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…
Vermont’s natural, sustainable furniture is simple and elegant. It’s history hails back to the Shakers but today’s interior designers are re-discovering it, as modern green design trends continue to flourish. When it comes to bringing the outdoors in, what could be better than organic, real wood furniture? How about…
Organic, Real Wood Furniture Embellished by Colorful Wildflowers
This Spring Nina designed and planted a wildflower garden in the backyard at Stonehurst, Vermont’s newest furniture & home decor store. She and Dennis asked other staff members to tear themselves away from their computers now and then and help till, plant, weed and water (check out Kelsey’s story about how Nina chose flowers that would provide food and habitat for our birds, bees and butterflies). Their efforts have really paid off as the garden is now in full bloom, providing beautiful floral arrangements for the showroom (as well as pollen & nectar for our friends in flight).
We’ve had a lot of fun trying to integrate the sustainable furniture in our showroom with other elements of Vermont’s natural landscape this summer. Being in the midst of a 100 acre woodland allows us to offer customers a real appreciation for where their furniture comes from.
If you’re interested in sustainability and looking to incorporate green products into your home decor, come and visit us at Stonehurst. Any questions give us a call. Oh yes… you certainly can bring a picnic lunch and a bottle of wine!
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.
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.
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?).
Please share your own Green Up Day photos with us on Facebook.
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.
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 cherry, maple, oak 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.
I 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.
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.