Green-cleaning-products

Shannon purged our office of Clorox, Febreeze and Glass Plus, replacing them with greener cleaners by BioKleen, EcoVer and Seventh Generation

 

Guest Blogger:  Shannon Albritton

WARNING: No hazmat suits, protective eyewear or gloves required to read this message

My very first thought when we launched our Green-Up Your Workplace Challenge here at Vermont Woods Studios was “I can’t wait to get those toxic cleaning products out of our bathroom!”  There’s nothing worse than walking into a ‘freshly cleaned bathroom’ and needing to open the window to dissipate the smell of bleach and chemicals. I was quick to volunteer for the task of purchasing a new assortment of green cleaning products. Permission granted!

My personal aversion to the odor of chemical-based products aside, there are a variety of factors to consider when selecting cleaning products:

 

 

Important reasons to consider when going green with your clean:

  • When toxic chemicals are sprayed, dumped, rinsed or washed the hazardous environmental effects are outstanding
  • 6 billion pounds of chemicals are dumed into the environment each year
  • Cancer, autism, birth defects, skin & respiratory sensitivies and asthma are on the rise without adequate explanation why

Possible environmental consequences of using chemical cleaning products:

  • Air pollution
  • Bioaccumulation of toxic substances in plants and animals
  • Endocrine disruption in wildlife, which affects reproductive ability
  • Ozone depletion
  • Water pollution

And, if the above isn’t enough to convince you, consider the following warning label comparison:

Warning Label Clorox Clean-Up reads: Eye & Skin Irritant: Causes substantial but temporary eye injury. Do not get in eyes or on clothing. Wear protect eyewear (really?) Harmful if swallowed. For sensitive skin or prolonged use wear gloves. Avoid prolonged breathing of vapors and use in well ventilated areas. (Yeesh! – did they forget the hazmat suit?)

Warning Label Biokleen Bac-Out Bathroom Cleaner: Caution: In case of eye contact, flush eyes with cool water for 15 minutes. In case of ingestion, do not induce vomitting; drink plenty of water to dilute. (That was easy)

Have I convinced you yet? Here comes the reinforcement…

  • Animal Testing – I’ll leave the gory details to your imagination but let’s face it, choosing products which use No Animal Testing and No Animal Ingredients should be a no-brainer in 2012. Store shelves provide a variety options and alternatives for friendlier choices that don’t include a science lab full of beagles testing your bathroom cleaner for skin allergies…

Products from earth-friendly companies like Biokleen (my personal favorite), Ecover, Seventh Generation offer a safe and comprehensive product line for cleaning your office and home. Many products are available in concentrated form which also helps keep our planet green. Less waste in plastic bottles and containers has a direct impact on our energy consumption and pollution from manufacturing. In many cases these concentrated products are very cost effective because you’re not paying for the bottle over and over again.  I’ve been using Biokleen for years and strongly recommend them. Not only are their products safe and green they actually work and smell wonderful!

So, let’s recap: Choosing to green-up your workplace by replacing toxic cleaning products laden with harsh chemicals with green cleaning alternatives is my # 1 choice because it:

  • Removes harsh chemicals from the air
  • Keeps chemicals from leeching into our water systems and plants
  • Prevents negative effects on the reproduction of our wildlife
  • Keeps the air quality safe for myself, my coworkers & our customers
  • No hazmat suit, protective eyewear or gloves required
  • No Animal Testing or Animal Products
  • Concentrated formulas save on waste and pollution
  • Smells great – no artificial fragrances, colors or preservatives

Now head on over to the Vermont Woods Studios Virtual Green-Up Your Workplace Challenge and show your love for my #1 green-up tip. Be sure to share your green cleaning tips with the rest of us and tell us how you’re greening up your workplace too!

Shannons-cleaner-greener-world-becoming a-reality

Behind the scenes as Shannon Greens Up Our Workplace at Vermont Woods Studios

 

 

Warning: No animals, vegetables or minerals have been harmed in the making of this message

 

 

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.

Modern-copeland-Estelle-ChairEarth Week seems like a good time to roll out Copeland Furniture's new collection of high end, eco-friendly solid wood dining chairs

 

This one is Copeland's ultra minimalist (that's an oxymoron, isn't it?) Catalina Estelle chair in solid walnut wood.  It brings you back to that mid century modern style of the 1950's with it's clean, simple lines and retro design.

If the Estelle is too spartan for you, check out Copeland's other walnut chairs: the Catalina Morgan chair and the Catalina Ingrid chair.

These chairs styles are also available in cherry as the Sarah Morgan chair, and the Sarah Ingrid chair.  One more cherry chair is also on sale now and that's Copelands traditional Sarah Shaker Chair.

 

All of Copeland's furniture is made right here in Vermont from sustainably harvested wood.  Many Copeland items are available in FSC green-certified wood.  You can read more about Copeland's green furniture and the many prestigious awards they have won for sustainability on our website. 

Stay tuned for the roll out of additional brand new Copeland dining furniture pieces in the coming weeks.  If you're looking for authentic green luxury you can't overlook Copeland.  And their furniture is 100% American made.  As we see all the big furniture companies talking about bringing their operations back to the USA from Asia due to global economics, it's good to know about Copeland Furniture– one of the few American furniture makers that stayed in the USA remaining true to their values of quality, sustainability and community throughout the mass exodus to China.

 

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.

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!

 

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.

 

HGTV-Office-Shirry-Dolgin-modern

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.