shopping “American made” can create a lot of jobs).

Not Just Red, White and Blue– Green Too!

Anyway, if you want to follow these two creative writers you’ll find their contributions right here every week.  Besides keeping us up to date on American made Christmas gift ideas, Heather tends to blog about green furniture, Vermont Travel and all things adventurous and exciting in the Green Mountain state.  Loryn’s been keeping her focus on Green decor and interior design but you never know what kind of provocative topics she might wander off into.

To stay in touch with Heather and Loryn, subscribe to this blog on the top right or join their conversations on Facebook.  And keep a look out for insider secrets from their newly recruited accomplice, Liz Francese who’ll be taking you on occasional trips behind the veil at Vermont Woods Studios Sales and Customer Service.  More about Liz coming soon!

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.

Gerry-cooklin-susan-inglisI remember travelling from Vermont to High Point, North Carolina exactly 5 years ago to meet with Gerry Cooklin of South Cone Furniture, Susan Inglis of "From The Mountain" (who is now the Executive Director of the Sustainable Furnishings Council, SFC) and a handful of visionaries.  Our mission was to promote forest conservation in the furniture industry.  That was Year 1 for Vermont Woods Studios Sustainable Furniture and the trip was instrumental in charting a course for our company.

 

 

Sfc-founding-member

 

I had read alot about Gerry and Susan before I attended the meeting.  To me they were larger than life– and they still are.  Five years ago though, they were the first in the industry to talk about the fact that Americans were unwittingly contributing to the decimation of endangered species of the forest (including all the big cats and great apes) by purchasing cheap imported furniture made from timber that was being clear cut from the worlds rainforests.  Their pitch was for the formation of a furniture industry group that would promote healthy, sustainable practices particularly with regard to the use of responsibly harvested wood. 

Since that meeting 5 years ago, Susan and Gerry have been successful in recruiting some 400 companies to join the SFC.  There is much work left to be done, but these two champions of the forest are inspirational leaders in the green furniture movement and we are grateful for their relentless pursuit of sustainability in our industry.

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.