By Loryn Dion
Here at Vermont Woods Studios, a big part of our mission is to support and give back to our local and global community, specifically to those that are helping to better our world through forest conservation. While many companies and organizations promote a similar cause in their missions, VWS staff members like to do more than just write out a check or sit in the office talking about our plans but not physically putting them into action.
Thursday, the folks at the Bonnyvale Environmental Educational Center (BEEC) welcomed Peggy and me to their beautiful sanctuary, a vacation away from the hustle and bustle of the average work day. BEEC is a member-based, nonprofit organization founded with the mission to develop a more ecologically informed citizenry through education and action in order to enhance and sustain the vitality of southern Vermont’s bioregion. BEEC’s land and facilities include 100 acres of mature forests, open pasture lands, hiking trails, sweeping hilltop views, and a classroom and office, all situated in a beautiful rural setting less than 10 minutes from downtown Brattleboro.
BEEC also coordinates and leads important community-based environmental research and conservation programs, including watershed stewardship, reptile and amphibian conservation initiatives, and biodiversity planning and protection.
We traveled to BEEC for a meeting with Patti Smith and Belle Coles, two staff members of BEEC, to brainstorm some ideas for a partnership between our organizations. BEEC has some fantastic programs that they organize throughout the year and they are always looking for volunteers and sponsors. Vermont Woods Studios is hoping to help them out with one or more of these projects in the not-so-distant future.
Although Peggy and I were there on “business,” we were able to go on a nice hike to see the amazing views of the Vermont landscape and meet a lazy little possum named “Samuel Gompers.” Samuel and his siblings were rescued when they were just babies after they lost their parents. Samuel is very happy at his home with BEEC staff and enjoys eating blueberries and Japanese Beetles! I’d say this was a very successful business meeting!
If you’re interested in helping out too, the next big event that BEEC is holding their annual Hike-A-Thon. Last year, they raised over $1400 through the fundraiser. To learn more about BEEC’s projects, check out the event calendar on their Web site.
Loryn Dion is a Marketing Assistant at Vermont Woods Studios, an online furniture gallery which showcases Vermont’s finest wood furniture. Follow our blog to learn about Vermont fine furniture, Vermont happenings, our mission, and our team.
Thanks To Vermont Craftsman Chad Woodruff: Maker of Mission, Arts & Crafts and Stickley Style Furniture
Once again we'd like to say thanks to one of our favorite Vermont fine furniture makers: Chad Woodruff of Woodruff Custom Furniture in Vernon, Vermont. Chad was kind enough to join us on Tuesday when ABC World News came to town. He and his quintessential Vermont workshop (located in an historic, old red barn) were featured in a film segment for the Made in America Shopping Challenge. I can't wait to see that part of the video because Chad speaks about his craft so beautifully and powerfully– straight from the heart.
Chad specializes in building Arts & Crafts style pieces, inspired by craftsmen like Stickley, Roycroft, and Limbert. Each piece Chad crafts has a simple beauty and an honest solid construction. His furniture is made by hand from rough board to fine finish.
Quartersawn White Oak is the wood of choice for most of Chad's customers although he is happy to customize his furniture to meet your specific needs and preferences. He offers 4 stain choices: a classic mission finish with a medium brown stain with strong orange and golden highlights, a light mission stain, a dark mission stain and a fumed oak finish.
Chad's quality is impeccable, his customers are raving fans and we are very proud to be able to represent him at Vermont Woods Studios Furniture. Check out some of Chad's Mission, Arts and Crafts and Stickley Style Furniture on our website or give us a call to learn more about his work and how to bring it into your home.
Forest conservation is a big part of our mission at Vermont Woods Studios. All of our furniture is made from sustainably harvested wood and we donate a portion of the proceeds of each sale to non-profit groups working to preserve the forest.
So when I read a recent article in Audubon Magazine (by T. Edward nickens) about the damage that’s happening to our forests as a result of junk mail production, I felt we should get on board and do something to help. Would you believe that:
Over 100 Billion pieces of junk mail are delivered to Americans each year (>800 pieces per household, almost half of which goes directly to the landfill without even being opened)
It takes over 100 million trees to produce this junk mail (that’s equivalent to clear-cutting the entire Rocky Mountain National Park every 4 months)
The manufacture of this junk mail releases more greenhouse gas emissions per year than the emissions released by 9.4 million average passenger cars
The Canadian Boreal forest (home to caribou, grizzly bears, wolves and 40% of North America’s waterfowl) and Indonesia’s tropical rainforests (home to numerous critically endangered species including orangutans and tigers) are particularly at risk from junk mail producers, harvesting wood in these areas.
Want to help solve the junk mail problem? The non-profit group, Forest Ethics has an online petition you can sign, asking Congress for a Do Not Mail registry, similar to the Do Not Call registry. That would be great, wouldn’t it?
In the meantime, here is a fantastic website where you can quickly and easily eliminate most of your junk mail, right now…it’s Catalog Choice.
Just sign up and select the catalogs you don’t want to receive. Voila! Your name is off their lists. Take action right NOW and help save the earth’s forests. You’ll be protecting endangered species and indigenous peoples AND helping to stem global climate change. You’re going to feel really good about yourself today!
Help us brainstorm ways to entice you to get onboard The Green Train and help us spread the word about our eco friendly furniture. If you know people who are shopping for a new dining table & Chairs or bed or media center, we want you to send them to our website. And we want to reward you for that. So let us know what it would take. Currrently we offer a 5% reward to customers who refer their friends to us and we're extending that to you too. So for example, if you refer a friend and that person purchases $5000 in furniture, you receive a check for $250. The cool thing is that you can either take the cash or donate it to one of a number of non-profits that are working to save the rainforest. Tell us what you think about it and tell us what else we can do to get you on board The Green Train! The clock is ticking…there's no time to lose.